Author Archives: Melissa Marie Jacquemod

Major work starts to boost the luminosity of the LHC

Accelerators
View of the LHC tunnel (©CERN)

 

Geneva, 15 June 2018. The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is officially entering a new stage. Today, a ground-breaking ceremony at CERN1 celebrates the start of the civil-engineering work for the High-Luminosity LHC (HL-LHC): a new milestone in CERN’s history. By 2026 this major upgrade will have considerably improved the performance of the LHC, by increasing the number of collisions in the large experiments and thus boosting the probability of the discovery of new physics phenomena.

The LHC started colliding particles in 2010. Inside the 27-km LHC ring, bunches of protons travel at almost the speed of light and collide at four interaction points. These collisions generate new particles, which are measured by detectors surrounding the interaction points. By analysing these collisions, physicists from all over the world are deepening our understanding of the laws of nature.

While the LHC is able to produce up to 1 billion proton-proton collisions per second, the HL-LHC will increase this number, referred to by physicists as “luminosity”, by a factor of between five and seven, allowing about 10 times more data to be accumulated between 2026 and 2036. This means that physicists will be able to investigate rare phenomena and make more accurate measurements. For example, the LHC allowed physicists to unearth the Higgs boson in 2012, thereby making great progress in understanding how particles acquire their mass. The HL-LHC upgrade will allow the Higgs boson’s properties to be defined more accurately, and to measure with increased precision how it is produced, how it decays and how it interacts with other particles. In addition, scenarios beyond the Standard Model will be investigated, including supersymmetry (SUSY), theories about extra dimensions and quark substructure (compositeness).

The High-Luminosity LHC will extend the LHC’s reach beyond its initial mission, bringing new opportunities for discovery, measuring the properties of particles such as the Higgs boson with greater precision, and exploring the fundamental constituents of the universe ever more profoundly,” said CERN Director-General Fabiola Gianotti.

The HL-LHC project started as an international endeavour involving 29 institutes from 13 countries. It began in November 2011 and two years later was identified as one of the main priorities of the European Strategy for Particle Physics, before the project was formally approved by the CERN Council in June 2016. After successful prototyping, many new hardware elements will be constructed and installed in the years to come. Overall, more than 1.2 km of the current machine will need to be replaced with many new high-technology components such as magnets, collimators and radiofrequency cavities.

The secret to increasing the collision rate is to squeeze the particle beam at the interaction points so that the probability of proton-proton collisions increases. To achieve this, the HL-LHC requires about 130 new magnets, in particular 24 new superconducting focusing quadrupoles to focus the beam and four superconducting dipoles. Both the quadrupoles and dipoles reach a field of about 11.5 tesla, as compared to the 8.3 tesla dipoles currently in use in the LHC. Sixteen brand-new “crab cavities” will also be installed to maximise the overlap of the proton bunches at the collision points. Their function is to tilt the bunches so that they appear to move sideways – just like a crab.

Another key ingredient in increasing the overall luminosity in the LHC is to enhance the machine’s availability and efficiency. For this, the HL-LHC project includes the relocation of some equipment to make it more accessible for maintenance. The power converters of the magnets will thus be moved into separate galleries, connected by new innovative superconducting cables capable of carrying up to 100 kA with almost zero energy dissipation.

Audacity underpins the history of CERN and the High-Luminosity LHC writes a new chapter, building a bridge to the future,” said CERN’s Director for Accelerators and Technology, Frédérick Bordry. “It will allow new research and with its new innovative technologies, it is also a window to the accelerators of the future and to new applications for society.

To allow all these improvements to be carried out, major civil-engineering work at two main sites is needed, in Switzerland and in France. This includes the construction of new buildings, shafts, caverns and underground galleries. Tunnels and underground halls will house new cryogenic equipment, the electrical power supply systems and various plants for electricity, cooling and ventilation.

During the civil engineering work, the LHC will continue to operate, with two long technical stop periods that will allow preparations and installations to be made for high luminosity alongside yearly regular maintenance activities. After completion of this major upgrade, the LHC is expected to produce data in high-luminosity mode from 2026 onwards. By pushing the frontiers of accelerator and detector technology, it will also pave the way for future higher-energy accelerators.

