Fermilab Today Friday, November 16, 2007

Friday, Nov. 16
8:30 a.m. - 8 p.m.
Project X Workshop on Physics
3:30 p.m.
4 p.m.
Joint Experimental-Theoretical Physics Seminar - One West
Speaker: M. Mangano, CERN
Title: Answering the Great Questions by Energy and Intensity Frontier
8 p.m.
Fermilab Lecture Series - Auditorium
Tickets: $5
Speaker: Dr. Dan Hooper, Fermilab
Title: In Search of Our Universe's Missing Mass and Energy

Saturday, Nov. 17
8:30 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Project X Workshop on Physics

Monday, Nov. 19
2:30 p.m.
Particle Astrophysics Seminar - Curia II
Speaker: D. Kasen, University of California, Santa Cruz
Title: Modeling Type Ia Supernovae, from Ignition to Explosion to Emission
3:30 p.m.
4 p.m.
All Experimenters' Meeting - Curia II

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


WeatherPartly sunny 47°/30°

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Secon Level 3

Wilson Hall Cafe
Friday, Nov. 15
- Cream of asparagus
- Buffalo chicken wings
- Cajun breaded catfish
- Sweet & sour pork over rice
- Honey mustard ham & swiss panini
- Assorted pizza slices
- Carved turkey

Wilson Hall Cafe Menu

Chez Leon

Wednesday, Nov. 21
- Cheese fondue
- Apple & pecan salad on field greens
- Baked pears w/bittersweet chocolate sauce

Thursday, Nov. 22
- Closed

Chez Leon Menu
Call x4598 to make your reservation.


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Project X Accelerator workshop ramps up effort

Chris Adolphsen of SLAC chairs the High-Energy Linac session of the Project X workshop.

More than 170 representatives from physics laboratories and academic institutions throughout the country gathered at Fermilab earlier this week to gauge interest and generate ideas regarding Project X. They were here for the Project X Accelerator Physics and Technology workshop Monday and Tuesday.

"We walked away with a better appreciation of the technical issues of Project X and a lot of interest that we'll try to capitalize on," said Dave McGinnis, an RF engineer in the AD's RF department and event co-organizer.

McGinnis said that attendees from all types of different institutions expressed the desire to help build the accelerator and volunteer their time for elements both small and large.

"There was a lot of interest," said McGinnis. "People were interested in everything from dusting doorknobs to building the whole thing."

Vladimir Shiltsev, Director of the Accelerator Physics Center and workshop co-organizer, said that the attendees helped to determine project priorities.

"I was impressed with the thought and attention that the attendees brought to the discussion," said Shiltsev. "People came here with the understanding of what this really means and they brought other aspects to light."

Now that the workshop is over, its organizers, McGinnis, Shiltsev and Associate Director for Accelerators Steve Holmes, will work on composing a summary report of the talks given and the issues discussed during the two days. The report will be submitted to attendees for confirmation and corrections, and then the final report will be distributed.

Simultaneously, they will work on forming an organization to further Project X that will include outside institutions and achieving DOE's Critical Decision-0 status, a goal that McGinnis hopes to achieve in FY08.

McGinnis and Shiltsev and Holmes hope to capitalize on the interest generated this week and figure out how best to include other institutions in planning the design of Project X.

"We know to build this thing we're not going to be able to do it ourselves. We'll need manpower and expertise from outside the laboratory," McGinnis said.

A workshop on the Physics of Project X will take place today and Saturday. More information can be found on the workshop Web site.

-- Rhianna Wisniewski


In Memoriam: Doug Moehs

Doug Moehs

Accelerator specialist Doug Moehs died at his home Thursday after a battle with cancer. Visitation services will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 18 at Matz Funneral Home, 410 E. Rand Road, Mt. Prospect, IL. For directions or information call the funeral home at (847) 394-2336. The body will lie in state from 10 to 11 a.m. Monday, Nov. 19, with a funeral service and luncheon to follow at Willow Creek Community Church Chapel at 410 E. Algonquin Road, South Barrington, IL. A map and directions can be found at http://www.willowcreek.org/directions.asp. Interment will follow at a later date and will be private.


Best places to work survey

Fermilab is dedicated to providing an exceptional working environment for one of our most important assets -- you, our employees. As part of this commitment to you, Fermilab is participating in a survey for Crain's Chicago Business to determine the best places to work in Chicago.

On Nov. 19, you will receive a survey invitation from Crain's and Valtera Corporation, an independent consulting firm Crain's is working with to administer the Best Places to Work in Chicago survey. The survey should take you 10 to 15 minutes to complete. Please take the time to consider your experiences at Fermilab over the last year and how you feel about your job and the company. We encourage you to set aside some time to fill the survey out thoughtfully. The survey will be open until Dec. 5.

In the News

Surfer dude stuns physicists with theory of everything

From Telegraph.co.uk, Nov. 14, 2007

An impoverished surfer has drawn up a new theory of the universe, seen by some as the Holy Grail of physics, which has received rave reviews from scientists.

Garrett Lisi, 39, has a doctorate but no university affiliation and spends most of the year surfing in Hawaii, where he has also been a hiking guide and bridge builder (when he slept in a jungle yurt).

