hadron collider – Polkinghorne http://polkinghorne.org/ Sun, 13 Mar 2022 00:05:47 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://polkinghorne.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/icon-2022-01-25T202759.511-150x150.png hadron collider – Polkinghorne http://polkinghorne.org/ 32 32 Brunel backed to play his part in the future of particle physics https://polkinghorne.org/brunel-backed-to-play-his-part-in-the-future-of-particle-physics/ Fri, 11 Mar 2022 12:05:58 +0000 https://polkinghorne.org/brunel-backed-to-play-his-part-in-the-future-of-particle-physics/ Brunel University London has been supported by funding from the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) to play its part in the future of particle physics research. The university is one of 18 UK institutions to receive a share of a new £60million fund, which the STFC hopes will keep the UK at the forefront […]]]>

Brunel University London has been supported by funding from the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) to play its part in the future of particle physics research.

The university is one of 18 UK institutions to receive a share of a new £60million fund, which the STFC hopes will keep the UK at the forefront of physics, answering some of the questions most fundamental scientists while supporting the next generation of particle physicists. .

The funding will allow Brunel to expand his work at the famous Large Hadron Collider at CERN, where researchers and university students have long worked on some of the biggest experiments in the world.

This work includes maintaining and operating the enormous Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) Silicon Tracker, a detector that allows scientists to track the momentum of charged particles.

“The Silicon Tracker is at the heart of CERN’s CMS experiment and is one of the largest silicon devices ever built – it measures around 200 square meters. About the size of a tennis court,” said Professor Akram Khan, professor of experimental particle physics at Brunel.

“Its main function in life is to measure particle tracks. When you get a high-energy collision, you get secondary particles from those collisions – and we help determine the trajectory the particles are taking and where they’re coming from.

Using the Silicon Tracker, CERN scientists can track the position of a particle to about 10 microns, or about the width of a human hair.

The new STFC funding will also allow Brunel students and early career researchers to continue working with CERN, where they have already had the opportunity to work on some of the organization’s largest projects.

“Our students have the chance to work on really advanced technologies, such as the electronics of the trigger system. These are bespoke electronic devices that don’t exist anywhere else,” Prof Khan said.

“They may also be involved in testing algorithms, and sometimes developing and tweaking algorithms. But I think the important thing is to get the algorithms and hardware working in real time – they can really get your hands dirty!”

The STFC is one of the main research funding bodies in the UK, supporting particle physicists working in a variety of fields including dark matter, neutrinos and proton decay.

Announcing the funding, Professor Grahame Blair, Executive Director of Programs at STFC, said: “STFC continues to support the experimental particle physics community in the UK by answering fundamental questions about our universe.

“Grants are essential to support technicians, engineers and academics in their skills and expertise in the field, while encouraging career development in basic research with universities and international collaborators.

“This investment supports the UK physics community and enables the UK to remain a leader in the field of experimental particle physics.

Reported by:

Press office, media relations

+44 (0)1895 268965
press-office@brunel.ac.uk

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University of Sheffield researchers awarded over £2.6m to support particle physics research | News https://polkinghorne.org/university-of-sheffield-researchers-awarded-over-2-6m-to-support-particle-physics-research-news/ Wed, 09 Mar 2022 13:13:51 +0000 https://polkinghorne.org/university-of-sheffield-researchers-awarded-over-2-6m-to-support-particle-physics-research-news/ Physicists at the University of Sheffield have been awarded more than £2.6 million to answer fundamental questions about the composition of the universe. Physicists from the University of Sheffield’s Department of Physics and Astronomy have been awarded £2.68 million for pioneering research aimed at answering some of the biggest and most complex questions in science […]]]>

Physicists at the University of Sheffield have been awarded more than £2.6 million to answer fundamental questions about the composition of the universe.

  • Physicists from the University of Sheffield’s Department of Physics and Astronomy have been awarded £2.68 million for pioneering research aimed at answering some of the biggest and most complex questions in science
  • The funding is part of a wider £60m investment from the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) to keep the UK at the forefront of global particle physics research and to support the next generation of British particle physicists.
  • The grant will support high-level work in the particle physics group that combines experimental accelerator particle physics, neutrino physics, and particle astrophysics with a strong focus on impact

Physicists at the University of Sheffield have been awarded more than £2.6 million to answer fundamental questions about the composition of the universe.

The £2.68million grant, from the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), is part of a wider £60million investment to keep the UK at the forefront of global research by particle physics and to support the next generation of particle physicists.

Particle physics is the study of the world both at the smallest possible scales and at the highest attainable energies, seeking answers to fundamental questions about the structure of matter and the composition of the Universe.

Professor Lee Thompson, from the University of Sheffield’s Department of Physics and Astronomy, will lead the institute’s particle physics programme, which aims to answer fundamental questions such as:

  • “What is the Universe made of and why?”
  • “Why is the Universe made of matter and not anti-matter? »

Among the activities of the particle physics group is the search for dark matter – a hypothetical form of matter thought to make up about 85% (five-sixths) of the matter in the universe. Although it was first discovered in 1933, it has still never been observed directly.

Elsewhere, the Sheffield team is taking part in the large multi-purpose ATLAS experiment at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider to search for new particles. Other team members are collaborating on next-generation neutrino experiments in Japan and the United States to observe subtle differences between particles and antiparticles.

Professor Lee Thompson, Principal Investigator for Sheffield from the university’s Department of Physics and Astronomy, said: “This funding will have a significant impact on our efforts to answer some of the most important and fundamental questions about the Universe.”

“We are working in collaboration with colleagues around the world on a wide range of pioneering experiments to help us better understand the nature of matter and discover hitherto elusive dark matter. STFC funding will allow us to continue our groundbreaking work here in Sheffield and get one step closer to answering some of the most important and complex questions in science.

The STFC investment will fund teams from a total of 18 UK universities to conduct cutting-edge research in particle physics over the next three years.

Professor Grahame Blair, Executive Director of Programs at STFC, said: “STFC continues to support the experimental particle physics community in the UK by answering fundamental questions about our universe.

“Grants are essential to support technicians, engineers and academics in their skills and expertise in the field, while encouraging career development in basic research with universities and international collaborators.

“This investment supports the UK physics community and enables the UK to continue to lead the field of experimental particle physics.”

The STFC funds UK particle physicists working on a wide range of experiments around the world. Research teams are working to solve groundbreaking challenges in particle physics, including the race to detect dark matter, the study of neutrino oscillations, and the search for proton decay – all key questions in fundamental physics to which we still have no answers.


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World’s largest particle physics lab suspends political ties with Russia | Science https://polkinghorne.org/worlds-largest-particle-physics-lab-suspends-political-ties-with-russia-science/ Mon, 07 Mar 2022 08:00:00 +0000 https://polkinghorne.org/worlds-largest-particle-physics-lab-suspends-political-ties-with-russia-science/ In response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the politicians who control Europe’s particle physics laboratory, CERN, are trying to strike a delicate balance. In a special session, the CERN Council, made up of representatives of the laboratory’s 23 member countries, voted to suspend the “observer” privileges of the Russian Federation, CERN announced today. The council’s […]]]>

In response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the politicians who control Europe’s particle physics laboratory, CERN, are trying to strike a delicate balance. In a special session, the CERN Council, made up of representatives of the laboratory’s 23 member countries, voted to suspend the “observer” privileges of the Russian Federation, CERN announced today. The council’s 2-page resolution temporarily bars Russian political representatives from auditing the council’s public deliberations or participating in certain closed-door negotiations, and prohibits the establishment of new collaborations with Russia.

However, the council did not expel Russian universities and institutes involved in ongoing experiments at CERN, home to the world’s largest atom breaker, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). Russians represent more than 1,000 of the 12,000 scientists from 95 countries who collaborate in one way or another at CERN. The council appears to have tried to punish the Russian government while continuing to support Russian physicists, some of whom have worked at CERN for decades.

Some CERN scientists wanted to go further. More than 275 Polish physicists at CERN signed a petition calling for an end to “any institutional collaboration” between CERN and Russian or Belarusian institutions”.

But others think the board got it right. “I am very happy because [the resolution] is what CERN stands for,” says Christoph Rembser, experimental physicist at CERN. “We will continue to uphold its core values ​​of cross-border scientific collaboration and as an engine of peace.” Since its creation in 1954, CERN has served as a bridge between Russia and the West, even in the darkest days of the Cold War. Its motto is “science in the service of peace”.

John Ellis, a King’s College London theorist who works at CERN and has been on its staff for more than 40 years, is also pleased that scientific collaborations can continue. “For me, this is extremely important because some member states have adopted policies, which certainly seemed to want to stop any collaboration with Russian scientists,” says Ellis. For example, he says, Germany has decided to end scientific ties with Russia.

The board’s decision still risks causing pain for physicists in the lab. Russia was granted observer status with special benefits in 1993 in exchange for helping to build certain components, Ellis said. And he had pledged 34 million Swiss francs ($36.5 million) in parts and equipment for an upgrade, starting in 2025, that will dramatically increase the intensity of the LHC’s beams. “If it’s not on the table anymore, it’s potentially a problem for the upgrade,” Ellis says. However, the Russian contribution represents only a small part of the total cost of the upgrade, 950 million Swiss francs.

Ellis and Rembser applaud the council’s decision on the grounds that it could help protect Russian physicists who have spoken out against the war and who could be in danger if they were to return to Russia. Rembser, co-head of a committee to help Ukrainian physicists, says he is already thinking about finding ways to allow Russian colleagues to stay in Switzerland.

In its resolution, the CERN Council also indicated that it would encourage initiatives to support the laboratory’s forty Ukrainian collaborators. And he said he would continue to monitor the situation in Ukraine. “[T]e Council stands ready to take any other appropriate action,” the resolution reads. The council meets again from March 21.

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Some thoughts on the Standard Model of Particle Physics – Kashmir Reader https://polkinghorne.org/some-thoughts-on-the-standard-model-of-particle-physics-kashmir-reader/ Sat, 05 Feb 2022 19:58:00 +0000 https://polkinghorne.org/some-thoughts-on-the-standard-model-of-particle-physics-kashmir-reader/ It doesn’t answer the most fundamental mystery: what constitutes the dark energy and dark matter that make up the majority of our universe? The Standard Model became the fundamental model of elementary particle physics in the second half of the 20th century. It is considered today as the best description of the constituent elements of […]]]>

It doesn’t answer the most fundamental mystery: what constitutes the dark energy and dark matter that make up the majority of our universe?

