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Hot Topics

Hot topic: Cosmic Rays

Charged particles coming from the cosmos bombard Earth constantly. What can these high-energy intruders tells us about the universe? Physicists such as Nicole Larsen study cosmic rays in the hopes of indirectly detecting dark matter.

Anti-matters: The latest and greatest from the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer

Nicole Larsen | May 8, 2015 This past month in Geneva a conference took place bringing together the world’s foremost experiments in cosmic ray physics and indirect dark matter detection: “AMS Days at CERN”. I took a break from thesis-writing, grabbed a bag of popcorn, and sat down to watch a couple of the lectures via webcast.

A gentle breeze of cosmic rays

Marcos Santander | May 30, 2011 Quite a while ago I wrote a post talking about the IceCube neutrino telescope and its potential to become the first detector to observe sources of high energy neutrinos in the sky. IceCube, located at the South Pole, detects neutrinos not by observing them directly, but by detecting the particle that is created when a neutrino interacts with the ice that surrounds the telescope or the rock underneath it. This charged particle, a muon most of the times, emits a bluish light called Cherenkov radiation which can be detected by the array of light sensors that make up IceCube.

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This article appeared in Fermilab Today on May 27, 2015. Dark energy makes up about 70 percent of the universe and is causing its accelerating expansion. But what it is or how it works remains a mystery. The Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI) will study the origins and effects of dark energy by creating the

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All those super low energy jets that the LHC cannot see? LHC can still see them. Hi Folks, Particle colliders like the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) are, in a sense, very powerful microscopes. The higher the collision energy, the smaller distances we can study. Using less than 0.01% of the total LHC energy (13 TeV),

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This past month in Geneva a conference took place bringing together the world’s foremost experiments in cosmic ray physics and indirect dark matter detection: “AMS Days at CERN”. I took a break from thesis-writing, grabbed a bag of popcorn, and sat down to watch a couple of the lectures via webcast. There was a stellar

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This article appeared in Fermilab Today on May 5, 2015. Fermilab’s Test Beam Facility (FTBF) now runs a second beamline to provide particles for R&D experiments. The MCenter beamline came back to life last year after an eight-year slumber to join the facility’s other beamline, MTest. On Thursday, April 30, accelerator operators began using the

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This article appeared in Fermilab Today on May 1, 2015. A group of Fermilab physicists and engineers was faced with a unique challenge when Jefferson Lab asked them to make the superconducting coils for an upgrade to their CEBAF Large Acceptance Spectrometer experiments. These are some of the largest coils Fermilab has ever built. Despite

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This article appeared in symmetry on April 22, 2015. Mysterious particles called neutrinos seem to come in three varieties. However, peculiar findings in experiments over the past two decades make scientists wonder if a fourth is lurking just out of sight. To help solve this mystery, a group of scientists spearheaded by Nobel laureate Carlo

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This article appeared in Fermilab Today on April 21, 2015. This weekend, members of the Mu2e collaboration dug their shovels into the ground of Fermilab’s Muon Campus for the experiment that will search for the direct conversion of a muon into an electron in the hunt for new physics. For decades, the Standard Model has

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As long-time readers of Quantum Diaries know I have been publishing here for a number of years and this is my 85th and last post[1]. A couple of years ago, I collected the then current collection, titled it “In Defense of Scientism,” after the title of one of the essays, and sent it off to

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Going underground most days for work is probably the weirdest-sounding this about this job. At Laboratori Nazionali del Gran Sasso, we use the lab to be underground because of the protection it affords us from cosmic rays, weather, and other disruptions, and with it we get a shorthand description of all the weirdness of lab

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Building a Neutrino Detector

Thursday, April 16th, 2015

Ever wanted to see all the steps necessary for building a neutrino detector? Well now you can, check out this awesome video of constructing the near detector for the Double Chooz reactor neutrino experiment in France. This is the second of two identical detectors near the Chooz nuclear power station in northern France. The experiment,

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