Director's Corner

GDE Executive Committee visits Washington DC

by Barry Barish

During a face-to-face working meeting of the Global Design Effort Executive Committee, held in Washington DC last month, invited guests discussed with us how science is supported in the US system, including new project approval, the yearly budget process and the formulation of science policy.


The incredible shrinking pixel sensor

by Leah Hesla

We don’t usually notice all three dimensions of a semiconductor chip. We note the intricate, maze-like circuitry imprinted onto one side or its reflective sensor surface. Rarely is attention paid to its depth, mostly because chips have so little of it. In the last five to ten years, the particle detector community has been working with the semiconductor industry to develop sensors’ minuscule depths to create technology with integrated functionalities that could be used in fields outside particle physics.

Around the World

Japanese civil engineers dig deep in Europe

A contribution from the Global Design Effort's civil engineering team

by Wilhelm Bialowons (DESY), John Osborne (CERN), and Masanobu Miyahara (KEK)

Ten members from the Japanese Society for Civil Engineering’s committee for civil works for future ILC facilities came to Europe in February to look at current civil engineering projects like CERN’s LINAC4 and the European XFEL in Hamburg and to discuss administrative challenges. By the end of March next year, the committee will publish draft guidelines on civil solutions for a potential ILC in Japan.

Image of the week

Quantum Beam Project being readied for launch

Image: Nobu Toge

The Quantum Beam Project at KEK's Superconducting Test Facility is being prepared for start-up. On 27 February, scientists successfully produce and extract the beam from the RF-gun.

In the News

  • from Science
    27 February
    A potential stumbling block that threatened to delay construction of the huge ITER fusion reactor—an international project based at Cadarache in France—looks like it has been resolved.
  • from Nature
    27 February 2012
    Evidence for elusive Majorana fermions raises possibilities for quantum computers.
  • from Brookhaven National Laboratory
    27 February 2012
    Synchrotrons, devices that accelerate particles along a circular path by synchronizing magnetic and electric fields, have proven useful in hospitals for their efficiency and ability to generate high quantities of finely-tuned particle beams. These energetic beams are used to bombard and destroy cancerous tumors.
  • from The Economist
    24 February
    Ever since scientists in Italy announced in September that they appear to be seeing particles called neutrinos travelling faster than light people have been trying to poke holes in their findings. Perhaps none more so than the boffins from the OPERA collaboration responsible for the furore.
  • from Fermilab Today
    23 February 2012
    Scientists from the CDF collaboration have unveiled the world’s most precise measurement of the W boson mass, based on data gathered at the Tevatron accelerator.
  • from CERN Courier
    23 February 2012
    During the meeting, a decision was also taken to create a European committee to review the R&D effort for future projects. High-energy physics relies heavily on detector R&D developments: every significant improvement in detection techniques opens a new area for fundamental-physics research. Considerable amounts of labour and financial resources are committed to this field across Europe and around the world.