Para una versión en español, haga clic aquí. When a neutrino enters the nucleus of an atom, it can interact with the protons and neutrons inside and impart enough energy to create completely new particles. Often a pion (a particle made of a quark and an antiquark) is produced. However, the nucleus is such a dense place that sometimes the pions never make it out of the atom! Figuring out how many pions are produced and how many exit the… More »

Para una versión en español, haga clic aquí. MINERvA is a neutrino scattering experiment that prides itself on being able measure in exquisite detail the probability that a neutrino will interact: We look for many different reactions on many different nuclei. However, in order to measure those probabilities, we have to know precisely how many neutrinos are produced in the first place. Although Fermilab’s Accelerator Division can tell MINERvA just how many protons it delivers to the target that starts… More »

Women at work

Last week a front-end electronics board for MINERvA was replaced by a team of detector experts — who coincidentally all happened to be women. This is the first time an all-female team has performed this task. Dr. Carrie McGivern took a celebratory picture on the elevator on the way up to the surface from the underground detector. From left: Dr. Carrie McGivern, University of Pittsburgh; Anne Norrick, College of William and Mary; Prof. Emily Maher, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts.

Para una versión en español, haga clic aquí. We can all tell that a lump of coal, a steel ball bearing and a lead brick are very different from one another, just by using our eyes. On the other hand, we know they are all just made up of different numbers of protons and neutrons in the nucleus, the atom’s inner core. At MINERvA we use neutrinos to see these materials, and sure enough, the protons and neutrons seem to… More »

Para una versión en español, haga clic aquí. Para a versão em português, clique aqui. Neutrinos are notoriously difficult particles to study: For every 50 billion neutrinos that pass through the MINERvA detector at Fermilab, only about one will interact leaving a trace in our detector, producing particles that we can observe directly. In spite of this, we are starting to use neutrinos to learn more about protons and neutrons and how they behave when they’re together inside an atomic… More »

José Luis Palomino Gallo, from Peru, earned his Ph.D. in physics at Centro Brasileiro de Pesquisas Fisicas last month, soon after presenting his research results at the recent NuInt12 workshop. He is the first student in the MINERvA Latin American collaboration to earn both his master’s and doctoral degrees on the MINERvA experiment. Photo: Flavia Schaller The group of Latin American collaborators on the MINERvA experiment attained a new milestone recently. José Luis Palomino Gallo, from Peru, has become the… More »

Neutrino scientists are currently trying to answer some exciting questions. How much do neutrinos weigh and why are they so light? How much do neutrinos change from one kind to another (called mixing) and why are their transformations so different from quark mixing? Do neutrinos mix differently from anti-neutrinos? To answer these questions, neutrino physicists must study how neutrinos and anti-neutrinos mix over time, which means using neutrino interactions to measure their energies and the distances they travel. If neutrinos… More »

Fermilab scientist Dave Schmitz (right) describes the MINERvA and MINOS experiments to Illinois State Senator Daniel Biss (left) on his tour at Fermilab on June 29. His visit also included stops at CDF and the Superconducting Radio Frequency Test Facility. Also pictured are (center left to right) Fermilab’s Elizabeth Clements and Jamie Santucci, as well as Gabriella Elkaim, an intern in Senator Biss’ office.

On Feb. 25, President Robert A. Wharton and Vice President for Research Affairs Ronald White from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology visited Fermilab. Their tour included a visit underground to the MINOS cavern. Standing in front of the MINERvA detector are (left to right) Elizabeth Clements, Ronald White, Mike Weis, Robert Wharton, Rob Plunkett, Jim Strait, Katie Yurkewicz and Gina Rameika.