Steve Koppes

Steve Koppes writes news articles on behalf of the Fermilab Office of Communication.

Faint light from rogue stars not bound to galaxies has been something of a mystery to scientists. The dimness of this intracluster light makes it difficult to measure, and no one knows how much there is. Scientists on the Dark Energy Survey, led by Fermilab, have made the most radially extended measurement of this light ever and have found new evidence that its distribution might point to the distribution of dark matter.

Bernstein is overseeing the Fermilab Mu2e experiment as it moves from its construction to installation phase and into a running experiment. A collaboration of nearly 250 scientists at 40 institutions that had to invent technology to get to this point, Mu2e is in an exciting phase, especially for early-career researchers who will not only construct the experiment, but also analyze the data.

A physicist at the Italian National Institute for Nuclear Physics, Venanzoni will help prepare the Muon g-2 collaboration for its highly anticipated first scientific publication and work with partners to ensure a long life for the experiment, where scientists are searching for new particles emerging from the quantum foam that surrounds all matter.

Postdoctoral scientist Adi Ashkenazi of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has earned the Universities Research Association 2020 Tollestrup Award for her research into neutrinos, ghostly particles that can pass through solid matter at high speeds without slowing. Working with two different experiments, she and her collaborators hope to improve their simulations of neutrino interactions with atomic nuclei.

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 began as an experiment in a nine-ounce cup of water has been developed into a full-scale technology that recently became a finalist for a 2019 R&D 100 Award. Achieving the honor was E-MOP™ — electromagnetic oil spill remediation technology — developed from patents owned by Fermilab. The technology uses materials that are environmentally safe, reusable and natural.

The new technology is a miniaturized version of a sensor developed for the CMS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider. But instead of being used for discovery science, the sensors are developed to screen cargo by detecting muons, particles that penetrate materials such as concrete and lead. Scientists at Fermilab, Los Alamos National Laboratory and the Nevada National Security Site designed, assembled and tested the small, slim sensors, which could replace bulkier screening technologies.