The Standard Model became the fundamental model of elementary particle physics in the second half of the 20th century. It is considered today as the best description of the constituent elements of the universe. It explains how quarks (which form protons and neutrons) and leptons (electrons, etc.) make up all known matter. It is also an explanation of how quarks and leptons are influenced by the exchange of intermediate force carriers. It describes three of the four fundamental interactions that sum up the structure of matter up to the measurement of 10 high at -18 meter. It is in short a quantum theory of three basic theories of electromagnetic interaction, strong interaction and weak interaction. The development of the Standard Model has been led by a large number of experimental and theoretical physicists alike. The structure or mathematical framework of the Standard Model is provided by quantum field theory
According to the standard model, all matter is made up of three types of elementary particles: leptons, quarks and their mediators. There are six leptons divided into three generations. There are also six anti-leptons, so the total number of leptons is 12. Similarly, the number of quarks is six, each of which comes in three colors (this color bears no resemblance to the concept of color in our daily life), which represents 36 quarks in total, including the antiquarks. Quarks like leptons have three generations. Finally, for each interaction, we have a mediator. The carrier of the electromagnetic interaction is a massless photon while the carriers of the weak interaction are called intermediate vector bosons, which are two charged Ws and a neutral heavy Z. Finally, for the strong interaction exchange, we have 8 gluons.
The missing link of the Standard Model, the Higgs boson theoretically predicted by Peter Higgs in the early 1960s, which explains the mass of elementary particles via the Higgs mechanism, involving chiral symmetry breaking, was discovered in 2012 at Large Hadron Collider in Geneva, Switzerland. The marvelous achievement of the Standard Model can be measured by the simple fact that it has led to more than 50 Nobel Prizes in Physics so far.
Loopholes:
Even though the Standard Model is currently the best description we have of the subatomic world, but despite its robust predictions, there is a consensus among physicists that the Standard Model is neither complete nor the final theory. “There is a certain degree of ugliness in the standard model,” says Steve Weinberg, one of its main architects. First, the standard model is completely silent about dark energy and dark matter. This does not answer the question of what constitutes the dark energy and dark matter that make up the majority of matter in our universe. Second, it fails to explain neutrino oscillations and, more importantly, it fails to incorporate one of the most fundamental interactions, gravity, which explains the large-scale structure of the universe. At a more fundamental level, he fails to explain why there are precisely three generations of quarks and leptons. Likewise, the difference in masses of the elementary particles that they acquire due to their interaction with the Higgs field via the Higgs boson remains a mystery.
Possible output:
In order to accommodate many of the shortcomings of the Standard Model listed above, physicists over time have come up with different theories and approaches. All of these theories and approaches fall under the category “Physics Beyond the Standard Model”. Theories that lie beyond the Standard Model include the various extensions of supersymmetry and entirely new explanations and theories such as string theory, looping quantum gravity, and extra dimensions. But the theory that has gained most prominence among them is string theory. String theory has captured the imagination of a generation of particle physicists over the past 40 years. String theory not only promises the reconciliation of quantum mechanics with Einstein’s general relativity and eliminates the infinities that plague quantum field theory, it also provides a unified theory of everything from which all elementary particle physics , including gravity, would emerge as an inevitable consequence. But the bottleneck of particle physics, as string theorist and Nobel laureate David Gross puts it, is experimental, not theoretical, so in the absence of experimental evidence to back up his predictions, the future of string theory seems grim, or at least you have to cross your fingers. If string theory lives up to expectations, which seems unlikely, it will be the ultimate triumph of the human spirit.

—The author is a physics student
[email protected]





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UNM’s QuarkNet Workshop at Explora Helps Educators Understand Particle Physics : UNM Newsroom https://polkinghorne.org/unms-quarknet-workshop-at-explora-helps-educators-understand-particle-physics-unm-newsroom/ Tue, 28 Sep 2021 07:00:00 +0000 https://polkinghorne.org/unms-quarknet-workshop-at-explora-helps-educators-understand-particle-physics-unm-newsroom/ The role of science in our everyday world has perhaps never been more important than in the past 18 months as a pandemic gripped the world. With that in mind, teaching the next generation of scientists is mission critical, and nurturing that interest in K-12 students is a key area for realizing big gains. It’s […]]]>

The role of science in our everyday world has perhaps never been more important than in the past 18 months as a pandemic gripped the world. With that in mind, teaching the next generation of scientists is mission critical, and nurturing that interest in K-12 students is a key area for realizing big gains. It’s a mission that the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the University of New Mexico take seriously.

QuarkNet, a nonprofit collaboration dedicated to developing America’s tech workforce, is an NSF-funded partnership between Fermilab and the University of Notre Dame that provides science teachers with the means to further develop their skills and to bring real research experience to classrooms across the United States.

Through a nationwide network of QuarkNet Centers, including the University of New Mexico, NSF brings together science teachers and academic researchers in active research projects in contemporary physics with focused hands-on workshops covering a variety of topics. in physics. Teachers gain experience in actual scientific research, maximizing their talents and effectiveness in the classroom; researchers achieve educational impact from their research and engagement with their local communities; and students immerse themselves in meaningful scientific research, preparing them for post-secondary education and developing essential intellectual skills.

At a recent workshop held in Albuquerque at the Explora Science Center & Childen’s Museum, QuarkNet staff Shane Wood led a group of teachers who traveled from Grants, Durango, Ft. Wingate, Roswell, Laguna-Acoma School and several in Albuquerque, including Public Academy of the Performing Arts, Desert Ridge Middle School, and Escuela del Sol Montessori, through a series of activities and experiences designed to help teachers bring real-world research experience in their classrooms.

“Our mission is really to work with teachers who, in turn, work with students. From this process, I think there are a lot of potential gains that we see happening,” said Wood, who works at the University of Notre Dame where NSF funds for QuarkNet are allocated. “We work on everything from researching our future particle physicists, who may not have known about it until they learned about it in their high school physics class, to simply having an appreciation and an informed taxpayer.

“I think the fact that students and therefore society in general have a better understanding of how science works really allows us to have a more informed public. We really have many goals along these roads, but our main mission is to work with teachers to then bring 21st century research experiences into the classroom.

“The idea is to help teachers become more aware, comfortable and interested in particle physics. We were happy to offer this workshop to all teachers of science, technology and mathematics , and that is precisely because particle physics is not so well known.” – Professor Sally Seidel, UNM Department of Physics and Astronomy

UNM’s QuarkNet program is led by Professor Sally Seidel of the Department of Physics and Astronomy. Seidel’s research interests include particle physics instrumentation and high energy collider physics. She is currently working on the Atlas experiment in high energy physics at the Large Hadron Collider, the largest and most powerful particle accelerator in the world. Seidel has coordinated QuarkNet activities at UNM since proposing a center and became the 48th QuarkNet member in 2016.

