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PEOPLE

AUGUST 2016

BEYOND THE EXPECTATIONS OF THE MOST POWERFUL ACCELERATOR IN THE WORLD
Interview with Nadia Pastrone, researcher at the Turin division of INFN, national spokesperson, from 2012 to 2014,
of the CMS experiment, currently President of the National Scientific Committee 1 of the INFN, which coordinates research activities in high energy physics.


The 38th edition of ICHEP, the international conference on high-energy physics in which physicists from around the world met to discuss the progress of particle physics, astrophysics and cosmology, as well as future developments in the construction of new accelerators, was held in August in Chicago. The spotlights were focused on the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN, now the most powerful particle accelerator in the world, which in recent months amazed physicists and engineers for its high performance, beyond project expectations. Operating in this manner, the LHC has put experiments in the conditions to be able to analyse a quantity of data already equal to about four times that of the first phase of the RUN2 (2015). Confirming the excellent performance of the experiments as well as of the accelerator, experimental collaborations have been able to analyse and understand the new data in a very short space of time and during ICHEP more than one hundred new measurements by the experiments were presented. Italy, with INFN, has a prominent role in the history and current activities of the LHC and its experiments, with important repercussions on the Italian companies involved in the construction of accelerator parts, experimental equipment and calculation systems. We asked Nadia Pastrone for a summary of the results presented in Chicago and a projection for the near and distant future of the current steps of the LHC.

 

Many of the new LHC results presented at ICHEP emerge from the analysis of the data collected during the last months of this first half of 2016. Which are the main ones?

The experiments at the LHC, thanks to the extraordinary performance of the accelerator at the highest energy ever achieved in a laboratory, from May to date have recorded and analysed a huge amount of data. With the exploration of the new 13 TeV frontier, increasingly precise measurements of the processes envisaged by ...

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NEWS

AUGUST 2016


INSTITUTIONS

THE ITALIAN MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS, PAOLO GENTILONI, VISITS CERN

On 22 August last, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Paolo Gentiloni, paid a visit to CERN in Geneva, accompanied by an Italian ...

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RESEARCH

T2K: CLUES ON THE ASYMMETRY OF THE OSCILLATIONS OF NEUTRINOS AND ANTINEUTRINOS

The T2K (Tokai to Kamioka) international collaboration, in which INFN is participating with roles of...

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INSTITUTIONS

EUGENIO COCCIA ELECTED
RECTOR OF GSSI

On 8 August last, the Rector of the new Gran Sasso Science Institute (GSSI) Graduate School was elected. He is Eugenio Coccia, former director of the Gran Sasso ...

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RESEARCH

MAGNETIC MONOPOLE:
FIRST RESULTS OF MOEDAL

MoEDAL (Monopole & Exotics Detector at the LHC), the experiment dedicated to magnetic monopole research at CERN, narrows the field of investigation and sets ...

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COMPUTING

CLOUD SOFTWARE FOR RESEARCH

INDIGO–DataCloud, the project funded within the scope of the European Horizon 2020 programme of the European Commission and coordinated at the continental level by the National Institute ...

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FOCUS ON


PADME: IN SEARCH
OF THE DARK PHOTON

INFN recently gave the green light to PADME (Positron Annihilation into Dark Matter Experiment), that represents one of the most important results of What Next, the scientific review programme promoted in the INFN community to identify the most promising experiments and research fields on which to focus in the near future. PADME is dedicated to the search for the dark photon, a hypothetical particle similar to the electromagnetic wave photon but with a small mass, predicted by a number of recent theoretical models that describe dark matter. The experiment will be the result of an international collaboration already involving researchers from the MTA Atomki institute in Debrecen, Hungary, and from the University of Sofia, Bulgaria. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation has also funded a project to start a collaboration with the American physicists, in particular with Cornell University. The study of dark matter is one of the most fascinating frontiers of fundamental physics research. It is estimated that this unknown matter represents approx. 80% of all matter in the universe and 27% of the universe as a whole. Physicists understand neither what it is made of nor why, despite being so abundant at the cosmic level, its direct interactions with our ordinary matter have not yet been detected. The only certainty about its nature is that dark matter is made of something different from the particles that make up ordinary matter, such as protons, neutrons or electrons. One hypothesis, that on which the PADME experiment is based, is that dark matter is sensitive to a new type of force that is not one of the four fundamental forces that we know, i.e. gravitational, electromagnetic, strong nuclear and weak nuclear forces. This new force, as for the other four, is associated with a "messenger", in this case a photon, with properties similar to the ordinary photon but characterised by the fact of having a small mass. Physicists have called this hypothetical "messenger" the "dark photon". Thanks to its mass and its abundance in the universe, the dark photon could represent all or most of the dark matter. ...

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INFORMATION


cover image:

Participants to the ICHEP 2016 Conference
Photo by Reidar Hahn

 

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