April Fools' Day 2012

Have a funny day!

Monday, April 2
1 p.m.
All Hands Meeting - WH Tornado Shelter
Speaker: Pier Oddone
Title: Creative interpretations of the acronym NML
3:30 p.m.
- 2nd Flr X-Over
4 p.m.
Theoretical Physics Seminar - Black Hole
Speaker: Neo
Title: Accept it already - we don't actually exist

Tuesday, April 3
12:30 p.m.
Physics for Physicists - Ramsey Auditorium
Speaker: Don Lincoln
Title: Flavor SU(3) tests from $D^0 \to K^0 K^- π^+$ and $D^0 \to \bar K^0 K^+ π^-$ Dalitz plots
1 p.m.
Particle Astrophysics Seminar
Speaker: Dr. Fetta
Title: Moon colonies: Our gateway to unlimited cheese.
Accelerator Physics and Technology Seminar - Curia II
Speaker: Hulk Hogan
Title: Incorporating chairs into collisions

Click here for NALCAL,
a weekly calendar with links to additional information.

Upcoming conferences


Take Five

Weather Fire and brimstone
Lengthy but optimistic projections well into the mid-2020s
Current Security Status


Wilson Hall Cafe

Monday, April 2

- Breakfast: Particle crunch cereal
- Pbar ice cream bar
- String theory spaghetti
- Smart cuisine: Antiprotein source
- Assorted sliced scintillators
Wilson Hall Cafe Menu

Chez Leon

Wednesday, April 4
- Peanut butter & jelly
- Carrot sticks
- Animal crackers

Friday, April 6
- Grilled cheese
- Fruit rollups
- Chocolate milk

Chez Leon Menu
Call x3524 to make your reservation.


Fermilab Today

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The new accelerator complex will experimentally test the theory MAGIC.

For years, scientists have relied on burdensome data analysis and expensive experiments to slowly pick away at each piece of our understanding of the universe. But a new theory might explain everything as a whole: Matter and Antimatter Guide for Ideal Conditions.

"MAGIC could be the answer to everything," said Chris Quigg, a Fermilab theoretical physicist. "Unlike the Standard Model, MAGIC is a complete theory with very few gaps. We'll need minimal experimental analysis to provide evidence."

The theory explains the origin of mass, the imbalance of matter and antimatter as well as the expansion of the universe. While MAGIC has support from numerous theorists, experimentalists are still skeptical.

"On paper, MAGIC is enchanting," said Debbie Harris of the Particle Physics Division.

Read more


Doughnut deliciousness determined at Fermilab

Today, Fermilab's Particle Physics Division announced their results concerning the doughnuts offered on the front desk of the ES&H offices.

"After years of collecting data, we have finally broken the five sigma barrier and can say with certainty that the doughnuts are delicious," said Mike Lindgren, head of PPD.

Now that the deliciousness level has been determined, scientists will begin an experiment to make the measurement of doughnut flavor more precise.


Scientists round up speed of light to next decimal, move on

The idea came to Gerald Obviouso, a junior at Batavia High School, while napping in physics class.

"Why don't they just round up the speed limit?" Obviouso asked.

Obviouso didn't stop there. Later that day, he ran into a physicist street-skiing in a Batavia neighborhood outside Fermilab. On their feet again, Obviouso told Robert Plunkett, MINOS co-spokesperson, about his solution. Plunkett immediately got to work, stopping only at the Wilson Hall stairs to slip out of his street skiis.

If results from Italy's OPRAH experiment were true and the particles actually did travel faster than the speed of light, scientists would have to rethink the most fundamental laws of physics – a lot of extra work for Plunkett.

Read more

In the News

Higgs reconstructed at CERN's Computer Centre

From the CERN Bullentin,
April 2, 2012

Thanks to the enormous computing capacity of the CERN Computer Centre, which hosts about 12,000 servers with 16,000 CPUs (i.e. 64,000 computing cores) and 64,000 hard-disks distributed over 1,100 racks and storing another 22 PB (PetaByte, i.e. 22 million billion bytes) of LHC data during 2011, CERN computing specialists have managed for the first time to reconstruct the "Higgs."

In fact, as clear physics evidence of the Higgs is still pending and expected to be established in 2012, the CERN Computer Centre operators have instead rearranged their computer racks in the Computer Centre (Building 513) to spell the word "Higgs". Bruce Peppa, group leader of the IT/CC group who manages the Computer Centre, said "As many people have noticed, for a few months serious construction work has been going on in the annex to the CERN Computer Centre. With the installation of more servers in the so-called "Barn", the current capacity of 2.9 MegaWatt computing power will be increased to 3.5MW by October 2012. Since we had to modify the structures in the main computer room too, we decided to be a bit more creative and made this new layout. Unfortunately, we couldn't make "Higgs" as explicit as we would have liked, as cooling the aisles is still of paramount importance."

Read more


Roller derby team takes to Tevatron tunnel

Athletes are rolling where particles used to fly.

Following the Tevatron shutdown last fall, a league of fan-weary roller derby skaters quietly adopted the four-mile tunnel as their racing track. The skaters, who were unhappy to find their sport becoming mainstream, sought out a closed-off, closed-loop space to host their practices and bouts.

The Tevatron tunnel was a perfect fit. By hosting their match-ups in the Fermilab ring, not only would the league breathe a new kind of life and credibility into the former accelerator, there would be absolutely no room for their fans: a win-win.

"Roller derby used to be a fairly niche market, kind of like the X games," said derby girl Su-she Roll. While she doesn't have any connection to Fermilab, she likes the idea of skating where particles once collided. "But its popularity started growing, and several of us didn't like the exposure. Plus, it was noisy with all that cheering."

Read more

In Brief

High-efficiency hand dryers upgraded in Wilson Hall

ES&H is replacing Wilson Hall's high-efficiency hand dryers with a more practical alternative: pants.

"We determined that pants are not only more efficient than the current hand dryers, but also less expensive and more effective," Eric Mieland from ES&H said.

ES&H concluded that the current 300-watt hand dryers take about 6.5 minutes to dry hands, whereas pants can achieve the same level of dryness with the 'shake-shake-pat-pat' method in a matter of seconds.

However, some Fermilab employees don't agree with this upgrade.

"ES&H is assuming that all Fermilab employees wear pants. I find this assumption erroneous and prejudiced," said an anonymous Fermilab employee donning 1980s daisy dukes.

In order to show their support of diverse attire, ES&H will hang a pair of pants in the high-traffic restrooms for those employees who chose not to wear them.

"We don't want any employee to feel discriminated against because of their dress choices," Mieland said. "Everyone should have the right to dry hands, which is why we are implementing a public pair of pants in every major bathroom. From now on, ES&H is all about 'shake-shake-pat-pat!'"

Accelerator Update

April 1
- Muon Ring personnel used the antiproton target to create music
- SeaQuest personnel took a beach vacation
- FTBF experiment T-5000 stole beam
Read the Current Accelerator Update
Read the Early Bird Report
View the Tevatron Luminosity Charts


Latest Announcements

Mandatory party for Project X personnel - April 7

Vulcan barn dance - April 8

Fermilab beard and moustache competition - April 12

Gandalf v. Dumbledore symposium - April 15

Looking for neutrinos lost at MicroBooNE groundbreaking

New ServiceNOW website

SRF cavities no longer covered by CIGNA

Fermilab laser tag league

Announcement submission course

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