• crumple cover

    Inside a crumpled ball

    The crumpling or crushing of paper, aluminum foil, or even a car fender is an everyday occurrence that is surprisingly rich in new physical and materials principles. UMass graduate student Dominique Cambou used X-ray microtomography experiments on foils crushed into a ball to understand their detailed 3D structure.

  • Asymmetric Evolution

    Relaxing Under Tension

    A slender filament such as a hair from your head or a blade of grass, easily buckles into a folded shape, but when you let it go, it springs back into its original shape.  This image, taken by graduate student Gangaprasath and postdoc Joel Marthelot In the Menon lab, shows a soft slender filament made of silicone rubber, floating on a liquid surface to slow down the process of straightening out.

  • Sanford Experimental Hall

    Sanford Underground Laboratory

    An experiment hall nearly one mile underground at Sanford Underground Laboratory, being refurbished for the LUX and LZ experiments. Great depths are required to reduce background radiation from cosmic rays and make sensitive neutrino and dark matter searches possible.

  • LUX phototube assembly

    LUX Phototube Assembly

    The installation of photomultiplier tubes (PMTs) for the LUX dark matter experiment.  The PMT array is held together by a copper frame of extreme radiopurity, and great care must be taken during construction to avoid contamination of the experiment with dust or even the natural radon typical of the air we breath.

  • Atlas construction

    Atlas Under Construction

    A view of the interior of the ATLAS detector at CERN, during installation and prior to the inner detector being rolled in.  The barrel toroid structures are visible, as is the muon big wheel, in the background.

  • Atlas cutaway

    A Slice of Atlas Detector

    A cut-away view of the ATLAS detector.  The magnetic toroid for the muon system, which is a focus of the UMass Atlas team, is displayed in gray.

  • immagine_2.jpeg

    Borexino Solar Neutrino Detector

    The Borexino prototype detector (CTF) shown here, a 4-ton spherical scintillator target surrounded by ultra-pure water and 100 photomultiplier tubes, operated between 1994 and 2003. The tubes detect flashes of light from ionizing radiation (including neutrinos) occurring in the scintillating volume. A thin nylon "shroud" prevents radioactive contamination from entering the center-most volume of the detector. The main Borexino experiment has been taking data since 2007.

    Credit: Borexino Collaboration

  • P1130104


    The EXO-200 experiment searches for neutrinoless double-beta decay in Xenon. If neutrinoless double beta decay were observed, it would prove the existence of "Majorana" neutrinos, particles which are their own antiparticles. The inner detector shown here is being deployed inside its cryostat at an underground site in New Mexico in 2010.

    Credit: The EXO-200 Collaboration

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Stephane Willocq Physics Coordinator for ATLAS at LHC

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Two Physics majors awarded Goldwater Scholarships

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Physics Spotlight

Physics Spotlight