Featurette

1st proton collisions at the world’s largest science experiment expected to start the first or second week of June

Dallas Hall w scatterThe schedule announcement came during an international physics conference on the SMU campus from senior research scientist Albert De Roeck, a staff member at CERN and a leading scientist on one of the Large Hadron Collider‘s key experiments in Geneva.

“It will be about another six weeks to commission the machine, and many things can still happen on the way,” said De Roeck. The LHC in early April was restarted for its second three-year run after a two-year pause to upgrade the machine to operate at higher energies. At higher energy, physicists worldwide expect to see new discoveries about the laws that govern our natural universe. Continue reading

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Most likely cause of 2013-14 earthquakes: Combination of gas field fluid injection, removal

Azle, earthquakes, fracking, injection, faults, SMU, Modelled pressureAn SMU-led seismology team finds that high volumes of wastewater injection combined with saltwater (brine) extraction from natural gas wells is the most likely cause of earthquakes occurring near Azle, Texas, from late 2013 through spring 2014.

The seismology team identified two intersecting faults, and developed a sophisticated 3D model to assess the changing fluid pressure within the rock formation. Continue reading

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Physicists tune Large Hadron Collider to find “sweet spot” in high-energy proton smasher

ATLAS, Large Hadron Collider, Run 2, SMU, HiggsStart up of the world’s largest science experiment is underway — with protons traveling in opposite directions at almost the speed of light in the deep underground tunnel called the Large Hadron Collider straddling France and Switzerland.

As protons collide, physicists will peer into the resulting particle showers for new discoveries about the universe, said Ryszard Stroynowski, Southern Methodist University, a collaborator on the LHC. Continue reading

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SMU geothermal scientist Maria Richards to guide global energy organization

Maria Richards, coordinator of the SMU Geothermal Laboratory , has been named president-elect of the Geothermal Resources Council.

Richards will be the 26th president of the global energy organization in 2017. She’s been at the forefront of SMU’s renowned geothermal energy research for more than a decade, and the University’s mapping of North American geothermal resources is the baseline for U.S. geothermal energy exploration. Continue reading

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SMU analysis of recent North Texas earthquake sequence reveals geologic fault, epicenters in Irving and West Dallas

Locations of seismic instruments as of Jan. 30, 2015, with revised earthquake locations in dark red. (USGS)Initial results from the seismology team at Southern Methodist University reveal that a recent series of earthquakes near old Texas Stadium in the Dallas-Fort Worth area were relatively shallow and concentrated along a narrow two-mile line that indicates a fault extending from Irving into West Dallas. SMU and the United States Geological Survey have shared an interim report with the mayors of Dallas and Irving. Continue reading

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Scientists issue call to action for archaeological sites threatened by rising seas, urban development

Western%20Site%20Margin%20400x300.jpgShould global warming cause sea levels to rise as predicted in coming decades, thousands of archaeological sites in coastal areas around the world will be lost to erosion.

With no hope of saving all these sites, an SMU archaeologist and others call for scientists to assess the sites most at risk.

Photo: A site at Anacapa Island, southern California, is in danger of eroding into the ocean. (Credit: Reeder)
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