Argonne announces 2022 Maria Goeppert Mayer Fellows, honoring the legacy of the physics Nobel Laureate

Argonne’s Maria Goeppert Mayer is one of only four women to win the Nobel Prize in physics. Today, on her 115th birthday, Argonne announces the award of its 2022 Maria Goeppert Mayer Fellowship to four outstanding early-career doctoral scientists.

Basic to Breakthrough: How Exploring the Building Blocks of the Universe Sets the Foundation for Innovation

Particle physics peers into the mysteries of our cosmos while opening the door to future technologies. Research into the Higgs boson, dark energy, and quantum physics reveals insights into the universe and enables innovation in other fields.

Department of Energy Announces $2.85 Million to Support Undergraduate Research Traineeships at HBCUs and other MSIs

Today, the U.S. Department of Energy awarded over $2.85 million with a focus on broadening and diversifying the nuclear and particle physics research communities through research traineeships for undergraduates from Historically Black Colleges and Universities and other Minority Serving Institutions.

Machine Learning System Improves Accelerator Diagnostics

A machine learning system is helping operators resolve routine faults at the Continuous Electron Beam Accelerator Facility (CEBAF). The system monitors the accelerator cavities, where faults can trip off the CEBAF. The system identified which cavities were tripping off about 85% of the time and identified the type of fault about 78% of the time.

Precise Measurement of Pions Confirms Understanding of Fundamental Symmetry

Scientific rules about “chiral symmetry” predict the existence of subatomic particles called pions. The lifetime of a neutrally charged pion is tied to breaking of chiral symmetry. Until recently, measurements of this lifetime have been much less precise than calculations from theory. Physicists have now measured a pion’s lifetime more precisely than ever before.

Signs of “Turbulence” in Collisions that Melt Gold Ions

A new analysis of collisions of gold ions shows signs of a “critical point,” a change in the way one form of matter changes into another. The results hint at changes in the type of transition during the shift from particles to the quark-and-gluon “soup” that filled the early universe. This helps scientists understand how particles interact and what holds them together.

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.

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.

U.S. Department of Energy Announces $18 Million to Advance Particle Accelerator Technologies and Workforce Training

he U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced $18 million in new funding to advance particle accelerator technology, a critical tool for discovery sciences and optimizing the way we treat medical patients, manufacture electronics and clean energy technologies, and defend the nation against security threats.

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.

IceCube detection of high-energy particle proves 60-year-old physics theory

With this detection, scientists provided another confirmation of the Standard Model of particle physics. It also further demonstrated the ability of IceCube, which detects nearly massless particles called neutrinos using thousands of sensors embedded in the Antarctic ice, to do fundamental physics. The result was published March 10 in Nature.

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.

Applying Quantum Computing to a Particle Process

A team of researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) used a quantum computer to successfully simulate an aspect of particle collisions that is typically neglected in high-energy physics experiments, such as those that occur at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider.

Supercomputers Aid Scientists Studying the Smallest Particles in the Universe

Using the nation’s fastest supercomputer, Summit at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, a team of nuclear physicists developed a promising method for measuring quark interactions in hadrons and applied the method to simulations using quarks with close-to-physical masses.

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.

Know When to Unfold ’Em: Study Applies Error-Reducing Methods from Particle Physics to Quantum Computing

Borrowing a page from high-energy physics and astronomy textbooks, a team of physicists and computer scientists at Berkeley Lab has successfully adapted and applied a common error-reduction technique to the field of quantum computing.

Q&A: How machine learning helps scientists hunt for particles, wrangle floppy proteins and speed discovery

At the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, machine learning is opening new avenues to advance the lab’s unique scientific facilities and research.

Scientists achieve higher precision weak force measurement between protons, neutrons

Through a one-of-a-kind experiment at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, nuclear physicists have precisely measured the weak interaction between protons and neutrons. The result quantifies the weak force theory as predicted by the Standard Model of Particle Physics.

New Calculation Refines Comparison of Matter with Antimatter

An international collaboration of theoretical physicists has published a new calculation relevant to the search for an explanation of the predominance of matter over antimatter in our universe. The new calculation gives a more accurate prediction for the likelihood with which kaons decay into a pair of electrically charged pions vs. a pair of neutral pions.

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.

Natalie Roe Named Berkeley Lab’s Associate Director for Physical Sciences

Natalie Roe, who joined Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) as a postdoctoral fellow in 1989 and has served as Physics Division director since 2012, has been named the Lab’s Associate Laboratory Director (ALD) for the Physical Sciences Area. Her appointment was approved by the University of California. The announcement follows an international search.