Supernova 2011fe was the “Backyard Supernova” that thrilled amateur and professional astronomers alike in the summer of 2011. With 32 nights of spectrometry and photometry using the SuperNova Integral Field Spectrograph (SNIFS), the international Nearby Supernova Factory demonstrated that this unusually close-by Type Ia is so perfect an example of its kind that models of these indispensable milestones for measuring the expansion of the universe must be measured against it. Rui Pereira of the Institut de Physique Nucleaire de Lyon, Greg Aldering of Berkeley Lab’s Physics Division, and Rollin Thomas of the Computational Research Division led the analysis. More>
Posts Tagged ‘Physics Division’
Two of DOE’s top 2012 Project Management Awards, the Secretary’s Awards for Excellence and Achievement, were awarded to the Bevatron Demolition Project and the Daya Bay Reactor Neutrino Project respectively. Joe Harkins of Facilities oversaw DOE’s first-ever deactivation and demolition of a large particle accelerator, which finished under budget, ahead of schedule, and with a sterling safety record. Bill Edwards of Physics, working with Engineering’s Mike Barry and Steve Kettell of Brookhaven, managed U.S. participation in the U.S./China Daya Bay Reactor Neutrino Experiment, including constructing the eight Antineutrino Detectors that “produced extraordinary scientific results right out of the gate.” More>
The European Physical Society (EPS) has awarded its 2013 High Energy and Particle Physics Prize to the ATLAS and CMS Collaborations at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider for the “discovery of a new heavy particle with the properties of the long-sought Higgs boson.” Michel Della Negra, Peter Jenni, and Tejinder Virdee were cited for their leadership roles in creating the two experiments. The U.S. plays an important role in both; Berkeley Lab’s Physics Division has supplied ATLAS with a large contingent and a number of leaders. The awards ceremony will be presented at the EPS conference in Stockholm on July 22.
Michael Barnett, a researcher with the Lab’s Physics Division and the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), has collaborated on a slideshow for Scientific American online that features ’19 Ways Art and the LHC Open a Portal to Physics.” The slideshow includes works by current artists who were inspired by the Higgs boson, antimatter, and the workings of the collider itself, as well as pieces by masters of the past — such as Salvador Dali and Leonardo da Vinci — for whom science was a driving force in their pieces. More>
A roster of stellar physicists kicks off BrunoFest today in honor of Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley theorist Bruno Zumino’s 90th birthday. Part of the celebration is a public lecture by Fabiola Gianotti, former spokesperson (leader) of the ATLAS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider, who announced last July 4th, along with her colleague from the CMS experiment, the discovery of a new particle that looks very like the long-sought Higgs boson. Gianotti will talk about ‘The Higgs Boson and Our Life’ starting at 5 p.m. Friday in the International House’s Chevron Auditorium.
Four Lab researchers have been elected to the 2013 class of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, an honorary society founded in 1780 to recognize leading “thinkers and doers.” The new members affiliated with Berkeley Lab are (clockwise) Frances Hellman of the Materials Sciences Division, Don Tilley of the Chemical Sciences Division, Susan Marqusee of the Physical Biosciences Division, and Hitoshi Murayama of the Physics Division. All four also hold joint appointments as professors at UC Berkeley. More>
Berkeley Lab’s sound-restoration experts have done it again. They’ve helped to digitally recover a 128-year-old recording of Alexander Graham Bell’s voice, enabling people to hear the famed inventor speak for the first time. The recording ends with Bell saying “in witness whereof, hear my voice, Alexander Graham Bell.” The Physics Division’s Carl Haber and the Engineering Division’s Earl Cornell conducted the work. The project involved a collaboration between Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, the Library of Congress, and Berkeley Lab. More>
The IceCube neutrino telescope, built deep in the ice at the South Pole using rugged, sophisticated detectors designed at Berkeley Lab, hopes to find neutrinos from deep space that can reveal otherwise hard-to-see processes like gamma-ray bursts. When researchers combed through two years of data, events nicknamed “Bert” and “Ernie,” recorded in August 2011 and January 2012, popped out. They signaled the most energetic neutrinos ever observed anywhere, with quadrillion electron volt (1 PeV) energies. A slim chance that the signals are background noise prevents a claim of discovering astrophysical neutrinos, but more analysis is on the way. More>
Last weekend the Cryogenic Dark Matter Search (CDMS-II), located in Minnesota’s Soudan mine and long spearheaded by Bernard Sadoulet of Berkeley Lab’s Physics Division and UC Berkeley, with Stanford’s Blas Cabrera, announced good odds that three events observed in a recent search were not background noise but lightweight particles of dark matter. The events were caught by backstop silicon detectors instead of CDMS-II’s principal detectors, made of more massive germanium, and their unusually low mass conflicts with results of some other experiments and leading theories about dark matter particles, but may be consistent with other results and newer proposals. More>
Last week over 160 participants from 40 institutions in North and South America and Europe met at Berkeley Lab to gauge the progress of the Dark Energy Survey (DES) Collaboration. DES programs include strong and weak gravitational lensing, large-scale structure, galaxy clusters, supernovae, quasars, and others. Physics Division Director Natalie Roe kicked off the meeting Monday, and meeting organizer Alex Kim wrapped it up Friday with thanks to his crew. Based at Fermilab, DES uses the Dark Energy Camera, whose focal plane consists of Berkeley Lab CDs, on the Blanco telescope at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile.