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  • richardmitnick 12:08 pm on August 17, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , Biocomplexity Institute of Virginia Tech, , Dark Matter simulations, , VA Tech   

    From Virginia Tech: “Large-scale simulations could shed light on the “dark” elements that make up most of our cosmos” 

    From Virginia Tech

    August 16, 2018
    Dan Rosplock

    Large-scale structure of the universe resulting from a supercomputer simulation of the evolution of the universe. Credit: Habib et al./Argonne National Lab

    If you only account for the matter we can see, our entire galaxy shouldn’t exist. The combined gravitational pull of every known moon, planet, and star should not have been strong enough to produce a system as dense and complex as the Milky Way. So what’s held it all together?

    Scientists believe there is a large amount of additional matter in the universe that we can’t observe directly – so-called “dark matter.” While it is not known what dark matter is made of, its effects on light and gravity are apparent in the very structure of our galaxy. This, combined with the even more mysterious “dark energy” thought to be speeding up the universe’s expansion, could make up as much as 96 percent of the entire cosmos.

    In an ambitious effort directed by Argonne National Laboratory, researchers at the Biocomplexity Institute of Virginia Tech are now attempting to estimate key features of the universe, including its relative distributions of dark matter and dark energy. The U.S. Department of Energy has approved nearly $1 million in funding for the research team, which has been tasked with leveraging large-scale computer simulations and developing new statistical methods to help us better understand these fundamental forces.


    To capture the impact of dark matter and dark energy on current and future scientific observations, the research team plans to build on some of the powerful predictive technologies that have been employed by the Biocomplexity Institute to forecast the global spread of diseases like Zika and Ebola. Using observational data from sources like the Dark Energy Survey, scientists will attempt to better understand how these “dark” elements have influenced the evolution of the universe.

    Dark Energy Survey

    Dark Energy Camera [DECam], built at FNAL

    NOAO/CTIO Victor M Blanco 4m Telescope which houses the DECam at Cerro Tololo, Chile, housing DECam

    “It sounds somewhat incredible, but we’ve done similar things in the past by combining statistical methods with supercomputer simulations, looking at epidemics,“ said Dave Higdon, a professor in the Biocomplexity Institute’s Social and Decision Analytics Laboratory. “Using statistical methods to combine input data on population, movement patterns, and the surrounding terrain with detailed simulations can forecast how health conditions in an area will evolve quite reliably—it will be an interesting test to see how well these same principles perform on a cosmic scale.”

    If this effort is successful, results will benefit upcoming cosmological surveys and may shed light on a number of mysteries regarding the makeup and evolution of dark matter and dark energy. What’s more, by reverse engineering the evolution of these elements, they could provide unique insights into more than 14 billion years of cosmic history.

    See the full article here .


    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, commonly known as Virginia Tech and by the initialisms VT and VPI,[8] is an American public, land-grant, research university with a main campus in Blacksburg, Virginia, educational facilities in six regions statewide, and a study-abroad site in Lugano, Switzerland. Through its Corps of Cadets ROTC program, Virginia Tech is also designated as one of six senior military colleges in the United States.

    As Virginia’s third-largest university, Virginia Tech offers 225 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to some 30,600 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million, the largest of any university in Virginia.[9] The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.

    Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University officially opened on Oct. 1, 1872, as Virginia’s white land-grant institution (Hampton Normal and Industrial Institute, founded in 1868, was designated the commonwealth’s first black land-grant school. This continued until 1920, when the funds were shifted by the legislature to the Virginia Normal and Industrial Institute in Petersburg, which in 1946 was renamed to Virginia State University by the legislature). During its existence, the university has operated under four different legal names. The founding name was Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College. Following a reorganization of the college in the 1890s, the state legislature changed the name to Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College and Polytechnic Institute, effective March 5, 1896. Faced with such an unwieldy name, people began calling it Virginia Polytechnic Institute, or simply VPI. On June 23, 1944, the legislature followed suit, officially changing the name to Virginia Polytechnic Institute. At the same time, the commonwealth moved most women’s programs from VPI to nearby Radford College, and that school’s official name became Radford College, Women’s Division of Virginia Polytechnic Institute. The commonwealth dissolved the affiliation between the two colleges in 1964. The state legislature sanctioned university status for VPI and bestowed upon it the present legal name, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, effective June 26, 1970. While some older alumni and other friends of the university continue to call it VPI, its most popular–and its official—nickname today is Virginia Tech.

