Fermilab Today Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Tue., April 10
3:30 p.m
4:00 p.m. Accelerator Physics and Technology Seminar - 1 West
Speaker: T. Grumstrup, Pennsylvania State University
Title: Elastic Splashes

Wed., April 11
11:00 a.m.
Special Joint Experimental-Theoretical Physics Seminar -- (NOTE DATE, TIME, LOCATION) Auditorium Speakers: W. Louis, Los Alamos National Laboratory,
J. Conrad, Columbia University
Title: Initial MiniBooNE Oscillation Results
4:00 p.m.
Fermilab Colloquium - 1 West
Speaker: D. DiVincenzo, IBM Watson Research Center
Title: Quantum Computing: Solving Complex Problems

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


WeatherChance of showers 45/31

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Secon Level 3

Wilson Hall Cafe
Tuesday, April 10
-Creamy turkey vegetable
-Chicken gyros
-Salisbury steaks w/mushroom au jus
-Chicken cacciatore
-Italian panini w/provolone
-Assorted sliced pizza
-Super burrito

Wilson Hall Cafe Menu

Chez Leon

Wednesday, April 11
- Veal cannelloni
- Caesar salad
- Tiramisu

Thursday, April 12
- Vol-au-vents w/ mushroom duxelle
- Asian BBQ lamb chops
- Rice pilaf
- Spinach w/pine nuts & lemon zest
- Lemon Napoleon

Chez Leon Menu
Call x4598 to make your reservation.


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In Memoriam

Robert Betz, prairie visionary

Robert Betz, founder and leader of Fermilab's Prairie Restoration Project from 1973 to 2007, died on Thursday, April 5.

Robert Betz, whose inspiration sparked the restoration of Fermilab's acres of prairie, died April 5 after battling cancer. He was 84. His devotion shaped the landscape of Fermilab, a groundbreaking model of prairie restoration. Betz began the restoration project in 1973; today, almost 20 percent of the lab's grounds have been restored native grasses and wildflowers.

"I'll just miss Bob the man, his friendship and his willingness to share what he knew," said Mike Becker, Roads and Grounds manager. "His life's work will continue at Fermilab. The prairie will continue to grow just has he wanted it to."

After a 1959 trip to the Sante Fe Prairie in Hodgkins, Ill., Betz caught prairie fever. He started visiting old cemeteries and railroad tracks in the Midwest, looking for patches of prairie as models to bring prairie lands back to their original glory. "He was tenacious," Becker said. Betz loved to tell a story about one of his former students, who found a prairie plant that was extremely rare in Illinois. Excited to tell Betz about his find, he began walking out of the prairie area, but, looking down in the rocks, he saw a pencil marked Northeastern Illinois University. Betz had already been there.

A former biology and biochemistry professor at Northeastern Illinois University, who was sometimes called Professor Prairie, Betz was a natural, cheerful teacher. "He'd tell you something one week, and then ask you the next week to make sure you had caught on," Becker said. "But he was always good-natured about it. He never took anything too seriously."

Martin Valenzuela of Roads and Grounds used to go to lunch with Betz after working in the prairie. Betz always wanted to go to Burger King so he could mix the sodas. "He was like a kid," Valenzuela said. "Laughing out loud -- that's how I'll remember him." Valenzuela added: "The lesson I learned from him is his motivation to teach me about the prairie. That's something respectful. How wonderful."

Bob Lootens of Roads and Grounds, who began working with Betz nearly 30 years ago, still hears Betz's voice in his head, teaching him the Latin names of plants. "If you had the patience to listen, he had the patience to teach," Lootens said. Lootens recounted a time when he had messed up a detail during a prairie burn. Betz's response: "Don't worry. In a hundred years, no one will know the difference." Said Lootens: "That's not true of Bob Betz's work. His legacy will stay with the lab forever."

Read more

--Kate Raiford

Readers Write

Big blue bins to the rescue

To Fermilab Today:

I was wondering: Why don't we recycle plastic, glass, and aluminum cans at Wilson Hall?

