[new symmetry issue] NOvA construction complete; Daya Bay's new limit on sterile neutrinos.pdf

A joint Fermilab/SLAC publication october 2014 dimensions of particle physics symmetry 1 Table of contents Breaking: 500-mile neutrino experiment up and running Breaking: Daya Bay places new limit on sterile neutrinos Feature: To catch a gravitational wave 2 breaking October 06, 2014 500-mile neutrino experiment up and running Construction is complete for NOvA, the longest-distance neutrino experiment in the world. With construction completed, the NOvA neutrino experiment has begun its probe
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  A joint Fermilab/SLAC publicationoctober 2014dimensionsofparticlephysics symmetry 1  Table of contents Breaking: 500-mile neutrino experiment up and runningBreaking: Daya Bay places new limit on sterile neutrinosFeature: To catch a gravitational wave 2  breaking October 06, 2014 500-mile neutrino experiment upand running Construction is complete for NOvA, the longest-distance neutrinoexperiment in the world. With construction completed, the NOvA neutrino experiment has begun its probe into themysteries of ghostly particles that may hold the key to understanding the universe.It’s the most powerful accelerator-based neutrino experiment ever built in the UnitedStates, and the longest-distance one in the world. It’s called NOvA, and after nearly fiveyears of construction, scientists are now using the two massive detectors—placed 500miles apart—to study one of nature’s most elusive subatomic particles.Scientists believe that a better understanding of neutrinos, one of the most abundantand difficult-to-study particles, may lead to a clearer picture of the srcins of matter andthe inner workings of the universe. Using the world’s most powerful beam of neutrinos,generated at the US Department of Energy’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory nearChicago, the NOvA experiment can precisely record the telltale traces of those rareinstances when one of these ghostly particles interacts with matter.Construction on NOvA’s two massive neutrino detectors began in 2009. InSeptember, the Department of Energy officially proclaimed construction of the experimentcompleted, on schedule and under budget.“Congratulations to the NOvA collaboration for successfully completing theconstruction phase of this important and exciting experiment,” says James Siegrist, DOEassociate director of science for high energy physics. “With every neutrino interactionrecorded, we learn more about these particles and their role in shaping our universe.”NOvA’s particle detectors were both constructed in the path of the neutrino beamsent from Fermilab in Batavia, Illinois, to northern Minnesota. The 300-ton near-detector, 3  installed underground at the laboratory, observes the neutrinos as they embark on theirnear-light-speed journey through the Earth, with no tunnel needed. The 14,000-ton far-detector—constructed in Ash River, Minnesota, near the Canadian border—spots thoseneutrinos after their 500-mile trip and allows scientists to analyze how they change overthat long distance.For the next six years, Fermilab will send tens of thousands of billions of neutrinosevery second in a beam aimed at both detectors, and scientists expect to catch only afew each day in the far detector, so rarely do neutrinos interact with matter.From this data, scientists hope to learn more about how and why neutrinos changebetween one type and another. The three types, called flavors, are the muon, electronand tau neutrino. Over longer distances, neutrinos can flip between these flavors. NOvAis specifically designed to study muon neutrinos changing into electron neutrinos.Unraveling this mystery may help scientists understand why the universe is composed ofmatter and why that matter was not annihilated by antimatter after the big bang.Scientists will also probe the still-unknown masses of the three types of neutrinos inan attempt to determine which is the heaviest.“Neutrino research is one of the cornerstones of Fermilab’s future and an importantpart of the worldwide particle physics program,” says Fermilab Director Nigel Lockyer.“We’re proud of the NOvA team for completing the construction of this world-classexperiment, and we’re looking forward to seeing the first results in 2015.”The far detector in Minnesota is believed to be the largest free-standing plasticstructure in the world, at 200 feet long, 50 feet high and 50 feet wide. Both detectors areconstructed from PVC and filled with a scintillating liquid that gives off light when aneutrino interacts with it. Fiber optic cables transmit that light to a data acquisitionsystem, which creates 3-D pictures of those interactions for scientists to analyze.The NOvA far detector in Ash River saw its first long-distance neutrinos in November2013. The far detector is operated by the University of Minnesota under an agreementwith Fermilab, and students at the university were employed to manufacture thecomponent parts of both detectors.“Building the NOvA detectors was a wide-ranging effort that involved hundreds ofpeople in several countries,” says Gary Feldman, co-spokesperson of the NOvAexperiment. “To see the construction completed and the operations phase beginning is avictory for all of us and a testament to the hard work of the entire collaboration.”The NOvA collaboration comprises 208 scientists from 38 institutions in the UnitedStates, Brazil, the Czech Republic, Greece, India, Russia and the United Kingdom. Theexperiment receives funding from the US Department of Energy, the National ScienceFoundation and other funding agencies. Fermilab published a version of this article as a press release. Like what you see? Sign up for a free subscription  to symmetry !  4
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