New shield makes certain types of searches for physics beyond Standard Model possible for first time

May 12, 2015
Inner three layers of the magnetic shield (also known as the insert), and the cylindrical layer with 780 copper rods. The cylindrical layer is used to generate a very uniform magnetic field, which is necessary for EDM experiments. Also shown are two measurement devices: A mercury magnetometer is placed between the wooden support structure, and a high precision pendulum device, which is used for the absolute alignment of conventional magnetic field probes, is on top of the support table. Credit: Technische Universität Müchen

The Standard Model of particle physics, sometimes called "The Theory of Almost Everything," is the best set of equations to date that describes the universe's fundamental particles and how they interact. Yet the theory has holes—including the absence of an adequate explanation for gravity, the inability to explain the asymmetry between matter and antimatter in the early universe, which gave rise to the stars and galaxies, and the failure to identify fundamental dark matter particles or account for dark energy.

Researchers now have a new tool to aid in the search for physics beyond the good, but yet incomplete Standard Model. An international team of scientists has designed and tested a magnetic shield that is the first to achieve an extremely low over a large volume. The device provides more than 10 times better magnetic shielding than previous state-of-the art shields. The record-setting performance makes it possible for scientists to measure certain properties of at higher levels of precision—which in turn could reveal previously hidden physics and set parameters in the search for new particles.

The researchers describe the new magnetic shield in a paper in the Journal of Applied Physics.

High precision measurements are one of three frontiers to search for physics beyond the Standard Model, explained Tobias Lins, a doctoral student who worked on the new magnetic shield in the research lab of Professor Peter Fierlinger at the Technische Universität München in Germany. The precision measurements complement other methods to search for new physics, including slamming particles together in a collider to generate new, high-energy particles, and peering into space to catch signals from the .

"Precision experiments are able to probe nature up to energy scales which might not be accessible by current and next generation collider experiments," Lins said. That's because the existence of exotic new particles can slightly alter the properties of already known particles. A tiny deviation from the expected properties may indicate that an as-yet-undiscovered fundamental particle inhabits the "particle zoo."

An international team of physicists has developed a shielding that dampens low frequency magnetic fields more than a million-fold. Using this mechanism, they have created a space that boasts the weakest magnetic field of our solar system. The physicists now intend to carry out precision experiments there. Credit: Astrid Eckert / TUM

Constructing the Shield

The researchers built the new shield out of several layers of a special alloy, composed of nickel and iron, that has a high degree of magnetic permeability—meaning it can act like a sponge to absorb and redirect an applied magnetic field, like the earth's own magnetic field or fields generated by equipment such as motors and transformers.

"The apparatus might be compared to cuboid Russian nesting dolls," Lins said. "Like the dolls, most layers can be used individually and with an increasing number of layers the inside is more and more protected."

The team's big breakthrough came from in-depth numerical modeling of the arrangement of the precision treated magnetizable alloy, resulting in significantly optimized design details, like thickness, connections and spacing of layers.

The materials in magnetic shields change their magnetization due to environmental influences, like temperature changes and vibrations caused by passing cars, and these shifts can be passed to the inside of the shield. The thinner sheets in the new design enabled a better balancing of the magnetic field in the metal, resulting in the smallest and most homogenous magnetic field ever created within the shielded space, even beating the average ambient magnetic field of the interstellar medium.

New Experiments Ahead

Plans are already underway to use the new magnetic shield in an experiment to test limits for the distribution of charges (called the electric dipole moment, or EDM) of an isotope of xenon. An EDM that is higher than predicted by the Standard Model could signal the existence of a new particle whose mass is linked to the amount by which the EDM deviates from the expected value.

The researchers also want to use a modified SQUID detector—which can detect extremely subtle magnetic fields—to search for long theorized, but never detected magnetic monopoles. Within the magnetically quiet space inside the shield, a monopole passing by the SQUID might produce a magnetic field higher than the background noise level, Lins said.

