IAXO gets an ERC Advanced Grant!!

Igor G. Irastorza, spokesperson of IAXO, has been awarded an “Advanced Grant” of the European Research Council (ERC). These grants are the most prestigious of the ERC, awarded to projects and researchers only on the basis of excellence. The grant provides important resources to build BabyIAXO, the first stage of the IAXO experiment and the main near-term goal of the collaboration.

The grant has have quite some impact in the local media. Some links follow (in Spanish):

TREX-DM goes underground

Last February 6th a major milestone in the preparatory phase of TREX-DM detector was reached. After completing the tests of surface culminating with the high pressure certification of the vessel (necessary for its operation underground), the detector left our TREX lab in Zaragoza to start its trip to the LSC at Canfranc:

The detector has been disassembled and all pieces carefully cleaned at the LSC. It has been reassembled inside the clean room at the LSC:

and soon will be moved to its final site at the hall A of LSC.

TREX-DM readouts under test

The microbulk Micromegas readouts of the TREX-DM experiments are the largest area single microbulk readout ever fabricated so far. They have an active area of 25×25 cm2 and about 1000 readout channels  in a X-Y strip pattern, that are extracted from the detector via flexible kapton circuits. After fabrication at CERN, they are currently being tested inside the TREX-DM detector for the first time, in the T-REX Lab at the Universidad de Zaragoza. Enjoy the pictures and the video!




Last results from CAST published in Nature Physics

The last results in the hunt for the axion of CAST at CERN have been published last week in Nature Physics (open access). The result has been enabled by the availability of a new detection system, composed by a new x-ray telescope coupled to an ultra-low background Micromegas detectors (dubbed IAXO pathfinder system) developed as part of the T-REX project. The system enjoys the best signal-to-noise ratio of any other previous detector in the experiment an is one of the main milestones in the roadmap to prepare the next generation axion helioscope IAXO (the International Axion Observatory).

The corresponding author of the paper is the UNIZAR scientist and T-REX PI Igor G. Irastorza. The published limit on the axion-photon coupling is the first CAST limit that is competitive with the bounds set by astrophysics.

The result has had some impact in the local media. Some links are gathered below:


ERC 10th anniversary

With the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the European Research Council (ERC) an event was organized by the University of Zaragoza. The event was attended by the relevant university and regional authorities. As one of the eight (so far) ERC grants in Aragon (in fact, the first one chronologically!), TREX was represented in the event. It had a high impact in the local media.

This is the University press release of the event.

And here are some links to articles in the local press: Heraldo de Aragón (portada, online ), and El periodico de Aragón.


TREX-DM approved by LSC scientific committee

In its last meeting on 2-3 December, the scientific committee of the Laboratorio Subterráneo de Canfranc has approved the experiment proposal of TREX-DM. The detector is already built in the Universidad de Zaragoza, and would be practically ready to be moved underground. Shielding, gas system and other ancillary systems must be built. The risk analysis study, installation and commissioning of the experiment is foreseen to happen in the coming months, moving the project to the point of data taking by the end of 2017.


The decision has had quite an impact on the local media. See the press release of the Universidad de Zaragoza, as well as in CPAN. Articles in newspapers Heraldo de Aragón, El Periodico de Aragón, Expansión, Aragón Universidad, Aragón Digital, ABC, among others, have appeared, as well as interviews in several radios (Aragon Radio, Radio Ebro,…) and a local TV:




IAXO in the “Physics Beyond Colliders” Kick-off Workshop

The “Physics Beyond Colliders” Study Group was recenlty launched by CERN Management to explore the opportunities offered by the CERN accelerator complex and infrastructure to get new insights into some of today’s outstanding questions in particle physics through projects complementary to high-energy colliders and other initiatives in the world. The process, that will provide input to the next update of the European Strategy for Particle Physis, started last september with a kick-off workshop.

As one of the projects in the landscape of European particle physics without accelerators, IAXO was invited to be present in the workshop. Click here for the slides of the presentation.