Events at the recent QuarkNet Workshop held at Explora included a presentation given by Seidel titled “The Beauty of Particle Physics”, a basic introduction to particle physics also known as high-energy physics, which studies the most small building blocks of nature. This particular field of science is a way to learn what the universe was like just seconds after it was born, billions of years before life existed to see it first hand.

Other activities included mixing the particle game, an activity based on particle maps describing the fundamental particles and their characteristics to become familiar with the Standard Model. Another fun activity was Rolling with Rutherford where the probe and target are a number of balls lined up in a row. The activity consists of rolling another marble in the aligned area. The data then consists of calculating the diameter of the target balls to use indirect measurements to determine a parameter. Teachers also took part in a real-time experiment to visualize particle tracks in a portable cloud chamber detector. The workshop also included a presentation on the LHC and what happens there.

“The idea is to help teachers be more aware, comfortable and interested in particle physics. We were happy to bring this to all science, technology and math teachers, and that’s precisely because particle physics is not so well known,” said Seidel, who enjoys helping people understand the technological implications of particle physics. “People like Shane and I partner with community engagement events like this to engage teachers and build this science education to try to help people understand the scientific description of the world.”

Previous QuarkNet@UNM activities have included a guided behind-the-scenes technical tour of the Very Large Array, a science heritage history tour at Los Alamos, and a high school workshop with a variety of presentations where students must be teachers themselves.

Turtle Haste, who has participated in QuarkNet twice at Desert Ridge Middle School in Albuquerque, enjoyed the workshop and thinks mentoring young students in STEM fields is imperative.

“It is extremely important. We come from a generation where there is a lot of bias against women in science,” Haste said. “It took me a long time to find someone who would take me in no matter what and get me through it. If I hadn’t had that mentor, I probably would have ended up being a secretary for that period. But because I had someone like, ‘Hey, you know what? You get this, let’s go. So I think it’s really important to mentor young students.

The Quarknet@UNM program is open to all New Mexico middle and high school teachers interested in gaining research experience. For more information, visit QuarkNet@UNM.

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University receives 6 million euros for experimental particle physics https://polkinghorne.org/university-receives-6-million-euros-for-experimental-particle-physics/ Mon, 06 Sep 2021 07:00:00 +0000 https://polkinghorne.org/university-receives-6-million-euros-for-experimental-particle-physics/ © CERN/M. Hoch The German government has allocated 6.25 million euros of funds for research on experimental particle physics over the next three years, the University of Hamburg announced on Monday (August 30, 2021). The funds will benefit research by Hamburg-based scientists at the European Particle Physics Laboratory (CERN) in Geneva. The focus is on […]]]>

© CERN/M. Hoch

The German government has allocated 6.25 million euros of funds for research on experimental particle physics over the next three years, the University of Hamburg announced on Monday (August 30, 2021). The funds will benefit research by Hamburg-based scientists at the European Particle Physics Laboratory (CERN) in Geneva. The focus is on particle collisions at the Large Hadron Collider, the most powerful particle accelerator in the world.

Research at CERN

“The funds will provide tremendous support for our particle physics research at the Large Hadron Collider,” said Professor Peter Schleper, who leads the research at the University of Hamburg in Geneva. The funds allow the university’s working group to continue its activities in the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) experiment at CERN, where collisions of heavy atoms are studied with a particle detector and unearth so far unknown particles. In 2012, the discovery of the Higgs particle, known as the “God particle”, proved to be CMS’s greatest success to date.

University of Hamburg seeks new insights into particle physics

“We want to study the Higgs particle in more detail and address pressing questions about dark matter. CMS data offer fascinating possibilities,” said Professor Johannes Haller from the Institute for Experimental Physics at the University of Hamburg. Next spring, a new data collection period will begin at the Large Hadron Collider, which could provide particularly interesting insights into the smallest building blocks of matter. Hamburg-based scientists are already developing components for the reconstruction of the Large Hadron Collider scheduled for 2025, which will further increase the performance of the particle accelerator.

The German Ministry of Education and Research funds the participation of German researchers in the CMS experiment as part of a Germany-wide research program involving the University of Hamburg, the Deutsches Elektronen- Synchrotron (DESY), the RWTH University of Aachen, the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and the CASUS Institute in Görlitz.

tn/sb/pb

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Argonne aurora will accelerate particle physics discoveries at CERN https://polkinghorne.org/argonne-aurora-will-accelerate-particle-physics-discoveries-at-cern/ Thu, 22 Jul 2021 07:00:00 +0000 https://polkinghorne.org/argonne-aurora-will-accelerate-particle-physics-discoveries-at-cern/ July 22, 2021 – The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory will house one of the nation’s first exascale supercomputers when Aurora arrives in 2022. To prepare code for the architecture and System-wide, 15 research teams are taking part in the Aurora Early Science program through the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility (ALCF), a […]]]>

July 22, 2021 – The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory will house one of the nation’s first exascale supercomputers when Aurora arrives in 2022. To prepare code for the architecture and System-wide, 15 research teams are taking part in the Aurora Early Science program through the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility (ALCF), a DOE Office of Science user facility. With access to pre-production time on the supercomputer, these researchers will be among the first in the world to use an exascale machine for science.

Early philosophers first formulated the idea of ​​the atom around the fifth century BCE. And just when we thought we had understood its basic structure – protons, neutrons and electrons – theories and technologies emerged to prove us wrong. It turns out that there are still more fundamental particles, like quarks, bound together by aptly named gluons.

Physicists discovered many of these and other particles in the huge beasts of machinery we call colliders, helping to develop what we know today as the Standard Model of physics. But there are questions that keep nagging: is there something even more fundamental? Is the standard model all there is?

Determined to find out, the high-energy physics community is working to integrate ever larger colliders and more sophisticated detectors with exascale computing systems. Among them is Walter Hopkins, assistant physicist at Argonne National Laboratory and collaborator on the ATLAS experiment at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider (LHC), near Geneva, Switzerland.