In winter, he heads to the mountains near Lake Tahoe, Nevada, where he snowboards. "Being poor sucks," Lisi says. "It's hard to figure out the secrets of the universe when you're trying to figure out where you and your girlfriend are going to sleep next month."

Despite this unusual career path, his proposal is remarkable because, by the arcane standards of particle physics, it does not require highly complex mathematics.

Even better, it does not require more than one dimension of time and three of space, when some rival theories need ten or even more spatial dimensions and other bizarre concepts. And it may even be possible to test his theory, which predicts a host of new particles, perhaps even using the new Large Hadron Collider atom smasher that will go into action near Geneva next year.

Read more online


Undergrad gets big break, stirs up school rivalries

Kurtis Geerlings, an undergraduate student at Michigan State University, holds up a miniature version of his school's Spartan warrior mascot, Sparty, in front of a poster on the computer software program SpartyJet that he helped develop.

Every time CDF collaborator Tom Schwarz starts up SpartyJet, he grimaces.

The computer software program he uses works well. It does its job of finding and recording jets - sprays of subatomic quark and gluon particles that emerge from collisions involving protons. In fact, Schwarz praises the program's usefulness and its ability to translate his results into meaningful text and equations for theorists and experimenters from other laboratories. Still, for the University of Michigan alumnus, old rivalries die hard.

The software bears the name of the Michigan State University mascot Sparty, a Spartan warrior and nemesis of U of M alumni everywhere. SpartyJet was created last fall by MSU undergraduate Kurtis Geerlings and Professor Joey Huston with the help of postdoctoral researcher Pierre-Antoine Delsart from Laboratoire d'Annecy-le-Vieux de Physique des Particules (LAPP).

Huston said he suggested the name SpartyJet because of a Spartan warrior statue on campus. But Schwarz, a postdoc at UC Davis, believes Huston, his fellow CDF collaborator, pushed for the name for a different reason: university rivalries. "Joey chose that name just to goad me," Schwarz said jokingly.

Huston picked not only the name, but Geerlings to help on the project, which is a rare opportunity for a budding physicist. Geerlings has earned national and international recognition for his involvement. He received a 2007 Goldwater Scholarship for his work and is featured in a recruitment advertisement for the university. Physicists both at Fermilab and at CERN currently use SpartyJet.

Geerlings said that being an undergraduate student gave him the freedom to pursue his interest in Spartyjet. "Graduate students usually have to direct their research towards a specific project and have to worry about finishing their PhD," he said.

As for the debate about the inspiration for the name, Geerlings said it was driven by need, not necessarily campus rivalry.

"I got sick of referring to it as the anonymous program or 'the program which must not be named,'" he said.

--Haley Bridger

From ILC Newsline

Holland in the ILC

Two Dutch-built detectors measuring cosmic muon tracks in a lab at NIKHEF.

This is the first in a series about the countries of the International Linear Collider.

The Netherlands might not fill a lot of space on a map, but that does not mean that the Dutch aren't filling crucial positions in many different high-energy physics projects - including the ILC. The proposed particle accelerator falls on a long list of projects in which the Dutch national institute for subatomic physics (NIKHEF) and renowned universities are involved: ATLAS, LHCb and ALICE at the LHC, Antares, a neutrino telescope in the Mediterranean Sea, the Pierre Auger observatory, ZEUS, H1 and HERMES at HERA, D0, Babar, STAR. u vraagt, zij draaien (you name it, they've got it).

Read more

-- Barbara Warmbein

In the News

Honoring those who serve

From Beacon News, Nov. 14, 2007

Veterans Day 2007 has come and gone, and our nation once again showed gratitude for the heroic sacrifices made by our military men and women. There was an extraordinary turnout at the many parades and ceremonies held nationwide.

..... I accepted two invitations to speak about Veterans Day this year. The first was at a noon luncheon at Fermilab east of Batavia. Military veterans working at Fermilab meet occasionally during the year and have a noon luncheon on Veterans Day. Because it fell on a Sunday, they had their luncheon Friday.

The Fermilab Veterans Day luncheon was held in a huge, historic barn located among the many farmhouses that have been assembled in a section of the Fermilab complex. Those houses that once were homes to the farm families that worked the soil of Fermilab now accommodate visiting scientists during their stay while working on projects.

See pdf

Read more online


Benefit enrollment
Your opportunity to review and change your benefits for the 2008 plan year is now through Wednesday, Nov. 28. You will find enrollment materials on the Benefits Office Web site. Representatives from Blue Cross and CIGNA will be available on Wednesday, Nov. 14, from 8 a.m. to noon and Tuesday, Nov. 20, from 1 to 5 p.m. They will be located in the Aquarium Conference Room on the 15th floor of Wilson Hall.

Habitat Restoration Saturday
Please join the Habitat Restoration group on Saturday, Nov. 17, at 9 a.m. in the Lederman Science Center parking lot for coffee and doughnuts. From there we will go to the area where we will cut down non-native plants. Please dress for the weather and bring gardening gloves. For more information, contact Barb Kristen or Rachel Bridger. In the case of inclement weather, please call the Fermilab operator to check for cancellation.

Education Office holiday sale Dec. 4-5
The Education Office will host its annual holiday sale Dec. 4-5, from 11 a.m. - 1:30 p.m., outside One West in Wilson Hall.

New classified ads have been posted on Fermilab Today.

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