Juno will study chameleon neutrinos

Reblogged from Science on the Net

Last week in China was launched Juno, an international experiment that aims to reveal once and for all the mysteries of neutrinos, together with two other future experiments planned worldwide, Hyper-Kamiokandein Japan and LBNF at FERMILAB, and Italy could not miss. Hundreds of scientists from around the world gathered in these days at the Institute of High Energy Physics (IHEP) in Beijing, in order to give birth to an international collaboration for the construction of a gigantic underground neutrino detector with liquid scintillator, which exploits a technology that is similar to that used by the experiment Borexino at Gran Sasso National Laboratories. We have talked with Gioacchino Ranucci of INFN, deputy coordinator of the collaboration. JUNO’s collaboration, in addition to China and Italy, also includes Czech Republic, France, Finland, Germany, Russia and the United States.

“Juno’s goal is to study the properties of neutrinos, that transform themselves into one another, which makes them like chameleons” said Ranucci. Today, we have three families of neutrinos, electron neutrinos, muon neutrinos and tau neutrinos, and what we observe is the transformation of one into the other, which is called “property of oscillation.” Certainly, this property is adjusted by a matrix, the mixing matrix, which gives the parameters expressed in trigonometric form, for instance as angles that, together with the mass differences between each couple of neutrino types, determine the probability of transformation of a neutrino from a family to another. It is therefore precisely the properties we want to investigate.”

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Italian physics and the Middle East

Reblogged from Science on the Net

On May 12, the Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare (INFN), Elettra Sincrotrone Trieste and the International Centre for Synchrotron-light for Experimental Science and Applications in the Middle East (SESAME) signed a scientific collaboration agreement. Aim of this cooperation is the development and implementation of Italian technology for the radio-frequency cavities for SESAME’s storage ring – radio-frequency cavities serve to re-supply the electrons with the energy they lose when emitting synchrotron light.

“SESAME is an ambitious project for the construction of the first synchrotron light source in the Middle East,” explains Giorgio Paolucci, scientific director of SESAME. “Today there are 12 synchrotrons in Europe (and a total of about 60 in the world) but none in the Middle East, although the need for them was recognized by eminent scientists such as the Pakistani Nobel Laureate Abdus Salam about 30 years ago”. The Centre, which is intergovernmental, brings together Bahrain, Cyprus, Egypt, Iran, Israel, Jordan, Pakistan, Palestinian Authority and Turkey (the Members), thus providing an extraordinary example of collaboration between entities with very diverse cultural, political and religious backgrounds.

“Perhaps the most significant feature of this project is that politics does not in any way interfere in the scientific research,” says Paolucci.

The project was born in the late nineties, thanks to the efforts of several scientists in and outside the region. These scientists proposed to use components of the BESSY I light facility in West Berlin, which was being decommissioned, to set up a synchrotron light source in the Middle East (following the re-unification of Germany it was decided to build a larger particle accelerator in East Berlin). The project then evolved and though a few of the BESSY I components, which have been greatly upgraded, are being used, SESAME is constructing a completely new 2.5 GeV storage ring, thus making it a state-of-the-art research centre.

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The rise of physics in China: INFN as privileged partner

Reblogged from Science on the Net

Last December, newspapers around the World have given space on their pages to the Chinese moon landing attempt, which unfortunately failed shortly afterwards, when the rover suddenly failed. Even if the attempt ended in failure, it remains a significant symbol of how much China is investing in scientific research and technological innovation. Moreover, in 2020 China has planned to build the Chinese Space Station.

But not only aerospace engineering. Also particle physics seems to be fundamental in the development program for Chinese innovation and INFN is now one of the major partners in this project. “Italy is a privileged partner for China in the field of particle physics, and Chinese researchers are asking us for years to collaborate on their projects,” says Fernando Ferroni, President of INFN. “For three years there has been an agreement between Italy and China to work together on their scientific projects and this year, on May 17th, we will meet their delegation to secure future collaborations.”

China is currently working hard to build new satellites and is taking a lot of inspiration from Italian technology like AGILE, a satellite launched in 2007 to explore some of the most violent phenomena of the universe,PAMELA, which investigates cosmic radiation, and FERMI, the NASA satellite mission dedicated to the study of gamma radiation. Furthermore, a recent collaboration between Italy and China was born to study the variability of the electromagnetic environment around the Earth and to realize a sophisticated seismic monitoring equipment to be installed on the CSES Chinese satellite that will be put in orbit in 2016.

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INFN goes overseas

Reblogged from Science on the Net

Between 5 and 6th February, INFN met the delegations from the American Department of Energy (DOE) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) in order to establish a new scientific cooperation among Italy and USA. We talked about this meeting with Antonio Masiero, the INFN Deputy Director. “The collaboration between these two countries is excellent,” says Masiero, “and at the moment it involves four research projects, which are the topics we have discussed two weeks ago in Washington.”

The first project concerns the neutrino physics and takes place at Fermilab. It is composed by two experiments involving Italian physicists: a short baseline experiment and a long baseline experiment, which are respectively the first and the second phase of the project. The American interest in a collaboration with INFN is due to the Italian knowledge around liquid argon and its use as a target for particle detectors. “In Italy we have worked largely with liquid argon at Gran Sasso Laboratories, under the guide of Carlo Rubbia,” explains Masiero. “Our experiment is called ICARUS and it represents the best example of using liquid argon as a target for particle detectors. Thus, Americans need our know-how.”

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