Particle Physics

A Match Made in … the Cloud

New international partnership between San Diego Supercomputer Center and particle physics powerhouse CERN leverages alliance with Strategic Blue, a UK-based Fintech company that helps organizations optimize procurement of cloud services.

Hunting for Sterile Neutrinos with Quantum Sensors

An international team has performed one of the world’s most sensitive laboratory searches for a hypothetical subatomic particle called the “sterile neutrino.” The novel experiment uses radioactive beryllium-7 atoms created at the TRIUMF facility in Canada. The research team then implants these atoms into sensitive superconductors cooled to near absolute-zero.

Supercomputer Calculations May Give First Look at the Structure of Two-Faced Pions

Pions consist of a quark paired to an antiquark and are the lightest particles to experience the strong force. But until recently scientists did not understand pions’ internal structure because of their short lifespan. Now, an advance in supercomputer calculations using lattice Quantum Chromodynamics may allow scientists to provide an accurate and precise description of pion structure for the first time.

Quantum Computing Tackles Calculations of Collisions

A new project at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility will use a quantum simulator to model experiments at the Electron-Ion Collider. This device uses quantum computing to simulate carefully crafted models of experiments that are being proposed for the collider.

Cost-Effective, Easily Manufactured Ventilators for COVID-19 Patients

Particle physicists are at the forefront for pioneering low-cost, mass-producible ventilators to help address the worldwide shortage. An international, interdisciplinary team spearheaded one such effort and presents the design in Physics of Fluids. The ventilator consists of a gas inlet valve and a gas outlet valve, with controls and alarms to ensure proper monitoring and customizability from patient to patient. The design is built from readily available parts and is presented under an open license.

Lena Funcke Receives Leona Woods Lectureship Award

Lena Funcke, a theoretical physicist who conducts research at the intersection of fundamental particles, the cosmos, and quantum computing, has been named a recipient of the Leona Woods Distinguished Postdoctoral Lectureship Award by the Physics Department at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory.

New IceCube detection proves 60-year-old theory

Normally, electron antineutrino would zip right through the Earth at the speed of light as if it weren’t even there. But this particle just so happened to smash into an electron deep inside the South Pole’s glacial ice, and was caught by the IceCube Neutrino Observatory. This enabled IceCube to make the first ever detection of a Glashow resonance event, a phenomenon predicted 60 years ago by Nobel laureate physicist Sheldon Glashow.

Researchers Overcome the Space between Protons and Neutrons to Study the Heart of Matter

Scientists can now study the strong force with a novel method of accessing the space between protons and neutrons within a nucleus. The first direct probes have tested the validity of leading theories that describe the interactions between protons and neutrons in nuclei. This research confirms that current theoretical models describe the behavior of protons and neutrons quite well.

Remote-Working Team to Tame Electron Beams

A major injector upgrade at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility was well underway early last year when the pandemic hit, throwing scientists and their long-anticipated project for a loop. Literally overnight, they had to leave their desks, control room and colleagues behind and rapidly learn how to work together from the confines of their own homes.

A New Era of Accelerator Science

PNNL’s Jan Strube and colleagues from Germany and Japan outline the future of particle physics research using linear colliders, which could improve our understanding of dark matter and help answer fundamental questions about the universe.

Jefferson Lab Launches Virtual AI Winter School for Physicists

Artificial intelligence is a game-changer in nuclear physics, able to enhance and accelerate fundamental research and analysis by orders of magnitude. DOE’s Jefferson Lab is exploring the expanding synergy between nuclear physics and computer science as it co-hosts together with The Catholic University of America and the University of Maryland a virtual weeklong series of lectures and hands-on exercises Jan. 11-15 for graduate students, postdoctoral researchers and even “absolute beginners.”

Remote Work Suits Jefferson Lab Technical Designer

The COVID-19 pandemic has turned workplaces everywhere upside down, prompting countless brainstorming sessions on how to make work environments safer or whether jobs might be done just as well from home. Jefferson Lab technical designer Mindy Leffel says working from home during the pandemic has been a learning process, but has only motivated her to prove herself.

Machine Learning Improves Particle Accelerator Diagnostics

Operators of Jefferson Lab’s primary particle accelerator are getting a new tool to help them quickly address issues that can prevent it from running smoothly. The machine learning system has passed its first two-week test, correctly identifying glitchy accelerator components and the type of glitches they’re experiencing in near-real-time. An analysis of the results of the first field test of the custom-built machine learning system was recently published in the journal Physical Review Accelerators and Beams.

90 Years of Neutrino Science

Berkeley Lab has a long history of participating in neutrino experiments and discoveries in locations ranging from a site 1.3 miles deep at a nickel mine in Ontario, Canada, to an underground research site near a nuclear power complex northeast of Hong Kong, and a neutrino observatory buried in ice near the South Pole.

Calculating Hadrons Using Supercomputers

Hadrons are elusive superstars of the subatomic world, making up almost all visible matter, and British theoretical physicist Antoni Woss has worked diligently with colleagues at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility to get to know them better. Now, Woss’ doctoral thesis on spinning hadrons has earned him the 2019 Jefferson Science Associates Thesis Prize.

Precise Measurement of Pions Confirms Understanding of Fundamental Symmetry

Nuclear physicists have announced the most precise measurement yet of the ultra-short lifetime of the neutral pion. The result is an important validation of our understanding of the theory of quantum chromodynamics, which describes the makeup of ordinary matter. The research, carried out at the Department of Energy’s Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility, was recently published in the journal Science.