Particle accelerator technology could solve one of the most vexing problems in building quantum computers

One of the most difficult problems to overcome in developing a quantum computer is finding a way to maintain the lifespan of information held in quantum bits, called qubits. Researchers at Fermilab and Argonne National Laboratory are working to determine whether devices used in particle accelerators can help solve the problem. The team will run simulations on high-performance computers that will enable them to predict the lifespan of information held within these qubits using smaller versions of these devices, taking us one step closer to the age of quantum computing.

Fermilab is America’s particle physics and accelerator laboratory. Our vision is to solve the mysteries of matter, energy, space and time for the benefit of all.

Finding hidden neutrinos with MicroBooNE

Scientists of the Fermilab experiment MicroBooNE have published the results of a search for a type of hidden neutrino — much heavier than Standard Model neutrinos — that could be produced by Fermilab’s accelerators. These heavy neutrinos are expected to have longer travel times to the MicroBooNE detector than the ordinary neutrinos. This search is the first of its kind performed in a liquid-argon time projection chamber, a type of particle detector. MicroBooNE scientists have used their data to publish constraints on the existence of such heavy neutrinos.

Elementary school invites Fermilab physicists to present reverse science fair

In an educational turning of the tables, first- through fifth-graders evaluated Fermilab scientists’ abilities to illuminate and educate at their school’s first reverse science fair. Three competing groups of scientists demoed neutrino detection, muon precession and particle acceleration in fun, accessible ways, and the elementary school students got to decide who received the blue ribbon.

Alvin Tollestrup, National Medal of Technology winner, dies at age 95

Fermilab has lost one of its giants. Award-winning engineer and physicist Alvin Tollestrup, who played an instrumental role in developing the Tevatron as the world’s leading high-energy physics accelerator at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory and founding member of the Collider Detector at Fermilab collaboration, died on Feb. 9 of cancer. He was 95.

What we know about dark matter

There are a lot of things scientists don’t know about dark matter: Can we catch it in a detector? Can we make it in a lab? What kinds of particles is it made of? Is it made of more than one kind of particle? Is it even made of particles at all? Still, although scientists have yet to find the spooky stuff, they aren’t completely in the dark.

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Fermilab in the news

From, Feb. 24, 2020: In view of progress toward the realization of the International Linear Collider in Japan, the International Committee for Future Accelerators encourages the interested members of the high-energy physics community, laboratories and nations to support and participate in these preparations aimed at the successful establishment of the ILC.

From Kane County Chronicle, Feb. 24, 2020: Join Fermilab scientist emeritus Paul Mantsch at the St. Charles Public Library on Tuesday, Feb. 25, at 7 p.m. as he explains how the realms of the atom and the cosmos are intimately connected to each other – and to us. This special presentation will feature the story of discovery at Fermilab: past, present, future.

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