The LHC is currently the most powerful hadron accelerator in the world that serves to study the fundamental particles. Our team is part of the international collaboration of physicists and engineers that operates the gigantic ATLAS experience at CERN. This experiment registers the proton or lead ion collisions we next examine in order to address some of the most fundamental issues in today's physics.
The LIP participates in the Pierre Auger Observatory, which studies the cosmic rays of extreme energies. These very rare particles (~ 1 / century / km ^ 2) collide with Earth's atmosphere producing gigantic particle showers that can be detected. The study of these particles allows to explore the most violent phenomena of the Universe. In addition, their interaction with the atmosphere occurs at energies well above those available at the LHC, providing a unique window to explore new physics on the scale of energy of 100 TeV. LIP participates in the Observatory covering a wide range of range of developments, from new detector concepts to complex data analyzes, and also the creation of theoretical models to characterize the physics of the shower.
The LIP COMPASS group proposes an interactive journey through the experiment, from the detector control to data acquisition, reconstruction and analysis. The experiment seeks to understand the origin of one of the fundamental properties of hadronic matter: spin. More generically, it contributes in characterizing the dynamics inside nucleons. Some of the most relevant results obtained in recent years will be shown from a practical perspective: how, from a specific measurement we come to conclusions about the physics that govern the nucleons.
The activities related to space / ESA are based on the previous experience of LIP in the areas of radiation interaction, radiation detection and instrumentation experiments for experimental particle physics. The activities developed began with the application of the Geant4 simulation tool to astroparticle experiments in a first contract concluded between LIP and the European Space Agency (ESA) in 2003. Since then, the work developed has been supported mainly by contracts between the LIP and the ESA, the LIP being wholly or partly responsible for the projects. These activities have been a source of collaboration between LIP and other institutes, companies and industry as well as scientists outside LIP and include:
- Study and modeling of the radiation environment in space, including planetary radiation environments, namely the Moon, Mars, Europe, Ganymede and asteroids.
- Data analysis of energy particle / radiation detectors in space missions;
- Study of the SEP propagation models - solar energy particle events and test of these models with real data, in the continuation of the activity started with the project "Portuguese Participation in the Heliospheric Network";
- Study and development of concepts for radiation monitors (based on Si sensors and / or scintillators) and exploration of these concepts for use in different planetary and interplanetary environments, both in the support of missions and in the analysis of scientific data;
- Study, modeling and beam testing of the effects of radiation on EEE components used in missions in space;
- Study of the biological effects of the radiation environment on space, atmospheres and planetary surfaces.
- Study and development of mitigation strategies for the risks of radiation exposure in space, both for the systems and components of the missions as well as for the crews.
You can come to know the people who work in this area and get involved in these projects!
Visit to the Nuclear Physics laboratories in C8 where we can show how to make a fine target for an experiment with medium energy beams (for example in ISOLDE) and how to measure its thickness (without breaking it!).
Neutrinos, the puzzling elementary particle, with neutral electric charge and tiny mass, interact with matter very rarely, and are among the most abundant particles in the Universe. The LIP neutrino physics team was created in 2005 to participate in SNO and integrates since the beginning the SNO+ experiment. The main goal is the observation of neutrinoless double beta decay to probe the possible Majorana character of neutrinos and measure its absolute mass. Measurements of neutrinos from the Sun, the Earth, Supernovae and nuclear reactors are also planned.
AMS is a broad international collaboration operating a cosmic-ray observatory installed on the International Space Station (ISS). ESA and NASA are two of the main supporting organizations for the experiment. The main goals of AMS are to perform a detailed measurement of the cosmic-ray spectrum, to search for cosmological antimatter and to search for dark matter. The LIP group is centered in the RICH subdetector and in AMS data analysis, particularly the study of the solar modulation effect in cosmic rays.