Further information:

Backgrounder HL-LHC

Civil Engineering of the HL-LHC

Selected HL-LHC photos 

Video press clip HL-LHC (Youtube version)

Video HL-LHC in 3 minutes (Youtube version)

HD version here

Video News Release (VNR) will be available on Eurovision (15:00-15:15 GMT)
 

Background material:

LHC luminosity upgrade project moving to next phase (2015)

HL-LHC website

Footnote(s)

1. CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, is one of the world's leading laboratories for particle physics. The Organization is located on the French-Swiss border, with its headquarters in Geneva. Its Member States are: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and United Kingdom. Cyprus, Serbia and Slovenia are Associate Member States in the pre-stage to Membership. India, Lithuania, Pakistan, Turkey and Ukraine are Associate Member States. The European Union, Japan, JINR, the Russian Federation, UNESCO and the United States of America currently have Observer status.

The Higgs boson reveals its affinity for the top quark

New results from the ATLAS and CMS experiments at the LHC reveal how strongly the Higgs boson interacts with the heaviest known elementary particle, the top quark, corroborating our understanding of the Higgs and setting constraints on new physics.

Geneva, 4 June 2018. The Higgs boson interacts only with massive particles, yet it was discovered in its decay to two massless photons. Quantum mechanics allows the Higgs to fluctuate for a very short time into a top quark and a top anti-quark, which promptly annihilate each other into a photon pair. The probability of this process occurring varies with the strength of the interaction (known as coupling) between the Higgs boson and top quarks. Its measurement allows us to indirectly infer the value of the Higgs-top coupling. However, undiscovered heavy new-physics particles could likewise participate in this type of decay and alter the result. This is why the Higgs boson is seen as a portal to new physics.

A more direct manifestation of the Higgs-top coupling is the emission of a Higgs boson by a top-antitop quark pair. Results presented today, at the LHCP conference in Bologna, describe the observation of this so-called "ttH production" process. Results from the CMS collaboration, with a significance exceeding five standard deviations (considered the gold standard) for the first time, have just been published in the journal Physical Review Letters; including more data from the ongoing LHC-run, the ATLAS collaboration just submitted new results for publication, with a larger significance. Together, these results are a great step forward in our knowledge of the properties of the Higgs boson. The findings of the two experiments are consistent with one another and with the Standard Model, and give us new clues for where to look for new physics.

These measurements by the CMS and ATLAS Collaborations give a strong indication that the Higgs boson has a key role in the large value of the top quark mass. While this is certainly a key feature of the Standard Model, this is the first time it has been verified experimentally with overwhelming significance,” said Karl Jakobs, Spokesperson of the ATLAS collaboration.

The CMS analysis teams, and their counterparts in ATLAS, employed new approaches and advanced analysis techniques to reach this milestone. When ATLAS and CMS finish data taking in November of 2018, we will have enough events to challenge even more strongly the Standard Model prediction for ttH, to see if there is an indication of something new,” declared Joel Butler, Spokesperson of the CMS collaboration.

Measuring this process is challenging, as it is rare: only 1% of Higgs bosons are produced in association with two top quarks and, in addition, the Higgs and the top quarks decay into other particles in many complex ways, or modes. Using data from proton–proton collisions collected at energies of 7, 8, and 13 TeV, the ATLAS and CMS teams performed several independent searches for ttH production, each targeting different Higgs-decay modes (to W bosons, Z bosons, photons, τ leptons, and bottom-quark jets). To maximise the sensitivity to the experimentally challenging ttH signal, each experiment then combined the results from all of its searches.

It is gratifying that this result has come so early in the life of the LHC programme. This is due to the superb performance of the LHC machine, and of the ATLAS and CMS detectors, the use of advanced analysis techniques and the inclusion of all possible final states in the analysis. However, the precision of the measurements still leaves room for contributions from new physics. In the coming years, the two experiments will take much more data and improve the precision to see if the Higgs reveals the presence of physics beyond the Standard Model.

The superb performance of the LHC and the improved experimental tools in mastering this complex analysis led to this beautiful result,” added CERN1 Director for Research and Computing Eckhard Elsen. “It also shows that we are on the right track with our plans for the High-Luminosity LHC and the physics results it promises.

For more information:
On the CMS portal
On the ATLAS portal
Video about the results

 


An event candidate for the production of a top quark and top anti-quark pair in conjunction with a Higgs Boson in CMS. The Higgs decays into a  tau+ lepton, which in turn decays into hadrons and a tau- , which decays into an electron. The decay product symbols are in blue. The top quark decays into three jets (sprays of lighter particles) whose names are given in purple. One of these is initiated by a b-quark. The top anti-quark decays into a muon and b-jet, whose names appear in red.
 

