Fermilab Today Friday, January 5, 2007

Fri., January 5
3:30 p.m. Director's Coffee Break - 2nd floor crossover
4:00 Joint Experimental Theoretical Physics Seminar - 1 West
Speaker: A. Kotwal, Duke University
Title: First Run II Measurement of the W Boson Mass by CDF

Mon., January 8
3:30 p.m. Director's Coffee Break - 2nd floor crossover
4:00 p.m. All Experimenters' Meeting - Curia II
Special Topics: Wireless Network Name Change; First Demonstration of Beam-Beam Compensation in the Tevatron


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


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Wilson Hall Cafe
Friday, January 5
-Old Fashioned Ham and Bean
-Philly Style Chicken
-Braised Pork Chops
-Stuffed Manicotti
-Roasted Veggie and Provolone Panini
-Assorted Slice Pizza
-Baked Potato

Wilson Hall Cafe Menu

Chez Leon

Wednesday, January 10
Chicken Curry
Steamed Jasmine Rice
Sautéed Oriental Vegetables
Coconut Flan

Thursday, January 11
Shrimp Chowder
Veal Saltimbocca
Steamed Green Beans with Red Onions
Tomato Risotto
Lemon Napoleons

Chez Leon Menu
Call x4598 to make your reservation.


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Feature Story

Questions about physics? Just ask a Scientist

The next session of Ask-a-Scientist is Sunday, January 7.

People ask all kinds of questions at Fermilab's Ask-a-Scientist program. Physicist Dave Harding, who's been involved in the program for 6 years, remembers answering some of them. He's explored quantum ramifications of double slit experiments with a precocious high schooler, shown young children how magnets work, and discussed physics theories cooked-up by adult visitors, to name a few. "It's interesting to get a perspective on how people think," said Harding. He's even been stumped a few times. "Some middle-school boys wanted to know what the biggest fish that ever been caught at Fermilab was," said Harding. "I had to look it up later. It was a 39 pounder."

The precursor to the Ask-a Scientist program started in the 1980s as a casual weekly gathering that gave the public a chance to meet a Fermilab scientist and ask questions about Fermilab, elementary particle physics or science in general. "People would just sort of hang out in the cafeteria on Sunday afternoons and anybody who wandered in would find somebody to talk to," said Harding. The program has grown; it now includes a talk and a tour. The most popular session--drawing international visitors to the wait-list--happens during shutdowns, when guests can go inside the antiproton source tunnel. Plenty of locals also attend. "There are people who have never been to Fermilab even though they've lived in our shadow for 10 or 20 years," said Harding. "Once they come, many return again and again."

--Siri Steiner

The next session of Ask-a-Scientist is Sunday, January 7. For a schedule, click here.

To volunteer for Ask-a-Scientist, contact Peter Garbincius at garbincius@fnal.gov.
In Memoriam

Chuck DeBaun

Chuck DeBaun

Chuck DeBaun, a member of the Fermilab staff for more than 30 years, died January 3, 2007, after a brief illness.

DeBaun came to Fermilab in 1975 as a computing professional in the User Support group, long before interactive computing or powerful debugging tools were common, according to Judy Nicholls, a long-time co-worker. "We went through many changes and learning experiences in the transition from batch to interactive computing," she said, "and he contributed a lot to those efforts."

DeBaun's personable manner and steady, dependable work earned him the respect of his colleagues and customers. "He was a good technician. He had great patience and a wry wit," said Jeff Mack, a co-worker from DeBaun's earliest days at the lab. This combination of skills allowed him to calm the most distraught of users. "Once you gave him a problem, you could just consider it done, no matter how long or difficult it was," recalled Liz Sexton-Kennedy, one of his many project leaders. "And then he would just move on to the next problem."

Visitation with the family will be held on Saturday, January 6, from 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm at the Conley Funeral Home, 116 W. Pierce Ave., Elburn (630-365-6414). A memorial will follow at 3:00 pm.

ILC NewsLine

Argonne-Fermilab BCP system coming together

Standing behind a "valve yard," are (L-R) Dan Assell, Todd Thode, Tim Hamerla, Allan Rowe and Luciano Elementi. They are members of the Fermilab group who designed the BCP system for the new facility at Argonne.

To make the superconducting cavities for the ILC sparkle, they must undergo a series of surface treatments to make them as clean and pure as possible - a necessity for achieving high accelerating gradients. Electropolishing and buffered chemical polishing, the two types of chemical treatments required for the cavities, are not simple tasks. They involve tricky chemicals and a detailed recipe for producing the best cavities possible.

Read More
In the News

Kane County Chronicle,
December 27, 2006:

Discoverer of missing link to visit

BATAVIA - Dr. Neil Shubin, who discovered the Tiktaalik - 375 million-year-old missing link between fish and amphibians - will discuss his find at Fermilab.

