Berkeley Lab

A tessellated image of a white cap with a blue dot on the right edge, with shadow surrounding. This image is tessellated many times. A single cap, center right, is different: It has a white dot with a white concentric circle around it on top. No blue.

DESI will capture and study the light from tens of millions of galaxies and other distant objects to better understand our universe and the properties of dark energy. The formal start of DESI’s five-year survey follows a four-month trial run of its custom instrumentation that captured 4-million spectra of galaxies — more than the combined output of all previous spectroscopic surveys. Fermilab has contributed multiple components to the international collaboration led by Berkeley Lab.

The cryomodule from Fermilab is 12 meters (39 feet) long and will start the transport to SLAC on March 19, 2021. Photo: Fermilab

Fermilab gives a sendoff to the final superconducting component for the LCLS-II particle accelerator at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory in California. LCLS-II will be the world’s brightest and fastest X-ray laser. A partnership of particle accelerator technology, materials science, cryogenics and energy science, LCLS-II exemplifies cross-disciplinary collaboration across DOE national laboratories.

The U.S. Department of Energy has given the U.S. High-Luminosity Large Hadron Collider Accelerator Upgrade Project approval to move full-speed-ahead in building and delivering components for the HL-LHC, specifically, cutting-edge magnets and accelerator cavities that will enable more rapid-fire collisions at the collider. The collider upgrades will allow physicists to study particles such as the Higgs boson in greater detail and reveal rare new physics phenomena. The U.S. collaborators on the project may now move into production mode.

Department of Energy officials have formally signed off on project completion for LUX-ZEPLIN, or LZ: an ultrasensitive experiment that will use 10 metric tons of liquid xenon to hunt for signals of interactions with theorized dark matter particles called WIMPs.

From Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, June 17, 2020: While COVID-19 risks had led to a temporary halt in fabrication work on high-power superconducting magnets built by a collaboration of three national labs for an upgrade of the world’s largest particle collider at CERN in Europe, researchers at Berkeley Lab are still carrying out some project tasks. Fermilab scientist Giorgio Apollinari, head of the U.S.-based magnet effort for the HL-LHC, is quoted in this piece.

The cryostat for Berkeley Lab’s LUX-ZEPLIN experiment — the largest direct-detection dark matter experiment in the U.S. — is successfully moved to its research cavern. This final journey of LZ’s central detector on Oct. 21 to its resting place in a custom-built research cavern required extensive planning and involved two test moves of a “dummy” detector to ensure its safe delivery.

Berkeley Lab’s Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument aimed its robotic array of 5,000 fiber-optic “eyes” at the night sky Oct. 22 to capture the first images showing its unique view of galaxy light. It was the first test DESI with its nearly complete complement of components. Fermilab contributed key elements to DESI, including the corrector barrel, hexapod, cage and CCDs. Fermilab also provided the online databases used for data acquisition and the software for the instrument’s robotic positioners.