Explore further: Observation of magnetic flipping in single proton heralds high-precision studies into matter and antimatter

More information: "A large-scale magnetic shield with 10^6 damping at millihertz frequencies," by I. Altarev, M. Bales, D. H. Beck, T. Chupp, K. Fierlinger, P. Fierlinger, F. Kuchler, T. Lins, M. G. Marino, B. Niessen, G. Petzoldt, U. Schläpfer, A. Schnabel, J. T. Singh, R. Stoepler, S. Stuiber, M. Sturm, B. Taubenheim and J. Voigt. Journal of Applied Physics May 12, 2015. DOI: 10.1063/1.4919366

Related Stories

Zeroing in on the proton's magnetic moment

May 28, 2014

As part of a series of experiments designed to resolve one of the deepest mysteries of physics today, researchers from RIKEN, in collaboration with the University of Mainz, GSI Darmstadt and the Max Planck Institute for Physics ...

Physicists discover quantum-mechanical monopoles

April 30, 2015

Researchers at Aalto University (Finland) and Amherst College have observed a point-like monopole in a quantum field itself for the first time. This discovery connects to important characteristics of the elusive monopole ...

Recommended for you

Measuring tiny forces with light

August 25, 2016

Photons are bizarre: They have no mass, but they do have momentum. And that allows researchers to do counterintuitive things with photons, such as using light to push matter around.

33 comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

TimLong2001
1.5 / 5 (8) May 12, 2015
Matter (plus charge) and Antimatter (minus charge) are balanced inside the photon. Since nucleons are composed of +/- beta pairs, and electron shells seek a balance of charges, there is already a supersymmetric relationship between all matter and antimatter. Anti-hydrogen atoms and other anti-atomic configurations are not necessary to understand the inherent supersymmetry of all matter in the universe.
rufusgwarren
1 / 5 (3) May 12, 2015
First, what is charge? Som'n about "What holds the nucleus together?", I dunno, "Glueons?" Excuse my spelling, but ... What if with what we know now, the stability of the nucleus is a function of the number of protons to the number of neutrons, based upon a neutron as a confinement of an electron with protons! You might try measuring the separation energy! Mass is a mass of charges, get it! All atoms have an equal number of electrons to protons. Gravity, first degree, i.e. highest is the force of the sum of the electrons and protons, i.e. a dipole! Separation may be much less than the diameter of either particles and within multi-body ...
rufusgwarren
1 / 5 (3) May 12, 2015
i.e. the effective location of the proton and the neutron, based upon present diameters, implies a given force to separate. I would speculate that we could measure the distance from Proton center to electron center, by defining the separation force. Note: mass may be removed, simply, allow only 1/2 charge counts, divide out the mass, its unnecessary!

Sorry, don't get what you are doing. Looking for gold in a copper mine?
EWH
5 / 5 (4) May 12, 2015
Magnetism is well understood as always and only due to relativistic effects of charge motion. (These relativistic effects show up near zero velocity, unlike most other manifestations of relativity.)

Anybody who puts the least credence in the possibility of magnetic monopoles is simply a crank who doesn't understand electromagnetism. All four of Maxwell's equations in relativistic (Lorentz-invariant) form reduce to the simple requirement that the gradient of the field is equal to the four-current (a 4D multivector (Clifford / Geometric Algebra (GA) entity) which combines charge and current). The overall electromagnetic field combines both vector (electric) and bivector (magnetic) components, with the split between the electric and magnetic fields depending on the relative motion of the "test" or "observer" four-current to the other four-currents.
( See https://slehar.wo...duction/ for an intro to GA)
crusher
not rated yet May 12, 2015
measure away!
rufusgwarren
not rated yet May 12, 2015
huh?
rufusgwarren
not rated yet May 12, 2015
Magnetism is well understood as always and only due to relativistic effects of charge motion. (These relativistic effects show up near zero velocity, unlike most other manifestations of relativity.)

Anybody who puts the least credence in the possibility of magnetic monopoles is simply a crank who doesn't understand electromagnetism. All four of Maxwell's equations in relativistic (Lorentz-invariant) form reduce to the simple requirement that the gradient of the field is equal to the four-current (a 4D multivector (Clifford / Geometric Algebra (GA) entity) which combines charge and current). The overall electromagnetic field combines both vector (electric) and bivector (magnetic) components, with the split between the electric and magnetic fields depending on the relative motion of the "test" or "observer" four-current to the other four-currents.
( See https://slehar.wo...duction/ for an intro to GA)

Soooo..... 0?
Urgelt
3.3 / 5 (7) May 13, 2015
Timmy wrote, "Matter (plus charge) and Antimatter (minus charge) are balanced inside the photon. Since nucleons are composed of +/- beta pairs, and electron shells seek a balance of charges, there is already a supersymmetric relationship between all matter and antimatter. Anti-hydrogen atoms and other anti-atomic configurations are not necessary to understand the inherent supersymmetry of all matter in the universe."

