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After three years: first particle collisions at unprecedented energies at LHC start 5th July
The ATLAS detector more powerful than ever – with major contributions from Mainz University
On 22 April, following the more than 36-month maintenance and revamping phase, protons were once more allowed to circulate in the 27-kilometer ring of the LHC – although initially at low energy. The power of the accelerator has been continuously ramped up over the past few weeks, resulting in tomorrow’s official launch of its physics program. Protons will then be collided at a total energy of 13.6 trillion electron volts (13.6 TeV) – in other words, 6.8 TeV per electron beam.
For Run 3, the LHC team has significantly improved the capability of the accelerator and taken it to the limits of its capacity. The LHC will not only be generating particle collisions at previously unseen levels of energy but there will also be unparalleled numbers of these collisions. The four detectors of the LHC also had to undergo extensive remodeling to ensure they can keep pace with this and be able to process and analyze the correspondingly massively increased flow of data. Among these is the ATLAS detector and physicists based in Mainz played a prominent part in its modification.
Large Hadron Collider restarts
Beams of protons are again circulating around the collider’s 27-kilometre ring, marking the end of a multiple-year hiatus for upgrade work
ATLAS Collaboration: Searching for new physics using asymmetric top-quark events
The ATLAS Collaboration is studying the subtle differences in the energies and directions of top and antitop quarks produced in the LHC.
IceCube analysis puts most general constraints on nonstandard neutrino interactions
Team of scientists of the PRISMA+ Cluster of Excellence lead on new publication
Neutrinos are sometimes called "ghost particles" because they so rarely interact with matter that they can travel through just about anything. However, while traveling through matter, they may be "slowed down", depending on the neutrino's type (or "flavor"), in what is known as a "matter effect".
In many BSM models, neutrinos have extra interactions with matter due to new and thus far unknown forces of nature. Different neutrino flavors might be affected to varying extents by these interactions, and the strength of the resulting matter effects depends on the density of matter the neutrinos are passing through. If researchers observe matter effects that can be explained as "nonstandard interactions" (NSI), it might point to new physics.
The IceCube Neutrino Observatory, an array of sensors embedded in the South Pole ice, was built to detect and study neutrinos from outer space. But in IceCube's center is a subset of more densely packed sensors called DeepCore; this region is sensitive to lower energy neutrinos formed in Earth's atmosphere that are potentially more strongly affected by nonstandard matter effects. In a paper published today in Physical Review D, the IceCube Collaboration discusses an analysis in which they examined three years of DeepCore data to see whether atmospheric neutrinos have extra interactions with matter. This analysis puts limits on all the parameters used to describe NSI, an improvement upon earlier analyses that were restricted to only the NSI regimes to which IceCube is most sensitive.
Topping-out ceremony for laboratory and office buildings at the future Center for Fundamental Physics (CFP)
Topping-out ceremony for laboratory and office buildings at the future Center for Fundamental Physics of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz
The state and federal government are investing around 75 million euros in a high-performance structural environment for cutting-edge research by the federally funded PRISMA + Cluster of Excellence in the field of particle and hadron physics, which deals, for example, with research into dark matter, the properties of which have so far only been inferred indirectly can be. The construction project is being managed by the Mainz branch of the State Office for Real Estate and Construction Management. The handover of the building to JGU is planned for summer 2023.
Prof Alfons Weber
I hold a joint professorship at the University of Mainz and Fermilab and am a visiting professor at the University of Oxford. My main research interest is in neutrino physics, but I am also active in developing electronics and novel detectors.
- My Erdös Number is at most 4. Thanks to Phil Rodrigues for pointing this out and providing the
- My Academic Family Tree can be found here.
I started my career in physics doing a diploma thesis in phenomenology, looking into novel way of detecting relict neutrinos from the big bang, or solar and accelerator neutrinos. After this more theoretical start at the RWTH-Aachen, I switched to experimental physics and did my Ph.D. and first post-doc at the L3 experiment at the LEP collider at CERN. I searched for new particles (but didn't find any) and made precision measurements of the W-boson mass.
I returned to neutrino, when I came to Oxford in 1999. I started to lead the Oxford MINOSgroup, who looks into the phenomenon of neutrino oscillations at Fermilab. We made a precision measurements using muon neutrinos from the NuMI beam line. More information can be found at the Fermilab MINOS page.
Later I joint the T2K experiment in Japan, which looks for electron neutrino appearance in a muon neutrino beam. We were awarded the Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics for the measurement of neutrino oscillations and even found the first indication that neutrinos and anti-neutrinos don't oscillate in the same way. This process may eventually hold the key to understand why there is more matter than anti-matter in the universe. We need a new generation of experiments to really unlock the secret of the neutrino.
The DUNE Experiment is exact this. This very long baseline neutrino oscillation experiment is located in a neutrino beam that goes from Fermilab for 1300 km to the Sanford Underground Research Facility (SURF). The DUNE far detector will consist of 70,000 tons of liquid argon and will have an unprecedented sensitivity to measure neutrino oscillation. Its main aim is not only to study the matter anti-matter asymmetry, but to look for neutrino from supernova explosions or for the decay of the proton. I was the UK PI of the project and also leading a team to design the near detector, which is an essential component of the experiment to study the neutrino beam composition and the details of the neutrino interactions. I am the chair of the Institute Board of the International DUNE Collaboration.
I have also developed a novel detector for neutrino and neutron detection. These activities lead to the creation of the SoLid experiment, which searches for sterile neutrinos at the research reactor BR2 in Mol, Belgium.
I was serving on the STFC Science Board that provides advice to STFC Council and the executive on all aspects of STFC's science and technology programme.
I was on the Executive Committee of the MINOS and NOvA Experiments and was the chair of the institutional board and a member of the Executive Committee of the LAGUNA-LBNO design study. I am now the chair of DUNE's Institute board.
I am a member of the LHCC advising the CERN management on the LHC experiments concentrating on CMS and the WLCG. I also serve on the HyperK PAC advicing the University of Tokio and KEK in Japan on the progress of the HyperK Experiment.
Common professorship appointment with Fermilab: Alfons Weber becoming member of ETAP
PRISMA+-research programme in neutrino physics further expanded
Solar CNO neutrinos observed for the first time
Characteristic neutrinos are evidence of the secondary fusion process that powers our sun
Surprising Signal in the XENON1T Dark Matter Experiment
Scientists of the PRISMA+ Cluster of Excellence of the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz significantly involved