Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Where has all the antimatter gone? VELO seeks the answer

12.04.2007
Scientists from the Universities of Liverpool and Glasgow have completed work on the inner heart of an experiment which seeks to find out what has happened to all the antimatter created at the start of the Universe. Matter and antimatter were created in equal amounts in the Big Bang but somehow the antimatter disappeared resulting in the Universe, and everything in it, including ourselves, being made of the remaining matter.

The final modules of the VErtex LOcator (VELO), a precision silicon detector, have been delivered to CERN, the European Particle Physics Laboratory in Geneva. Once assembled VELO will be installed into the LHCb detector, one of four experiments, which make up the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) particle accelerator, which is due to be switched on in November this year.

LHCb is designed to investigate the subtle differences between matter and antimatter in particles containing b (beauty) quarks. The VELO is an essential part of the experiment which will provide the unprecedented precision necessary to isolate them. The LHC, located in a 27km underground tunnel which straddles France and Switzerland, will help answer some of the fundamental questions about the origins of our Universe and is set to change the future path of particle physics research.

Within the LHC, two beams of protons will be accelerated to close to the speed of light and then collided in one of the four experiments, which will each measure the outfall of particles.

Professor Themis Bowcock, lead scientist from the University of Liverpool LHCb team said, “The VELO gives us the precision we need not only to identify b quarks in a proton-proton collision, but to do so in real time. This allows us to isolate samples of b quarks for analysis in a way that would be impossible otherwise. It is the key to LHCb’s physics aims.”

The VELO is unique in its design with the whole device (about a metre long) consisting of 42 silicon "modules", spread along both sides of the proton beam (21 each side). The VELO actually sits inside a vacuum vessel - with a thin sheet of aluminium, know as RF foil, separating it from the primary vacuum inhabited by the proton beams. The two halves of modules are mechanically moved in to within 7mm of the beam during data-taking, and out to a safe distance afterwards.

Dr Tara Shears, LHCb scientist from the University of Liverpool explains, “To achieve optimal precision the silicon detectors need to be as close as possible to the beam. When operational 40 million proton proton interactions will occur per second inside LHCb and it is no mean feat that measurements of these collisions will take place in real time.

Like all the detector experiments at CERN a worldwide team of scientists are involved in the design and construction of LHCb. The experiment involves 663 scientists from 47 institutes and universities in 15 countries. UK collaborators make up around 20% of this. The individual VELO modules, of which there are 42 in total, were designed and assembled at the University of Liverpool in a state of the art clean room.

Transport of the completed VELO modules from the University of Liverpool occurred by less than traditional means. Each module being couriered via an easyJet flight to Geneva! However, with the onset of tighter baggage restrictions some of the modules made the 1,066 km (663 mile) journey in the boot of a car.

Scientists from the University of Glasgow are responsible for the reception and testing of the modules at CERN. Dr Chris Parkes from University of Glasgow said, “Now that all 42 modules are on site we are busy testing before final installation in the detector, 100 metres underground.

Contacts
Gill Ormrod – Science and Technology Facilities Press Office
Tel: 01793 442012. Email: gill.ormrod@stfc.ac.uk
Kate Spark – University of Liverpool Press Office
Tel: 0151 794 2247
Email: kate.spark@liv.ac.uk
Martin Shannon - University of Glasgow Press Office
Tel: 0141 330 8593
Email: m.shannon@admin.gla.ac.uk
UK Science Contacts
Professor Themis Bowcock – Lead LHCb scientist at the University of Liverpool
Tel: 0151 794 3315
Email: tjvb@hep.ph.liv.ac.uk
Dr Tara Shears – LHCb scientist, University of Liverpool
Tel: 0151 7943315
Email: tara@hep.ph.liv.ac.uk
Dr Chris Parkes – LHCb scientist, University of Glasgow
Tel: 0141 330 5885
Email: parkes@mail.cern.ch

Gill Ormrod | alfa
Further information:
http://www.cern.ch
http://www.lhc.ac.uk
http://hep.ph.liv.ac.uk/~tara/lhcb_outreach/

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht NASA mission surfs through waves in space to understand space weather
25.07.2017 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

nachricht A new level of magnetic saturation
25.07.2017 | Georg-August-Universität Göttingen

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: Carbon Nanotubes Turn Electrical Current into Light-emitting Quasi-particles

Strong light-matter coupling in these semiconducting tubes may hold the key to electrically pumped lasers

Light-matter quasi-particles can be generated electrically in semiconducting carbon nanotubes. Material scientists and physicists from Heidelberg University...

Im Focus: Flexible proximity sensor creates smart surfaces

Fraunhofer IPA has developed a proximity sensor made from silicone and carbon nanotubes (CNT) which detects objects and determines their position. The materials and printing process used mean that the sensor is extremely flexible, economical and can be used for large surfaces. Industry and research partners can use and further develop this innovation straight away.

At first glance, the proximity sensor appears to be nothing special: a thin, elastic layer of silicone onto which black square surfaces are printed, but these...

Im Focus: 3-D scanning with water

3-D shape acquisition using water displacement as the shape sensor for the reconstruction of complex objects

A global team of computer scientists and engineers have developed an innovative technique that more completely reconstructs challenging 3D objects. An ancient...

Im Focus: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

Im Focus: The proton precisely weighted

What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.

To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

The technology with a feel for feelings

12.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA mission surfs through waves in space to understand space weather

25.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Strength of tectonic plates may explain shape of the Tibetan Plateau, study finds

25.07.2017 | Earth Sciences

The dense vessel network regulates formation of thrombocytes in the bone marrow

25.07.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>