Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Neutrino data to flow in 2010; NOvA scientists tune design

11.01.2010
International collaboration hunting oscillation of muon to electron
Physicists may see data as soon as late summer from the prototype for a $278 million science experiment in northern Minnesota that is being designed to find clues to some fundamental mysteries of the universe.

But it could take years before the nation's largest "neutrino" detector answers the profound questions that matter to scientists.

Construction is underway now on a 220-ton detector that is the "integration prototype" for a much larger 14,000-ton detector. Both are part of NOvA, a cooperative project of the Department of Energy's Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory near Chicago and the University of Minnesota's school of physics and astronomy. The project may ultimately aid understanding of matter and dark matter, how the universe formed and evolved, and current astrophysical events.

DOE gave approval Oct. 29, 2009 for "full construction start" as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. There are 180 scientists and engineers from 28 institutions around the world collaborating on NOvA.

... more about:
»Big Bang »Fermilab »Neutrino »Nova »SMU

About 40 scientists from the international collaboration are meeting Jan. 8-10 at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. The meeting is the first for the collaboration since DOE's approval, said John Cooper, NOvA project manager at Fermilab. For more information see www.smuresearch.com.

Collaboration scientists will hear technical presentations from one another during the three-day SMU meeting, where they'll refine NOvA's design, including the technical details of software, hardware and calibration, said Thomas Coan, associate professor of physics at SMU and a scientist on the collaboration team.

The integration prototype, known as the Near Detector because it's at Fermilab, and the larger detector, known as the Far Detector because it's farther from Fermilab — are essentially hundreds of thousands of plastic tubes enclosing a massive amount of highly purified mineral oil. The purpose is to detect the highly significant fundamental subatomic particle called the "neutrino" and better understand its nature. NOvA, when construction is completed, will be the largest neutrino experiment in the United States.

"The 'detector prototype' has two purposes," said Cooper. "First it serves as an 'integration prototype' forcing us to find all the problems on a real device, and second it will become the 'Near Detector' at Fermilab."

The integration prototype will operate on the surface at Fermilab for about a year starting in late summer 2010, Cooper said. Then in 2012 it will move 300 feet underground to become the Near Detector, he said. Construction on the Far Detector project began in June near Ash River, Minn. The detector should be fully operational by September 2013, according to Fermilab.

A hard-to-observe fundamental particle that travels alone, the neutrino has little or no mass, so rarely interacts with other particles.

Neutrinos are ubiquitous throughout our universe. They were produced during the Big Bang, and many of those are still around. New ones are constantly being created too, through natural occurrences like solar fusion in the sun's core, or radioactive elements decaying in the Earth's mantle, as well as when the particle accelerator at Fermilab purposely smashes protons into carbon foils.

Our sun produces so many that hundreds of billions are zinging through our bodies every second, Coan said. It's hoped the new detector can resolve questions surrounding three different kinds of neutrinos — electron, tau and muon — and their "oscillation" from one type to another as they travel, he said.

Scientists at the new detectors will analyze data from Fermilab's neutrino beam to observe evidence of neutrinos when the speedy, lightweight particles occasionally smash into the carbon nuclei in the scintillating oil of the detector, causing a burst of light flashes, Coan said.

NOvA is looking for the most elusive oscillation of the muon type of neutrino to the electron type, Cooper said.

SMU is a private university in Dallas where nearly 11,000 students benefit from the national opportunities and international reach of SMU's seven degree-granting schools.

Kim Cobb | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.smu.edu
http://www.smuresearch.com

Further reports about: Big Bang Fermilab Neutrino Nova SMU

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Further Improvement of Qubit Lifetime for Quantum Computers
09.12.2016 | Forschungszentrum Jülich

nachricht Electron highway inside crystal
09.12.2016 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Electron highway inside crystal

Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.

Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers identify potentially druggable mutant p53 proteins that promote cancer growth

09.12.2016 | Life Sciences

Scientists produce a new roadmap for guiding development & conservation in the Amazon

09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Satellites, airport visibility readings shed light on troops' exposure to air pollution

09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>