Past news

VIP experiment at Laboratori Nazionali del Gran Sasso challenges Penrose theory

VIP experiment at Laboratori Nazionali del Gran Sasso challenges Penrose theory


A new record was achieved in the study of the gravity-related wave function collapse model, which was proposed by Lajos Diósi and Roger Penrose (DP model) in order to solve the measurement problem. The experimental research was performed in the framework of the VIP collaboration, having Catalina Curceanu as Spokesperson and Kristian Piscicchia as INFN responsible.

The experiment looked for signal of a characteristic spontaneous radiation emission, which is predicted by the model. The measurement was performed at the underground Gran Sasso National Laboratory exploiting a High Purity Germanium detector. The results were recently published in the Nature Physics research article "Underground test of gravity-related wave function collapse". The experimental sensitivity was, for the first time, such as to falsify the model, at least in the present version. The measured upper limit on the spontaneous ration rate is orders of magnitude less then the theory expectation.

The group is collaborating with expert theoreticians in this sector (among which Penrose and Diósi themselves) to the development of a new “gravity-related collapse” model, and already works to the design and realization of an even more sensitive experiment, in order to test other elusive collapse models.

The work published in Nature Physics was widespread disseminated:

- link 1

- link 2

- link 3

- link 4

 vip small

Still from interactive video installation, courtesy of camerAnebbia



Science3IP – the Science trip to the Third Sector Organizations, Institutions and Politics

Science3IP – the Science trip to the Third Sector Organizations, Institutions and Politics


Science3IP – the Science trip to the Third Sector Organizations, Institutions and Politics is an innovative scientific outreach program able to directly engage the deputies (or members) of the Assemblea Regionale Siciliana (ARS) and more than 60 no‐profit Organizations thus establishing, for the first time, a direct partnership between Research, the Community, the no‐profit Organizations and the regional Political‐Institutional system.
The project ‐ although not a winner of the “Physics Involving People” call – has been deemed worthy to be financed with extra‐Call funds since its objectives and the way to involve the target audience have been evaluated innovative.

More details at this link.



In the pictures, some participatory workshop carried out at “Palazzo dei Normanni”, i.e. the site of the Sicilian regional Parliament, between non-profit organizations and the regional deputies on topics of Agriculture, Welfare and social inclusion.





Astrophysics between lockdown and upgrade

Astrophysics between lockdown and upgrade


On May 18 following the prescriptions given by INFN nationwide and the local regulations of INFN LNS experimental activities at LNS has re-started, following the schedule which was approved before the COVID emergency. Two of the experiments, both regarding nuclear Astrophysics, were suggested by the ASFIN2 collaboration, of the national scientific commission 3. The experiments, successfully completed thanks to the extraordinary technical support of the LNS staff, that we gratefully mention, were aimed to measuring the cross section of the reazione 27Al(p,α)24Mg and studying the 10Be+4He fusion which have strong motivations in the field of the Multimessenger astronomy and solar system formation. The overall data taking lasted more than 30 days.

The first experiment, ALFA (ALuminum For Astrophysics), started on 18/5, represents the first measurement performed in an INFN national laboratory (among the first in Europe) after the great lockdown. The second, CHAIN, takes advantage of the unstable isotope 10Be accelerated with the LNS tandem rapresents the last experiment performed at LNS before the accelerator shutdown due to the upgrading of the LNS Cyclotron.



Picture of the ALFA experimental setup inside CHAMBER 2000 at LNS




2D identification spectrum of the products of the 10Be+4He fusion




SPES cyclotron in operation

SPES cyclotron in operation


After break for Covid2019 emergency, the LNL team forced the schedule for restarting the Cyclotron operation at 1 MeV energy.
After two years of shutdown for maintenance and to carry on the SPES facility installations, the 70MeV Cyclotron is back in operation. For the first phase it is foreseen to accelerate the beam (H-) up to the energy of 1 MeV to check the well working of the whole system. The radial probe intercepting the beam after few turns was blocked into the cyclotron to not permit the particles to be over accelerated (see figure 1). In the meantime, tests to check the performance limits of the accelerator have been done, and the Cyclotron group got the average current of 950 µA accelerating to 1 MeV with stable behavior over more than one hour (see fig. 1).
This is a breakthrough goal which will permit in the future, by employing a new buncher in the injection line, to achieve more than 1 mA beam accelerated. It will allow to study the current limits of the compact cyclotron accelerator devoted to deliver high power beams.



spes cycl 

Fig.1: Central region of SPES cyclotron operational at LNL with the beam stopper in the foreground (copper cylinder shape) intercepting the beam at 1 MeV. In the right box, it is shown the average current trend accelerated into the LNL Cyclotron at 1 MeV energy





NUMEN: the first post-COVID data kick-off the upgrade

NUMEN: the first post-COVID data kick-off the upgrade


NUMEN, the nuclear physics experiment that could help to reveal the Majorana neutrino mystery, successful ends its Phase 2, after the COVID-19 lockdown period. The Phase 2 of the NUMEN (NUclear Matrix Elements for Neutrinoless double beta decay) project has successfully ended. NUMEN Phase 2 aims, among other objectives, to carry out experimental activity with beams accelerated by the Superconducting Cyclotron (CS) of Laboratori Nazionali del Sud (LNS) and the use of the MAGNEX magnetic spectrometer. This experimental activity was carried out and supported within the H2020 ERC project NURE. Since 2014, several measurements have been performed in which the double charge exchange reactions on different candidate isotopes for neutrinoless double beta decay have been studied. These nuclear reactions are closely related to the double beta decay transitions and it has been shown that crucial information can be obtained from them for the determination of the involved nuclear matrix elements.

The conclusion of Phase 2 of NUMEN coincided with the delivery of the last beam accelerated by the CS accelerator in the present configuration at LNS. The upgrade the LNS CS research infrastructures, proposed by the physical case of NUMEN and foreseen in the POT-LNS project, will provide ion beams at intensities higher more than two orders of magnitude higher than to the current ones.

The NUMEN collaboration is now moving towards Phase 3, in which the intense activity of analysis and interpretation of the numerous data collected will be accompanied by the construction of new and more performing detectors, capable of sustaining the high rate expected after the upgrade works.

NUMEN ends a phase and is ready to start a new one!


magnex 1

MAGNEX magnetic spectrometer at Laboratori Nazionali del Sud


CSN3 Grants and job openings

The position of head of the nuclear science and instrumentation laboratory of the IAEA Laboratories in Seibersdorf (Austria) is open. More details at this link



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