Why study the cosmos?

The “Cosmic Frontier”

Perhaps that is one of those “duh!” questions. After all, humans have wondered about the cosmos for all of recorded history and no doubt long before writing was invented. But there is a modern component to this query.

http://news.fnal.gov/2012/06/why-study-the-cosmos/, by Don Lincoln.

Dark matter search with bubble chambers

This is an electronic image of a typical microscopic quartz particulate found during the investigation of the active mass of the PICO-2L detector after its first run. The image was taken using an EDS-SEM (scanning electron microscopy with X-ray microanalysis). Such particulate contamination was thought to be the cause for the anomalous background, and a profound effort went into its elimination (and suppression of its production) for the follow up PICO-2L WIMP-search run.

Presented here is a description of the PICO experiment, which has achieved one of the world’s best exclusions for the detection of Weakly-Interacting Massive Particles (WIMPs): the leading candidate for the Dark Matter particle.

This podcast is a little longer than usual: 8 minutes, 45 seconds.

http://news.fnal.gov/2016/07/dark-matter-search-bubble-chambers/, by Chanpreet Amole: a Ph.D. candidate at Queen’s University in Canada.

DZero discovers a new particle consistent with a tetraquark

A new observation of the 4-quark bound state.

http://news.fnal.gov/2016/02/dzero-discovers-a-new-particle-consistent-with-a-tetraquark/, by Dmitri Denisov and Paul Grannis: the co-spokespersons for the DZero experiment.

The lightness of dark matter

The new CDMSlite result (black solid line with salmon-shaded band), compared with some other recent results on low-mass dark matter.

No WIMP signal is yet visible in the data from CDMS (Cold Dark Matter Survey, at Fermilab). But the experiment has considerably narrowed the region where light WIMPS might be hiding.

http://www.fnal.gov/pub/today/archive/archive_2015/today15-09-22.html, by Dan Bauer.