In collaboration with researchers from Argonne and Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, Hopkins is leading an Aurora Early Science Program project through the ALCF to prepare software used in LHC simulations for exascale computing architectures, including the upcoming exascale machine d ‘Argonne, Aurora. With a trillion calculations per second, Aurora is at the frontier of supercomputing and at the height of the next particle physics challenge of gargantuan scale.

The project was started several years ago by physicist and Argonne Emeritus James Proudfoot, who saw the distinct advantages of exascale in enhancing the impact of such complex science.

Align the codes on the new architecture

The collisions produced in the LHC occur in one of the many detectors. The one the team is focusing on, ATLAS, witnesses billions of particle interactions every second and the new particle signatures these collisions create in their wake.

One type of code the team is focusing on, called event generators, simulates the underlying physical processes that occur at interaction points in the 17-mile-circumference collider ring. Aligning the physics produced by the software with that of the Standard Model helps researchers accurately simulate collisions and predict the types, trajectories and energies of residual particles.

Detecting physics in this way creates a mountain of data and requires equally significant computational time. And now CERN is upping the ante as it prepares to upgrade the LHC’s luminosity, enabling more particle interactions and a 20-fold increase in data output.

As the team looks to Aurora to handle this increase in its simulation needs, the machine is not without some challenges.

Workers inside ATLAS, one of several primary detectors at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider. ATLAS witnesses a billion particle interactions every second and the signatures of new particles created in proton-proton collisions at near light speed. (Picture: CERN)

Until recently, event generators ran on computer processors (central processing units). Although they work fast, a processor can usually only perform several operations at a time.

Aurora will feature both CPUs and GPUs (graphics processing units), the choice of gamers around the world. GPUs can handle many operations by breaking them up into thousands of smaller tasks spread across many cores, the engines that drive both types of units.

But it takes a lot of effort to move CPU-based simulations to GPUs efficiently, Hopkins notes. So making this move to prepare for both Aurora and the onslaught of new LHC data presents several challenges, which have become a central part of the team’s goal.

“We want to be able to use Aurora to help us meet these challenges,” says Hopkins, “but that forces us to study computing architectures that are new to us and our code base. For example, we focus on a generator used in ATLAS, called MadGraph, which runs on GPUs, which are more parallel and have different memory management requirements.

A particle interaction simulation code, MadGraph, has been written by an international team of high-energy physics theorists and meets the simulation needs of the LHC.

Simulation and AI support experimental work

The LHC has played an important role in bringing the predictions to fruition. Even more famously, the Standard Model predicted the existence of the Higgs boson, which imparts mass to all fundamental particles; ATLAS and its counterpart detector, CMS, confirmed the existence of Higgs in 2012.

But, as is often the case in science, big discoveries can lead to more substantial questions, many of which are not predicted by the Standard Model. Why does the Higgs have the mass it is? What is dark matter?

“The reason for this very large LHC upgrade is that we hope to find that needle in the haystack, that we will find an anomaly in the dataset that offers a hint of physics beyond the Standard Model,” says Hopkins. .

A combination of computing power, simulation, experience, and artificial intelligence (AI) will greatly aid this research by providing accuracy in both prediction and identification.

When the ATLAS detector witnesses these particle collisions, for example, it records them as electronic signals. These are reconstructed in the form of pixels of bursts of energy which can correspond to the passage of an electron.

“But just like in AI, where the canonical example identifies cats and dogs in images, we have algorithms that identify and reconstruct those electronic signals into electrons, protons, and other things,” says Taylor Childers, computer scientist at the ALCF, member of the team. .

Data reconstructed from real crash events is then compared to simulated data to look for differences in patterns. This is where the accuracy of the physical models comes in. If they perform well and the real and simulated data do not match, you continue to measure and eliminate anomalies until it is likely that you found that needle, that something that doesn’t fit the standard pattern.

The team is also using AI to quantify uncertainty, to determine the likelihood that they have correctly identified a particle.

Humans are able to identify particles to a limited extent – several parameters like moment and position could tell us that a certain particle is an electron. But base that characterization on 10 interrelated parameters, then that’s another story altogether.

“This is where artificial intelligence really shines, especially if these input parameters are correlated, like the momentum of the particles around an electron and the momentum of the electron itself,” says Hopkins. “These correlations are hard to deal with analytically, but because we have so much simulation data, we can teach artificial intelligence and it can tell us, it’s an electron with this probability because I have all this information from Entrance. “

Exascale computing and the way forward

In preparation for Aurora, the team continues to work on programming languages ​​for new architectures and code to run on Intel hardware that will be used on Aurora, as well as hardware from other vendors.

“Part of the R&D we do with our partner Intel is to make sure the hardware does what we expect it to do and does it efficiently,” says Childers. “Having a machine like Aurora will give us lots of computing power and lots of nodes to effectively reduce solution time, especially when we move to the upgraded LHC.”

The solution is an answer to a fundamental question: is there more beyond the standard model? — and one that could have repercussions unimaginable a hundred years from now, Hopkins notes.

“Basic research can give us knowledge that can lead to societal transformation, but if we don’t do research, it won’t lead anywhere,” he says.

The ALCF is a DOE Office of Science user facility.

Funding for this project was provided by the DOE Office of Science: Offices of High Energy Physics and Advanced Scientific Computing Research. ATLAS is an international collaboration supported by the DOE.

About the ALCF

The Argonne Leadership Computing Facility provides supercomputing capabilities to the scientific and engineering community to advance fundamental discovery and understanding across a wide range of disciplines. Supported by the Advanced Scientific Computing Research (ASCR) program of the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Science, the ALCF is one of two DOE advanced computing facilities dedicated to open science.

Argonne National Laboratory seeks solutions to pressing national problems in science and technology. The nation’s first national laboratory, Argonne conducts cutting-edge basic and applied scientific research in virtually every scientific discipline. Argonne researchers work closely with researchers from hundreds of companies, universities, and federal, state, and municipal agencies to help them solve their specific problems, advance American scientific leadership, and prepare the nation for a better future. With employees in more than 60 countries, Argonne is managed by UChicago Argonne, LLC for the US Department of Energy’s Office of Science.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science is the largest supporter of basic physical science research in the United States and works to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, visit https://​ener​gy​.gov/​s​c​ience.

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Source: JOHN SPIZZIRRI, ALCF

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Quantum Science, Particle Physics and Nanoscale Motors Receive Support from Eric and Wendy Schmidt Transformative Tech Fund https://polkinghorne.org/quantum-science-particle-physics-and-nanoscale-motors-receive-support-from-eric-and-wendy-schmidt-transformative-tech-fund/ Tue, 11 May 2021 07:00:00 +0000 https://polkinghorne.org/quantum-science-particle-physics-and-nanoscale-motors-receive-support-from-eric-and-wendy-schmidt-transformative-tech-fund/ New quantum materials that promise to power future communications, AI-based research to uncover fundamental laws of physics, and a project to build biomolecular engines have been selected for funding through the Eric and Wendy Schmidt Transformative Technology Fund. The three projects, led by teams of professors from all fields of science and engineering, aim to […]]]>

New quantum materials that promise to power future communications, AI-based research to uncover fundamental laws of physics, and a project to build biomolecular engines have been selected for funding through the Eric and Wendy Schmidt Transformative Technology Fund.

The three projects, led by teams of professors from all fields of science and engineering, aim to launch new discoveries that have the potential to transform entire fields of research and propel innovation. Projects were selected following a competitive application process in which proposals were evaluated on their potential to accelerate progress on important challenges through advances in knowledge development and technological capabilities.

“These are deeply important projects that have the potential to take both our fundamental knowledge and our technical capabilities to exciting new levels,” said Dean of Research Pablo Debenedetti, Class of 1950 Professor of Engineering and Applied Sciences. and professor of chemistry and biology. engineering. “Rather than iterating, these proposals aim to make major breakthroughs in a discipline and have the ability to completely change the conversation.”

The Eric and Wendy Schmidt Transformative Technologies Fund stimulates the exploration of ideas and approaches that can profoundly enable advances in science or engineering. Eric Schmidt, former CEO of Google and former executive chairman of Alphabet Inc., Google’s parent company, received his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Princeton in 1976 and served as a director of Princeton from 2004 to 2008. He and his wife, Wendy, a businesswoman and philanthropist, established the fund in 2009. Including this year’s three awards, the fund has supported 27 research projects at Princeton.

From left to right: Peter Elmer, Senior Research Physicist, Physics; Mariangela Lisanti, associate professor of physics; and Isobel Ojalvo, Assistant Professor of Physics

Bringing artificial intelligence to the search for new discoveries in physics

Embarking on a quest to explore the fundamental mysteries of the universe, a team of physicists will bring the power of artificial intelligence (AI) to the exploration of the subatomic building blocks of matter.

Despite major advances in understanding the physical laws that govern the universe, many questions remain open, including the nature of dark matter and dark energy, which together make up 95% of the universe. A team led by Senior Research Physicist Peter Elmer, Associate Professor of Physics Mariangela Lisanti and Assistant Professor of Physics Isobel Ojalvo will develop methods to apply AI as a tool to search for new physical phenomena in experiments conducted at accelerators particles such as CERN’s Large Hadron Collider (LHC).

The LHC experiments validated the main theory of the composition of the universe, the Standard Model, by confirming theoretical predictions such as the existence of the Higgs particle. Yet these discoveries do not answer unresolved questions insufficiently explained by the Standard Model, including dark matter, dark energy, and neutrino mass. New theories are needed but how to conduct a search for new principles of physics when you don’t know what to look for?

AI can help in this quest by searching the huge amount of data resulting from particle collision experiments for new or unexpected results. The team will develop AI-based algorithms that look for anomalies in the data that suggest new phenomena. Through training and deployment of AI software, the team will evaluate particle collision data to search for new physical laws that could explain unexplained facets of our universe.

Sanfeng Wu, Leslie Schoop, Mansour Shayegan and Loren Pfeiffer

From left to right: Sanfeng Wu, assistant professor of physics; Leslie Schoop, assistant professor of chemistry; Mansour Shayegan, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE); and Loren Pfeiffer, Senior ECE Researcher

Station X: an extreme environment for quantum discoveries

Building on recent discoveries in quantum materials, a team from the departments of Physics, Chemistry, and Electrical and Computer Engineering will build a new quantum exploration site that features some of the most extreme conditions on Earth. including ultra-low temperatures, ultra-low and ultra-high pressures and strong magnetic fields.

Technologies that use quantum properties could unlock new capabilities in computing, communications, and many other fields. While much research has focused on the exotic quantum properties of metals and semimetals, few studies have looked into the quantum behaviors of electrical insulators. materials in which electrons cannot move freely mainly due to the lack of methods to observe these properties in insulators. Recent work by Princeton teams has detected intriguing examples of quantum phases in insulators and semiconductors, but exploring quantum behaviors in these systems requires specialized conditions and new experimental approaches.

To make transformative discoveries in the emerging field of quantum insulators, a team led by Assistant Professor of Physics Sanfeng Wu, Assistant Professor of Chemistry Leslie Schoop, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering Mansour Shayegan, and Senior Researcher in Electrical Engineering and Loren Pfeiffer will build an experimental research facility in Princeton’s Jadwin Hall called Station X.

