News Article | April 17, 2017
Bernard Degrange, emeritus director of research at CNRS, has been awarded the 2016 André Lagarrigue Prize in acknowledgement of his exemplary career in experimental particle physics. Co-financed by the CNRS, the University Paris Sud, Linear Accelerator Laboratory (LAL), Eʹcole Polytechnique, CERN and CEA, with the support of the French Physical Society, the prize was created in 2005 in honour of André Lagarrigue. Director of LAL from 1969 to 1975, Lagarrigue played a leading role in the discovery of weak neutral currents in the Gargamelle bubble-chamber experiment at CERN, thus paving the way for electroweak theory. After completing his thesis in 1969, Degrange joined the Gargamelle collaboration where he contributed to the first measurement of the ratio of the neutrino and antineutrino cross-sections on nucleons and studied exclusive channels produced in neutral or charged-current interactions. In the early 1980s he moved into the study of cosmic rays and high-energy gamma-ray astronomy, helping to discover several “blazars” in the Crab Nebula with the CAT experiment. For the simultaneous observation of gamma and X-rays during the major bursts of these extragalactic sources, Degrange was awarded the silver medal of the CNRS in 1997. Anticipating the detection power of stereoscopy associated with fast high-granularity imagery, he made major contributions to the design and the results of the HESS experiment. The Czech Republic’s Academia Film Olomouc has decided to give its 2017 Award for Contribution to Science Communication to CERN, for its “long-lasting commitment not only to research in the edge of science but also to communication of its results and science in general to broader public”. The committee described CERN as a pioneer in developing new ways to communicate science via social media, film, traditional media and events such as CineGlobe. The award ceremony will take place on 29 April at Palacký University Interactive Science Centre in Olomouc. On 2 March, in collaboration with CERN and 20th Century Fox, the Pathé cinema in Geneva hosted an advance screening of the film Hidden Figures, followed by a debate on the position of women in science. The film tells the story of three African-American female scientists who played key roles in the US space conquest, contributing in particular to the preparations for putting astronaut John Glenn into orbit. After the film, Maite Barroso Lopez of CERN’s IT department, Stéphanie Beauceron and Anne-Marie Magnan from CMS, and Andry Rakotozafindrabe from ALICE shared their experiences of science careers with the audience in a debate. They answered questions about the alleged rivalry among women, about whether there is a link between CERN and NASA as pictured in the film, and about their mentors. The 2017 Rencontres de Moriond conference took place in La Thuile, Italy, from 18 March to 1 April, with around 270 participants attending the two-week-long event. The four main LHC experiments presented many fresh results, ranging from precise measurements of the Standard Model (SM) to searches for new physics, including the first obtained with the full 13 TeV data set collected during 2016. Numerous results from experiments outside CERN were also presented, especially in the neutrino field, and participants heard some of the latest developments in theory. Analyses of the Higgs boson presented by CMS included a precise new measurement of the Higgs mass. CMS also showed results from searches for associated Higgs-top production in final states with multiple leptons, which provides direct evidence for the existence of a top-quark Higgs coupling with a measured signal strength consistent with the SM. Both CMS and ATLAS showed new measurements of total and differential cross-sections of the Higgs boson decaying into four leptons or two photons, which agree with the SM. ATLAS also showed preliminary results from searches for the rare Higgs-boson decay to two muons, which are now approaching the sensitivity required to observe a signal. Concerning other SM particles, ATLAS presented its first measurement of the mass of the W boson with similar precision to the previous best result from a single experiment. The D0 and CDF collaborations at the former Tevatron collider, meanwhile, presented precise measurements of the top-quark mass. Among the highlights of searches for physics beyond the SM were new limits on supersymmetric particles from ATLAS, which now exclude models with particle masses above 2 TeV (see "ATLAS pushes SUSY beyond 2 TeV"). ATLAS also showed searches for new heavy particles decaying to jets of hadron particles, excluding non-elementary quarks with masses as large as 6 TeV. Both ATLAS and CMS are also looking for new heavy resonances decaying to a vector and a Higgs boson: ATLAS sees a 3.3 standard deviation local excess for a W´ → WH decay at masses around 3 TeV, whereas CMS sees a similar local excess but at a lower mass. Exotic searches from CMS using the full 2016 data sample place new limits on many scenarios including dark matter, new types of quarks, vector bosons and gravitons. No significant deviations from SM predictions have been observed so far by CMS and ATLAS. Results of searches for bottonium states at the Belle experiment and charmonium-like states at BESIII were also shown. In particular, the analysis of the Y(4260) appears to be inconsistent with a single peak at more than seven standard deviations. The heavy-flavour field also saw several new results presented by LHCb. Besides an update of the measurement of the rarest decay of a particle containing a b quark ever observed, and the recent observation of a new system of five particles all in a single analysis, LHCb presented the most precise single measurement of the CP-violating phase φ . The LHCb collaboration is also putting in place new analyses to shed light on two flavour anomalies: R(D*) and R(K), which remain around three standard deviations away from their SM values. A measurement of the angular coefficient P ´ in the flavour-changing neutral current decay of B mesons was also presented by ATLAS, CMS and Belle, and was found to be compatible with previous LHCb results. In the dedicated heavy-ion session, ALICE showed recent results from large samples of proton–proton, lead–lead, and proton–lead collisions collected in 2015 and 2016. One of the new results, concerning the azimuthal asymmetry of the production of J/ψ mesons, shows that heavy quarks directly “feel” the shape and size of the asymmetric quark–gluon plasma produced in the interaction region. With LHC Run 2 about to get under way with a similar integrated-luminosity target as achieved in 2016, the search for new physics is in full swing at CERN and elsewhere. The 8th High-Energy Physics (HEP) Madagascar International Conference (HEPMAD 2016) was held in Antananarivo, Madagascar, from 13 to 18 October. It was the event’s 15th anniversary and some 50 participants – including 15 invited high-energy physicists from abroad – were present. It is the only conference series in high-energy physics and indeed across all science held in sub-Saharan countries, and aims to be both pedagogical and topical, reviewing the latest experimental and theoretical results in high-energy physics. Recent results from the LHC, including precision tests of the Standard Model, Higgs properties and searches for new physics, were presented by ATLAS and CMS. Theory talks, meanwhile, covered topics including the status of the muon anomalous magnetic moment and determinations of the masses and couplings of charmonium and bottomium states using QCD spectral sum rule. The high-energy physics talks were complemented by national contributions about climate science and sustainable technologies for energy. The next HEPMAD event will take place in Antananarivo on 21–27 September 2017. In the digital era, where we are surrounded by ever more technological innovations, it is interesting to reflect on the enormous progress that modern physics has made following the quantum-mechanics revolution 90 years ago. The story began in 1900, with Max Planck’s suggestion that light is quantised, which Albert Einstein was the first to fully comprehend and exploit. Then, in the mid 1920s, a revolution in physics took place: quantum mechanics was formulated by Werner Heisenberg, Erwin Schrödinger, Paul Dirac and a handful of other young geniuses under the supervision of Niels Bohr and with Einstein as a critical voice. At the famous Fifth Solvay Conference in 1927, where 17 of the participants either already were or were to be Nobel laureates, much of the basic elements of quantum mechanics were ready and discussed. Never in the history of physics has so much been achieved by so few in such a short time. To commemorate the beginning of this revolution and its impact on the modern world, a special conference titled 90 Years of Quantum Mechanics was held at the Institute of Advanced Study at Nanyang University in Singapore on 23–26 January. The event gathered leading experts in the foundations of quantum mechanics, quantum cosmology, quantum gravity, quantum field theory, quantum condensed matter, quantum optics, quantum information and technology, and quantum chemistry. Altogether there were 30 talks, with six speakers being Nobel laureates. Some 300 participants attended from all over the world, with a strong emphasis on South East Asia and China. The Standard Model of particle physics has proved to be a consistent description of natureʼs fundamental constituents and their interactions, and its predictions have been confirmed by numerous experiments, most recently with the discovery of the Higgs boson at the LHC. However, the model fails to explain several