Tag Archives: Large Hadron Collider

A Path toward More Powerful Tabletop Accelerators

Laser light needn’t be as precise as previously thought to drive new breed of miniature particle accelerators, say Berkeley Lab researchers.

Making a tabletop particle accelerator just got easier. A new study shows that certain requirements for the lasers used in an emerging type of small-area particle accelerator can be significantly relaxed. Researchers hope the finding could bring about a new era of accelerators that would need just a few meters to bring particles to great speeds, rather than the many kilometers required of traditional accelerators. The research, from scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), is presented as the cover story in the May special issue of Physics of Plasmas. (more…)

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Searching for Cosmic Accelerators via IceCube

Berkeley Lab Researchers Part of an International Hunt

In our universe there are particle accelerators 40 million times more powerful than the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN. Scientists don’t know what these cosmic accelerators are or where they are located, but new results being reported from “IceCube,” the neutrino observatory buried at the South Pole, may show the way. These new results should also erase any doubts as to IceCube’s ability to deliver on its promise.

“The IceCube Collaboration has announced the observation of 28 extremely high energy events that constitute the first solid evidence for astrophysical neutrinos from outside our solar system,” says Spencer Klein, a senior scientist with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and a long-time member of the IceCube Collaboration. “These 28 events include two of the highest energy neutrinos ever reported, which have been named Bert and Ernie.” (more…)

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A shot in the dark: Detector at UW on the hunt for dark matter

Leslie Rosenberg and his colleagues are about to go hunting. Their quarry: A theorized-but-never-seen elementary particle called an axion.

The search will be conducted with a recently retooled, extremely sensitive detector that is currently in a testing and shakeout phase at the University of Washington’s Center for Experimental Nuclear Physics and Astrophysics. (more…)

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Nobel in Physics: A long time in the making

Nearly 50 years of experiments and billions of dollars in equipment followed the prediction of the Higgs mechanism by theoretical physicists in 1964. Ulrich Heintz and Meenakshi Narain, two of the particle physicists at Brown University who worked on experiments at Fermilab and at CERN, note that the successful search for the Higgs was caried on by thousands of researchers.

The Nobel Prize awarded today to Francois Englert and Peter Higgs was a long time in the making. The Higgs mechanism was invented almost 50 years ago, and ever since the standard model emerged as the explanation of everything in particle physics that we have observed so far. The search for the Higgs boson was a quest that heated up for particle physics experimenters with every new facility that came online. Some of us (Heintz, Narain) looked for it in their thesis experiment at the Cornell Electron Storage Ring in the 1980s. Then the search moved to European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) to the Large Electron Positron Collider, and back again to the Tevatron at Fermilab near Chicago, where we (Cutts, Heintz, Landsberg, Narain) were part of the discovery of the top quark in 1995 with the D-Zero experiment. (more…)

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UCLA physicists played prominent role in Nobel Prize-winning Higgs boson research

Two large collaborations of scientists working at the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland made worldwide news in July 2012 when they announced independent observations of the elusive Higgs boson particle — a discovery hailed as one of the greatest scientific accomplishments of recent decades.

This so-called “God particle” was first postulated some 50 years ago as a crucial element of the modern theory of the forces of nature — it is, physicists say, what gives everything in the universe mass — and it had been the subject of worldwide searches ever since. (more…)

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Successful Test of New U.S. Magnet Puts Large Hadron Collider on Track for Major Upgrade

U.S. Department of Energy national laboratories – including Berkeley Lab – collaborate to build the new magnets CERN needs to increase LHC luminosity by an order of magnitude

The U.S. LHC Accelerator Program (LARP) has successfully tested a powerful superconducting quadrupole magnet that will play a key role in developing a new beam focusing system for CERN’s Large Hadron Collider (LHC). This advanced system, together with other major upgrades to be implemented over the next decade, will allow the LHC to produce 10 times more high-energy collisions than it was originally designed for.

Dubbed HQ02a, the latest in LARP’s series of High-Field Quadrupole magnets is wound with cables of the brittle but high-performance superconductor niobium tin (Nb3Sn). Compared to the final-focus quadrupoles presently in place at the LHC, which are made with niobium titanium, HQ02a has a larger aperture and superconducting coils designed to operate at a higher magnetic field. In a recent test at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab), HQ02a achieved all its challenging objectives. (more…)

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Physicists Demonstrate the Acceleration of Electrons by a Laser in a Vacuum

Accelerating a free electron with a laser has been a longtime goal of solid-state physicists.

David Cline, a distinguished professor in the UCLA Department of Physics and Astronomy, and Xiaoping Ding, an assistant researcher at UCLA, have conducted research at Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York and have established that an electron beam can be accelerated by a laser in free space.

This has never been done before at high energies and represents a significant breakthrough, Cline said, adding that it also may have implications for fusion as a new energy source. (more…)

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