Fermilab’s technical centers contribute to T2K’s success

The thin films group within PPD’s Technical Centers, led by Eileen Hahn, sputters thin layers of aluminum on the ends of optical fibers, for applications in detectors such as the T2K near detector. Photo: Eileen Hahn

Advancements in high-energy physics rely on the combined efforts of hundreds of physicists and engineers from around the world.

Fermilab employees in the Particle Physics Division’s technical centers are proud to have played a small role in the recent indications of neutrino oscillations by the T2K experiment in Japan, whose findings could lead to an explanation for why we live in a matter-dominated universe.

The thin films and scintillation detector development groups within the PPD’s Technical Centers processed the optical fibers and developed scintillators that helped capture and amplify the light resulting from particle interactions in the T2K near detector.

Fermilab was chosen for this project because of its impressive track record and extensive experience with fiber processing and scintillation development, said Hogan Nguyen, who was the head of PPD’s Technical Centers when this work was done.

“Even though Fermilab is not part of the T2K collaboration, the groups cared about it as though it was their own,” Nguyen said. “It is really nice to finally see their work be part of an exciting new result from T2K, which will likely affect the future of Fermilab.”

The thin-films group has 20 years of experience with fiber processing and has contributed to numerous particle physics experiments at Fermilab and beyond, including CDF, DZero, CMS and MINERvA.

Read more

Christine Herman