phenomena in particle physics, astrophysics and cosmology, and it is expected that yet unknown particles or interactions are needed to explain these puzzles. Our inability to observe new particles possibly lies in their extremely feeble interactions. If true, this would imply that experiments are needed not just at the high-energy frontier but also at the “intensity frontier”, by increasing the number of collisions to search for rare events. In 2016, CERN created a Physics Beyond Colliders study group with a mandate to explore opportunities offered by the CERN accelerator complex to address outstanding questions in particle physics through projects complementary to high-energy colliders (CERN Courier November 2016 p28). A two-week-long “theory institute” took place at CERN from 20 February to 3 March to discuss the theory and phenomenology of possible new physics at low energy scales. More than 100 participants from 21 countries discussed the theoretical landscape, predicting new light particles and “dark forces”. The potential for the new physics reach of existing and planned intensity-frontier experiments – SHiP, NA62, DUNE, MATHUSLA and many others – was discussed. These future experiments are at different stages today, ranging from the preparation of a comprehensive design report (SHiP) to a letter of intent (MATHUSLA). The time is therefore ripe to ensure that any necessary changes to the experiment designs can still be made to the physics reach of intensity-frontier experiments. The annual Compact Linear Collider (CLIC) workshop took place at CERN on 6–10 March, attracting 220 collaborators from 26 countries to discuss the latest status of the CLIC accelerator and detector studies. CLIC is a future multi-TeV electron–positron linear collider at CERN envisaged for the era beyond the High-Luminosity LHC (HL-LHC). First beams in CLIC could be foreseen in 2035 and be the starting point of a 20–25 year-long physics programme. During the workshop particular focus was placed on the recently published updated staging scenario for the CLIC accelerator, where construction and operation are pursued in three stages with collision energies of 0.38, 1.5 and 3 TeV, respectively (CERN Courier November 2016 p20). At its initial energy, CLIC is optimised for Higgs and top measurements and enables a scan at the top-quark pair-production threshold, while the higher-energy stages provide the best sensitivity to new physics through direct and indirect searches. High-energy operation also provides access to rare processes such as double Higgs production, which is sensitive to the important Higgs self-coupling. CLIC week 2017 hosted a variety of sessions with 150 speakers, covering the activities of both the accelerator and detector-and-physics studies. The workshop also included meetings among the CLIC accelerator institutes and the detector-and-physics institutes. In both meetings the focus was on the steps necessary to submit a project-implementation plan in time for the European Strategy update in 2019–2020. Particular priority is given to the studies where cost and power can be reduced, presenting the initial CLIC project and further upgrades as a realistic option that is compatible with the level of resources available at CERN. Another highlight was the summary of the successful demonstration of key CLIC concepts obtained by the recently completed CTF3 test programme at CERN. Part of the CFT3 facility has now been approved for conversion into an electron accelerator facility called CLEAR (CERN Linear Electron Accelerator for Research), providing an open user facility for accelerator R&D, irradiation and training. The future CLEAR programme will include CLIC high-gradient and instrumentation studies. The successful operation of high-gradient accelerating structures and experience with advanced beam-dynamics techniques, developed for the small dimensions of these structures, have inspired a growing number of applications outside of particle physics. Applications of high-gradient and X-band technology include compact linacs and advanced diagnostics for photon sources, as well as medical applications. Many of the technologies under study for the CLIC detector are also of interest to the HL-LHC, where the high granularity and time-resolution needed for CLIC are equally crucial. Other communities also benefit: for example, software reconstruction techniques developed for particle flow at linear colliders have been applied to current and next-generation neutrino experiments. For many years the biennial Russian conference on accelerator physics and technology, RuPAC, was viewed by the international accelerator community as an internal event for representatives of the Soviet accelerator school. Although representatives of the latter have actively been working in accelerator centres around the world since the beginning of perestroika in the late 1980s, it is indeed rare to see a foreign specialist invited to a prominent position in Russia. But that situation is changing, and RuPAC16 held at St Petersburg State University (SPbSU) in November last year saw the worldʼs largest accelerator projects represented and more than 60 reports by participants from outside Russia. For the first time, the event also provided simultaneous translation from Russian to English. Today, RuPAC has become an excellent platform for information exchange between researchers working in accelerator science and technology and related issues. More than 40 reports from SPbSU students were presented at RuPAC16, and the geographical reach of the event extended to 260 participants from 67 institutions in 13 countries. In addition to traditional participants Ukraine, Belarus and Armenia, the event was attended by experts from China, South Africa, UK, Germany, Italy, Canada, US, Japan, Poland, Sweden and Switzerland. CERN’s High-Luminosity LHC and Future Circular Collider projects were presented, and several other reports were devoted to mutual research between Russian and European scientists. A particular focus was the FAIR-NICA collaboration concerning production and testing of superconducting accelerator magnets. Two new facilities have been commissioned at the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research (JINR) in Dubna for the international FAIR and NICA projects in Germany and Russia, respectively. The first is a high-tech assembly and testing hall for superconducting magnets, while the second is a heavy-ion linear accelerator that accelerates ions up to Au31+ to an energy of 3.2 MeV per nucleon. Status reports from all accelerator facilities of JINR were presented, as were activities at other major accelerator centres. The National Research Centre Kurchatov Institute carries out a broad range of activities, among them the development of a synchrotron radiation source and operation of the U-70 facility, Russiaʼs largest accelerator complex, with its new facility for carbon-beam medical applications and plans to attain high-power neutron fluxes. Important work also continues at the Institute for Nuclear Research of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the Budker Institute of Nuclear Physics (BINP). The latter facility has established itself as a manufacturer and supplier of high-tech accelerator facilities to the international market, such as electronic cooling systems, electron accelerators for industrial applications, components and synchrotron systems, magnetic systems and power systems, for example for the European X-FEL. BINP is also actively involved in the construction of FAIR and NICA, while continuing to develop domestic projects including a free electron laser, two electron–positron colliders (VEPP 2000 and VEPP4M) and facilities for radioisotope analysis. The conference concluded with a satellite meeting devoted to NICA, for which most Russian accelerator centres are already involved in manufacturing elements. Backed by the Russian government since 2016, NICA is a major factor driving current trends in the country’s accelerator science and technology. The success of this project will influence government support of other accelerator projects, such as the super C-tau factory project at BINP. Although Russia has a highly developed scientific infrastructure and potential to design complex accelerator facilities, the corresponding market is underestimated. Applied research projects such as medical beams for Russia’s first proton-therapy facility, along with the Russian “mega-science” projects, are thus a vital factor for accelerating Russian industry. As is clear, such projects are reinforcing the international outlook of Russian accelerator science and technology. The next RuPAC event will be held in autumn 2018. Marianne Thyssen, MEP and European commissioner for employment, social affairs, skills and labour mobility, toured CERN on 10 March, during which she visited CMS, ISOLDE and the new MEDICIS facility. She is pictured signing the guestbook with CERN Director-General Fabiola Gianotti. Enrique Cabrero Mandoza, director-general of CONACYT in Mexico, visited CERN on 23 March, immediately following the 9th CERN–Latin American School held in San Juan del Rio. He visited the ALICE experiment and the LHC tunnel before signing the guestbook with CERN’s head of relations with associate members and non-Member States, Emmanuel Tsesmelis, and director of international relations Charlotte Warakaulle. UK minister of state for universities, science, research and innovation Jo Johnson (top) came to CERN on 29 March, during which he visited the underground area at CMS. Two days later, chief scientific adviser to the UK government Mark Walport (bottom) also visited CERN, taking in the computing centre, ATLAS and the Antiproton Decelerator.
