Results from a new study involving Berkeley Lab scientists could explain a mismatch between predictions and recent measurements of ghostly particles streaming from nuclear reactors—the so-called “reactor antineutrino anomaly” that has puzzled physicists since 2011.
Kathryn Zurek realized a decade ago that we may be searching in the wrong places for clues to one of the universe’s greatest unsolved mysteries: dark matter. Despite making up an estimated 85 percent of the total mass of the universe, we haven’t yet figured out what it’s made of.
While we can’t see dark matter, we are learning more about it. Here are three knowns and three unknowns about dark matter.
2016 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics Goes to Five Neutrino Experiments, Three Made Possible by Berkeley Lab
On November 8, Silicon Valley’s ritzy, glitzy 2016 Breakthrough Prizes honored five neutrino experiments with $3 million prizes in Fundamental Physics. Three of the five, SNO, KamLAND, and Daya Bay, were made possible by Berkeley Lab scientists and engineers.
Type Ia supernovae are bright “standard candles” for measuring cosmic distances. Standard enough to discover dark energy, they’re far from identical. Researchers at the Berkeley Lab-based Nearby Supernova Factory have shown that supernova twins with closely matching spectra double the accuracy of distance measures.
Berkeley Lab scientists and engineers played important roles in the design and construction of SNO – the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory – as well as subsequent data analysis that contributed to the 2015 Nobel Prize in Physics awarded to Canada’s Arthur McDonald.
The U.S. Department of Energy has announced approval of Critical Decision 2 (CD–2), authorizing the scientific scope, schedule, and funding profile of DESI, the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument, an exceptional apparatus designed to improve our understanding of the role of dark energy in the expansion history of the universe.
In the Daya Bay region of China a research project is underway to study ghostlike, elusive particles called neutrinos. Today, the international Daya Bay Collaboration announces new findings on the measurements of neutrinos, paving the way forward for further neutrino research, and confirming that the Daya Bay neutrino experiment, significant as the first equal partnership between the U.S. and China in a major physics project, continues to be one to watch.
The Sanford Lab Homestake Visitor Center, a facility that highlights Homestake Mine’s gold and silver past and particle physics future, held its grand opening ceremony on June 30.
Michael Levi and David Schlegel, physicists at Berkeley Lab, discuss the future of the DESI project and how its forthcoming map will help scientists better understand dark energy.