Brainy Quote of the Day

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Small Particles, Big Science...

More than 950 researchers from 30 countries have joined DUNE. Collaborators are developing new technologies for DUNE’s particle detectors, giant instruments that will help capture the notoriously elusive neutrino.
Topics: Astrophysics, Modern Physics, Neutrinos, Particle Physics, Quantum Mechanics

Collaborators are developing new technologies for DUNE’s two particle detectors, giant instruments that will help capture the experiment’s notoriously elusive quarry, the neutrino. With DUNE, which is expected to be up and running in the mid-2020s, scientists plan to get a better grip on the neutrino’s subtleties to settle the question of, for instance, why there’s more matter than antimatter in our universe — in other words, how the stars planets and life as we know it were able to form. Also on the DUNE agenda are studies that could bolster certain theories of the unification of all fundamental forces and, with the help of neutrinos born in supernovae, provide a look into the birth of a black hole.

It’s a tall order that will take a global village to fill, and researchers worldwide are currently building or signing up to build the experiment, taking advantage of DUNE’s broad scientific and geographic scope.

“We’re a country that does a lot of theoretical physics but not a lot of experimental physics, because it’s not so cheap to have a particle physics experiment here,” said Brazilian DUNE collaborator Ana Amelia Machado, a collaborating scientist at the University of Campinas and a professor at the Federal University of ABC in the ABC region of Brazil. “So we participate in big collaborations like DUNE, which is attractive because it brings together theorists and experimentalists.”

Machado is currently working on a device named Arapuca, which she describes as a photon catcher that could detect particle phenomena that DUNE is interested in, such as supernova neutrino interactions. She’s also working to connect more Latin American universities with DUNE, such as the University Antonio Nariño.

On the opposite side of the world, scientists and engineers from India are working on upgrading the high-intensity proton accelerator at Fermilab, which will provide the world’s most intense neutrino beam to the DUNE experiment. Building on the past collaborations with other Fermilab experiments, the Indian scientists are also proposing to build the near detector for the DUNE experiment. Not only are India’s contributions important for DUNE’s success, they’re also potential seeds for India’s own future particle physics programs.

Fermilab: The Global Reach of DUNE, Leah Hesla

#P4TC: ProtoDUNE, March 15, 2017

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