Visualization of a data event from the tt ̄H(γγ) Had BDT bin with the largest signal over background ratio. The event contains two photon candidates, with a diphoton mass of 125.4 GeV. In addition, six jets are reconstructed using the anti-kt algorithm and R = 0.4, including one jet that is b-tagged using a 77% efficiency working point. The photons correspond to the green towers in the electromagnetic calorimeter, while the jets (b-jets) are shown as yellow (blue) cones.

Footnote(s)

1. CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, is one of the world's leading laboratories for particle physics. The Organization is located on the French-Swiss border, with its headquarters in Geneva. Its Member States are: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and United Kingdom. Cyprus, Serbia and Slovenia are Associate Member States in the pre-stage to Membership. India, Lithuania, Pakistan, Turkey and Ukraine are Associate Member States. The European Union, Japan, JINR, the Russian Federation, UNESCO and the United States of America currently have Observer status.

OPERA collaboration presents its final results on neutrino oscillations. All data publicly available on the CERN Open Data Portal


View of the OPERA detector (on the CNGS facility) with its two identical Super Modules, each one containing one target section and one spectrometer

 

Geneva, 22 May 2018. The OPERA experiment, located at the Gran Sasso Laboratory of the Italian National Institute for Nuclear Physics (INFN), was designed to conclusively prove that muon-neutrinos can convert to tau-neutrinos, through a process called neutrino oscillation, whose discovery was awarded the 2015 Nobel Physics Prize. In a paper published today in the journal Physical Review Letters, the OPERA collaboration reports the observation of a total of ten candidate events for a muon to tau-neutrino conversion, in what are the very final results of the experiment. This demonstrates unambiguously that muon neutrinos oscillate into tau neutrinos on their way from CERN1, where muon neutrinos were produced, to the Gran Sasso Laboratory 730km away, where OPERA detected the ten tau neutrino candidates.

Today the OPERA collaboration has also made their data public through the CERN Open Data Portal. By releasing the data into the public domain, researchers outside the OPERA Collaboration have the opportunity to conduct novel research with them. The datasets provided come with rich context information to help interpret the data, also for educational use. A visualiser enables users to see the different events and download them. This is the first non-LHC data release through the CERN Open Data portal, a service launched in 2014.

There are three kinds of neutrinos in nature: electron, muon and tau neutrinos. They can be distinguished by the property that, when interacting with matter, they typically convert into the electrically charged lepton carrying their name: electron, muon and tau leptons. It is these leptons that are seen by detectors, such as the OPERA detector, unique in its capability of observing all three. Experiments carried out around the turn of the millennium showed that muon neutrinos, after travelling long distances, create fewer muons than expected, when interacting with a detector. This suggested that muon neutrinos were oscillating into other types of neutrinos. Since there was no change in the number of detected electrons, physicists suggested that muon neutrinos were primarily oscillating into tau neutrinos. This has now been unambiguously confirmed by OPERA, through the direct observation of tau neutrinos appearing hundreds of kilometres away from the muon neutrino source. The clarification of the oscillation patterns of neutrinos sheds light on some of the properties of these mysterious particles, such as their mass.

The OPERA collaboration observed the first tau-lepton event (evidence of muon-neutrino oscillation) in 2010, followed by four additional events reported between 2012 and 2015, when the discovery of tau neutrino appearance was first assessed. Thanks to a new analysis strategy applied to the full data sample collected between 2008 and 2012 – the period of neutrino production - a total of 10 candidate events have now been identified, with an extremely high level of significance.

“We have analysed everything with a completely new strategy, taking into account the peculiar features of the events,” said Giovanni De Lellis Spokesperson for the OPERA collaboration. “We also report the first direct observation of the tau neutrino lepton number, the parameter that discriminates neutrinos from their antimatter counterpart, antineutrinos. It is extremely gratifying to see today that our legacy results largely exceed the level of confidence we had envisaged in the experiment proposal.”

Beyond the contribution of the experiment to a better understanding of the way neutrinos behave, the development of new technologies is also part of the legacy of OPERA. The collaboration was the first to develop fully automated, high-speed readout technologies with sub-micrometric accuracy, which pioneered the large-scale use of the so-called nuclear emulsion films to record particle tracks. Nuclear emulsion technology finds applications in a wide range of other scientific areas from dark matter search to volcano and glacier investigation. It is also applied to optimise the hadron therapy for cancer treatment and was recently used to map out the interior of the Great Pyramid, one of the oldest and largest monuments on Earth, built during the dynasty of the pharaoh Khufu, also known as Cheops.

