Scientists at CERN announced the completion of the target assembly for the CERN neutrinos to Gran Sasso project, CNGS. On schedule for start-up in May 2006, CNGS will send a beam of neutrinos through the Earth to the Gran Sasso laboratory 730km away in Italy in a bid to unravel the mysteries of nature’s most elusive particles.
CNGS forms a unique element in the global effort to understand neutrinos, the chameleons of the fundamental particle world. Neutrinos come in three types, or flavours, and have the ability to change between one flavour and another. Neutrinos interact hardly at all with other matter. Trillions of them pass through us every second, and it is precisely their vast numbers that make them a key element in understanding the Universe and its evolution.
The neutrinos leaving CERN are mainly of the muon type. Theory says that by the time they get to Gran Sasso, some of them will have changed into tau neutrinos. Detectors under construction at the Gran Sasso laboratory will measure how many tau neutrinos appear. This is the crucial distinction between CNGS and other long baseline neutrino experiments, which measure the numbers of muon neutrinos at the source and at the detectors to count how many disappear on the way. The measurements are complementary, and both are necessary for a full understanding of the physics of neutrinos. CNGS’s neutrino experiments must be extraordinarily sensitive to detect the small number of tau neutrinos appearing in the beam. Just a few a year will be detected at Gran Sasso.
Sophie Sanchis | alfa
An international team of physicists a coherent amplification effect in laser excited dielectrics
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25.09.2017 | CNRS
At the productronica trade fair in Munich this November, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be presenting Laser-Based Tape-Automated Bonding, LaserTAB for short. The experts from Aachen will be demonstrating how new battery cells and power electronics can be micro-welded more efficiently and precisely than ever before thanks to new optics and robot support.
Fraunhofer ILT from Aachen relies on a clever combination of robotics and a laser scanner with new optics as well as process monitoring, which it has developed...
Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
A warming planet
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
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