News Article | November 30, 2016
Flash Physics is our daily pick of the latest need-to-know developments from the global physics community selected by Physics World's team of editors and reporters Radioactive waste from nuclear reactors could be used to create tiny diamonds that produce small amounts of electricity for thousands of years. That is the claim at the heart of a proposal from researchers at the University of Bristol in the UK, who say they have a practical way of dealing with some of the nearly 95,000 tonnes of radioactive graphite that was used as a moderator in the UK's nuclear reactors. The idea is to make the waste less radioactive by removing radioactive carbon-14 nuclei, which are concentrated on the surface of the graphite. The isotope would then be integrated into artificial diamonds. Carbon-14 has a half-life of about 5700 years and decays to non-radioactive nitrogen-14 by emitting a high-energy electron. It turns out that diamond is very good at turning the energy released in the decay into an electrical current – essentially creating a battery that will last for thousands of years. Embedding carbon-14 in diamond is a safe option, say the researchers, because diamond is hard and non-reactive, so it is unlikely that the radioactive carbon will leak into the environment. And because nearly all of the decay energy is deposited within the diamond, the radiation emitted by such a battery would be about the same as that emitted by a banana. The team reckons that a diamond battery containing about 1 g of carbon-14 would deliver about 15 joules per day. A standard 20 g AA battery could sustain this power for about 2.5 years, whereas the diamond battery would last hundreds of years without a significant drop in output. "We envision these batteries to be used in situations where it is not feasible to charge or replace conventional batteries," says Bristol's Tom Scott. "Obvious applications would be in low-power electrical devices where long life of the energy source is needed, such as pacemakers, satellites, high-altitude drones or even spacecraft." The team has already shown that the device could work by placing a non-radioactive diamond next to nickel-63, which emits high-energy electrons. The Indian particle physicist and cosmic-ray expert M G K Menon has died at the age of 88. Menon was educated at Jaswant College, Jodhpur, and the Royal Institute of Science in Bombay (now Mumbai), before moving to the University of Bristol in 1953, where he did a PhD in particle physics under the supervision of Nobel laureate Cecil Powell. Two years later, he joined the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research in Bombay, researching cosmic rays before becoming the institute's director from 1966 to 1975. Later in his career, Menon was appointed to a number of notable policy positions. He became a member of India's Planning Commission from 1982 to 1989 and was science advisor to Indian prime minister Rajiv Gandhi from 1986 to 1989. In 1989 he became minister of state for science and technology and education, and a year later was elected as a member of parliament. The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) has officially named four new elements: 113, 115, 117 and 118. Element 113 was discovered at the RIKEN Nishina Center for Accelerator-Based Science in Japan and will be called nihonium (Nh). Nihon is a transliteration of "land of the rising sun", which is a Japanese name for Japan. Moscovium (Mc) is the new moniker for element 115 and was discovered at the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research (JINR) in Moscow. Element 117 will be called tennessine (Ts) after the US state of Tennessee, which is home to the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, while element 118 will be named oganesson after the Russian physicist Yuri Oganessian, who led the team at JINR that discovered the element. "The names of the new elements reflect the realities of our present time," says IUPAC president Natalia Tarasova. She adds that the names reflect the "universality of science, honouring places from three continents where the elements have been discovered – Japan, Russia, the US – and the pivotal role of human capital in the development of science, honouring an outstanding scientist – Yuri Oganessian". The names were proposed in June and then underwent a five-month consultation period before they were approved by the IUPAC Bureau on Monday.
News Article | November 30, 2016
OAK RIDGE, Tenn., Nov. 30, 2016 -- The recently discovered element 117 has been officially named "tennessine" in recognition of Tennessee's contributions to its discovery, including the efforts of the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory and its Tennessee collaborators at Vanderbilt University and the University of Tennessee. "The presence of tennessine on the Periodic Table is an affirmation of our state's standing in the international scientific community, including the facilities ORNL provides to that community as well as the knowledge and expertise of the laboratory's scientists and technicians," ORNL Director Thom Mason said. "The historic discovery of tennessine is emblematic of the contributions Tennessee institutions like Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the University of Tennessee and Vanderbilt University make toward a better world," Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam said. "On behalf of all Tennesseans we thank this world body for honoring our state this way." The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC)--which validates the existence of newly discovered elements and approves their official names--gave its final approval to the name "tennessine" following a year-long process that began Dec. 30, 2015, when IUPAC and the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics announced verification of the existence of the superheavy element 117, more than five years after scientists first reported its discovery in April 2010. ORNL had several roles in the discovery, the most prominent being production of the radioisotope berkelium-249 for the search. The berkelium-249 used in the initial discovery and subsequent confirmatory experiments for element 117 was produced by ORNL and the Department of Energy's Isotope Program, and was provided as a U.S. contribution to those experiments. Superheavy elements, which do not occur naturally, are synthesized by exposing a radioisotope target to a beam of another specific isotope. In theory, the nuclei will in rare cases combine into a "superheavy" and heretofore unknown element. In tennessine's case, the atomic recipe for element 117 required the berkelium-249 target, which was available only from ORNL's High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR), which produces radioisotopes for industry and medicine in addition to its neutron scattering research mission, and the adjoining Radiochemical Engineering Development Center (REDC), where the radioisotopes are processed. Over a year-long campaign, ORNL produced and then shipped the 22 milligrams of berkeleium-249 to Russia, where the experiment that would yield element 117 was carried out with a heavy-ion cyclotron at Russia's Joint Institute for Nuclear Research (JINR) in Dubna. After six months of relentless bombardment with a calcium-48 beam, researchers had detected six atoms in which the nuclei of the calcium and berkelium had fused to create element 117. Subsequent experiments confirmed the results. "The discovery of tennessine is an example of the potential that can be realized when nations come together to lend their unique capabilities toward a scientific vision," said ORNL's Jim Roberto, who helped put together the element 117 U.S.-Russia collaboration with JINR's Yuri Oganessian. Beyond producing the necessary radioisotope, ORNL has a long history in nuclear physics research that enabled the laboratory to contribute knowledge from researchers experienced in nuclear physics and international collaboration and tools in the form of detectors, instruments and electronics. The lab also has a history of partnership in physics research with Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn., which initiated discussions that led to the historic collaboration, and the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, which participated in experiments that confirmed the discovery. DOE's Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California rounded out the element 117 team. Livermore has an accomplished record in superheavy element research and is the namesake of livermorium (element 116). The specific spelling of tennessine was chosen because the new element is classified as a halogen, a type of element that by convention ends in the suffix "-ine." Halogens include elements such as chlorine and fluorine. Tennessine's symbol on the Periodic Table will be Ts. Discoveries of new elements at ORNL began with the Manhattan Project. During World War II, researchers at ORNL's Graphite Reactor discovered promethium--element 61 on the Periodic Table. Because of the secrecy that enveloped the project to develop the first nuclear weapons, the discovery wasn't reported until after the war, in 1947. In addition to tennessine (element 117), ORNL-produced isotopes via the DOE Isotope Program have been used in the discoveries of superheavy elements 114, 115 and 118 through international collaborations. The discovery of superheavy elements, which typically exist for only fractions of seconds, is driven by a quest for the long-predicted "island of stability," in which new elements beyond the existing Periodic Table may survive for exceptionally long periods of time, opening up new and useful vistas of physics and chemistry. This research was supported by the DOE Office of Science. The High Flux Isotope Reactor is a DOE Office of Science User Facility. UT-Battelle manages ORNL for the Department of Energy's Office of Science. The Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit http://science. . Cutline: The new element tennessine is denoted by the symbol Ts on the Periodic Table. NOTE TO EDITORS: You may read other press releases from Oak Ridge National Laboratory or learn more about the lab at http://www. . 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News Article | February 15, 2017
