Initial data from a new U.S.–based physics experiment indicates scientists are a step closer to understanding neutrinos, the second most abundant particle in the universe, says SMU physics professor Thomas Coan, a principal investigator on the project. Neutrinos are little understood, but indications are they hold clues to why matter overwhelmingly survived after the Big Bang instead of just energy in the form of light.
SMU physicist Thomas E. Coan talked with Fox 4 DFW reporter Dan Godwin about the neutrino, an elusive fundamental particle that scientists are working to understand using one of the most powerful physics experiments in the world. Godwin hosted Coan on the program Fox4Ward on Nov. 30, 2014. Coan and Godwin discussed neutrinos, one of the most elusive particles in the Standard Model's "particle zoo."
KERA public radio 90.1 hosted SMU physicist Thomas E. Coan on Krys Boyd's "Think" program Oct. 29. Coan and Boyd discussed neutrinos, one of the most elusive particles in the Standard Model's "particle zoo." Neutrinos are the subject of the NOvA experiment, with the goal to better understand the origins of matter and the inner workings of the universe.
When scientists pour 3.0 million gallons of mineral oil into what are essentially 350,000 giant plastic tubes, the possibility of a leak can’t be overlooked, says SMU physicist Thomas E. Coan. The oil and tubes are part of the integral structure of the world’s newest experiment to understand neutrinos — invisible fundamental particles so abundant they constantly bombard us and pass through us at a rate of more than 100,000 billion particles a second.
SMU now has a powerful new tool for research – one of the fastest academic supercomputers in the nation – and a new facility to house it. With a cluster of more than 1,000 Dell servers, the system’s capacity is on par with high-performance computing (HPC) power at much larger universities and at government-owned laboratories. The U.S. Department of Defense awarded the system to SMU in August 2013.
Journalist Lauren Aguirre of the SMU Daily Campus covered the research of SMU physicist Thomas E. Coan, an associate professor in the SMU Department of Physics. Coan works with more than 200 scientists around the world to study one of the universe's most elusive particles — the neutrino.
Scientists hunting one of nature’s most elusive, yet abundant, elementary particles announced today they’ve succeeded in their first efforts to glimpse neutrinos using a detector in Minnesota. Neutrinos are generated in nature through the decay of radioactive elements and from high-energy collisions between fundamental particles, such as in the Big Bang that ignited the universe.
NOvA neutrino detector in Minnesota records first 3-D particle tracks in search to understand universe
What will soon be the most powerful neutrino detector in the United States has recorded its first three-dimensional images of particles. Scientists’ goal for the completed detector is to use it to discover properties of mysterious fundamental particles called neutrinos. Using the first completed section of the NOvA neutrino detector under construction in Minnesota, scientists have begun collecting data from cosmic rays—particles produced by a constant rain of atomic nuclei falling on the Earth’s atmosphere from space.
Physicists may see data as soon as late summer from the prototype for a $278 million science experiment in northern Minnesota that is being designed to find clues to some fundamental mysteries of the universe, including dark matter.
But it could take years before the nation's largest "neutrino" detector answers the profound questions that matter to scientists.