Footnote(s)

1. CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, is one of the world's leading laboratories for particle physics. The Organization is located on the French-Swiss border, with its headquarters in Geneva. Its Member States are: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and United Kingdom. Cyprus, Serbia and Slovenia are Associate Member States in the pre-stage to Membership. India, Lithuania, Pakistan, Turkey and Ukraine are Associate Member States. The European Union, Japan, JINR, the Russian Federation, UNESCO and the United States of America currently have Observer status.

New CERN facility can help medical research into cancer

MEDICIS,Accelerators
CERN-MEDICIS facility (Image: CERN)Geneva, 12 December 2017. Today, the new CERN-MEDICIS facility has produced radioisotopes for medical research for the first time. MEDICIS (Medical Isotopes Collected from ISOLDE) aims to provide a wide range of radioisotopes, some of which can be produced only at CERN1 thanks to the unique ISOLDE facility. These radioisotopes are destined primarily for hospitals and research centres in Switzerland and across Europe. Great strides have been made recently in the use of radioisotopes for diagnosis and treatment, and MEDICIS will enable researchers to devise and test unconventional radioisotopes with a view to developing new approaches to fight cancer. “Radioisotopes are used in precision medicine to diagnose cancers, as well as other diseases such as heart irregularities, and to deliver very small radiation doses exactly where they are needed to avoid destroying the surrounding healthy tissue,” said Thierry Stora, MEDICIS project coordinator. “With the start of MEDICIS, we can now produce unconventional isotopes and help to expand the range of applications.” A chemical element can exist in several variants or isotopes, depending on how many neutrons its nucleus has. Some isotopes are naturally radioactive and are known as radioisotopes. They can be found almost everywhere, for example in rocks or even in drinking water. Other radioisotopes are not naturally available, but can be produced using particle accelerators. MEDICIS uses a proton beam from ISOLDE – the Isotope Mass Separator Online facility at CERN – to produce radioisotopes for medical research. The first batch produced was Terbium 155Tb, which is considered a promising radioisotope for diagnosing prostate cancer, as early results have recently shown. Innovative ideas and technologies from physics have contributed to great advances in the field of medicine over the last 100 years, since the advent of radiation-based medical diagnosis and treatment and following the discovery of X-rays and radioactivity. Radioisotopes are thus already widely used by the medical community for imaging, diagnosis and radiation therapy. However, many isotopes currently used do not combine the most appropriate physical and chemical properties and, in some cases, a different type of radiation could be better suited. MEDICIS can help to look for radioisotopes with the right properties to enhance precision for both imaging and treatment. “CERN-MEDICIS demonstrates again how CERN technologies can benefit society beyond their use for our fundamental research. With its unique facilities and expertise, CERN is committed to maximising the impact of CERN technologies in our everyday lives,” said CERN’s Director for Accelerators and Technology, Frédérick Bordry. At ISOLDE, the high-intensity proton beam from CERN’s Proton Synchrotron Booster (PSB) is directed onto specially developed thick targets, yielding a large variety of atomic fragments. Different devices are used to ionise, extract and separate nuclei according to their mass, forming a low-energy beam that is delivered to various experimental stations. MEDICIS works by placing a second target behind ISOLDE’s. Once the isotopes have been produced at the MEDICIS target, an automated conveyor belt carries them to the MEDICIS facility, where the radioisotopes of interest are extracted through mass separation and implanted in a metallic foil. They are then delivered to research facilities including the Paul Scherrer Institut (PSI), the Department of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imagining at the University Hospital of Vaud (CHUV) and the Geneva University Hospitals (HUG). Once at the facility, researchers dissolve the isotope and attach it to a molecule, such as a protein or sugar, chosen to target the tumour precisely. This makes the isotope injectable, and the molecule can then adhere to the tumour or organ that needs imaging or treating. ISOLDE has been running for 50 years, and 1300 isotopes from 73 chemicals have been produced at CERN for research in many areas, including fundamental nuclear research, astrophysics and life sciences. Although ISOLDE already produces isotopes for medical research, the new MEDICIS facility will allow it to provide radioisotopes meeting the requirements of the medical research community as a matter of course. CERN-MEDICIS is an effort led by CERN with contributions from its dedicated Knowledge Transfer Fund, private foundations and partner institutes. It also benefits from a European Commission Marie Skłodowska-Curie training grant, which has been helping to shape a pan-European medical and scientific collaboration since 2014. Visual material available here.

Footnote(s)

1. CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, is one of the world's leading laboratories for particle physics. The Organization is located on the French-Swiss border, with its headquarters in Geneva. Its Member States are: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and United Kingdom. Cyprus, Serbia and Slovenia are Associate Member States in the pre-stage to Membership. India, Pakistan, Turkey and Ukraine are Associate Member States. The European Union, Japan, JINR, the Russian Federation, UNESCO and the United States of America currently have Observer status.

The LHCb experiment is charmed to announce observation of a new particle with two heavy quarks

Image © CERN

Geneva, 6 July 2017. Today at the EPS Conference on High Energy Physics in Venice, the LHCb experiment at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider has reported the observation of Ξcc++  (Xicc++) a new particle containing two charm quarks and one up quark. The existence of this particle from the baryon family was expected by current theories, but physicists have been looking for such baryons with two heavy quarks for many years. The mass of the newly identified particle is about 3621 MeV, which is almost four times heavier than the most familiar baryon, the proton, a property that arises from its doubly charmed quark content. It is the first time that such a particle has been unambiguously detected.

Nearly all the matter that we see around us is made of baryons, which are common particles composed of three quarks, the best-known being protons and neutrons. But there are six types of existing quarks, and theoretically many different potential combinations could form other kinds of baryons. Baryons so far observed are all made of, at most, one heavy quark.

Finding a doubly heavy-quark baryon is of great interest as it will provide a unique tool to further probe quantum chromodynamics, the theory that describes the strong interaction, one of the four fundamental forces,” said Giovanni Passaleva, new Spokesperson of the LHCb collaboration. “Such particles will thus help us improve the predictive power of our theories.”

In contrast to other baryons, in which the three quarks perform an elaborate dance around each other, a doubly heavy baryon is expected to act like a planetary system, where the two heavy quarks play the role of heavy stars orbiting one around the other, with the lighter quark orbiting around this binary system,” added Guy Wilkinson, former Spokesperson of the collaboration.

Measuring the properties of the Ξcc++ will help to establish how a system of two heavy quarks and a light quark behaves. Important insights can be obtained by precisely measuring production and decay mechanisms, and the lifetime of this new particle.

The observation of this new baryon proved to be challenging and has been made possible owing to the high production rate of heavy quarks at the LHC and to the unique capabilities of the LHCb experiment, which can identify the decay products with excellent efficiency. The Ξcc++ baryon was identified via its decay into a Λc+ baryon and three lighter mesons K-, π+ and π+.

The observation of the Ξcc++ in LHCb raises the expectations to detect other representatives of the family of doubly-heavy baryons. They will now be searched for at the LHC.

This result is based on 13 TeV data recorded during run 2 at the Large Hadron Collider, and confirmed using 8 TeV data from run 1. The collaboration has submitted a paper reporting these findings to the journal Physical Review Letters.

 

 

 

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Footnote(s)

1. CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, is one of the world's leading laboratories for particle physics. The Organization is located on the French-Swiss border, with its headquarters in Geneva. Its Member States are: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and United Kingdom. Cyprus, Serbia and Slovenia are Associate Member States in the pre-stage to Membership. India, Pakistan, Turkey and Ukraine are Associate Member States. The European Union, Japan, JINR, the Russian Federation, UNESCO and the United States of America currently have Observer status.

Two new teams of high-school physicists selected to run experiments at CERN

The " Charging Cavaliers" (on the left) and "TCO-ASA" (on the right).

Geneva, 13 June 2017. CERN1 today announced the winners of its 2017 Beamline for Schools competition. “Charging Cavaliers” from Canada and “TCO-ASA” from Italy were selected from a total of 180 teams from 43 countries around the world, adding up to about 1500 high-school students. The winners have been selected to come to CERN in September to carry out their own experiments using a CERN accelerator beam.

With the Beamline for Schools competition, high-school students are enabled to run an experiment on a fully-equipped CERN beamline, in the same way that researchers do at the Large Hadron Collider and other CERN facilities. Students had to submit a written proposal and video explaining why they wanted to come to CERN, what they hoped to take away from the experience and initial thoughts of how they would use the particle beam for their experiment. Taking into consideration creativity, motivation, feasibility and scientific method, CERN experts evaluated the proposals. A final selection was presented to the CERN scientific committee responsible for assigning beam time to experiments, who chose two winning teams to carry out their experiments together at CERN.