Thanks for solving the matter-antimatter asymmetry problem, Timmy. Physicists are sure to be grateful. They had no idea that photons are made up of balanced matter and antimatter. It was nice of you not to call them 'fools' and 'dunderheads' for missing what you, with your superior intellect, knew was obvious.

Your Nobel Prize is assured. All you have to do to collect it is to submit your paper to a peer-reviewed journal, then watch physicists' jaws drop in astonishment and admiration. Got your acceptance speech ready?
gunnqu
1 / 5 (6) May 13, 2015
"You shall not find any new physics, because all physical events are interpreted well-known particles (leptons, quarks, and gauge bosons) and forces which have long known (electroweak, gravity, strong interactions)."
Quznetsov G 2013 Logical foundation of fundamental theoretical physics (Lambert Academic Publ.)
http://vixra.org/...51v6.pdf
Urgelt
3.7 / 5 (9) May 13, 2015
Gunnqu quotes Quznetsov, "You shall not find any new physics, because all physical events are interpreted well-known particles (leptons, quarks, and gauge bosons) and forces which have long known (electroweak, gravity, strong interactions)."

Guess Quznetsov never heard of the twenty orders of magnitude between the quark scale and the Planck scale - that's more orders of magnitude than exist between our scale and quarks - or if he has, he thinks physics doesn't happen down in those weeds. And he hasn't heard about the incomplete reconciliation of relativity and quantum theories, or the unsolved matter-antimatter asymmetry, or the unexpectedly strange motions of galaxies which require unknown physics to explain, or the apparent accelerating expansion of the universe, which points either to new physics or errors in the physics we know.

Honestly, I've never read a more ridiculous statement from a physicist in my life.
gunnqu
1 / 5 (5) May 13, 2015
Gunnqu quotes Quznetsov, "You shall not find any new physics, because all physical events are interpreted well-known particles (leptons, quarks, and gauge bosons) and forces which have long known (electroweak, gravity, strong interactions)."

Guess Quznetsov never heard of the twenty orders of magnitude between the quark scale and the Planck scale - that's more orders of magnitude than exist between our scale and quarks - or if he has, he thinks physics doesn't happen down in those weeds. And he hasn't heard about the incomplete reconciliation of relativity and quantum theories, or the unsolved matter-antimatter asymmetry, or the unexpectedly strange motions of galaxies which require unknown physics to explain, or the apparent accelerating expansion of the universe, which points either to new physics or errors in the physics we know.

Honestly, I've never read a more ridiculous statement from a physicist in my life.


So read: http://vixra.org/abs/1111.0051
liquidspacetime
1.6 / 5 (5) May 13, 2015
It's dark mass, not dark matter.

Physicists are starting to realize the notions of dark matter and the dark matter particle are incorrect. They are referring to the mass which fills 'empty' space as the 'dark mass' in order to distinguish it from the baggage associated with dark matter.

'Dark Energy/Dark Mass: The Slient Truth'
https://tienzengo...t-truth/

"That is, all that we are certain about [is] the dark mass, not dark matter, let alone to say about the dark 'particle'."

Particles of matter move through and displace the dark mass, including 'particles' as large as galaxies and galaxy clusters.

The Milky Way moves through and curves spacetime.

The Milky Way moves through and displaces the dark mass.

The state of displacement of the dark mass *is* curved spacetime.
Urgelt
3.7 / 5 (9) May 13, 2015
Gunnqu provided a link.

From which we may either conclude that:

1. The link proves that he quoted Quznetsov correctly; or

2. The link proves that what Quznetsov said is absolutely true and unassailable.

Think I'll go with number 1.

We aren't done discovering physics. We've got a great start on it, but the job is a long way from completed. And anyone who thinks it's a wrap - I don't care what his credentials may be - is a raving lunatic.
rufusgwarren
1 / 5 (2) May 13, 2015
I'm beginning to to lose my mind! Idiots! First define a correct measurement based upon a matter, of a mass, of charge. Then argue a point of what we do not understand.

