Fermi National Laboratory

Volume 23  |  Friday, September 15, 2000  |  Number 16
In This Issue  |  FermiNews Main Page

Talk of the Lab

Not just another pretty detector.

Let's face it. CDF gets all the ink.

Sometimes it seems positively unfair. Just because older sister CDF, Fermilab's first collider detector, arrived earlier on the scene, does that mean she can act like an only child forever?

Right up front, there's the issue of photogenics, if that's the word for a long-term love affair with the camera. CDF has always had those drop-dead good looks. The blue, the red, the yellow, the silver. When people walk into the CDF assembly hall and see the detector for the first time, they say 'Ooh!' and "Do all those cables really connect to something?"

Conveniently, CDF has a visitors' viewing gallery, the better for VIP's and reporters to hang over the pit and ogle the five-ton glamour-puss CDF detector. So handy.

CDF gets on the cover of the physics equivalent of Vogue--Physics Today.

Not DZero. DZero looks like a big metal tank. The kind you might find buried beneath your corner gas station. An off-white metal tank. What happened? Did they run out of high-gloss paint when they got to the detector across the ring?

True, DZero has wonderful, wonderful things inside: beautiful trackers and solenoids and chambers and calorimetersˇgorgeous calorimetersˇand silicon. Fantastic stuff. And true, as your Mom told you in junior high, it's what's inside that counts. Absolutely. No question. But when was the last time you saw DZero on the cover of anything? (Sure, FermiNews, but that's like making the cover of your Mom's photo album. She loves you no matter what you look like.)

Even schoolchildren think CDF looks better than DZero. CDF posters outsell DZero posters five to one with the kids. And with the teachers.

If CDF is the Maserati of particle detectors, what's DZero? The Step Van?

Then there's the real-estate thing. Once again, CDF's got it all: location, location, location. Time and again, the tour for the senator, the congressman, the secretary includes a stop at close-to-the-High-Rise CDF, easy-on, easy-off CDFˇand a stop at DZero "if time permits." Somehow, time never does seem to permit. It's so FAR over there, and the congressman has a plane to catch.

CDF staked out Park Avenue, and DZero got stuck out in Queens.

When you do arrive at the DZero assembly hall, forget about the heart-stopping vista, the admiring gasp. Yes, DZero does have a catwalk, if you know where to find it, but the view it affords does not inspire a grab for the camera.

It would seem as if CDF got it all: the looks, the great address, the old-line pedigree.

But, as Serena once said to Venus, don't write the younger sister off quite yet.

DZero speaks up for itself. From the beginning, DZero collaborators understood the value of making themselves heard. It's as if they knew they had to do something to hold their own, with CDF vamping over there across the ring. They learned to communicate.

They put their papers into plain English, so that non-particle physicists could read them. They invited the public to their Web site. They explained to anyone who would listen why physics is good for the country. They knocked themselves out to tell their story to the world.

And they came up with great story ideas: "Fiber Tracker Hits the Road," "Searching for Magnetic Monopoles," "Sleuth, the Model-Independent Software," "No Branes Found Yet at DZero," "Return of the Banished Indians," "Muon Chambers," "Russian Students".

Ya gotta love a collaboration that works so hard to explain itself. For this edition of FermiNews alone, DZero collaborators came up with so many interesting story proposals that eventually the editors threw up their hands and decided to go for an all-DZero issue. It seemed like the only thing to do.

True, next issue, CDF will be back in the limelight. As FermiNews goes to press, CDF is rolling into the accelerator--first, of course--for the engineering run that leads up to Run II. Once again, CDF will be turning its best profile to the camera for a few more glamour shots.

But, if experience is any guide, we haven't heard the last from DZero. In fact, most likely, we ain't heard nothin' yet.

byJudy Jackson

Dog Story

unofficial mascot of Dzero In the pre-history of the Collider--in1981--Leon called for `small clever' proposals for the D0 intersection region. There were about a dozen proposals. One of them was LAPDOG submitted with Mike Marx and me as co-proponents. Institutions included Brookhaven, Brown, Columbia, Michigan State, Stony Brook. The name was actually an acronym for something, but was also a bit of a spoof on pretentious names for experiments.

My next-door neighbor in Stony Brook is George Booth, a cartoonist who does things for The New Yorker and other magazines. I asked George if he could do a cartoon of his well-known dog as logo for the proposal, which he did (copyright presumably given to me for use).

In time, the Physics Advisory Committee decided not to approve any of the proposals, instead asking for a new collaboration to form amalgamating ideas from several proposals. Leon asked me to serve as spokesman for the nascent collaboration. Finding a new name for the collaboration was a hot topic in the early daysˇcertainly many people did not like the LAPDOG theme, and also not the dog logo. With all the new personalities trying to come together from different quarters, it did not seem wise to push the canine theme, so the name became--in least common denominator fashion--D0, after the location of the experiment in the ring. Nevertheless, the doggy afficionados continued to push the dog thing a little, and it showed up on the first isometric drawing of the D0 detector to give the scale of the experiment. (That was partly inspired by Ryuji Yamada, who always seemed partial to doggy-hood.)

When in time, D0 was built and we had to have more office space in the form of the portakamps near the D0 Assembly Building, Hans #öt;stlein decided to add the decoration. Hans is accomplished in many ways, one of which turned out to be woodworking, so he blew up the original drawing of the Booth Dog, and jigsawed it from plywood, painted it and attached it to the portakamps. Its been there ever since; one subsequent repainting, and now delaminating from the weather.

by Paul Grannis


last modified 9/15/2000   email Fermilab