The quality and creativity of the proposals is inspiring. It shows the remarkable talent and commitment of the new generation of potential scientists and engineers. I congratulate all who have taken part this year; they can all be proud of their achievements. We very much look forward to welcoming the two winning teams and seeing the outcome of their experiments,” said CERN Director for International Relations, Charlotte Warakaulle.

 “Charging Cavaliers” are thirteen students (6 boys and 7 girls) from the “École secondaire catholique Père-René-de-Galinée” in Cambridge, Canada. Their project is the search for elementary particles with a fractional charge, by observing their light emission in the same type of liquid scintillator as that used in the SNO+ experiment at SNOLAB. With this proposal, they are questioning the Standard Model of particle physics and trying to get a glimpse at a yet unexplored territory.

“I still can’t believe what happened. I feel incredibly privileged to be given this opportunity. It’s a once a lifetime opportunity It opens so many doors to a knowledge otherwise inaccessible to me. It represents the hard work our team has done. There’s just no words to describe it. Of course, I’m looking forward to putting our theory into practice in the hope of discovering fractionally charged particles, but most of all to expanding my knowledge of physics.” said Denisa Logojan from the Charging Cavaliers.

“TCO-ASA” is a team from the “Liceo Scientifico Statale "T.C. Onesti"” in Fermo, Italy, and comprises 8 students (6 boys and 2 girls). They have taken the initiative to build a Cherenkov detector at their school. This detector has the potential of observing the effects of elementary particles moving faster than light does in the surrounding medium. Their plan is to test this detector, which is entirely made from low-cost and easily available materials, in the beam line at CERN.

“I'm really excited about our win, because I've never had an experience like this. Fermo is a small city and I've never had the opportunity to be in a physics laboratory with scientists that study every day to discover something new. I think that this experience will bring me a bit closer to my choices for my future” said Roberta Barbieri from TCO-ASA team.

The first Beamline for Schools competition was launched three years ago on the occasion of CERN’s 60th anniversary. To date, winners from the Netherlands, Greece, Italy, South Africa Poland and the United Kingdom have performed their experiments at CERN. This year, short-listed teams2 each receive a Cosmic-Pi detector for their school that will allow them to detect cosmic-ray particles coming from outer space.

 After four editions, the Beamline for Schools competition has well established itself as an important outreach and education activity of CERN. This competition has the power to inspire thousands of young and curious minds to think about the role of science and technology in our society. Many of the proposals that we have received this year would have merited an invitation to CERN.”, said Markus Joos, Beamline for School project leader.

Beamline for Schools is an education and outreach project supported by the CERN & Society Foundation, funded by individuals, foundations and companies.

The project was funded in 2017 in part by the Arconic Foundation; additional contributions were received by the Motorola Solutions Foundation, as well as from National Instruments. CERN would like to thank all the supporters for their generous contributions that have made the 2017 competition possible. 

Beamline for schools 2018 is confirmed: you can already find information here.

 

Further information:

Team “TCO-ASA”: Extract from their proposal In BL4S 2016 the proposal of our school received the status of highly commended, which really intrigued us. The basic idea is to achieve an authentic detector by using some simple instruments. We wanted to study the Cherenkov’s effect that is radiation emitted when a charged particle passes through a dielectric medium at a speed greater than the phase velocity of light in that medium. […]This year we made a new box with new sensors and we started the tests on the Cherenkov’s effect from the beginning. Our research gave us satisfying results with which we hope to win the BL4S 2017 competition. […]”

Watch their video

Team “Charging Cavaliers”: Extract from their proposal “Generally, the idea that electric charge exists in integer multiples of electron charges is well supported by the scientific community. Be that as it may, the Standard Model, which includes three generations of quarks and leptons, does not establish charge quantization. To be able to enforce charge quantization, physics beyond the limits of the Standard Model is imperative. […] Our experiment will search for fractionally charged particles using proton interactions at the Proton Synchrotron with the goal of identifying fractionally charged particles by observing their light emission in a liquid scintillator, comparatively to a conventionally charged particle. […] It is our duty to encourage the pursuit of knowledge, and beginning with this privileged occasion would only advocate for this cause. We must think forward, and this would be our first big step toward doing so.”

Watch their video

 

Footnote(s)

1. CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, is one of the world's leading laboratories for particle physics. The Organization is located on the French-Swiss border, with its headquarters in Geneva. Its Member States are: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and United Kingdom. Cyprus and Serbia are Associate Member States in the pre-stage to Membership. India, Pakistan, Turkey and Ukraine are Associate Member States. The European Union, Japan, JINR, the Russian Federation, UNESCO and the United States of America currently have Observer status.

