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Beyond the Higgs Boson: A Detector Add-on Helps Scientists Look Deeper

Last month, ATLAS, the particle detector that helped find the Higg’s boson, got an upgrade. Scientists at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN added a new set of sensors, called the Insertable b-Layer, or IBL, into the core of the detector. The IBL will be closer to particle collisions than previous sensors and contain more,

Superheavy Chemistry, One Atom at a Time

It’s now more or less official: element 117 will have a seat at the periodic table. Earlier this month an international team of scientists that included researchers from Lawrence Berkeley National Lab’s Nuclear Science Division found two atoms of superheavy element 117. The experiment, conducted at a particle accelerator at the GSI Helmholtz Center for

In Memoriam: Andrew Sessler, Former Laboratory Director, Acclaimed Physicist and Humanitarian

Andrew Sessler, former Laboratory Director and acclaimed physicist and humanitarian, has died.

Latest from ATLAS: Higgs Boson Behaves Just the Way it Should

At a CERN seminar November 26th, Aliaksandr (Sasha) Pranko of the Physics Division at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) presented key direct evidence that the “Higgs-like” particle discovered at CERN last year does what a Higgs is supposed to do: it couples not only to other bosons but to

Berkeley Lab’s Prominent Role in the Higgs Discovery

The Nobel Prize in Physics to François Englert and Peter Higgs cites confirmation of their work by the ATLAS and CMS experiments, in what Physics Division Director Natalie Roe calls “a powerful testament to human imagination, innovation, perseverance and international cooperation.” Berkeley Lab provides one of the largest U.S. contingents to ATLAS, led by Ian Hinchliffe. Berkeley Lab’s Physics, Accelerator, and Engineering Divisions have made and continue to make vital contributions to the LHC.

Does Antimatter Fall Up or Down?

Theory and observations support the view that antimatter experiences gravity just as ordinary matter does, but the evidence so far has been indirect. Indeed, some theorists speculate that antimatter is antigravitational, that it may fall “up” instead of “down.” Led by Berkeley Lab physicists, the ALPHA Collaboration at CERN has made direct measurements of the gravitational mass of atoms of antihydrogen, testing how they fall and in what direction.

BOSS Quasars Unveil a New Era in the Expansion History of the Universe

By collecting tens of thousands of quasar spectra, the Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey (BOSS) has measured the large-scale structure of the early universe for the first time. Like backlights in the fog, the quasars illuminate clouds of hydrogen gas along the line of sight. No other technique can reach back over 10 billion years to probe structure at a time when the expansion of the universe was still decelerating and dark energy was yet to turn on.

Understanding What’s Up With the Higgs Boson

On July 4 CERN released the latest results in the search for the Higgs boson. Members of the ATLAS and CMS experiments who are leading the search announced the observation of a new particle “consistent with the Higgs” at a very high level of confidence. Berkeley Lab has a large contingent of physicists in the ATLAS collaboration, some in key posts. They explain what’s involved in the Higgs search and what happens next, now that the news has broken.

MAJORANA, the Search for the Most Elusive Neutrino of All

Neutrinos may be even stranger than they seem, if indeed they are the only fermions (particles of matter) that are their own antiparticles. Proof would be a rare form of radioactive decay called neutrinoless double-beta decay, which could only be seen if there’s virtually no background interference. The MAJORANA DEMONSTRATOR now under construction at the Sanford Underground Research Facility in the Black Hills of South Dakota aims to prove these near-perfect conditions can be met.

The First Spectroscopic Measurement of an Anti-Atom

Scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have played leading roles in designing and operating ALPHA, the CERN experiment that was the first to capture and hold atoms of antihydrogen, a single antiproton orbited by a single positron. Now, by measuring antihydrogen’s hyperfine structure, ALPHA has achieved another first in antimatter science with the very first measurements of the energy spectrum of an anti-atom.