Shinichiro Michizono from KEK has been appointed as associate director for the International Linear Collider (ILC), taking over from Mike Harrison, while Jim Brau of the University of Oregon has replaced Hitoshi Yamamoto as associate director for physics and detectors. The Linear Collider collaboration, which encompasses the ILC and CLIC, has recently been granted a further three-year mandate by the International Committee for Future Accelerators. The council of the European Southern Observatory (ESO), which builds and operates some of the world’s most powerful ground-based telescopes, has appointed Xavier Barcons as its next director general. The 57 year-old astronomer will take up his new position on 1 September 2017, when the current director general Tim de Zeeuw completes his mandate. He began his career as a physicist, completing a PhD on hot plasmas. In October 2016, Jianwei Qiu joined the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility as its new associate director for theoretical and computational physics. Qiu, whose research focus is QCD and its applications in both high-energy particle and nuclear physics, will oversee a broad programme of theoretical research in support of the physics studied with the Continuous Electron Beam Accelerator Facility (CEBAF). Rende Steerenberg has been appointed head of operations in CERN’s Beams Department, effective from 1 January 2017. He takes over from Mike Lamont, who has been in the role since 2009 and oversaw operations from the LHC’s rollercoaster start-up to its latest record performance. Lamont remains deputy group leader of the Beams Department. Former CERN Director-General Rolf-Dieter Heuer has been appointed Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur (Knight of the Legion of Honour), one of the highest recognitions of achievement in France. Heuer, who is currently president of the German Physical Society (DPG) and president-elect of the SESAME Council, among other roles, was presented with the medal on 22 November at the residence of the French permanent representative in Geneva. The 2017 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics has been awarded to Joseph Polchinski, University of California at Santa Barbara, and Andrew Strominger and Cumrun Vafa of Harvard University. The three winners, who received the $3 million award at a glitzy ceremony in San Francisco on 4 December, have made important contributions to fundamental physics including quantum gravity and string theory. Polchinski was recognised in particular for his discovery of D-branes, while the citation for Strominger and Vafa included their derivation of the Bekenstein–Hawking area-entropy relation, which unified the laws of thermodynamics and black-hole dynamics. Recipients of the previously announced Special Prize in Fundamental Physics – Ronald Drever and Kip Thorne of Caltech and Rainer Weiss of MIT, who were recognised in May along with the entire LIGO team for the discovery of gravitational waves – were also present. A further prize, the $100,000 New Horizons in Physics Prize, went to six early-career physicists: Asimina Arvanitaki (Perimeter Institute), Peter Graham (Stanford University) and Surjeet Rajendran (University of California, Berkeley); Simone Giombi (Princeton University) and Xi Yin (Harvard University); and Frans Pretorius (Princeton). This year’s Breakthrough Prize, which was founded in 2012 by Sergey Brin, Anne Wojcicki, Yuri and Julia Milner, Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan, saw $25 million in prizes awarded for achievements in the life sciences, fundamental physics and mathematics. On 30 November, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in Bonn, Germany, granted a Humboldt Research Award to Raju Venugopalan, a senior physicist at Brookhaven National Laboratory and Stony Brook University. The €60,000 award recognises Venugopalan’s achievements in theoretical nuclear physics, and comes with the opportunity to collaborate with German researchers at Heidelberg University and elsewhere. US physicist and science policy adviser to the US government, Richard Garwin, was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom at a White House ceremony on 22 November. The award is the highest honour that the US government can confer to civilians. Garwin was recognised for his long career in research and invention, which saw him play a leading role in the development of the hydrogen bomb, and for his advice to policy makers. Introducing Garwin, President Obama remarked: “Dick’s not only an architect of the atomic age. Reconnaissance satellites, the MRI, GPS technology, the touchscreen all bear his fingerprints – he even patented a mussel washer for shellfish. Dick has advised nearly every president since Eisenhower, often rather bluntly. Enrico Fermi, also a pretty smart guy, is said to have called Dick the only true genius he ever met.” Fumihiko Suekane of Tohoku University, Japan, has been awarded a 2016 Blaise Pascal Chair to further his research into neutrinos. Established in 1996, and named after the 17th-century French polymath Blaise Pascal, the €200,000 grant allows researchers from abroad to work on a scientific project in an institution in the Ile-de-France region. Suekane will spend a year working at the Astroparticle and Cosmology Laboratory in Paris, where he will focus on R&D for novel neutrino detectors and measurements of reactor neutrinos. In late 2016, theorists Mikhail Danilov, from the Lebedev Institute in Moscow, Sergio Ferrara from CERN and David Gross from the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics and the University of California in Santa Barbara were elected as members of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Established in 1724, the body has more than 2000 members. President of the Republic of Poland, Andrzej Duda, visited CERN on 15 November and toured the CERN Control Centre. Chi-Chang Kao, signed the guestbook with CERN Director-General Fabiola Gianotti on 23 November. From 28 November to 2 December, more than 200 flavour physicists gathered at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research in Mumbai for the 9th International Workshop on the Cabibbo–Kobayashi–Maskawa Unitarity Triangle (CKM2016). The workshop focuses on weak transitions of quarks from one flavour to another, as described by the CKM matrix, and on the charge–parity (CP) violation present in these transitions, as visualised by the unitarity triangle (UT). Input from theory, particularly lattice QCD, is vital to fully leverage the power of such measurements. It is an exciting time for flavour physics. The mass scales potentially involved in such weak processes are much higher than those that can be directly probed at the LHC, due to the presence of quantum loops that mediate many of the processes of interest, such as B0 – B0 mixing. Compared with the absence of new particles so far at the energy frontier, LHCb and other B factories already have significant hints of deviations between measurements and Standard Model (SM) predictions. An example is the persistent discrepancy in the measured differential distributions of the decay products of the rare flavour-changing neutral-current process B0 → K*0 μ+ μ–, first reported by the LHCb collaboration in 2015. A highlight of CKM2016 was the presentation of first results of the same distributions from the Belle experiment in Japan, which also included the related but previously unmeasured process B0 → K*0 e+ e–. The Belle results are more compatible with those of LHCb than the SM, further supporting the idea that new physics may be manifesting itself, via interference effects, in these observables. Progress on measuring CP violation in B decays was