Leah Hesla

Leah Hesla is a senior writer in the Fermilab Office of Communication.

Fermilab plays a key role in the Quantum Science Center, led by Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The center unites Oak Ridge’s powerhouse capabilities in supercomputing and materials science with Fermilab’s world-class high-energy physics instrumentation and measurement expertise and facilities. Drawing on their experience building and operating experiments in cosmology and particle physics and in quantum information science, the Fermilab team is engaging in QSC efforts to develop novel, advanced quantum technologies.

On Oct. 21, the PIP-II Injector Test Facility accelerated proton beam through its superconducting section for the first time. At this test bed for the upcoming PIP-II superconducting accelerator, collaborators will test novel particle accelerator physics concepts and technologies to be deployed in the high-tech front section of PIP-II, the future heart of the laboratory accelerator complex. The milestone achievement also marks the start of a new era at Fermilab of proton beam delivery using superconducting accelerators.

Fermilab scientist Robert Ainsworth has won a $2.5 million Department of Energy Early Career Research Award to study different ways of ensuring stability in high-intensity proton beams. By studying how certain types of beam instabilities emerge and evolve under different conditions, his team can help sharpen scientists’ methods for correcting them or avoiding them to begin with.

Fans of Fermilab know that our scientists are experts in the weird realm of quantum physics. In recent years, they’ve been harnessing the strange properties of the quantum world to develop game-changing technologies in quantum computing, quantum sensors and quantum communication. Learn more about the burgeoning area of quantum information science and how Fermilab is advancing this exciting field.

Fermilab scientists have broken their own world record for an accelerator magnet. In June, their demonstrator steering dipole magnet achieved a 14.5-tesla field, surpassing the field strength of their 14.1-tesla magnet, which set a record in 2019. This magnet test shows that scientists and engineers can address the demanding requirements for a future particle collider under discussion in the particle physics community.

Construction workers have carried out the first underground blasting for the Long-Baseline Neutrino Facility, which will provide the space, infrastructure and particle beam for the international Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment. This prep work paves the way for removing more than 800,000 tons of rock to make space for the gigantic DUNE detector a mile underground.

An ensemble of soprano, strings, piano and electronics gives voice to the mysterious neutrino in David Ibbett’s latest musical work as Fermilab guest composer. Mapping the waves of neutrino oscillation onto melodies played by the strings, Ibbett sonifies a neutrino phenomenon typically represented in abstract mathematical expressions. Hear the performance and Ibbett’s comments in this four-minute video.