As the third LIGO–Virgo operating run (O3) finishes earlier than planned owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, we look at the ups and down of the past 12 months.
Big Lab news
Big science facilities and big projects involving large international collaborations enable exciting research directions, but the technologies and organization that make the science possible are rarely in the spotlight. This Collection puts together news, editorials and features covering various aspects of the big science infrastructure: new instrumentation, upgrades, data releases, funding, upcoming projects and missions. With this we hope to highlight the technologies, engineering and management behind the science.
Experiments around the world are looking for signs of the charge conjugation and parity (CP) symmetry violation. Some of these searches might also reveal physics beyond the standard model.
As the Japan Proton Accelerator Research Complex (J-PARC) celebrates its 10th anniversary, scientists look back on a challenging yet successful decade of research made possible by national and international collaboration.
The construction of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER), the world’s largest nuclear fusion experiment, is now 60% complete. The challenges ahead are huge and the way to go is still long, but an extensive research effort is supporting the technological developments needed to make ITER a reality.
The European Synchrotron Radiation Facility is upgrading to become the first high-energy fourth generation synchrotron. It will be a test bed for new technologies and will provide users with unprecedented measurement capabilities.
The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is the largest particle accelerator in the world. But, after 10 years of operation, it’s time to think about the next steps. With one approved upgrade — the High-Luminosity LHC — and design studies for possible future colliders on the table, intense efforts are being directed to the development of new technologies.
Although the ultimate fate of the the International Linear Collider, a future 250 GeV linear accelerator based on superconducting radiofrequency technology, is yet to be decided, research and development efforts are proceeding undeterred.
Over the next 5 years the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI) will be mapping 35 million galaxies and 2.4 million quasars trying to uncover the mystery of dark energy.
This October, the new user facilities at the Cornell High-Energy Synchrotron Source will open their doors to researchers following a major upgrade project.
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory mercury ion clock, the Deep-Space Atomic Clock, was launched on June 24 and will spend a year in orbit for stability testing.
In January, the Dark Energy Survey (DES) completed its 6-year-mission to map more than 300 million distant galaxies; however, the equally arduous task of analysing the data is just beginning.
Two robotic missions, one from China and one from India, will explore the southern lunar hemisphere, sending back a wealth of information about the surface and composition of the Moon, and perhaps even more.
As the gravitational wave detector KAGRA goes online and the Hyper-Kamiokande neutrino detector upgrade is approved, we look at a number of upcoming big science projects in Japan.