In this Q&A Satya Gontcho A Gontcho, a lead observer for the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument, shares her experiences at the DESI site near Tucson, Arizona, including evening observing stints to run through detailed checklists and probe how the instrument’s components are working.
In a machine learning challenge dubbed the 2020 Large Hadron Collider Olympics, a team of cosmologists from Berkeley Lab developed a code that best identified a mock signal hidden in simulated particle-collision data.
In a multiyear effort involving three U.S. national laboratories, researchers have successfully built and tested a powerful new focusing magnet that represents a new use for niobium-tin, a superconducting material. The eight-ton device – about as long as a semitruck trailer – set a record for the highest field strength ever recorded for an accelerator focusing magnet, and raises the standard for magnets operating in high-energy particle colliders.
There wasn’t as much buzz about the particle physics applications of quantum computing when Amitabh Yadav began working on his master’s thesis in the field at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands a couple of years ago, he recalled.
If you study the detector readout shortly after a particle collision at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider (LHC), “It looks like somebody fired a shotgun at a target,” said Eric Rohm, a physics researcher from the University of South Carolina who spent August 2019 to December 2019 working on a quantum-computing project at Berkeley Lab. With the planned upgrade of the LHC, this seemingly scattershot picture will only become more complicated.
Giant-scale physics experiments are increasingly reliant on big data and complex algorithms fed into powerful computers, and managing this multiplying mass of data presents its own unique challenges. To better prepare for this data deluge posed by next-generation upgrades and new experiments, physicists are turning to the fledgling field of quantum computing.
Lucy Linder grew up near CERN, the largest high-energy physics laboratory in the world, but during her youth she didn’t pay much attention to the science taking place there. Her academic pursuits, though, would steer her on a circuitous path that brought her close to home – and to the wide world of particle physics research at CERN.
Berkeley Lab’s Rebecca Abergel, Roland Bürgmann, Cheryl A. Kerfeld, Michael Manga, Natalie Roe, and David V. Schaffer have been named Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Election as a AAAS Fellow is an honor bestowed upon AAAS members by their peers.
Quentin Riffard, a project scientist for the LUX-ZEPLIN dark matter detection experiment that is now being installed at the Sanford Underground Research Facility in Lead, South Dakota, shares his experiences in researching dark matter in this Q&A.
Last week, crews at the Sanford Underground Research Facility in South Dakota strapped the central component of LUX-ZEPLIN – the largest direct-detection dark matter experiment in the U.S. – below an elevator and s-l-o-w-l-y lowered it 4,850 feet down a shaft formerly used in gold-mining operations.