-- Georgia Schwender, Directorate

FT replies: As if to answer Georgia's question, submitted early last week, large blue recycling bins have appeared in Wilson Hall's cafeteria. The bins are part of a larger lab-wide recycling initiative that began in the village at the end of March. The blue bins are meant for recycling glass or plastic bottles and metal cans.

In the News

From NPR's All Things Considered, April 9, 2007

The World's Largest Particle Accelerator

The cows grazing by the roads outside Geneva, Switzerland have witnessed some pretty strange things these past few years: Trucks roll by carrying big, superconducting magnets that look like missiles, and other brightly colored pieces of scientific equipment. The pieces are all taken to warehouse-sized buildings, where they disappear down shafts that reach 300 feet into the earth.

The work is all part of an $8 billion project at the international physics laboratory called CERN. At its heart will be an enormously powerful particle accelerator capable of smashing subatomic particles together, reproducing the energies that existed a fraction of a second after the big bang. What comes out may solve some fundamental mysteries about how the universe is put together.

Read more, and hear David Kestenbaum's full report.
Director's Corner


Pier Oddone

The last couple of weeks have been extremely busy for
me, addressing the problem with the LHC triplets, the planning for next year's difficult budget, and the launching of the Steering Group to create a roadmap for the future accelerator-based program. In the midst of these issues, we also had two important meetings: the Tevatron Operations Review and the Physics Advisory Committee (PAC). Today's column will be an update on these two meetings.

The Tevatron Operations Review is conducted every year by DOE's Office of High Energy Physics. It is more than a Tevatron review, extending to all aspects of operations including the neutrino program, the operation of the experimental facilities and our performance on ES&H. The review allows OHEP to gauge our progress in delivering on all these programs, including our plans through the end of the decade. It is not surprising that this review went extremely well, given the extraordinary performance of the accelerators and the productivity of the physics groups over last year. While the operation of the detectors towards the end of the decade remains a concern, the laboratory and the collaborations did show that a great deal of effort had gone into understanding and matching the staffing level to the needs of the experiments. More work remains to be done in this area by the laboratory, the collaborations and the funding agencies.

One area of great concern for me is our performance on ES&H, and especially the level of injuries we have suffered so far this year. We are not performing at the level that we want and must perform at. Only half way through the year we already have 14 recordable cases, half of which required absence from or restrictions in work (DART cases). I know there are many pressures on us these days that can distract us, but we must renew our efforts in this area to ensure everyone is safe, not only for our own sake but also for the sake of our coworkers and families. We all share in this responsibility. I will be visiting the various divisions and sections personally to discuss and highlight this issue in the coming weeks.

The meeting of the PAC was as usual intellectually stimulating and extremely useful in developing our physics program. The Fermilab PAC is an extraordinary institution that has served the laboratory well throughout its history. It looks in depth at the entire scientific program and gives us advice on how to optimize the program as we move forward and plan for the future. It provides a rigorous peer review for proposals that these days must make it through a further gauntlet of national reviews. An important part of this last PAC meeting was the discussion of our planning activities, especially of the Steering Group that we have constituted to develop a roadmap for the accelerator-based part of the Fermilab program. A great asset in the PAC are our European and Japanese colleagues who help us to see our program and our planning activities through the eyes of our colleagues abroad. The input and review by the PAC will be invaluable as we develop the roadmap.

Accelerator Update
April 6 - 9
- Four stores provided 40 hours and 47 minutes of luminosity
- Operations begins running MiniBooNE power supplies
- Store 5339 aborted

Read the Current Accelerator Update
Read the Early Bird Report
View the Tevatron Luminosity Charts


Summer Day Camp Increases Participation
Each year, the growing popularity of the Recreation Office's summer day camp program challenges the staff to accomodate more particpants. This year, Recreation Office staff members were able to increase participation in the day camp by 25 percent. Although some interested children were still placed on the waiting list, the Recreation Office staff will continue to explore ways to increase particpation in the program.

Summer camps at SciTech
The SciTech Hands-on Museum in Aurora offers summer camps for children age 6-12 years. There are seven one-week sessions, with the first one starting June 11 and the last one starting July 30. The sessions run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Before Care (8-9 a.m.) and After Care (3-4 p.m.) is available. More information is available here.

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