IFAE 2016 Annual report

Scientific & Institutional activities

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Scientific Highlights

of 2016

Neutrino Group result

T2k CP Violation Results

T2K reported in 2016 its first results in the search for CP violation in neutrino oscillations using appearance and disappearance channels with both neutrino and antineutrino beams. The data include all runs from January 2010 to May 2016. The results show that the CP conservation hypothesis is excluded at 90%. Neutrinos might behave differently in their matter and antimatter forms.

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Cosmology Group result

Light cools off when crossing cosmic voids

Researchers at IFAE led the effort to determine the variation in the temperature of the cosmic background radiation as it crosses large overdense (with superclusters of galaxies) or underdense (with large cosmic voids) regions in the sky, identified in the data collected by the Dark Energy Survey in its first year of regular operations. The resulting maps indicate that, when crossing cosmic voids, the cosmic background radiation becomes slightly cooler (by about five millionth of a degree) than expected by the standard cosmological model, even after accounting for the effect of the mysterious dark energy that powers the current accelerated expansion of the universe. If confirmed, this result could have far-ranging implications for our understanding of the universe.

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ATLAS Group results

Searches for Supersymmetry at the LHC Run 2

The year 2016 was exceptional in terms of LHC performance, with 40 fb-1 of proton-proton collision data at a centre-of-mass energy of 13 TeV delivered to the ATLAS and CMS experiments. The IFAE-ATLAS group maintained a strong involvement in detector operations and participated in a large number of physics analyses.

The group played a leading role in some of the highest- profile searches for Supersymmetry using early Run 2 data, such as searches for supersymmetric partners of the gluon, the top quark and the bottom quark.

These analyses target some of the most promising models for “Natural Supersymmetry”, and represent a stepping-stone for more sensitive searches in the near future.

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Gamma Ray Group milestone

LST1 fundations completed

The foundation for the prototype of CTA’s largest telescopes, the Large Size Telescopes, was completed in 2016. The main elements of the foundation, the telescope and camera-access tower foundations, are built with 620 cubic meters of concrete or about 1,500 tonnes. This massive amount of concrete, will help keep the telescope and its mirror (400 m2) stable with winds of up to 200 km/h.

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ATLAS Pixels Group milestone

AFP tracker developed at IFAE

In 2016 the IFAE pixel group fabricated the ATLAS Forward Proton (AFP) 3D silicon tracker. The detector was also integrated and commissioned with the ATLAS detector at CERN by IFAE.

AFP identifies protons that emerge intact from the LHC collisions. Such processes are usually associated with elastic and diffractive scattering. However, the AFP physics program ultimately aims to perform searches for new physics, like diffractive Higgs production.

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PIC Development

COSMOHUB 2.0 ONLINE

COSMOHUB is a web portal to analyze and distribute massive cosmological data using leading big data technologies. It has been developed at PIC in collaboration with the Institute of Space Studies of Catalonia (ICE-IEEC). It currently provides support to several international cosmology projects such as the Euclid space ESA mission, the Dark Energy Survey (DES), the Physics of the Accelerated Universe (PAU) and the Marenostrum Institut de Ciències de l’Espai (MICE) Simulations.

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Research Support milestone

HR Excellence in research award

IFAE received the HR Excellence in research award for its Human Resources Strategy and Action Plan 2016-2019. The award reflects IFAE’s commitment to continuously improve its human resources policies in line with the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers.

Theory Group result

A novel QCD coupling

In 2016, IFAE researchers defined a novel QCD coupling whose beta function (which parameterizes its evolution with energy) can be derived exactly, and which allows to yield improved estimates for uncertainties due to renormalization-scheme variations.

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Cosmology Group Milestone

IFAE joins the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope Project

The Observational Cosmology group at IFAE joined the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) project, together with ICE (IEEC-CSIC), CIEMAT and IFT/UAM, in what is known as the Barcelona-Madrid participation Group.

The group joined LSST’s Dark Energy Science Collaboration (DESC) to contribute in dark matter and dark energy research. The LSST is currently under construction and full operations are expected to start in 2023.

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Applied Physics Group Milestone

3D BIOPSY, New Medical Imaging project at IFAE

The 3DBonT project is part of the RIS3CAT community “Tecnologies Aplicades a la Salut” coordinated by LEITAT. The project’s objective is to develop innovative technologies in the field of biopsy devices that improve accuracy of diagnosis, optimize patient treatments, and offer therapies with greater efficiency. IFAE has joined the project offering its microelectronics and detector design expertise and facilities to develop and build the 3DBonT X-ray camera.

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Scientific Output in 2016

Publications summary


239

Number of indexed journal articles

94.1 %

Articles in first Quartile Journals

4.9

Average Journal Impact Factor (IF)

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