  • richardmitnick 3:36 pm on July 25, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , TH2K, VA Tech   

    From phys.org: “CP violation or new physics?” 


    July 25, 2016
    Lisa Zyga

    This is the “South Pillar” region of the star-forming region called the Carina Nebula. Like cracking open a watermelon and finding its seeds, the infrared telescope “busted open” this murky cloud to reveal star embryos tucked inside finger-like pillars of thick dust. Credit: NASA/Spitzer

    Over the past few years, multiple neutrino experiments have detected hints for leptonic charge parity (CP) violation—a finding that could help explain why the universe is made of matter and not antimatter. So far, matter-antimatter asymmetry cannot be explained by any physics theory and is one of the biggest unsolved problems in cosmology.

    But now in a new study published in Physical Review Letters, physicists David V. Forero and Patrick Huber at Virginia Tech have proposed that the same hints could instead indicate CP-conserving “new physics,” and current experiments would have no way to tell the difference.

    Both possibilities—CP violation or new physics—would have a major impact on the scientific understanding of some of the biggest questions in cosmology. Currently, one of the most pressing problems is the search for new physics, or physics beyond the Standard Model, which is a theory that scientists know is incomplete but aren’t sure exactly how to improve. New physics could potentially explain several phenomena that the Standard Model cannot, including the matter-antimatter asymmetry problem, as well as dark matter, dark energy, and gravity.

    As the scientists show in the new study, determining whether the recent hints indicate CP violation or new physics will be very challenging. The main goal of the study was to “quantify the level of confusion” between the two possibilities. The physicists’ simulations and analysis revealed that both CP violation and new physics have distributions centered at the exact same value for what the neutrino experiments measure—something called the Dirac CP phase. This identical preference makes it impossible for current neutrino experiments to distinguish between the two cases.

    “Our results show that establishing leptonic CP violation will need exceptional care, and that new physics can in many ways lead to non-trivial confusion,” Huber told Phys.org.

    The good news is that new and future experiments may be capable of resolving the issue. One possible way to test the two proposals is to compare the measurements of the Dirac CP phase made by two slightly different experiments: DUNE (the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment) at Fermilab in Batavia, Illinois; and T2HK (the Tokai to Hyper-Kamiokande project) at J-PARC in Tokai, Japan.


    Proposed TH2K

    “The trick is that the type of new physics we postulate in our paper manifests itself in the way in which neutrino oscillations are affected by the amount of earth matter through which the neutrino traverses,” Huber said. “The more matter travelled through, the larger the effect of this type of new physics.”

    “Now, for DUNE, neutrinos would have to travel roughly 1300 km in the earth, whereas for T2HK they would travel only about 300 km. Thus one would find two different values for the Dirac CP phase in both cases, indicating a problem.”

    In order to be accurate, these experiments will require extremely high degrees of precision, which Huber emphasizes should not be overlooked.

    “Of course, the same result could arise if for some reason either experiment was not properly calibrated and thus precisely calibrating these experiments will be extraordinarily important—a very difficult task, which I believe is not quite getting the attention it should.”

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    STEM Icon

    Stem Education Coalition

    About Phys.org in 100 Words

    Phys.org™ (formerly Physorg.com) is a leading web-based science, research and technology news service which covers a full range of topics. These include physics, earth science, medicine, nanotechnology, electronics, space, biology, chemistry, computer sciences, engineering, mathematics and other sciences and technologies. Launched in 2004, Phys.org’s readership has grown steadily to include 1.75 million scientists, researchers, and engineers every month. Phys.org publishes approximately 100 quality articles every day, offering some of the most comprehensive coverage of sci-tech developments world-wide. Quancast 2009 includes Phys.org in its list of the Global Top 2,000 Websites. Phys.org community members enjoy access to many personalized features such as social networking, a personal home page set-up, RSS/XML feeds, article comments and ranking, the ability to save favorite articles, a daily newsletter, and other options.

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