The Tiktaalik, "a mosaic of primitive fish and derived amphibian," made waves in March when Shubin announced the find. The fossil was found in the arctic region of Canada and was the result of six years of research.

"We are dealing with the transformation from life in water to life on land," Shubin said in a release.

"Those animals that took the first steps on land are the animals that evolved limbs."

Shubin's lecture, "The First Steps on Land," will be at 8 p.m. Jan 19 at Fermilab's Ramsey Auditorium. Tickets are $5. For reservations or information, call (630) 840-ARTS (2787) weekdays between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Read More

Special Director's Corner

Continuing Resolution

In December, Congress passed the third "continuing resolution" or "CR" to fund the federal budget for fiscal year 2007 at the 2006 level. Also in December, the incoming chairs of the House and Senate appropriations committees stated their intent to pass a "joint budget resolution" for the remainder of the fiscal year. The committee chairs were careful not to specify the level of the joint funding resolution and explicitly stated their intent to mitigate as much as possible the adverse consequences that would result from such resolution. However, there has been broad speculation that the result may be a continuing resolution at the FY06 level for the remainder of the FY07 fiscal year. This would have very negative effects on many federally funded programs throughout the country, including the physical sciences and Fermilab.

Last month, DOE Under Secretary Orbach requested, and we provided, an analysis of the impact and a contingency plan should the level of Fermilab funding remain at the FY06 level. I want to share with you the unvarnished consequences of such a budget as we have presented it to DOE (see links below). Of course the specifics may change as things unfold. Among other measures, the contingency plan includes the possibility of a month-long furlough, or temporary layoff from work, of all Fermilab employees except those required for safety and for essential activities.

I want to assure you that, at this stage, this is only a contingency plan. Should such measures become necessary, I will consult with the laboratory management about how best to proceed. In the meantime, we are working very hard to make sure that the consequences of a reduced budget level are understood at all government levels and to make the strongest case to redress the situation and avert these consequences. Thanks to your extraordinary efforts, the remarkable results on the Tevatron, the neutrino program and ILC R&D make a powerful case for support.

We don't plan on layoffs for FY07; they would not help much in achieving significant savings this year. We expect that the president's budget request for FY08 will be supportive of the physical sciences and of Fermilab so that layoffs will not be necessary.

Last year, at the request of Congress, the National Academy carried out a study on American competitiveness that resulted in the report "Rising Above the Gathering Storm." The report pointed to the critical need for the country to increase its investment in the physical sciences in order to remain competitive among the nations of the world. The president's budget and subsequent congressional committees have recognized this critical need with broad bipartisan support. A CR at the FY06 level maintained for the full year would amount to a cut in funding, due to inflation, at a time when increased support is called for. This would undermine progress in the physical sciences and the world-competitive position of the U.S. in science and technology. I am optimistic that this will not be allowed to happen.

You will surely have many questions. I may not have a lot of answers, but for employees who would like to meet informally with me, I will be available to provide whatever information I have on Monday, January 8, at noon in One West.

Links to additional information



Change in Wireless Connectivity
On Tuesday, January 9, between 6:00 a.m. and 7:00 a.m., the lab's general wireless network name will be changed in response to DOE recommendations to improve computer security. Windows and Mac users will be prompted to connect to the new network name, some Unix users may need to modify their system configuration. Additional information on the name change and instructions on how to connect are available from any system connected to the Fermilab network by visiting this website.

English Country Dancing and more
English country dancing will meet this Sunday, January 7, at Kuhn Barn, starting at 2 p.m. and will continue to meet on the first Sunday of the month through the winter and spring. The Fermilab English and Scottish country dance groups are also partial sponsors of a special English country dance on Sunday Jan. 14, at 1 p.m. at the Bethany United Church of Christ, 4250 N. Paulina, in Chicago with teaching by Jacqueline Schwab and live music by Jacqueline Schwab, Barbara McOwen and Anne Hooper, noted musicians from Boston. Jacqueline Schwab will also give a concert along with local flautist Susan Conant on Friday, Jan. 12, at the Unitarian Universlist Society of Geneva, 102-110 S. Second St. in Geneva. Please contact folkdance@fnal.gov or call 630-584-0825 or 630-840-8194. For concert information and tickets, go to the website.

New Web Sites
The Business Services Section and Finance Section have implemented new web sites due to the reorganization. The Business Services Section URL is http://bss.fnal.gov and the Finance Section URL is http://finance.fnal.gov. While the old Business Services Section web site is available with pages redirecting users to the new sites, it is advised that people reset any favorites or bookmarks at this time.

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