Author archive: Barbara Warmbein

A close shave

| 11 March 2010 A team from the Max Planck Institute for Physics in Munich just found scientific evidence for the old saying that less is more. By shaving off a piece of scintillating tile, they achieved test results that were considerably better than tests with a tile that was complete. The trick: stick a silicon photomultiplier into the shaved-off groove, rather than just on the outside of the tile. “After quite a few iterations, we came up with a shape for the plastic tile that works extremely well. It also now includes a SiPM that is embedded into the tile, which is important for a realistic calorimeter since then the individual cells can be placed edge on edge, without any gaps between them,” explains the team leader Frank Simon. Frank Simon is also an active blogger on Quantum Diaries, and one of his most recent entries features an explanation of tiles, fibres and photomultipliers and how they came up with the idea of reshaping the tile. Category: Feature | Tagged: , ,

Experts eye the eyes of the future

| 25 February 2010 Sometimes detector projects that are still at a planning stage can tell detector projects that are already taking data what hardware to use. This is certainly the case when the R&D project has been using, trying and testing a technology that the 'old hand' is considering for its upgrade: a relatively new type of sensor called Silicon Photo Multiplier, or SiPM, developed in Russia. A meeting brought experts from all areas that use SiPMs together at DESY in Hamburg, Germany, for two days earlier this week. Category: Around the World | Tagged: , , , ,

Aiming low, shooting high

| 28 January 2010 Not all people who have the same goals use the same means to achieve them — just think of the two proposed electron-positron colliders ILC and CLIC. And not all people who use the same means also pursue the same goals. A workshop held in January at CERN in Geneva brought the two linear colliders and many of the world's light sources and B-factories together to discuss one common problem: how to make your beam as small and intense as possible to either produce more particle collisions or produce more brilliant light for your light source users, or in short: how to design or operate low-emittance rings. Category: Around the World | Tagged: , ,

EU projects get musical

| 3 December 2009 Greek mythology, cartoon characters and plays on words – projects and collaborations in high-energy physics don’t always conform to the stereotype of the incomprehensible acronym. If a new project to be submitted to the European Commission for funding, answering a call from it Seventh Framework programme (FP7), gets approval, the world of opera can be added to the list above. AIDA – for Advanced European Infrastructures for Detectors and Accelerators (the E from European is silent) – would draw together every group and project in Europe working on detector R&D for next-generation projects. Category: Feature | Tagged: , , ,

The mysterious Universe – brought to Albuquerque

| 5 November 2009 Even though University of Oregon professor and Americas regional contact for the ILC physics and detectors studies Jim Brau had specifically invited a young audience to his public lecture on 1 October in the University of Albuquerque, he thought of teenagers and university students rather than seven–year–olds. But Brau gave particle physics one of its youngest fans — little Abigail Zwartz was so gripped by his talk that she took notes eagerly and even presented them in school the next day. Category: Feature | Tagged: , ,

One sheet to plot them all

| 29 October 2009 The idea sounds simple enough: collect all the data that exist in the world on cavities – nine-cell TESLA-style cavities, to be precise – including all tests, manufacturers and achieved gradients and merge it into a common format so that all cavity professionals around the world can extract the data they need to compare cavity performance and learn. Anyone who has ever set up a database and tried to merge existing data sets into one knows: it's not that easy. However, the ILC's accelerator experts have just decided that they will all use a database system developed by DESY to set up the world's first global cavity database. Category: Feature | Tagged: ,

Linear developments

| 8 October 2009 The new group for linear collider detector development at CERN is less than a year old, but it is growing fast: a number of students and fellows are already working on simulations, and as of next year there will be funds for actual hardware development. The linear collider detector R&D group (LCD) is led by Lucie Linssen. As a group based at CERN, home of the Compact Linear Collider study CLIC, its main focus is on detectors that record the collisions that CLIC would produce. At three TeV these have a much higher energy than the 500-GeV collisions at the ILC, higher backgrounds and very different timing: whereas there are 340 nanoseconds between two particles bunches colliding in the ILC, at CLIC the plan is to have electron-positron collisions every half a nanosecond. Category: Feature | Tagged: ,

Cryomodule surpasses ILC gradient test

| 1 October 2009 A cryomodule prototype for the European XFEL has set the world gradient record for cryomodules built with superconducting radiofrequency technology, reaching an average accelerating gradient of more than 32 megavolts per metre (MV/m) in recent tests. This is an important step towards major goals set for the ILC’s Technical Design Phase (TDP), which include demonstrating system performance of fully fitted cryomodules like the record prototype. The accelerator module will be built into the FLASH free-electron laser at DESY, making it possible to increase the FLASH energy to 1.2 GeV. This means that even shorter wavelengths down to 4.5 nanometers will be available for experiments starting next year. Category: Around the World | Tagged: , ,

9 mA revisited

| 24 September 2009 The last two weeks were two of the most important (and intense) weeks for accelerator specialists working on the ILC. After a long period of preparation and a series of first tests, they have just finished a period of successfully running the superconducting linear accelerator FLASH at DESY under ILC-like conditions to demonstrate that a long train of electron bunches with high charge can be produced in and travel through the accelerator – and stay there, too. After the ILC-like run, which ended on Monday after long day and night shifts in the control room, FLASH will receive a major upgrade to improve capabilities and performance for the users of the laser light generated by FLASH. Category: Feature | Tagged: ,

Progress on ILC detectors

| 17 September 2009 ILD and SiD, two of the three detector concepts that submitted Letters of Intent, have been recommended for validation to Research Director Sakue Yamada by the International Detector Advisory Group (IDAG), chaired by Michel Davier. At their recent meeting in Hamburg, the ILC's Steering Committee endorsed the IDAG recommendations. This means that the R&D collaborations working on detector technologies and prototypes for the two ILC detector concepts ILD, the International Large Detector concept, and SiD, the Silicon Detector Design Study, will continue under full steam in their work towards the best design for detectors to understand collisions at the future ILC. The third detector concept that submitted an LOI, called '4th', was not validated. However, IDAG recommended that R&D on dual readout calorimetry done for 4th in a collaboration of many institutes should be supported in view of its potential for higher energy colliders. Category: Feature | Tagged: , , ,
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