detector R&D

At the core of the mammoth detector assemblies and snugly surrounding the beam pipes are arrays of silicon sensors, which provide detailed patterns of interactions to micron-level precision, with subnanosecond timing and low mass. Research and development to improve the characteristics and develop better silicon detectors with the use of new technologies continue as we upgrade the existing detectors for better performance and develop designs for experiments at future generations of accelerators.

In April Fermilab initiated the New Initiatives, an annual, competitive call for proposals to attract new members and ideas to the detector R&D community at the lab. We are happy to announce the three New Initiatives awards for 2020. The principal investigators for all three selected proposals are new additions to Fermilab’s detector R&D team.

Earlier this month, Fermilab scientist Petra Merkel stepped into the role of co-chair of the Coordinating Panel for Advanced Detectors in the APS Division of Particles and Fields. The panel is responsible for promoting excellence in the research and development of instrumentation and detectors to support the national program of particle physics in a global context.

To support new initiatives in detector R&D, the Fermilab Detector R&D group allocated funds to test initial ideas before applying for larger supports like the LDRD. While all Blue Sky ideas are considered, priorities are given for ideas aligned with the strategic directions of the lab in Pico Second Timing and Noble Element Based detectors, including light and charge collection. One page proposals to the Detector Advisory Group are due April 30. Eligible PIs have to be Fermilab employees. For…

Mexico City is a fantastic venue for a physicist gathering. Magnificent colonial buildings dating from the 1500s, impressive archeological sites, a thriving art scene, authentic Mexican cuisine and wonderful hosts made the Centro Histórico in the former capital of the Mexica Empire the perfect setting for the first Latin American Workshop on Software and Computing Challenges in High-Energy Particle Physics, held in November.

Test beams generally sit to the side of full-on accelerators, sipping beam and passing it to the reconfigurable spaces housing temporary experiments. Scientists bring pieces of their detectors — sensors, chips, electronics or other material — and blast them with the well-understood beam to see if things work how they expect, and if their software performs as expected. Before a detector component can head to its forever home, it has to pass the test.

The Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment is advancing technology commonly used in dark matter experiments—and scaling it up to record-breaking sizes.

The CMS experiment at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider is buzzing with activity. The first year of Run 2 is ending, and as we near the end of 2016, we have our work cut out for us.