Periodic Reporting for period 1 - NEWS (NEw WindowS on the universe and technological advancements from trilateral EU-US-Japan collaboration)
Reporting period: 2017-07-01 to 2019-06-30
The LIGO and Virgo collaborations have built the largest gravitational wave observatories in the world in US and Italy. Based on km-long laser interferometers located thousands of kilometres apart, they detect gravitational waves and probe their astrophysical sources. The observation of gravitational waves has inaugurated the era of gravitational wave astronomy pursued in an international collaborative effort which includes also the Japanese observatory KAGRA.
The Large Area Telescope (LAT) collaboration built and operates the principal scientific instrument on the Fermi Gamma Ray Space Telescope spacecraft launched by NASA in the year 2008. The LAT is a high-energy gamma-ray telescope covering the entire sky in few hours. It has recorded more than one billion gamma-rays over the whole sky and released the catalogue of thousands of sources in condition of strong gravity and magnetic fields. These detectors allow to study the most violent phenomena in the Universe in a new multi-messenger way, by taking advantage of the simultaneous observations of different cosmic messengers, gravitational waves and electromagnetic radiation.
This is complemented by the study of phenomena produced in the laboratory by employing high-intensity and high-energy particle beams. The Muon Campus at the Fermilab is hosting two world class experiments dedicated to the search for signals of new physics in the interactions of high-energy particles. Muon (g-2) will determine with a ten-fold improvement the anomalous magnetic moment of the muon while Mu2e will improve by four orders of magnitude the sensitivity on the search for the as-yet unobserved Charged Lepton Flavour Violating (CLFV) process of a neutrino-less conversion of a muon to an electron. EU research institutions have a leading role in these experiments. The results will complement those from similar CLFV searches carried out in Europe and produce fruitful collaborations in this field. These researches require the development of new cutting-edge technologies in several areas, including superconducting materials, used to develop particle accelerators and detectors, cryogenics, radiation detectors, particle detectors, analog and digital electronics for hostile environments and for space, computing infrastructures.
NEWS coordinates the research activity of about 100 researchers from 13 EU research institutions, 3 small/medium size enterprises and 15 partners from US, JP, RF and HK and promotes these international and inter-sectoral collaborations by means of secondments of personnel.
NEWS researchers involved in the Fermilab Muon Campus contribute to the Muon (g-2) and Mu2e experiments which search for the evidence of new fundamental interactions beyond those predicted by the Standard Model. In Muon (g-2), NEWS researchers are involved in data taking and analysis, in Mu2e in the construction of the CsI crystal calorimeter and the design of the future BaF2 crystal calorimeter for Mu2e-II. Fermilab is progressing on schedule on the construction of the infrastructures for the accelerator complex and for the experiments and NEWS researchers also contribute to the development of new advanced superconducting technologies for particle accelerators and detectors.
Networking among institutes, trainings of personnel, dissemination and outreach are fundamental in NEWS. This has produced an intense transfer of knowledge among participants and a high visibility of the project both towards the scientific community and the general public.
The techniques used to separate the gravitational wave signals from the noise are computationally intensive and based on sophisticated techniques. These are applicable in several other fields: in particular noise cancellation techniques could have application in geological prospection problems and data mining in general. A gravitational wave detector should reduce several kind of noises at the lowest level, and the techniques involved can be applied wherever a high level of isolation from environmental noise is needed.
The development of particle detectors and electronic systems for hostile environments which requires to qualify or re-design commercial devices favours the transfer of knowledge between academia and private companies with an impact on the space, nuclear and medical industry.
Also particle accelerator technology is now extremely important for our society. Many thousands of accelerators serve as essential tools for biomedical and materials research, for diagnosing and treating illnesses, and for a growing host of tasks in manufacturing, energy technology and homeland security. Advances in proton and ion beam therapy are enabling doctors to avoid harming tissue near the cancer. Accelerators offer several options to scan cargo containers and vehicles. This is fundamental for homeland security and allows inspecting cargo containers arriving at ports on ships from foreign countries. The semiconductor industry relies on ion beams to add special atoms in semiconductors. Ion implantation modifies semiconductors’ electrical properties leading to better, cheaper electronics.
The EU is making large investments in High Performance Computing (HPC) systems, which are crucial for the progress of science and a strategic resource for the future. The collaboration with US is fundamental to master advanced technologies. NEWS partners in US, for example Fermilab, are leading the effort to provide computing infrastructures to the particle physics experiments and advancing plans for a scientific data archive facility to host scientific data for a wider range of disciplines. HPC will provide the resources required for the next generation of particle physics experiments analysis and will be fundamental in many computation-intensive research areas, including basic research, engineering, earth and materials science, climate science, medical imaging, energy and security.