The station will house equipment to create extreme temperatures, pressures, magnetic fields, material purity, and other conditions that allow researchers to evaluate materials with hidden quantum phases. The team will develop advanced measurement systems that combine electronics and optics to provide an unprecedented platform capable of exploring the synthesis and measurements of a wide range of quantum materials. This project, combining Princeton’s expertise in chemistry, engineering and physics, will ensure Princeton a leading role in the emergence of new areas of quantum science.

Sabine Petry, Akanksha Thawani, Howard Stone

From left to right: Sabine Petry, Associate Professor of Molecular Biology; Akanksha Thawani, a 2020 Ph.D. graduate in Chemical and Biological Engineering; and Howard Stone, Donald R. Dixon ’69 and Elizabeth W. Dixon Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Bio-inspired nanoscale engines and factories

Inspired by the biological machinery of the body, a team of molecular biologists and mechanical engineers will design tiny motors and possibly entire factories dedicated to treating disease.

The technology for building these molecular robots builds on recent discoveries at Princeton about the nature of the cellular skeleton, which is made up of long, thin proteins called microtubules. Nature is adept at building devices with mobile microtubules that perform tasks such as propelling the movement of single-celled organisms or dividing chromosomes in cells. One such device, the mitotic spindle, is made up of strands of microtubules that attach to chromosomes and pull them apart during cell division. Microtubules can exert force on other molecules by pulling or pushing them, they can pull molecules apart or propel them together, and they can self-assemble into new structures.

Princeton researchers led by Associate Professor of Molecular Biology Sabine Petry have uncovered how spindles form and uncovered molecular mechanisms to control them. Petry will team up with Howard Stone, Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Donald R. Dixon ’69 and Elizabeth W. Dixon, whose expertise in fluid mechanics will help build miniature channels and chips, in which the machines based on microtubules will be assembled.

The team planned to build several types of nanoscale microtubule-based devices, including bio-actuators, capable of performing a task such as moving a particle or molecule from a place to another. By connecting microtubule-based machines through channels, guided by fluid flows in certain directions, researchers will create nanoscale assembly lines and eventually factories. Researchers envision this microtubule-based nanotechnology as opening up an entirely new field of science, making complex manipulations of molecules and other small structures at the nanoscale possible.

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Is the Standard Model of Particle Physics really Kaput? https://polkinghorne.org/is-the-standard-model-of-particle-physics-really-kaput/ Thu, 15 Apr 2021 07:00:00 +0000 https://polkinghorne.org/is-the-standard-model-of-particle-physics-really-kaput/ Lately the internet has been flooded with stories about the Standard Model of particle physics having been broken. These stories stem from a recent experiment by physicists at Fermilab in Illinois, where a group of scientists discovered that muons “twerk.” Well, sort of. Don’t worry if you don’t know what a muon is, you’ll find […]]]>

Lately the internet has been flooded with stories about the Standard Model of particle physics having been broken.

These stories stem from a recent experiment by physicists at Fermilab in Illinois, where a group of scientists discovered that muons “twerk.” Well, sort of. Don’t worry if you don’t know what a muon is, you’ll find out in a moment, and if you don’t know what twerking is, try Googling Miley Cyrus.

Muons are electrically charged particles, which means that when placed in a magnetic field, they begin to spin. Their rotation frequency is determined by the muon’s interactions with other particles and forces – this is called its g-factor.

Just as the Earth oscillates on its axis as it spins, a muon’s axis of rotation also oscillates. Twenty years ago, scientists at Brookhaven National Laboratory first measured the g-factor and muon oscillation, and they found values ​​that did not match predictions made by the Standard Model. The Brookhaven data came in at 3 sigma, or three standard deviations.

Last week, Fermilab’s G-2 experiment, which is still ongoing, concluded that muons gliding around their magnetized ring were wobbling more than originally. The group’s conclusions reached the level of 4.2 sigma, which is very close to the magical 5 sigma which corresponds to a 1 in 3.5 million chance that the data is statistical chance. Physicists regard 5-sigma as irrefutable proof of a discovery.

The question then is, “What gives muons that extra push that makes them wobble?” One explanation is that they are pushed by virtual particles that appear and disappear due to quantum fluctuations.

Virtual particles appear in pairs – one of matter and one of antimatter. An example is an electron and its antimatter counterpart, a positron. If the muons are jostled around by virtual pairs of particles that are part of the standard model, so much the better, but what if the muons are affected by a pair of unknown virtual particles? This question is what keeps physicists awake at night.

What is the standard model?

The standard model of particle physics is the set of equations that describe the 17 known elementary particles. Elementary particles are particles that are not composed of other particles.

Prior to their discovery, the Standard Model predicted the existence and properties of W and Z bosons, the gluon, and top and charm quarks. The Standard Model also predicted the existence of the Higgs boson, which we will encounter in a minute.

The Standard Model began to take shape in 1897, when English physicist JJ Thomson discovered the electron, and it was not considered complete until 2012, when scientists at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider discovered the boson. of Higgs.

The graph below displays the particles composing the standard model. They are divided into fermions and bosons, with the 12 fermions being divided into six quarks and six antiquarks, and six leptons and antileptons.

The standard model of particle physics Source: Wikimedia Commons/Marcia Wendorf

Quarks

What sets quarks apart is that they have something called color charge, which causes them to interact via the strong force. Quarks can combine in two ways:

1. A quark and an antiquark, called meson.
2. Three quarks, called a baryon. The lightest baryons are the proton and the neutron.

Quarks also have electric charge and weak isospin, which means they can interact with each other through electromagnetism and weak interaction.

Standard model of elementary particles
Standard model of elementary particles Source: MissMJ, Cush/Wikimedia Commons

leptons

Leptons do not carry a color charge, so they do not respond to the strong force. Three of the leptons, the electron, the muon and the tau, carry an electric charge and thus interact electromagnetically with other particles. Three of the leptons, the neutrinos, carry no electrical charge, which means they only respond to the weak force. This makes them very difficult to detect.

Generations of Fermions

Just as generations of people are made up of grandparents, parents, and children, fermions also come in generations, with both members of a succeeding generation having greater mass than a previous generation.

In the table above, the first generation of quarks is made up of up and down quarks, the second generation is made up of charm and strange quarks, and the third generation is made up of top and bottom quarks.

First generation charged particles do not decay, which is a good thing since protons and neutrons are composed of at the top and down quarks, which are first-generation quarks. Second and third generation fermions decay, which means they have very short half-lives. A half-life is the time it takes for half of a sample to decay.

Last-generation fermions can only be observed in very high-energy environments, such as the Large Hadron Collider. Neutrinos invade our universe and the three generations do not decay. However, neutrinos are very difficult to detect because they almost never interact with matter.

gauge bosons

Our universe has four fundamental forces: electromagnetism, strong force, weak force and gravity. Now, for bad news, the standard model can’t account for gravity, so for now, we’ll ignore it.

The Standard Model explains the other three forces as resulting from particles exchanging other particles, the effect being that the force influences both particles. This is why gauge bosons are called force-mediator particles.

The electromagnetic force is transmitted between electrically charged particles by the photon, which has no mass. The weak force is transmitted between quarks and leptons by gauge bosons W+, W− and Z. These are massive particles, the Z boson being more massive than the W±.

Now get ready for a headache: the W± bosons act on either left-handed particles or right-handed antiparticles, while the electrically neutral Z boson interacts with both left-handed particles and antiparticles.

W± bosons carry an electric charge of +1 and -1, and they couple to the electromagnetic interaction, so when grouped with photons they collectively mediate what is called the electroweak interaction.

There are eight gluons which transmit the strong force among the six quarks. Gluons are massless, and because they themselves have a color charge, they can interact with each other.

The Higgs boson

The video of Peter Higgs, 83, taking out his handkerchief and wiping his eyes at the July 4, 2012 announcement at CERN that, finally, the Higgs boson had been discovered is truly moving. Higgs theorized the particle in 1964.

The Higgs boson generates the lepton, electron, muon and tau masses, and the quark masses. It does not generate mass for the photon and gluon, and since the Higgs boson itself is massive, that means it has to interact with itself.

Not only is the Higgs boson massive, with a mass of about 125 GeV/c2, or about 133 proton masses, but it decays almost immediately once created. This means that the Higgs can only be created and observed in a very high energy particle accelerator. Before it was observed at CERN, scientists at Fermilab were looking for the Higgs.

A year after the discovery of the Higgs boson, in 2013, Peter Higgs is finally honored with a Nobel Prize in Physics, alongside François Englert. On the day of the announcement, Higgs wanted to avoid media attention, so he walked out. He didn’t own a cell phone, so he only found out he had won the Nobel Prize when he met a neighbor.

Is the standard model really outdated?

Just last month, new scientist reported that Large Hadron Collider scientists found a deviation from the predicted rates at which particles containing the bottom quark decay into an electron and a muon. While the production of electrons and muons should be equal, this is not the case.

Other problems not explained by the standard model include:

  • Does the Higgs boson also give mass to neutrinos?
  • About 95% of the universe is not made of ordinary matter but consists of dark energy and dark matter that does not fit into the Standard Model.
  • The gluons that transmit the force of gravity have never been found.
  • Baryon asymmetry.
  • Neutrino oscillations and nonzero masses.
  • Why is the universe expanding faster and faster?
  • Why is the universe made up of more matter than antimatter?

The next two years will determine whether the Standard Model is still a correct representation of our universe, or whether it will need to be modified or abandoned altogether. Whatever happens, it’s going to be one hell of a ride.

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The muon and its oscillation https://polkinghorne.org/the-muon-and-its-oscillation/ Mon, 12 Apr 2021 07:00:00 +0000 https://polkinghorne.org/the-muon-and-its-oscillation/ There’s a lot of suspension on the unintended wobble. Muons, heavier cousins ​​of electrons, don’t behave as expected when thrown through a strong magnetic field, an Illinois lab reports. By teetering faster than expected, scientists say, they raise tantalizing questions about the accepted understanding of the fundamental laws of particle physics, the “standard model” that […]]]>

There’s a lot of suspension on the unintended wobble. Muons, heavier cousins ​​of electrons, don’t behave as expected when thrown through a strong magnetic field, an Illinois lab reports. By teetering faster than expected, scientists say, they raise tantalizing questions about the accepted understanding of the fundamental laws of particle physics, the “standard model” that describes particles (currently 17) and the forces that govern the subatomic world. .

Mainstream thinking suggests that all the forces we experience can be reduced to just four categories: gravity, electromagnetism, and, shaping the behavior of subatomic particles, the strong force and the weak force. The muon wobble suggests a fifth force that could provide an explanation for mysteries such as the accelerating expanding universe and the nature of dark matter, the invisible matter that astronomers say makes up a quarter of the mass of the universe.

Strange behaviour

Results announced last week from the Muon g-2 experiment at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, or Fermilab, in Batavia – a team of 200 physicists from seven countries – appear to have successfully replicated a 20-year-old experiment on the strange behavior of muons and their deviation from the standard model remained unexplained. Separately, reports from the CERN Large Hadron Collider on the Franco-Swiss border of the decay of unstable B mesons into muons and electrons this week have also raised doubts about the model.

During a seminar and press conference last week, Fermilab physicist Dr. Chris Polly pointed to a graph displaying white space where their findings deviated from the theoretical prediction. “We can say with fairly high confidence that there must be something contributing to this white space. What monsters could be hiding there?

The work and its promising implications are far from conclusive, but scientists have likened it to the much-heralded 2012 discovery of the Higgs boson, a particle that impregnates other particles with mass. The ephemeral quantum world of the muon may be revealing its secrets.

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