IFAE 2017 Annual report

Scientific & Institutional activities

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Scientific Highlights

of 2017

Cosmology result

Most accurate measurement of dark matter structure in the universe

In summer 2017, DES published a series of 12 papers containing the main cosmological results from the analysis of the first-year data of the survey, covering some 1500 sq. deg. The results included measurements of the matter distribution of the present Universe that, for the first time, can compete in precision with those made by the Planck satellite. Planck measures the tiny inhomogeneity of the early Universe at redshift ~1100, and extrapolates to the current epoch assuming the ΛCDM cosmology. The agreement between DES and Planck is, then, a test of the validity of ΛCDM.

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MAGIC telescopes result

Prime candidate to explain the cosmic-ray sea runs short of energy

Cassiopeia A was considered the perfect object to be an accelerator of Galactic cosmic rays of the highest energies: it is young, bright, with a shock expanding at great velocity and with large magnetic field. New MAGIC observations show that Cassiopeia A is indeed accelerating cosmic rays, although only up to a rather low energy (a few TeV). At these energies, the radiation suddenly drops, and the emission stops abruptly. Either the remnant cannot accelerate the particles to higher energies, which challenge our knowledge of shock acceleration or maybe the fastest ones escaped quickly the shock, leaving only the slowest ones for us to observe.

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Neutrino Group Result

T2K presents hint of CP violation by neutrinos

The international T2K Collaboration strengthened its previous hint that the symmetry between matter and antimatter may be violated for neutrino oscillation. A preliminary analysis of T2K's latest data rejects the hypothesis that neutrinos and antineutrinos oscillate with the same probability at 95% confidence (2σ) level

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ATLAS Group result

Evidence of the Higgs boson produced in association with a pair of top quarks

The top quark, the heaviest known elementary particle, is the Standard Model particle most strongly coupled to the newly discovered Higgs sector. The coupling between the top quark and the Higgs boson can be directly probed by measuring the cross section for associated production of a Higgs boson with a top-antitop- quark pair (ttH). Such measurement is one of the priorities for the ATLAS experiment during Run 2 of the Large Hadron Collider. Since 2011 the IFAE-ATLAS group has led searches for ttH production, focusing on the dominant Higgs boson decay mode into a bottom-antibottom-quark pair (H->bb). Using the data set of proton-proton collisions at 13 TeV collected in 2015 and 2016, the combination of all ATLAS searches has recently established first evidence for ttH production with a significance of 4.2 standard deviations, a milestone result that opens the door to the observation of this process in the very near future. This measurement, when combined with other Higgs boson production and decay studies, will shed more light on the possible presence of physics beyond the Standard Model in the Higgs sector.

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Theory Group result

First signals of lepton flavor universality violation

Global analysis of a set of observables related to one type of rare B decays measured in different experiments, mainly LHCb, Belle and also preliminary results from ATLAS and CMS, found evidence of lepton flavour universality violation in flavour changing neutral transitions in a range between 3 and 4 sigmas.

The analysis also concludes that there is a substantial increase in the coherence among the different anomalies and tensions, specially between those of LFUV type (like $R_K$) and those governed only by the transition $b \to s \mu\mu$ (like $P_5^\prime$)

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PIC Result

Release of the largest simulated galaxy catalogue ever built

The simulated catalog of the Euclid Flagship contains more than 2 billion galaxies, the largest number to date. It has been developed by researchers from the Institute of Space Sciences (ICE, IEEC-CSIC) and the Port d'Informació Científica (PIC), with researchers from the University of Zurich. The catalog closely mimic the properties of observed galaxies and is based on simulations of dark matter distributions. The work will prepare the observations of the ESA’s Euclid Mission.

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Applied Physics Group result

THEIA awarded the BIST Ignite Grant

THEIA (“Towards the implementation of a multi-electrode array for retinal prosthesis”), led by ICFO, ICN2, and IFAE and in collaboration with Barraquer Opthalmological Center, aims at developing a new generation of retinal prostheses based on multi-electrode array graphene devices. The high photosensitivity of the material will allow great improvements to the vision of people treated with this type of technology, now very limited by the small number of electrodes that can be implanted in one of the current retinal chips.

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Excellence award

IFAE obtains Severo Ochoa award renewal

The award recognizes excellent research centres that stand out for their scientific impact and the international relevance of their results. IFAE initially obtained the recognition in 2012, the renewal is for the period 2017-2020.

Friday, July 7th 2017, MACBA, Barcelona

25 years anniversary celebration

On Friday, July 7th 2017, IFAE celebrated its 25th Anniversary at MACBA, Barcelona. The event included the participation of the Secretary of State for Research, Development and Innovation, Carmen Vela; the Secretary of Universities and Research of the Generalitat of Catalonia, Arcadi Navarro; the Vice President for Innovation and Strategic Projects of the UAB, Francisco Javier Lafuente; and the president of the Board of the Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology, Andreu Mas-Colell. The keynote talk was given by Hitoshi Murayama, Director of the Kavli Institute for Physics and Mathematics of the Universe at the University of Tokyo and MacAdams Professor of Physics at the University of California at Berkeley.

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Scientific Output in 2017

Publications summary


190

Number of indexed journal articles

92.1 %

Articles in first Quartile Journals

5.5

Average Journal Impact Factor (IF)

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