also reported, with LHCb presenting the first evidence for time-dependent CP violation in the decay of B0 mesons in two separate final states, D+ K– and K+ K–. The latter involves loop diagrams allowing a new-physics-sensitive determination of a UT angle (γ) that can be compared to a tree-level SM determination in the decay B– → D0 K–. For the first time, LHCb also presented results with data from LHC Run 2, which is ultimately expected to increase the size of the LHCb data samples by approximately a factor four. Longer term, the Belle II experiment based at the SuperKEKB collider recently enjoyed its first beam, and will begin its full physics programme in 2018. By 2024, Belle II should have collected 50 times more data than Belle, allowing unprecedented tests of rare B-meson decays and precision CP-violation measurements. On the same timescale, the LHCb upgrade will also be in full swing, with the goal of increasing the data size by least a factor 10 compared to Run 1 and Run 2. Plans for a second LHCb upgrade presented at the meeting would allow LHCb, given the long-term future of the LHC, to run at much higher instantaneous luminosities to yield an enormous data set by 2035. With more data the puzzles of flavour physics will be resolved thanks to the ongoing programme of LHCb, imminent results from rare-kaon-decay experiments (KOTO and NA62), and the Belle II/LHCb upgrade projects. No doubt there will be more revealing results by the time of the next CKM workshop, to be held in Heidelberg in September 2018. While there are many conferences focusing on physics at the high-energy frontier, the triennial PSI workshop at the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI) in Switzerland concerns searches for new phenomena at non-collider experiments. These are complementary to direct searches at the LHC and often cover a parameter space that is beyond the reach of the LHC or even future colliders. The fourth workshop in this series, PSI2016, took place from 16–21 October and attracted more than 170 physicists. Theoretical overviews covered: precision QED calculations; beyond-the-Standard-Model implications of electric-dipole-moment (EDM) searches; axions and other light exotic particles; flavour symmetries; the muon g-2 problem; NLO calculations of the rare muon decay μ → eeeνν; and possible models to explain the exciting flavour anomalies presently seen in B decays. On the experimental side, several new results were presented. Fundamental neutron physics featured prominently, ranging from cold-neutron-beam experiments to those with stored ultracold neutrons at facilities such as ILL, PSI, LANL, TRIUMF and Mainz. Key experiments are measurements of the neutron lifetime, searches for a permanent EDM, measurements of beta-decay correlations and searches for exotic interactions. The future European Spallation Source in Sweden will also allow a new and much improved search for neutron–antineutron oscillations. Atomic physics and related methods offer unprecedented sensitivity to fundamental-physics aspects ranging from QED tests, parity violation in weak interactions, EDM and exotic physics to dark-matter (DM) and dark-energy searches. With the absence of signals from direct DM searches so far, light and ultralight DM is a focus of several upcoming experiments. Atomic physics also comprises precision spectroscopy of exotic atoms, and several highlight talks included the ongoing efforts at CERN’s Antiproton Decelerator with antihydrogen and with light muonic atoms at J-PARC and at PSI. For antiprotons and nuclei, impressive results from recent Penning-trap mass and g-factor measurements were presented with impacts on CPT tests, bound-state QED tests and more. Major international efforts are under way at PSI (μ → eγ, μ → eee), FNAL and J-PARC (μ → e conversion) devoted to muons and their lepton-flavour violating decays, and the upcoming muon g-2 experiments at FNAL and J-PARC have reported impressive progress. Last but not least, rare kaon decays (at CERN and J-PARC), new long-baseline neutrino oscillation results, developments towards direct neutrino-mass measurements, and CP and CPT tests with B mesons were reported. The field of low-energy precision physics has grown fast over the past few years, and participants plan to meet again at PSI in 2019. The fields of nanomaterials and nanotechnology are quickly evolving, with discoveries frequently reported across a wide range of applications including nanoelectronics, sensor technologies, drug delivery and robotics, in addition to the energy and healthcare sectors. At an academia–industry event on 20–21 October at GSI in Darmstadt, Germany, co-organised by the technology-transfer network HEPTech, delegates explored novel connections between nanotechnology and high-energy physics (HEP). The forum included an overview of the recent experiments at DESY’s hard X-ray source PETRA III, which allows the investigation of physical and chemical processes in situ and under working conditions and serves a large user community in many fields including nanotechnology. Thermal-scanning probe lithography, an increasingly reliable method for rapid and low-cost prototyping of 2D and quasi-3D structures, was also discussed. Much attention was paid to the production and application of nanostructures, where the achievements of the Ion Beam Center at Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf in surface nanostructuring and nanopatterning were introduced. UK firm Hardide Coatings Ltd presented its advanced surface-coating technology, the core of which are nano-structured tungsten-carbide-based coatings that have promising applications in HEP and vacuum engineering. Industry also presented ion-track technology, which is being used to synthesise 3D interconnected nanowire networks in micro-batteries or gas sensors, among other applications. Neutron-research infrastructures and large-scale synchrotrons are emerging as highly suitable platforms for the advanced characterisation of micro- and nano-electronic devices, and the audience heard the latest developments from the IRT Nanoelec Platform for Advanced Characterisation of Grenoble. The meeting addressed how collaboration between academia and industry in the nanotechnology arena can best serve the needs of HEP, with CERN presenting applications in gaseous detectors using the charge-transfer properties of graphene. The technology-transfer office at DESY also shared its experience in developing a marketing strategy for promoting the services of the DESY NanoLab to companies. Both academia and industry representatives left the event with a set of contacts and collaboration arrangements. On 24–25 November, academics and leading companies in the field of superconductivity met in Madrid, Spain, to explore the technical challenges of applying new accelerator technology to medicine. Organised by CIEMAT in collaboration with HEPTech, EUCARD2, CDTI, GSI and the Enterprise Europe Network, the event brought together 120 participants from 19 countries to focus on radioisotope production, particle therapy and gantries. Superconductivity has a range of applications in energy, medicine, fusion and high-energy physics (HEP). The latter are illustrated by CERN’s high-luminosity LHC (HL-LHC), now near construction with superconducting magnets made from advanced Nb Sn technology capable of 12 T fields. The HL-LHC demands greatly advanced superconducting cavities with more efficient and higher-gradient RF systems, plus the development of new devices such as crab cavities that can deflect or rotate single bunches of protons. On the industry side, new superconducting technology is ready to go into production for medical applications. A dedicated session presented novel developments in cyclotron production, illustrated by the AMIT project of CIEMAT (based on a cyclotron with a compact superconducting design that will be able to produce low-to-moderate rates of dose-on-demand 11C and 18F) and the French industry–academia LOTUS project system, which features a compact 12 MeV superconducting helium-free magnet cyclotron suitable for the production of these isotopes in addition to 68Ga. Antaya Science and Technology, meanwhile, reported on the development of a portable high-field superconducting cyclotron for the production of ammonia-13N in near proximity to the PET cameras. The meeting also heard from MEDICIS, the new facility under construction at CERN that will extend the capabilities of the ISOLDE radioactive ion-beam facility for production of radiopharmaceuticals and develop new accelerator technologies for medical applications (CERN Courier October 2016 p28). Concerning particle therapy, industry presented medical accelerators such as the MEVION S250 – a proton-therapy system based on a gantry-mounted 250 MeV superconducting synchrocyclotron that weighs less than 15 tonnes and generates magnetic fields in excess of 10 T. Global medical-technology company IBA described its two main superconducting cyclotrons for particle therapy: the Cyclone 