Or keep trying to understand cosmic rays with that bubble in your mind as reality.

Gravity? What are we? Neanderthals!
TimLong2001
1.7 / 5 (6) May 13, 2015
To Urgelt: Your snide remarks are typical of those who have no other basis for argument. However, check out QCD if you are interested in understanding the dipole nature of the photon.
rufusgwarren
1 / 5 (1) May 13, 2015
To Urgelt: Your snide remarks are typical of those who have no other basis for argument. However, check out QCD if you are interested in understanding the dipole nature of the photon.


Photon! Simply a field event! What are you talking about, a field with motion in time relative to you? Or some magical particle, like pixie dust? Yes it comes in different colors!
Urgelt
4.3 / 5 (11) May 13, 2015
Timmy wrote, "To Urgelt: Your snide remarks are typical of those who have no other basis for argument. However, check out QCD if you are interested in understanding the dipole nature of the photon."

But in his earlier comment, he wrote, "Matter (plus charge) and Antimatter (minus charge) are balanced inside the photon."

There is no resemblance between your opinion and QCD. None whatsoever. And so you cannot support what you said by referencing QCD.

Nothing inside of a photon can be called 'matter' under QCD. And matter does not have to be positively charged, and antimatter does not have to be negatively charged. Honestly, your first comment is stunning in its ignorance of basic physics.

If you are determined to post ignorant comments in a public science forum, you are inviting snark. Really, you are.
TechnoCreed
5 / 5 (6) May 13, 2015
To Urgelt: Your snide remarks are typical of those who have no other basis for argument. However, check out QCD if you are interested in understanding the dipole nature of the photon.
QCD describes the strong nuclear force inside a nucleon (quarks gluons interaction) it also describes de strong interaction (nucleus cohesion) but in no way can it describe a photon. The photon is a carrier of the electromagnetic force.
rufusgwarren
1 / 5 (2) May 13, 2015
OK, here's a quiz, how do you measure these events, eh' I mean particles? Please do not reply with EM Fields, unless you show the four dimensional field at any instant of space and time, i.e. 4D! What is this (Q)uack (C)onfused (D)ynamics of a 4D continuum, who say's it's in steady state, i.e. definable connectivity, everything is connected! just some have more influence than others? By the way, divide out the "mass" and simply use the elemental charge that satisfy this space, or that may generate this space. Without showing this as unnecessary and insufficient then ...

