All 6 entries tagged Andrew Bennieston

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August 21, 2007

PEBBLE is Alive!

In other news, we may have spent a while filling a whiteboard with text, but the project now works! We can generate one million double beta decay events, complete with energies and angular distributions, in a little over a minute (on a 1.86GHz processor).

Today we’re going to tidy the code up a bit and complete all the documentation, then we can turn it into a library and interface with other peoples code, such as the CERN GEANT4 package, which will allow us to track the motion of the particles our program generates, as they pass through various detector materials.

August 03, 2007


And where would we be without our dinosaur friends…

( )

0vßß Event Generator – Week 5

Week five in the physics cave (literally – our office has no windows!) and we’ve made significant progress. For those of you reading this who forgot what it is we’re doing, the task is to create a program which simulates double-beta (ßß) decay events and produces a list of energies and angular distributions of the resultant particles.

The last few weeks involved implementing lots of helper functions and classes; numeric integration, a four-vector, various classes to represent different kinds of particles, and other associated trickery. This week, we started the biggest single part of the program; the event generation functionality itself.

At the start of this week we hoped to have this finished by today; unfortunately that did not happen! We’re getting close, though. Understanding what we have to do is half the task!

We’ve also named our project PEBBLE – momentum(p)-Energy ßß (double-Beta) Leptonic Event!

July 17, 2007

0vßß – Week Three

And so another week begins (or, has already done so). After Sam and I submitted a design document last week (which basically detailed how we plan to set out the design of the program we are eventually to write) we started to look at implementation issues. There are several rather evil looking equations which we must implement in C++ (a computer programming language) in order to obtain the angular distributions and energies of the particles released from a double beta decay event.

Yesterday we obtained some existing code that does more or less the same thing, and stared at it in horror and disgust (Fortran; don’t touch it… ever!) Today will probably involve picking through it for the parts that implement those nasty equations! Fun!

To the work Cave!

July 12, 2007

Week Two

It’s now almost the end of week two and I’ve yet to post anything here, so here goes…

Sam and I have just finished revision 1 of a design document for the program we have to write. Hopefully there won’t be too many changes to make before we can get on with implementing it, but there will inevitably be some!

On a lighter note, we created a new particle; the Duckton, which mediates a vector field known as the Pond. A duckton (see the photo below) is a bound state of three quacks. Each quack has a colour (red, green, blue) and the Duckton is a yellow combination of quacks.

(No, we were not bored, just insane.)

There are some photos of the “office” below, too. It spends most of the year masquerading as a meeting room, so you can imagine the size!

The Office

The Duckton


July 09, 2007

Modelling the neutrinoless double beta–decay (ββ(0v))

Our (Andrew’s and mine) project involves the design and implementation of a Monte Carlo simulation of the ββ(0v) decay event, which should help in the search for the event. Tim has already outlined the basic theory of the decay, but not the implications of its observation.

If the ββ(0v) decay is observed then some assertions about neutrinos in the Standard Model (SM) of physics are incorrect. For example, the SM explains the observation of only left handed neutrinos by asserting that neutrinos propagate at the speed of light, and therefore are massless. However if the ββ(0v) is observed then it implies neutrinos have a finite mass, which is a big problem in the SM.

Neutrino physics has advanced rapidly and more theory suggests that this is the case, and the SM will need more and more augmentation if these theories are proved correct by observation.

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