Scientific research activities in the LBLNP are in the fields of nuclear and high energy physics. They are related in particular to cosmic-ray physics, nuclear spectroscopy, radon and environmental radiation measurements and nuclear aspects of processes induced in plasma focus apparatus.
In cosmic-ray physics research, main focus is on continuous monitoring of muon component of secondary cosmic rays, both on the surface and shallow underground. In addition to direct measurements (using plastic scintillators and fast ADCs), detailed simulations are used, utilizing CORSIKA and Geant4 software packages. Main results include determining muon flux (on the surface and underground), following periodic and non-periodic variations of muon intensity induced by solar activity, studying cosmic ray shower structure using spatially separated, array-like, detector setups, studying polarization of the stopped cosmic ray muons in plastic scintillators, studying relationship between cosmic rays and climate, etc.
High energy physics
The members of the LBLNP are part of Muon Ionization Cooling Experiment (MICE). The goal of the MICE experiment is to demonstrate the principle of ionization cooling as a technique for the reduction of the phase-space volume occupied by a muon beam. Ionization cooling channels are required for the Neutrino Factory and the Muon Collider.
Nuclear spectroscopy activity is concentrated on low background measurements based on use of HPGe detectors. Here, apart from continuous monitoring of environmental radioactivity, focus is on specific cosmic ray muon induced processes which provide background in high-sensitivity measurements. To this end, simulation tools are used extensively along with real experimental data.
Radon monitoring in the underground low-background laboratory with the passive and active devices, the low-level radon measurements, radon laboratory for chemical etching of the track detectors and automatic counting of the tracks by optical microscopy, modeling of the indoor radon behavior, radon mapping.
Various processes induced in plasma focus device were studied. Main goal was to establish yields and angular distributions of protons and neutrons emitted in discharges and study proton and neutron induced reactions in different targets.