In the news

From CNN, Nov. 28, 2020: The explosion of a supernova is so powerful that modern telescopes can see it half a universe away. A cautious person might wonder, “What would happen to Earth if this happened to a nearby star?” In this article, Fermilab scientist Don Lincoln discusses a paper from University of Colorado at Boulder’s Robert Brakenridge, who claims that he has found evidence here on Earth of nearby supernovae. What form does this evidence take? Ancient radioactive tree rings.

From Daily Herald, Nov. 27, 2020: Fermilab Natural Areas is restoring 500 acres of grassland near Eola Road at Fermilab to serve as a breeding habitat for several endangered and threatened bird species that do not use tallgrass prairies or woodlands, such as the upland sandpiper, bobolink and Henslow’s sparrow.

From Público, Nov. 24, 2020: Homestake fue la mayor y más profunda mina de oro de de Norteamérica hasta que se cerró en 2002 tras 125 años de funcionamiento. Este remoto lugar de Dakota del Sur se convirtió oficialmente en 2007 en un laboratorio subterráneo de física fundamental, aunque ya mucho antes se habían instalado en sus profundas cavernas algunos experimentos, incluido uno que mereció el premio Nobel. Ahora se anuncia la nueva etapa para convertir la mina en sede del megaproyecto científico más importante de las últimas décadas en Estados Unidos, el Long-Baseline Neutrino Facility, dedicado a estudiar las partículas fundamentales llamadas neutrinos.

From Quanta Magazine, Nov. 23, 2020: Physicists plan to leave no stone unturned, checking whether dark matter tickles different types of detectors, nudges starlight, warms planetary cores or even lodges in rocks. Their efforts include the SENSEI and ADMX experiments, in which Fermilab plays a key role.

From Pesquisa, November 2020: The FAPESP scientific director shares how he encouraged behaviors that helped improve research in São Paulo. With FAPESP encouragement, researchers in Brazil have held leadership positions in international collaborations, including in a photon detection system called Arapuca. Arapuca is a technology used in Fermilab’s Short-Baseline Near Detector and a baseline technology for the international Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment, hosted by Fermilab.

From Jefferson Lab, Nov. 20, 2020: Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility has shipped the final new section of accelerator that it has built for an upgrade of the Linac Coherent Light Source. The section of accelerator, called a cryomodule, has begun a cross-country road trip to SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, where it will be installed in LCLS-II, the world’s brightest X-ray laser. The upgraded LCLS will boast 37 cryomodules in total. Of those, 18 are from Jefferson Lab (plus three spares), and the rest will come from Fermilab.

From Sanford Underground Research Facility, Nov. 24, 2020: Another series of upgrades to the Ross Shaft is under way at the Sanford Underground Research Facility. Crews are working to outfit the shaft with new cage and skip conveyances and have replaced thousands of feet of hoist cables. The work prepares the Ross Shaft for its role as the main travel way for upcoming excavation and construction of the Long-Baseline Neutrino Facility to support the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment, the world’s flagship neutrino experiment, which is hosted by Fermilab.

From Chicago Quantum Exchange, Nov. 23, 2020: The third annual Chicago Quantum Summit brought together more than 20 speakers from across the nation and attracted more than 1,000 attendees from 42 countries. This year’s summit comes on the heels of the announcement of five new Department of Energy National Quantum Information Science Research Centers, one of which is the Fermilab-led Superconducting Quantum Materials and Systems Center. At the summit, each center director gave an overview of their quantum center or institute goals, which included building qubit technologies, developing algorithms for quantum computation, and creating new quantum devices.

From The New York Times, Nov. 23, 2020: It might be possible, physicists say, but not anytime soon. And there’s no guarantee that we humans will understand the result. Fermilab Deputy Director of Research Joe Lykken is quoted in this piece on using artificial intelligence to discover laws of physics.

From the Illinois Institute of Technology, Nov. 23, 2020: The Illinois Institute of Technology has announced that it will designate a portion of 33rd Street that crosses through Mies Campus as Honorary Leon Lederman Way. The proposal was put forth by faculty members in the Department of Physics in honor of Nobel Prize-winning physicist and longtime Illinois Tech faculty member Leon Lederman, who died in 2018.