Two new ERC grant awarded by IFAE researchers
Andreu Font Ribera, researcher in the Observational Cosmology Group at IFAE, was awarded in 2022 the prestigious “Consolidator Grant” from the European Research Council (ERC). The project COSMO-LYA: A Cosmological Lever Arm for Fundamental Physics will allow Andreu and his team to use a large dataset of distant quasars to study some of the mysteries of our Universe: dark energy, inflation, and the mass of neutrinos.
Gerard Ariño obtained an ERC Starting Grant to improve the diagnostic capabilities of Time-of-Flight Positron Emission Tomographies with innovative detector technologies. The project CHLOE-PET (CHerenkov Light mOdulE for time-of-flight Positron Emission Tomography) has the potential to improve the time resolution and spatial segmentation of state-of-the-art detectors by factors of up to 7 and 10, respectively, without additional production costs.
GW group milestone
IFAE leads an international project to pave the way for the Einstein Telescope
The Preparatory Phase for the Einstein Telescope Gravitational Wave Observatory (ET-PP) is a Horizon Europe INFRA-DEV project to address the fundamental prerequisites for the approval, construction and operation of the Einstein Telescope. The Institut de Física d’Altes Energies (IFAE) is the coordinator institution of this project that will run for 4 years with a total budget of 3.45M€ and comprises leading research centers from 11 countries.
Theory Group member Prize
Buchalter Cosmology Prize
The Buchalter Cosmology 2022 Second Prize was awarded to Diego Blas and his collaborator Alexander Jenkins (UCL), for their work entitled “Bridging the μHz gap in the gravitational-wave landscape with binary resonance” published in Physical Review Letters.
Their work was recognized by the judging panel for the “potential for remarkable impact through the exploration of gravitational wave phenomena in the unprobed microhertz frequency band via a novel technique leveraging already-existing missions, which could enable exploration of first-order cosmological phase transitions in the early Universe.”
First observation of superconducting flux qubit spectrum in the IFAE QCT lab
In 2022 the QCT group at IFAE observed the existence of the first superconducting flux qubit in the IFAE Lab. This is a milestone for the group.These are the kind of chips
that are of interest for quantum computing with quantum annealing, quantum optics and detection.
The chip was designed at IFAE and manufactured in Glasgow.
ATLAS Upgrades milestone
Assembly of modules for the ATLAS pixel and HGTD upgrades
The ATLAS Pixel group has been working on the development and qualification of new silicon detector technologies for the High Luminosity LHC upgrade. The group is set to make critical contributions to the Pixel and the HGTD projects. In the last year the first prototype modules were fully fabricated in the IFAE clean rooms, including the critical bump bonding step which was carried out in-house for HGTD.
ONE HIGGS BOSON FOUND – COULD THERE BE MORE?
On July 2022, the ATLAS Collaboration reported the results of the first-ever search for the production of a Higgs boson with flavour-conserving and flavour-violating couplings to quarks, giving two same-charge top quarks, three top quarks, or four top quarks in the final state. The search targeted events with two same-charge leptons (electrons or muons), three leptons, and at least four leptons. An excess with a significance of up to 2.8 standard deviations was found in events with two positively charged leptons, compatible with the production of a heavy neutral Higgs boson with a sizable coupling to a top quark and an up quark. Additional data from the LHC Run 3 (2022-2025), along with further analysis improvements, will allow drawing definite conclusions on whether the heavier siblings of the Higgs boson have finally been found.
MAGIC observations of the Galactic center and satellite galaxies produce new limits to TeV-scale WIMP dark matter interaction cross section
Researchers from the MAGIC collaboration, detected in 2022 very high-energy gamma rays from a recurrent nova in the Milky Way. The results of these observations and the new discoveries about these stellar explosions were published in an article in the journal Nature Astronomy. The result of the analysis identifies novae as a new type of very high-energy gamma-ray source. This event is the first one detected at these energies and allows a better understanding of these class of eruptions and their potential role in the production of the mysterious cosmic rays that inhabit the Milky Way.
Gravitational Wave group milestone
The near detector of the T2K experiment (ND280) is undergoing a major upgrade for which three new subdetectors were designed and are currently being built and installed. The IFAE group has important management functions in the ND280 upgrade project which is also a CERN experiment (NP07). T. Lux is co-spokesperson of NP07/ co-leader of the ND280 upgrade project.
In 2022 the Testbeam campaign for the ND280 Upgrade TPC took place and the first cosmic tracks with the first of the final TPC field cages were recorded at CERN
PIC enters the ICTs maps
In 2022 the Port of Scientific Information (PIC) was included in the new map of the Singular Scientific and Technical Infrastructures (ICTS) of Spain, as a node of the Spanish Supercomputing Network (RES). PIC is a scientific-technological center specializing in data-intensive research.
The inclusion of PIC in the new ICTS map is a milestone, as it opens up new avenues for establishing collaborations with research groups facing data analysis challenges.
Medical Physics Milestone
Development of Single Photon Avalanche Detectors for Medical Applications
IFAE is developing SPADs in the CMOS technology for near infrared light detection. CMOS devices were produced previously for particle detection in the context of the ATLAS detector upgrade. In 2022 the first results detailing the SPAD structures and their performance were published.
Gamma-ray Group milestone
Two cameras for the CTA Large Size Telescopes have been assembled and commissioned at IFAE
The LST1 camera comprises 1855 high-performance PMTs from Hamamatsu, covering an area of 4 square meters. The camera is grouped in modules of 7 PMTs, which include the photo-sensor, light guides, and digitalization and trigger systems. The camera body is a 3x3-meter square of 1.5-meter depth. IFAE was in charge of the conceptual design, coordination, and integration of the entire camera and produced the module trigger and power systems. The LST camera has many subsystems which are put together through the camera control developed at IFAE.
New IFAE patent: Artificial vision system
The patent application Artificial Vision System was granted by the European Patent Office and published in 2022. The artificial vision system is an epi-retinal implant (fixed on the top of the retina) where its front side is in contact with the retina surface via a high density of electrodes. The innovation idea makes it possible for someone who lost his/her vision due to the retinitis disease to partially recover the vision with better spatial resolution and number of frames per second.
Search for a Scalar Induced Stochastic Gravitational Wave Background in the Third LIGO-Virgo Observing Run – PRL editors suggestion
“Search for a scalar induced stochastic gravitational wave background in the third LIGO-Virgo observing run” by Alba Romero-Rodríguez, Mario Martínez, Oriol Pujolàs, et al. was selected as PRL Editors’ Suggestion in 2022. This paper presents upper limits on the formation of primordial black holes from inflationary fluctuations accompanied by a scalar induced gravitational wave background in the early universe, leading to stochastic gravitational wave signals in LIGO/Virgo.
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Articles in first Quartile Journals
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