Today at Berkeley Lab

Massive New Dark Matter Detector Gets Its ‘Eyes’

The LUX-ZEPLIN dark matter detector, which will soon begin its deep-underground search for particles thought to account for most matter in the universe, now has “eyes.” The first of two large arrays of photomultiplier tubes — powerful light sensors that can detect the faintest of flashes — completed a 2,000-mile journey to the Sanford Underground Research Facility in South Dakota, where LZ is scheduled to begin its dark matter search in 2020. More>

FIONA Measures Mass Number of Moscovium and Nihonium

A team led by nuclear physicists at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) has reported the first direct measurements of the mass numbers for the nuclei of two superheavy elements: moscovium, which is element 115, and nihonium, element 113. They obtained the results using FIONA, a new tool at Berkeley Lab that is designed to resolve the properties of the heaviest elements. More>

Berkeley Lab Astrophysicist Featured in ‘Titans of the Cosmos’ Cover Story

Berkeley Lab’s Daniel Kasen is featured in the latest UC Berkeley [email protected] magazine in a cover story titled “Titans of the Cosmos.” Kasen studies cosmic explosions and has lately gained renown for his part in discovering what happens when two neutron stars crash together.

A Next Step for GRETA: A Better Gamma-Ray Detector

A new high-resolution gamma-ray detector system – designed to reveal new details about the structure and inner workings of atomic nuclei, and to elevate our understanding of matter and the stellar creation of elements – has passed an important project milestone. More>

New Beginnings for the SNO+ Neutrino Detector

The Nobel Prize-winning Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (SNO) is starting a new chapter in its life. After years of preparation and technical developments, liquid scintillator has started to flow into the SNO+ detector, a next-generation experiment now in development at the same site. Scintillator is a type of fluid that lights up in certain particle interactions. More>

Seminar on International Atomic Energy Agency’s Technical Challenges and Needs on Sept. 24

Dimitri Finker from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and Ron Webster from the United States Support Program in the International Safeguards Project Office at Brookhaven National Laboratory will present at 1 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 24, in the Building 50 Auditorium. More>

First Particle Tracks Seen in Prototype for an International Neutrino Experiment

The largest liquid-argon neutrino detector in the world has just recorded its first particle tracks, signaling the start of a new chapter in the story of the international Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment (DUNE). DUNE’s scientific mission is dedicated to unlocking the mysteries of neutrinos, the most abundant (and most mysterious) matter in the universe. More>

Lab Teams Are Gordon Bell Prize Finalists

Among the finalists for the prestigious Gordon Bell Prize are two Berkeley Lab teams who are using the “Summit” supercomputer at Oak Ridge National Lab. Prabhat plans to use AI software to predict how extreme weather is likely to change in the future. André Walker-Loud and Pavlos Vranas are developing improved algorithms to help predict the lifetime of neutrons and answer fundamental questions about the universe. More>

Gamma Rays, Watch Out: There’s a New Detector in Town

With funding from an Early Career LDRD award announced last year, Heather Crawford (Nuclear Science Division) and her research team are developing a prototype for an ultrahigh-rate high-purity germanium (HPGe) detector that can count 2 to 5 million gamma rays per second while maintaining high resolution, allowing them to accurately measure the energy spectrum under extreme conditions. More>

APS to Announce Barbara Jacak as Winner of Bonner Prize

Barbara Jacak, director of the Nuclear Science Division, has been notified that she will receive the 2019 Tom W. Bonner Prize in Nuclear Physics from the American Physical Society. She was honored for her “leadership in the discovery and characterization of the quark-gluon plasma, especially her contributions to the PHENIX experiment and its explorations of jets as probes.” She’ll receive the award at the March 2019 APS annual meeting.