400 for proton/carbon therapy and the S2C2 dedicated to proton therapy, with a particular emphasis on their superconducting coil systems. IBA also introduced the latest developments concerning ProteusONE – a single-room system that delivers the most clinically advanced form of proton-radiation therapy. Researchers from MIT in the US presented a novel compact superconducting synchrocyclotron based on an ironless magnet with a much reduced weight, while the TERA Foundation in Italy is developing superconducting technology for “cyclinacs” – accelerators that combine a cyclotron injector and a linac booster. Finally, the session on gantries covered developments such as a superconducting bending-magnet section for future compact isocentric gantries by researchers at the Paul Scherrer Institute, and a superconducting rotating gantry for carbon radiotherapy designed by the Japanese National Institute of Radiological Sciences. With demand for medical isotopes and advanced cancer therapy rising, we can look forward to rich collaborations between accelerator physics and the medical community in the coming years. The fifth in the series of Higgs Couplings workshops, which began just after the Higgs-boson discovery in 2012 to bring together theorists and experimentalists, was held at SLAC on 9–12 November and drew 148 participants from five continents. Discussions focused on lessons from the current round of LHC analyses that could be applied to future data. Modelling of signal and background is already limiting for some measurements, and new theoretical results and strategies were presented. Other key issues were the use of vector-boson fusion production as a tool, and the power and complementarity of diverse searches for heavy Higgs bosons. Two new themes emerged at the meeting. The first was the possibility of exotic decays of the 125 GeV Higgs boson. These include not only Higgs decays to invisible particles but also decays to lighter Higgs particles, light quarks and leptons (possibly with flavour violation) and new, long-lived particles. A number of searches from ATLAS and CMS reported their first results. The workshop also debated the application of effective field theory as a framework for parametrising precise Higgs measurements. The 6th Higgs Couplings meeting will be held in Heidelberg on 6–10 November 2017. We look forward to new ideas for the creative use of the large data samples of Higgs bosons that will become available as the LHC programme continues. The 8th International Conference on Hard and Electromagnetic Probes of High-energy Nuclear Collisions (Hard Probes 2016) was held in Wuhan, China, on 23–27 September. Hard and electromagnetic probes are powerful tools for the study of the novel properties of hot and dense QCD matter created in high-energy nucleus–nucleus collisions, and have provided much important evidence for the formation of quark–gluon plasma (QGP) in heavy-ion collisions at RHIC and the LHC. Hard Probe 2016 attracted close to 300 participants from 28 countries. The main topics discussed were: jet production and modification in QCD matter; high transverse-momentum hadron spectra and correlations; jet-induced medium excitations; jet properties in small systems; heavy flavour hadrons and quarkonia; photons and dileptons and initial states and related topics. The most recent experimental progress on hard and electromagnetic probes from the ALICE, ATLAS, CMS, LHCb, PHENIX and STAR collaborations, together with many new exciting theoretical and phenomenological developments, were discussed. The next Hard Probe conference will be held in Aix Les Bains, France, in 2018. The International Symposium on EXOtic Nuclei (EXON-2016), took place from 5–9 September in Kazan, Russia, attracting around 170 nuclear experts from 20 countries. The scientific programme focused on recent experiments on the synthesis and study of new super-heavy elements, the discovery of which demonstrates the efficiency of international co-operation. Interesting results were obtained in joint experiments on chemical identification of elements 112 and 114 performed at JINR (Russia), the GSI (Germany) and the Paul Scherrer Institute (Switzerland). A vivid example of co-operation with US scientists is an experiment on the synthesis of element 117 held at the cyclotron of JINR. Recently, the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry approved the discovery of the new elements with atomic numbers 113 (“nihonian”), 115 (“moscovium”), 117 (“tennessine”) and 118 (“oganesson”). Five laboratories, which are the co-founders of the symposium, are now creating a new generation of accelerators for the synthesis and study of new exotic nuclei. Projects such as SPIRAL2, RIKEN RI Beam Factory, FAIR, DRIBs, NICA and FRIB will allow us to delve further into the upper limits of the periodic table. The CERN Accelerator School (CAS) and the Wigner Research Centre for Physics jointly organised an introduction-to-accelerator-physics course in Budapest, Hungary, from 2–14 October, attended by more than 120 participants spanning 28 nationalities. This year, CAS will organise a specialised course on beam injection, extraction and transfer (to be held in Erice, Sicily, from 10–19 March) and a second specialised course on vacuum for particle accelerators (near Lund, Sweden, from 6–16 June). The next course on advanced-accelerator physics will be held in the UK in early September, and a Joint International Accelerator School on RF technology will be held in Hayama, Japan, from 16–26 October (www.cern.ch/schools/CAS).
News Article | February 15, 2017
Ovsat Abdinov, member of the Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences (ANAS), died on 29 October at the age of 72, after a long illness. He was born in Belokan city, Azerbaijan, graduated from Baku State University in 1966, and defended his PhD thesis in 1972. It is impossible to overstate the impact that Abdinov had in the creation and development of high-energy physics in Azerbaijan. His wide knowledge, inexhaustible energy, talent in organisation and search for young specialists led to the creation of his own school in this field that serves as an example for future generations. Scientifically, Abdinov’s main interest was the theoretical description of hadron-nuclear interaction processes. He was the first to propose a hypothesis of the cluster formation in light nuclei, which was later experimentally proven. The laboratory he headed at ANAS Institute of Physics collaborated initially with the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research (JINR) in Dubna and the Institute of High Energy Physics (IHEP) in Serpukhov, both in Russia, followed by CERN. The creation and expansion of relations between Azerbaijan and CERN paved the way for the participation of Azerbaijan scientists in the LHC, but this did not interrupt connections with Dubna: Abdinov was a staff member of JINR, deputy of authorised representative of the government of Azerbaijan Republic in JINR, and a member of JINR Scientific Council. The creation of Azerbaijan’s first Worldwide LHC Computing Grid segment also owes its thanks to Abdinov. Abdinov was a famous scientific representative of the Azerbaijan intelligentsia. He was an organiser and invited speaker at international conferences, a presenter of high-level reports and the winner of numerous research grants both in the former Soviet Union and in Azerbaijan. He dedicated almost 20 years of his scientific activity to investigations carried out within the ATLAS collaboration. We hope that his work will be continued by his scientific heirs and further benefit Azerbaijan high-energy physics. Malcolm Derrick, a long-time leader in the Argonne high-energy physics (HEP) division, passed away on 31 October after a long illness. Born in Hull, UK, in 1933, Malcolm received his BSc and PhD degrees in physics from the University of Birmingham. After working on the cyclotron at Carnegie Tech, he moved to Oxford University in 1962 to help establish a bubble-chamber group working at CERN. In 1963 he moved to Argonne National Laboratory to work on the 12 GeV ZGS synchrotron then in construction. While working on several bubble-chamber experiments with the 30 inch chamber, Malcolm’s main interest was in establishing a programme of neutrino physics using the 12 foot bubble-chamber then being built. He was spokesman for the first experiment using the deuterium-filled chamber, which produced several important results including the first measurement of the axial-vector form factor in muon neutrino–neutron quasi-elastic scattering. This result was verified by later BNL and FNAL experiments. Malcolm served on two occasions as HEP division director and was always a source of good career advice. He enthusiastically supported the division's collaboration with the University of Minnesota to build an underground detector to search for proton decay in the Soudan Mine in Minnesota. This resulted in a rich programme of neutrino physics with a series of multi-kiloton detectors and in new underground laboratories at Soudan, using both atmospheric neutrinos and Fermilab neutrino beams. The important physics produced by the MINOS programme is the direct result of these early experiments. After the closure of the ZGS programme, Malcolm initiated Argonne participation in two important experiments: HRS at the PEP collider at SLAC, where he proposed using the superconducting magnet of the 12 foot bubble chamber as the solenoid for the HRS spectrometer, and the ZEUS experiment at the HERA collider in DESY. Malcolm took sabbatical leave at University College London and later at DESY, where he served as physics chairman and oversaw such activities as physics publications. A gifted speaker, he served on several review committees and was a HEPAP member and an active participant in the Snowmass Conferences. He retired in 2006. Besides being a brilliant physicist, Malcolm had a knack for entertaining his guests with stories about his life and endless anecdotes about history and philosophy. His spare time was spent reading good books, fine dining and listening to classical music. Malcolm leaves behind his wife Eva and his many children and grandchildren. He will be missed by all who knew and loved him. Russian physicist Valery Dmitrievich Khovanskiy passed away in Moscow on 7 September. A veteran of Russian experimental high-energy physics and long-time leader of the ITEP team in ATLAS, he will be remembered not only as an energetic contributor to the CERN neutrino and LHC programmes, but also as an honest and principled person who loved science and life. Valery was born in Sverdlovsk in the former USSR, and received his PhD (for the study of cumulative effects in πN-interactions) at the Institute of Experimental and Theoretical Physics (ITEP, Moscow) in 1969. Since then, his main scientific interests were in the fields of neutrino physics, novel particle-detection methods and hadron collider physics. In the first Russian accelerator neutrino experiment at the Serpukhov 70 GeV proton synchrotron (IHEP-ITEP, 1970–1978), Valery lead the detector construction and studied neutrino and antineutrino interactions to validate the then very young quark-parton model. In the late 1970s, Valery joined the CERN experimental neutrino programme at the SPS and PS, and became one of the senior scientists of the CHARM, PS-181, CHARM-2 and CHORUS experiments devoted to a systematic study of neutral currents, and the search for new particles and neutrino oscillations. From 1990 onwards, he participated in the ATLAS experiment. His group was active in the preparation of the Letter of Intent, working on the concept of radiation-resistant forward calorimeters, and, from 1995 to 2009, worked on the construction and commissioning of the ATLAS liquid-argon forward calorimeters, providing the major part of the tungsten electrodes. From 1995 to 2012, Valery was the leader of the neutrino-physics laboratory at ITEP. He served on the LHCC from 1992 to 1994 and for a long period on the Russian government’s commission on fundamental research. He was also one of the founders and lecturers of the famous ITEP Winter School of Physics. Valery had a vivid individuality and was invariably good humoured. His many pupils, colleagues and friends admired him and he will be very much missed. Edmund (Ted) Wilson, a well-known figure in the world of particle accelerators and former director of the CERN Accelerator School (CAS), died after a short illness on 3 November. The son of a schoolteacher in Liverpool, UK, he graduated in physics at the University of Oxford in 1959 and immediately joined the nearby Rutherford Appleton Laboratory. His first stay at CERN was in 1962–1963 and he returned in 1967 as a fellow, working in Werner Hardt’s group on the design of the booster for the new large synchrotron: the “300 GeV” machine, later to become the Super Proton Synchrotron (SPS). He became the right-hand man of John Adams in 1969, helping him to prepare the project for approval by CERN Council, which was given in 1971. He became one of the first staff members of the new “300 GeV laboratory” set up for the construction of the SPS. In 1973–1974, at the request of Adams, Ted spent a sabbatical year at Fermilab to work on the commissioning of the “main ring”, a machine very similar to the SPS. The lessons he learnt there would prove essential for the smooth commissioning of the SPS, for which he was responsible a few years later. Following the approval in 1978 of the bold proposal of Carlo Rubbia to turn the SPS into a part-time proton–antiproton collider, Ted started working on how to convert the machine from a synchrotron to a storage ring. He later worked on the design and construction of CERN’s antiproton complex: first the antiproton accumulator, to which a second ring, the antiproton collector, was later added. Ted was a natural and gifted teacher. During the days of SPS construction he ran a series of courses on accelerator theory for members of the 300 GeV laboratory, which evolved into the book An Introduction to Particle Accelerators. Following his appointment as CAS director in 1992, he was responsible for organising 25 schools, in addition to special schools in India, China and Japan. He also coauthored a fascinating book on the history of particle accelerators and their applications: Engines of Discovery, a Century of Particle Accelerators. On his retirement, Ted renewed his association with Oxford University by becoming a guest professor at the John Adams Institute of Accelerator Physics, where he taught and supervised students. He has helped to bring on a new generation of machine builders. Ted Wilson will be sorely missed by the world’s accelerator community. He will always be remembered for his impish smile and his dry sense of humour. He is survived by his wife Monika, his three children and five grandchildren.
News Article | December 3, 2016
The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry Joint Working Party has announced the official names and symbols of the chemical elements formerly known as 113, 115, 117 and 118. The proposed names and symbols were announced back in June and were approved on Nov. 28 after a five-month public review. The elements complete the seventh row of the Periodic Table. The discoverers, who come from Japan, the United States and Russia, were given the right to propose the names and symbols. According to tradition, the four elements have been named in honor of a scientist or a geographic area. Element 113, which was previously given the name ununtrium with the symbol Uut, is officially named nihonium, and its periodic symbol is Nh. Discoverers from Japan's RIKEN Nishina Center for Accelerator-Based Science proposed the name, which comes from the word Nihon - "Japan" in their mother tongue. Elements 115, 117 and 118 were previously designated the names ununpentium, ununseptium and ununoctium, with the respective symbols Uup, Uus and Uuo. The collaboration team in charge with their criteria fulfillment review and the permanent names and symbols proposed the names moscovium with symbol Mc for element 115, tennessine with symbol Ts for element 117 and oganesson with symbol Og for element 118. Moscovium, tennessine and oganesson were discovered by scientists from the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research in Russia, and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Vanderbilt University and Oak Ridge National Laboratory in the United States. Moscovium is named after the region of Moscow in Russia where the JINR is based, and tennessine honors the U.S. state Tennessee, which is home to scientific institutions conducting research on superheavy elements. Oganesson, meanwhile, is named in honor of Professor Yuri Oganessian, a Russian nuclear physicist known to be a prolific element hunter who was instrumental in discovering some of the heaviest elements now in the periodic table - including oganesson. “It is a great honor for me,” Oganessian said, “as well as a measure of my input into the science of the superheavy elements.” The IUPAC announced the verification of the discoveries of the new elements in December 2015, noting that these elements complete the seventh row of the periodic table. The discoverers were then invited to propose permanent names and symbols, which were announced in June for public review. During the review period that ended on Nov. 8, people gave comments and suggestions as well as raised concerns about the proposed names and symbols. Some of the questions were about how the element names were pronounced and translated into other languages. Professor Jan Reedijk, the president of IUPAC's inorganic chemistry division, thanked the general public for participating in the process. "Overall, it was a real pleasure to realize that so many people are interested in the naming of the new elements," he said. "For now, we can all cherish our periodic table completed down to the seventh row." © 2017 Tech Times, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.
News Article | October 25, 2016
In a collaborative study, scientists from MIPT and JINR (Joint Institute for Nuclear Research) have increased the accuracy of detecting valuable protein crystals of just a few microns in size. These small crystals are now used to study the structure of membrane proteins. Knowledge of these proteins is very important for fundamental and applied pharmaceutical research. A paper on the study has been published in the prestigious Journal of American Chemical Society.
News Article | November 30, 2016
"The presence of tennessine on the Periodic Table is an affirmation of our state's standing in the international scientific community, including the facilities ORNL provides to that community as well as the knowledge and expertise of the laboratory's scientists and technicians," ORNL Director Thom Mason said. "The historic discovery of tennessine is emblematic of the contributions Tennessee institutions like Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the University of Tennessee and Vanderbilt University make toward a better world," Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam said. "On behalf of all Tennesseans we thank this world body for honoring our state this way." The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC)—which validates the existence of newly discovered elements and approves their official names—gave its final approval to the name "tennessine" following a year-long process that began Dec. 30, 2015, when IUPAC and the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics announced verification of the existence of the superheavy element 117, more than five years after scientists first reported its discovery in April 2010. ORNL had several roles in the discovery, the most prominent being production of the radioisotope berkelium-249 for the search. The berkelium-249 used in the initial discovery and subsequent confirmatory experiments for element 117 was produced by ORNL and the Department of Energy's Isotope Program, and was provided as a U.S. contribution to those experiments. Superheavy elements, which do not occur naturally, are synthesized by exposing a radioisotope target to a beam of another specific isotope. In theory, the nuclei will in rare cases combine into a "superheavy" and heretofore unknown element. In tennessine's case, the atomic recipe for element 117 required the berkelium-249 target, which was available only from ORNL's High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR), which produces radioisotopes for industry and medicine in addition to its neutron scattering research mission, and the adjoining Radiochemical Engineering Development Center (REDC), where the radioisotopes are processed. Over a year-long campaign, ORNL produced and then shipped the 22 milligrams of berkeleium-249 to Russia, where the experiment that would yield element 117 was carried out with a heavy-ion cyclotron at Russia's Joint Institute for Nuclear Research (JINR) in Dubna. After six months of relentless bombardment with a calcium-48 beam, researchers had detected six atoms in which the nuclei of the calcium and berkelium had fused to create element 117. Subsequent experiments confirmed the results. "The discovery of tennessine is an example of the potential that can be realized when nations come together to lend their unique capabilities toward a scientific vision," said ORNL's Jim Roberto, who helped put together the element 117 U.S.-Russia collaboration with JINR's Yuri Oganessian. Beyond producing the necessary radioisotope, ORNL has a long history in nuclear physics research that enabled the laboratory to contribute knowledge from researchers experienced in nuclear physics and international collaboration and tools in the form of detectors, instruments and electronics. The lab also has a history of partnership in physics research with Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn., which initiated discussions that led to the historic collaboration, and the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, which participated in experiments that confirmed the discovery. DOE's Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California rounded out the element 117 team. Livermore has an accomplished record in superheavy element research and is the namesake of livermorium (element 116). The specific spelling of tennessine was chosen because the new element is classified as a halogen, a type of element that by convention ends in the suffix "-ine." Halogens include elements such as chlorine and fluorine. Tennessine's symbol on the Periodic Table will be Ts. Discoveries of new elements at ORNL began with the Manhattan Project. During World War II, researchers at ORNL's Graphite Reactor discovered promethium—element 61 on the Periodic Table. Because of the secrecy that enveloped the project to develop the first nuclear weapons, the discovery wasn't reported until after the war, in 1947. In addition to tennessine (element 117), ORNL-produced isotopes via the DOE Isotope Program have been used in the discoveries of superheavy elements 114, 115 and 118 through international collaborations. The discovery of superheavy elements, which typically exist for only fractions of seconds, is driven by a quest for the long-predicted "island of stability," in which new elements beyond the existing Periodic Table may survive for exceptionally long periods of time, opening up new and useful vistas of physics and chemistry. Explore further: Names recommended for elements 115, 117 and 118
News Article | March 1, 2017
The jury of the International Bruno Pontecorvo prize announced on February 27 that the Bruno Pontecorvo Prize for 2016 is to be awarded to Prof. WANG Yifang from the Institute of High Energy Physics for his outstanding contribution to the study of neutrino oscillation phenomenon and to the measurement of the Theta13 mixing angle in the Daya Bay Reactor Neutrino. WANG is the first Chinese scientist to win this award. This is another international prize for WANG after he was awarded the W. K. H. Panofsky Prize in Experimental Particle Physics in 2014, the Nikkei Asia Prize in 2015 and the Fundamental Physics Breakthrough Award in 2016. Prof. WANG was awarded the prize along with Prof. Kim Soo-Bong from Seoul National University in South Korea, and Prof. Koichiro Nishikawa from KEK in Japan, for their work on Reactor Experiment for Neutrino Oscillations (RENO) and Tokai to Kamioka long baseline neutrino oscillation (T2K) experiments, respectively. The Bruno Pontecorvo Prize is a prize for elementary particle physics awarded by the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research (JINR) in Dubna, Russia. The prize was established in 1995 to commemorate Prof. Bruno Pontecorvo, the "father of neutrino physics". In accordance with Pontecorvo's chief area of research, the prize is awarded mainly for neutrino physics. WANG proposed the Daya Bay neutrino oscillation experiment in China, including the detailed detector design and experimental plan, to precisely measure the neutrino mixing angle theta13. He assembled a large international collaboration, and was elected co-spokesperson of the experiment. The prize list for the 2016 Bruno Pontecorvo Prize was approved by the JINR Scientific Council at its 121st session on February 24. An award ceremony will be held in September this year.
News Article | November 11, 2016
On 5 October, Ukraine became an associate Member State of CERN, following official notification to CERN that Ukraine’s parliament has ratified an agreement signed with CERN in October 2013. “Our hard and consistent work over the past two decades has been crowned today by a remarkable event – granting Ukraine the status of CERN associate member,” says Yurii Klymenko, Ukraine’s ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva. “It is an extremely important step on the way of Ukraine’s European integration.” Ukraine has been a long-time contributor to the ALICE, CMS and LHCb experiments at the LHC and to R&D in accelerator technology. Ukraine also operates a Tier-2 computing centre in the Worldwide LHC Computing Grid. Ukraine and CERN first signed a co-operation agreement in 1993, followed by a joint declaration in 2011, but Ukraine’s relationship with CERN dates back much further through the Joint Institute of Nuclear Research (JINR) in Dubna, Russia, of which Ukraine is a member. CERN-JINR co-operation in the field of high-energy accelerators started in the early 1960s, and ever since, the two institutions have formed a bridge between East and West that has made important contributions to the development of global, peaceful scientific co-operation. Associate membership will open a new era of co-operation that will strengthen the long-term partnership between CERN and the Ukrainian scientific community. It will allow Ukraine to participate in the governance of CERN, in addition to allowing Ukrainian scientists to become CERN staff and to participate in CERN’s training and career-development programmes. Finally, it will allow Ukrainian industry to bid for CERN contracts, thus opening up opportunities for industrial collaboration in areas of advanced technology. “It is a great pleasure to warmly welcome Ukraine into the CERN family,” says CERN Director-General Fabiola Gianotti.