Dark energy, neutrino detectors, sticky glue and more

Here are links to some of my latest stories as an intern at Fermilab. You can also find more links under publications.

Dark-matter seekers get help from the DarkSide

“Filled with rare, low-radioactivity material, the DarkSide-50 experiment will have some of the lowest background rates of any dark-matter detector. That should help it detect highly sought-after dark-matter candidates called weakly interacting massive particles, or WIMPs.”

Cockroft-Walton’s successor: a peep inside the new RFQ and how it works

“In August, Fermilab said good-bye to its iconic Cockcroft-Walton generators. Now the new starting point for Fermilab’s chain of accelerators is in place. It’s called a radio-frequency quadrupole, or RFQ.

Last month, workers moved the laboratory’s new, 3.5-meter-long RFQ to its permanent home between one of the Cockcroft-Walton generators and the front end of Fermilab’s linear particle accelerator, or Linac.”

Time Projection chambers: A milestone in particle detector technology

“At the heart of many particle physics experiments sits a device with a catchy name: the time projection chamber. With an important job and a storied history, TPCs have a special place in particle physics.”

A sticky situation resolved

“Life in plastic. It’s fantastic!” sang the dance-pop band Aqua first in 1997 as tribute to Barbie and her perfect plastic world. The 5,000 tons of plastic that make up NOvA’s near and far detectors put any of Barbie’s plastic palaces to shame, both in size and strength. Sorry, Barbie.

The far detector, the larger of the two detectors, will consist of 28 so-called blocks, and on Oct. 25 scientists erected the third. Each block is made from 768 pieces of polyvinyl chloride plastic, which scientists glue together. The result is a five-story-tall and equally wide block of plastic.”

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