The science of showers

PhD student Christian Soldner studies time, tungsten and scintillators

by Barbara Warmbein

Good timing is a virtue. Just as comedians have to wait for just the right moment to deliver their punch line, linear collider physicists need to know when to make cuts. These cuts separate phenomena called particle showers from each other, making it possible for the physicists to tell which reaction originated from which collision. Two German PhD students have built a test device that is supposed to get behind the precise timing of showers.

Around the World

Pushing technology, expanding industry

PAVAC Industries has a way with electron beams, and with the help of a boost developing superconducting radiofrequency technology, they’re taking their beams to the next level

by Leah Hesla

Canada-based PAVAC Industries recently set up a second shop in Fermilab’s backyard. Their work in superconducting cavities pushes their technological capabilities, enabling them to expand into other accelerator applications such as flue gas treatment for coal plants.

Director's Corner

Timely Technical Review

by Barry Barish

The ILC Project Advisory Committee met in Prague last November to carry out a technical review of the accelerator and detector R&D and design programmes. This timely review provided a technical assessment of our R&D programme goals and ILC baseline for the task of producing the ILC Technical Design Report.

Image of the week

Breaking ground for IARC

Image: Reidar Hahn

Just before the holiday, members of the US and Illinois governments gathered for a groundbreaking ceremony to officially begin construction on the future Illinois Accelerator Research Center, or IARC.

From left to right: Bob Kephart, IARC project director; Jim Siegrist, associate director of the Office of Science for the DOE Office of High Energy Physics; Michael Weis, DOE Fermilab site manager for the Office of Science; William Brinkman, director of the Office of Science for the DOE; Pier Oddone, Fermilab director; Warren Ribley, director of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity; Linda Holmes, Illinois state senator; and Michael Fortner, Illinois state representative.

In the News

  • from New Scientist
    11 January 2012
    We may not know what dark matter is, but we can still put it to work. The largest map of dark matter ever made is one of several new ones that will help to nail the properties of the equally mysterious dark energy, which is thought to drive the universe’s accelerating expansion.
  • from Fermilab Today
    10 January 2012
    When the International Linear Collider’s international committee selected superconducting RF technology for the ILC in 2005, one of the motivations for the decision was the potential utility of SRF technology for other fields of science and for even broader applications.
  • from KEK
    10 January 2012
    The Belle Experiment*4 has discovered two new unexpected particles at the KEK B Factory (KEKB). These new particles, termed Zb, contain both one ‘bottom’ quark (the second-heaviest quark among the known six types of quarks) and one ‘anti-bottom’ quark (the anti-particle of the bottom quark).
  • from NHK News
    7 January 2012
    Japan’s industry, academia and government collaborate towards the bid for the huge collider…The geological survey will be launched this year in two candidate construction sites for world largest accelerator. [also video clip]
  • from Fermilab Today
    5 January 2012
    Ten months after the earthquake and tsunami that devastated northern Japan, the Japan Proton Accelerator Research Complex (J-PARC) completed the first full test run for their system.
  • from BBC News
    4 January 2012
    The number of “eyes” scanning deep space in search of a particle that could shed light on our universe’s formation is about to multiply.
  • from Nature
    4 January 2012
    David Schlegel’s tool for exploring dark energy, one of nature’s biggest mysteries, is deceptively simple.