What do you need the necessary or the sufficiency part?
rufusgwarren
1 / 5 (2) May 13, 2015
Just do not ignore the largest influence, i.e. the "superimposed force", seemly never at a single description for the superimposed multiple charge centers, i.e. near the center of mass, never really at the same place at the same time, first modal response, the force of gravity in googolplex dB of the magnitude of a Gev. Interesting if their is isolation within a magnetic field, but I doubt it, we are looking at the interaction of two massive opposite forces relative to a magnetic field and the neutron, a basic unit of mass, can it be definable that ... i.e lambda r
TimLong2001
1.8 / 5 (5) May 13, 2015
Urgelt, You are a real dummy if you expect to spout your BS without anyone realizing that you don't know jack about QCD. Also, your attitude is contrary to any reasonable research technique, which explores all realistic possibilities without the preconceived notions that you claim are set in stone. If you are affiliated with this site, I will track you down and file a formal complaint. In the meantime, I would advise you to do a little research into the area of wave-particle duality. There's a lot of good science going on, and if there were not so many unanswered questions, the new accelerators wouldn't be necessary. The standard model has many deficiencies, and the above referenced model answers many of them. Of course, i wouldn't expect such a rigidly stubborn individual, such as yourself, to admit it.
Monkey Butt
4 / 5 (4) May 14, 2015
Hey Timmy, do you notice how all of your comments have one star, and Urgelt's all have 4 or 5? It's not a conspiracy; it's because you don't know what you are talking about, and Urgelt does. Photons are not massive particles.
Protoplasmix
5 / 5 (2) May 14, 2015
Soooo..... 0?
So using the modified SQUIDs is a good idea, as it will put strong constraints on some of the more "exotic" theories that posit the existence of magnetic monopoles, which would be quite a trick, as EWH mentioned. Where did you learn word salad, rufus? Or does it just come natural for you?
rufusgwarren
1 / 5 (3) May 14, 2015
Something like holding a neutron from a string as a pendulum within the "field" of the earth ... nice start, but I would make my measurements of the elemental in space! This measurement is about the earth, I'm imagining a practically infinite response, i.e. 1/0+ wavelets of low amplitudes all summed together as a 2nd mode, 1st mode is a stable mode, i.e. the stability of the dipole ... gravity! So yea, same measurement, mass, but now as a charge pair [1,-1] and the field throughout space and time based upon a unit-less space, i.e. 4D simply from interpolating the change in position of each charge of which we are a part. We never see more than our own reflection, truly, if we do not flatter ourselves!
rufusgwarren
1 / 5 (2) May 14, 2015
Considering it is something we do not know then suggest you have not read enough or are guided by fantasy.
TimLong2001
2.3 / 5 (3) May 15, 2015
Monkey Butt (very appropriate): Maybe you are not aware that photon mass was defined as zero to simplify atomic calculations due to their miniscule mass. There is a lot of research into this area, and if you knew what you're talking about, you'd have been aware of that. One of the problems of contemporary physics is that so many students have been brainwashed by their instructors to take every definition as a "religious" precept which ultimately slows down scientific progress since you have people like yourself and the pompous Urgelt that have closed minds. I don't care how many "stars' you have -- if you are full of it, I will point that out. The reason photon structure theory (wave-particle duality) does not "sound like" QCD, although they used its basic representation in +/- quark rotation, is that it is a QED formulation. The idea that beta (+/-) pairs form nucleons is a different representation, and beta particles actually exist -- unlike the"gluon" of the standard mode
rufusgwarren
5 / 5 (1) May 15, 2015
Logic: Universe of Discourse - All statements either true or false, definable from set of axioms and theories derivable using known logic.

Physics: EM Field, definable, Charge measurable and built upon a theory defined empirically. Mass (unknown)
TimLong2001
5 / 5 (1) May 15, 2015
(oops, ran out of space) ....that is, model. Carlo Rubbia seemed to like the idea of the photon structure in 1980, at least that's what his letter to me said. BTW, rufuswarren, thanks for the intelligent remarks.
rufusgwarren
not rated yet May 15, 2015
(oops, ran out of space) ....that is, model. Carlo Rubbia seemed to like the idea of the photon structure in 1980, at least that's what his letter to me said. BTW, rufuswarren, thanks for the intelligent remarks.


Oh, are you referring to the two experiments which are actually the same experiment: double slit with only waves and the other with only particles, i.e. the source of the waves; therefore, particles have wavelike behavior as well as waves having particle like behavior.

Kind of silly when you think about it; however, Einstein was in granularity theory before he met his first wife. Think she was dismissed as a student. She and he worked on GR. Kind of interesting, idiots like everything when having ... Thanks.
rufusgwarren
1 / 5 (1) May 15, 2015
Just think, if you know the length of a stick traveling past you, then why can't you see a wavelet pass using the same measurement. Are we so dazzled we need to redefine space? How fast did it pass. Well all I have is this "priori" , its original wavelength, space must have stretched cause it shudda been c? What! We know the length from end to end and the time it takes to completely pass, i.e. how fast it is moving relative to us and may be from +/- infinity! Do I( get an award for disproving Einstein? Or is everyone too embarrassed to admit it? Hey, the monies in the pot got play your hand!
rufusgwarren
1 / 5 (1) May 15, 2015
Just think, if you know the length of a stick traveling past you, then why can't you see a wavelet pass using the same measurement. Are we so dazzled we need to redefine space? How fast did it pass. Well all I have is this "priori" , its original wavelength, space must have stretched cause it shudda been c? What! We know the length from end to end and the time it takes to completely pass, i.e. how fast it is moving relative to us and may be from +/- infinity! Do I( get an award for disproving Einstein? Or is everyone too embarrassed to admit it? Hey, the monies in the pot got play your hand!


Please deny this! LOL
Monkey Butt
1 / 5 (1) May 16, 2015
Does a photon have rest mass? If so, how do you bring a photon to rest?
rufusgwarren
not rated yet May 16, 2015
This field! If only in free fall and some really groovy nano-particles!

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.