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Interactions.org - Particle Physics News and Resources

A communication resource from the world's particle physics laboratories

Interactions NewsWire #2 - 16:
8 February 2016 http://www.interactions.org
Source: InterAction Collaboration
Content: Media advisory
Date Issued: 8 February 2016

Interactions at AAAS

Each year more than 5,000 scientists, engineers, educators, policymakers and science journalists from around the world attend the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s Annual Meeting—and the InterAction Collaboration is there to disseminate the latest news from the world of particle physics and science communication.

Sessions organized by the Collaboration

Ghost Hunters: The Search For New Types of Neutrinos
Friday, February 12: 10:00-11:30
Press briefing on Saturday, February 13 at 2:00 p.m.
Organized by InterAction members Fermilab (USA), INFN (Italy) and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (USA)

Trillions of neutrinos pass through you every second, produced by the sun and other stars, by the Earth's core, and even by the bananas you eat. Yet basic facts about neutrinos remain unknown, including their mass and how many different types exist in nature. This session introduces tantalizing experimental hints pointing to a possible new type of neutrino, and provides an overview of the search for these particles on Earth and in space. The session addresses the promise sterile neutrinos may hold for solving great puzzles of particle physics, such as the nature of dark matter and the possible existence of dark radiation.


Where did most of the Universe Go? Searching for Dark Matter
Friday, February 12: 1:00-2:30
Organized by InterAction members CoEPP (Australia), SLAC (USA), STFC (UK)

Despite decades of research and the efforts of hundreds of cosmologists, astronomers, and physicists, we still know surprisingly little about the composition of the cosmos. We know that “visible matter” – the building blocks of everyday objects – makes up just 5 percent of the universe. Where is the rest? One answer lies in the existence of another form of matter not visible using current methods and of unknown nature; as a result, dubbed “dark matter.” We have no idea what dark matter is, how it interacts with ordinary matter other than through gravity, or why it even exists. Add in the puzzle of “dark energy,” an unknown form of energy that continues to accelerate the universe’s expansion, and understanding “dark science” becomes the biggest challenge of modern physics and astronomy.


SESAME: A Scientific Source of Light in the Middle East
Sunday, February 14: 10:00-11:30
Press briefing on Sunday, February 14 at 12:00
Organized by InterAction members CERN (Switzerland), INFN (Italy)

SESAME – Synchrotron-light for Experimental Science and Applications in the Middle East – is a new, third-generation light source under construction near Amman, Jordan, and scheduled to begin commissioning in mid-2016. It is run by an international organization that promotes scientific excellence and collaboration in the region, with members Bahrain, Cyprus, Egypt, Iran, Israel, Jordan, Pakistan, the Palestinian Authority, and Turkey. Universities in SESAME member-countries are working with operational light sources to build capacity in the region using the machine, and a user community of over 300 scientists from the region is preparing for the facility’s first experiments. This session gives a historical overview of SESAME and its mission to develop scientific excellence in the region, a forward look at the SESAME scientific program, and the view of a young scientist preparing one of the facility’s first two beam lines. 


Particle Physics-related sessions and workshops

Grand Visions for the Future of U.S. Science in a New Global Era
Friday, February 12: 10:00-11:30
Includes a speaker from Fermilab (USA)

Where do we want to see science in the United States in 2025, and in 2050? The U.S. was a strong global leader in science and technology, innovation and entrepreneurship, for most of the previous century. However, the pace of scientific progress and innovation in the 21st century is increasing across the world and the economic playing field is leveling. We have entered a new global era, where nations of the world are highly interconnected and interdependent. At this critical juncture, the U.S. is falling behind other regions in its investments in science and has either given up or risked its global leadership in several frontier science areas.  A panel of policymakers and scientists will address the grand strategic vision and planning needed for the future of U.S. science in the new global age of discovery and innovation.


Megascience Global Projects Seeded in Europe, Asia, and the United States
Friday, February 12: 3:00-4:30
Includes speakers from InterAction members CERN (Switzerland) and IHEP Beijing (China)

This symposium surveys the mechanisms and cross-national platforms that facilitate international science partnerships, using examples from large-scale particle physics projects. Highlighted are the CERN model of international collaboration for the Large Hadron Collider; the planned Jiangmen Underground Neutrino Observatory (JUNO) and the Circular Electron Positron Collider – Super Proton-Proton Collider (CepC/SppC) in China; and the expanded Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO).