News / Highlights / Colloquium
- Published on 06 November 2023
Carefully positioned wire coils can improve photodetector efficiency by counteracting Earth’s magnetic field
Particle physicists who hunt for neutrinos, cosmic-rays, and other charged particles rely on sophisticated instruments that detect very faint bursts of light given off when incident particles interact with a medium. The most common such instruments, called Cherenkov detectors, use photomultiplier tubes to capture as much of this light as possible. This provides a meaningful signal from which to glean information about the particle from whence it came. But their efficiency drops when subjected to Earth’s magnetic field.
In a study published in EPJ Plus, Sara Rodriguez Cabo, of the University of Oviedo, Spain, and her colleagues, now describe how specific arrangements of current-carrying wire coils around large cylindrical detectors can compensate for natural magnetic disturbances and shield photodetectors from it.
- Published on 09 October 2023
Predictions of the behaviour of super-heavy elements that have not yet been observed on Earth may help explain the properties of dense asteroids further motivating potential asteroid miners.
Some asteroids have measured densities higher than those of any elements known to exist on Earth. This suggests that they are at least partly composed of unknown types of ‘ultradense’ matter that cannot be studied by conventional physics. Jan Rafelski and his team at the Department of Physics, The University of Arizona, Tucson, USA, suggest that this could consist of superheavy elements with atomic number (Z) higher than the limit of the current Periodic Table. They modelled the properties of such elements using the Thomas-Fermi model of atomic structure, concentrating particularly on a proposed ‘island of nuclear stability’ at and around Z=164 and extending their method further to include more exotic types of ultra-dense material. This work has now been published in EPJ Plus.
EPJ Plus Focus Point Issue: Progress in Medical Physics in Times of CoViD-19 and Related Inflammatory Diseases
- Published on 06 October 2023
Guest editors: E. Cisbani, S. Majewski, A. Gori, F. Garibaldi
COVID-19 is a systemic disease attacking the total body; one of the signatures of the disease is inflammation, an extremely complex phenomenon, in different parts of the body, that can benefit of a multidisciplinary imaging approach. Understanding inflammation is an important step for curing from COVID-19; its role must be understood, in particular for the strategies and technologies to be used against COVID-19, its consequences and potential future pandemics. Among the molecular imaging technologies that can play a central role is the Nuclear Medicine imaging. New advanced technologies that are under development could translate into increased sensitivity of early detection, avoiding the long-term side effects of inflammation. In this context, the Focus Point presents the most promising developments for more effective imaging in Nuclear Medicine. The intrinsic multidisciplinary and the related difficulty to address complex, specific, questions to the different scientific communities have been taken into account in the selection of the contributions, their scientifically sounding relevance and at the same time their capability to be understandable outside their reference discipline.
EPJ Plus Highlight - Introducing the European strategy for accelerator-based photon science (ESAPS 2022)
- Published on 25 September 2023
Through new plans detailed in ESAPS 2022, the LEAPS consortium aims to strengthen Europe as a global leader in accelerator-based photon science.
The League of European Accelerator-based Photon Sources (LEAPS) is made up of 19 large-scale synchrotron (SR) and Free-electron Laser (FEL) facilities, situated across 10 European countries. This contribution to the EPJ Plus Focus Point “Accelerator-based Photon Science Strategy, Prospects and Roadmap in Europe: a Forward View to 2030” introduces the European Strategy for Accelerator-based Photon Science (ESAPS 2022): a pan-European plan formulated by LEAPS aimed at addressing the future challenges and needs in science and innovation, which strengthens Europe as a global leader in many areas of research and technology. Through the plans set out in ESAPS 2022, LEAPS could soon provide valuable new resources for more than 35,000 researchers using its facilities today, spanning fields as wide-ranging as materials science, drug design, biochemistry, quantum technology, geology, and planetary science.
EPJ Plus Focus Point Issue: Focus Point on Environmental and Multiplicity Effects on Planet Formation
- Published on 30 August 2023
Guest Editors: Giuseppe Lodato and Carlo Felice Manara
Star formation does not take place in isolation, and young stars are subject to different kind of interactions with their natal environment. Dynamical encounters with other young stars and photoevaporation of the protostellar disc due to the intense UV field of neighbouring stars are just a couple of examples of how the environment affects star formation. Since planets are born during the star formation process, such effects may naturally affect also planet formation itself. The aim of this focus point is to define the state of the art of our knowledge in this particular field and to provide a few highlights of interesting new research avenues to pursue.
EPJ Plus Focus Point Issue: Advances in Cryogenic Detectors for Dark Matter, Neutrino Physics, and Astrophysics
- Published on 28 July 2023
Guest Editor: Luca Pattavina
The papers included in this Focus Point collection offer a glimpse of the very broad range of applications of low-temperature detectors. This class of detectors has seen in recent years a boost in its performance and in the achieved background levels. Nowadays, cryogenic detectors are considered a leading technology in the investigation of the fundamental properties of the most abundant particles in the Universe: neutrinos and Dark Matter, and their applications reach out to nuclear, particle, and astroparticle physics. The papers included in the collection cover the most recent technological progress of low-temperature detectors, from different perspectives (e.g. computational approach, material development). The research groups that contributed to this collection show the range of methods available to tackle the latest experimental challenges of the community.
EPJ Plus Focus Point Issue: Breakthrough Optics- and Complex Systems-based Technologies of Modulation of Drainage and Clearing Functions of the Brain
- Published on 13 March 2023
Guest Editors: Jürgen Kurths, Thomas Penzel, Valery Tuchin, Teemu Myllylä, Ruikang Wang, Oxana Semyachkina-Glushkovskaya
The treatment of brain diseases during sleep is a pioneering trend in modern medicine. This is due to new discoveries in the science of lymphatic "vessels-vacuums" that clean the brain during deep sleep. Today, sleep is considered as a novel biomarker and a promising therapeutic target for brain diseases associated with the drainage system injuries and the blood-brain barrier (BBB) leakage, including Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases, depression, brain trauma and intracranial hemorrhages. This issue presents multi-disciplinary approaches, including nonlinear signal processing analysis, maсhine learning technologies, modeling of the brain drainage system, optical methods, brave and innovative ideas and very promising experimental and clinical results focusing on the study of therapeutic and diagnostic properties of sleep as well as the development of novel strategies for the modulation of restorative sleep functions.
- Published on 07 March 2023
A new simulation approach named eTLE aims to improve the precision of a primary tool for estimating neutron behaviours in 3D space. This study examines the approach in detail – validating its reliability in predicting the scattering of neutrons in crystalline media.
Tripoli-4® is a tool used by researchers to simulate the behaviours of interacting neutrons in 3D space. Recently, researchers developed a new ‘next-event estimator’ (NEE) for Tripoli-4®. Named eTLE, this approach aims to increase Tripoli-4®’s precision using Monte Carlo simulations: a class of algorithms which solve problems by repeatedly estimating the characteristics of a whole population of neutrons, by selecting random groups of individuals. Through new research published in EPJ Plus, a team led by Henri Hutinet at the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission implement and validate eTLE’s reliability for the first time.
EPJ Plus Focus Point on Tensions in Cosmology from Early to Late Universe: The Value of the Hubble Constant and the Question of Dark Energy
- Published on 03 March 2023
Guest editors: S. Capozziello, V.G. Gurzadyan
The papers included in this Focus Point collection are devoted to one of the hot topics in modern cosmology - the Hubble constant tension – claimed as a discrepancy between the descriptions of the early and late Universe. A broad range of topics are involved in the Hubble tension issue, from the sophisticated methods of observational data analysis up to dark energy models dealing with modifications of the standard cosmological model and related to the extensions of the General Relativity. The papers included in the collection are authored by known experts and groups, and reflect the diversity of approaches, both, aiming in solving the tension improving measurements and datasets and in searching for new physics capable of addressing the problem.
- Published on 15 February 2023
New research opens the horizons regarding what a “computer” can be and how small a computational unit can get
Considering a “computer” as anything that processes information by taking an input and producing an output leads to the obvious questions, what kind of objects could perform computations? And how small can a computer be? As transistors approach the limit of miniaturisation, these questions are more than mere curiosities, their answers could form the basis of a new computing paradigm.
In a new paper in EPJ Plus by Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana, researcher Gerard McCaul, and his co-authors demonstrate that even one of the more basic constituents of matter — atoms — can act as a reservoir for computing where all input-output processing is optical.