2. A.O.C group from Israel Absolute Uncertainty from the United Kingdom Beamcats from the Philippines Bojos per la Física 2017 from Spain Brazinga from Brazil Cherenkov Radiation Busters from Poland Club de Física Enrico Fermi from Spain CURIEosity Team from Greece Dawson Technicolor from Canada Deep Impact from Chile DITI - Deep In The Ice from Poland G-Y-V-V Amavet 964 from Slovakia Hildebrandianer from Germany LEAM TEAM - Learning About Materials Team from Timor-Leste Newton's apples from Spain Pigeon Detectors from the United Kingdom P.R.O.ME.THE.U.S from Italy Q=MC² from the United Kingdom Salty Brits from the United Kingdom Sparticles Particles 2.0 from the United States Surfing the Wave Function from the United States Team Hephaestus from India Team Muonicity from India Terrella from New Zealand THE BIG BANG TEAM from Italy United World Astronauts from the Netherlands Vacuum Dunes from Spain Y=GC2 from the United Kingdom

Pioneering SESAME light source officially opened

© CERN

On behalf of SESAME

 

Allan, Jordan, 16 May 2017. The SESAME light source was today officially opened by His Majesty King Abdullah II. An intergovernmental organization, SESAME is the first regional laboratory for the Middle East and neighbouring regions The laboratory’s official opening ushers in a new era of research covering fields ranging from medicine and biology, through materials science, physics and chemistry to healthcare, the environment, agriculture and archaeology.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, the President of the SESAME Council, Professor Sir Chris Llewellyn Smith said: “Today sees the fulfilment of many hopes and dreams. The hope that a group of initially inexperienced young people could build SESAME and make it work - they have: three weeks ago SESAME reached its full design energy. The hope that, nurtured by SESAME’s training programme, large numbers of scientists in the region would become interested in using SESAME – they have: 55 proposals to use the first two beamlines have already been submitted. And the hope that the diverse Members could work together harmoniously. As well as being a day for celebration, the opening is an occasion to look forward to the science that SESAME will produce, using photons provided by what will soon be the world’s first accelerator powered solely by renewable energy.”

SESAME, which stands for Synchrotron-light for Experimental Science and Applications in the Middle East, is a particle accelerator-based facility that uses electromagnetic radiation emitted by circulating electron beams to study a range of properties of matter. Its initial research programme is about to get underway: three beamlines will be operational this year, and a fourth in 2019. Among the subjects likely to be studied in early experiments are pollution in the Jordan River valley with a view to improving public health in the area, as well as studies aimed at identifying new drugs for cancer therapy, and cultural heritage studies ranging from bioarcheology – the study of our ancestors – to investigations of ancient manuscripts. Professor Khaled Toukan the Director of SESAME, said In building SESAME we had to overcome major financial, technological and political challenges, but – with the help and encouragement of many supporters in Jordan and around the world – the staff, the Directors and the Council did a superb job. Today we are at the end of the beginning. Many challenges lie ahead – including building up the user community, and constructing additional beamlines and supporting facilities. However, I am confident that - with the help of all of you here today, including especially Rolf Heuer, who will take over from Chris Llewellyn Smith as President of the Council tomorrow (and like Chris and his predecessor Herwig Schopper is a former Director General of CERN) - these challenges will be met.”

The opening ceremony was an occasion for representatives of SESAME’s Members and Observers to come together to celebrate the establishment of a competitive regional facility, building regional capacity in science and technology.

 

Photographs of the opening ceremony may be found here

 

NOTES FOR EDITORS:

  1. There are some 50 synchrotron light sources in the world, including a few in developing countries. SESAME (Synchrotron-light for Experimental Science and Applications in the Middle East) is the first light source in the Middle East, and also the region's first true international centre of excellence.
  2. The Members of SESAME are currently Cyprus, Egypt, Iran, Israel, Jordan, Pakistan, the Palestinian Authority and Turkey (others are being sought). Brazil, Canada, China, the European Union, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Portugal, the Russian Federation, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK, and the USA are Observers. SESAME was set up under the auspices of UNESCO, but is now a completely independent intergovernmental organisation.
  3. SESAME will both:
  • Foster scientific and technological capacities and excellence in the Middle East and neighbouring regions (and help prevent or reverse the brain drain) by enabling world-class research in subjects ranging from biology and medical sciences through materials science, physics and chemistry to archaeology - much focussed on issues of regional importance, e.g. related to the environment, health, and agriculture, and
  • Build scientific links and foster better understanding and a culture of peace through collaboration between peoples with different creeds and political systems.
  1. At the heart of SESAME is a 2.5 GeV electron storage ring.  The first electron beam was circulated on 11 January.  The design energy of 2.5 GeV was reached on 27 April.  A beam of 30 mA has been stored, and steps are now in train to bring the current up to the ultimate design value of 400 mA.
  2. Synchrotron light source are equipped with beamlines that focus the light on samples that scientists wish to study. Each beamline can support several experiments in series and in parallel. Two beamlines (an X-ray Absorption Fine Structure/X-ray Fluorescence Spectroscopy Beamline and an Infrared Beamline, which will support work in basic materials science, life sciences and environmental science, biochemistry, microanalysis, archaeology, geology, cell biology, biomedical diagnostics, environmental science, etc.) will be in operation initially. A third (Materials Science) beamline (which will support studies of disordered/amorphous material on the atomic scale and the evolution of nano-scale structures and materials in extreme conditions of pressure and temperature) will come into operation in late 2017.  A Macromolecular Crystallography beamline and a protein expression/crystallization facility for structural molecular biology (aimed at elucidating the mechanisms of proteins at the atomic level and providing guidelines for developing new drugs) will come into operation in 2019. Three more beamlines are being planned which will be added when funds permit.
  3. The users of SESAME will be based in universities and research institutes in the region. They will visit the laboratory periodically to carry out experiments, generally in collaboration, where they will be exposed to the highest scientific standards. The potential user community, which is growing rapidly and already numbers over 300, has been, and is being, fostered by a series of Users' Meetings and by training opportunities (supported by the IAEA, various governments and many of the world's synchrotron laboratories) which are already bringing significant benefits to the region.
  4. Some $90 million have so far been invested in SESAME (including the value of the land and building provided by Jordan and of donated equipment, and all operational costs). Staff costs, provision of power, and other operational costs are provided by the Members’ annual contributions. Capital funding has been provided by the Governments of Jordan, Israel, and Turkey, the Royal Court of Jordan, and by the European Union (through CERN and directly) and Italy.
  5. SESAME is coming into operation with minimal supporting infrastructure and only two beamlines.  Challenges for the future include: fully equipping the protein expression, crystallization and characterization laboratory and the end station for the Materials Science beamline; funding the three more beamlines that are planned in phase 1 of SESAME; funding construction of a conference centre, which (when SESAME is not in use during maintenance work) will be used for regional meetings on other issues (water resources, agriculture, pollution, disease,..); building a new full energy injection system in order to produce much  greater integrated fluxes of synchrotron light; and last but not least further building up the user community.
  6. In common with all other accelerators, synchrotron light sources use large amounts of electrical power. Once SESAME is fully in operation, the bill for electricity (for which SESAME is currently paying $375/MWh) would be beyond the means of the SESAME Members.  SESAME’s longstanding intention to build a solar power plant was recently turned in to a reality when the Government of Jordan generously agreed to provide SESAME with JD5 Million ($7.05 million) of EU funds that support deployment of renewable energy in neighbouring countries.  A call for tender to build the plant was issued in April: the power that it sends to the grid will be provided to SESAME as/when needed (not just when the sun is shining). SESAME will be the first accelerator in the world powered entirely by renewable energy.

 

For further information see:

 www.sesame.org.jo/sesame/images/News/SESAME-Opening/Souvenir_Booklet.pdf

http://mag.digitalpc.co.uk/fvx/iop/esrf/sesamepeople/

Resources
Images available at:

https://cds.cern.ch/record/2264527
http://cds.cern.ch/record/2237478
http://cds.cern.ch/record/2201539
http://cds.cern.ch/record/2227099
http://cds.cern.ch/record/2238520
http://cds.cern.ch/record/2009159
http://cds.cern.ch/record/1995397

 

Contact

James Gillies: James.Gillies@cern.ch +41 75 411 4555

Clarissa Formosa-Gauci: cfg@sesame.org.jo

Footnote(s)

1. CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, is one of the world's leading laboratories for particle physics. The Organization is located on the French-Swiss border, with its headquarters in Geneva. Its Member States are: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and United Kingdom. Cyprus and Serbia are Associate Member States in the pre-stage to Membership. India, Pakistan, Turkey and Ukraine are Associate Member States. The European Union, Japan, JINR, the Russian Federation, UNESCO and the United States of America currently have Observer status.