Fermilab Today Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Furlough Information

New furlough information, including an up-to-date Q&A section, appears on the furlough Web pages daily.

Layoff Information

New information on Fermilab layoffs, including an up-to-date Q&A section, appears on the layoff Web pages daily.


Wednesday, March 12
3 p.m.
Computing Techniques Seminar - Curia II
Speaker: W. Brown, Fermilab
Title: C++: New and Improved!
3:30 p.m.
4 p.m.
Fermilab Colloquium - One West
Speaker: A. Litke, University of California, Santa Cruz
Title: What Does the Eye Tell the Brain? A Journey from High Energy Physics to Neural Systems

Thursday, March 13
2:30 p.m.
Theoretical Physics Seminar - Curia II
Speaker: T. Appelquist, Yale University
Title: Lattice Study of the Conformal Window in QCD-Like Theories
3:30 p.m.
4 p.m.
Accelerator Physics and Technology Seminar - Curia II (NOTE LOCATION)
Speaker: A. Zlobin, Fermilab
Title: Nb3Sn Accelerator Magnet R&D and LHC Luminosity Upgrades

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



Partly sunny

Extended Forecast
Weather at Fermilab

Current Security Status

Secon Level 3

Wilson Hall Cafe
Wednesday, March 12
- Seafood gumbo
- Pizza burger
- *Bistro salmon steak
- Mongolian beef
- BLT wrap
- Assorted pizza slices
- Chicken cajun pasta

Wilson Hall Cafe Menu

Chez Leon

Wednesday, March 12
- Moussaka
- Greek salad
- Baklava

Thursday, March 13
- Closed

Chez Leon Menu
Call x4598 to make your reservation.


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CDF remote operation expands to Japan

John Yoh and Michal Kreps share CDF control room shift work with Simone Donati, on the monitor from Pisa.

JJ Schmidt normally advises his Fermilab colleagues of the time when overseas CDF collaborators will take over monitoring the detector data. But sometimes he forgets.

"Halfway through the week I'll realize I forgot to tell them, but no one has complained because the work transition was seamless. That is a credit to the people who created the remote monitoring operation system," said Schmidt, CDF shift operations manager.

While most Fermilab staff sleep, Japanese researchers in the middle of their day watch the data streaming from the detector to make sure nothing happens that would cost the collaboration hours of good data.

Researchers from Waseda and Tsukuba universities have played key roles since 1998 in developing the data monitoring system. They also helped maintain the remote system during the last year while Italian collaborators tested it. In late October, Japanese researchers decided to take a more hands-on approach and joined the rotation, monitoring the Fermilab owl shift from midnight to 8 a.m.

"The time difference helps a lot," said Kaori Maeshima, a creator and Fermilab leader of the online monitoring system. "As far as we can tell, there is no drop in efficiency."

Italian and Japanese collaborators monitor during one or two weeks a month. This helps CDF collaborators at Fermilab and allows foreign collaborators to put in required shift work without having to pay for costly flights to the United States.

A Japanese researcher serving as an overseas monitor verifies the quality of data from the detector. Using a Web camera, the researcher views the CDF control room and fellow scientists at Fermilab who control the detector.

Only one foreign CDF collaborator reviews the detector data quality per shift, so a Fermilab researcher stays on call during overseas shifts in case of a technical glitch.

"We rely heavily on one shift person to monitor the quality of the data," Maeshima said. "We have not needed to call for local backup yet."

--Tona Kunz

Photo of the Day

Precious but pungent

DZero collaborator Gavin Hesketh submitted this charming photo of a skunk on site. This potentially aromatic critter was within 10 feet of Hesketh's trailer.


Celebrate traditional Irish music with Cherish the Ladies

Cherish the Ladies, an Irish-American group, will perform traditional Irish music at Fermilab this Saturday.

Take a break from celebrating Ireland's patron saint this weekend to enjoy Cherish the Ladies, an all-female traditional Irish band. Through their unique blend of virtuosi instrumental talents, beautiful vocals, captivating arrangements and stunning step dancing, this powerhouse group combines all the facets of Irish traditional culture in a humorous and entertaining package.

Cherish the Ladies has recorded seven highly acclaimed albums and has appeared on radio and television shows internationally. The group was named Entertainment Group of the Year by the Irish Voice Newspaper and received the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall's International Group of the Year Award at the Celtic Connections Festival in Scotland. Th group has shared the stage with such noted entertainers as James Taylor, Joan Baez, Emmy Lou Harris, The Chieftains and dozens of symphony orchestras.

This traditional Irish music sensation will perform at 8 p.m. on Saturday, March 15, in Ramsey Auditorium. Tickets are $25 or $13 for ages 18 and younger. For more information or reservations, call (630) 840-ARTS (2787) weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. or visit the Web site at www.fnal.gov/culture.

Listen to samples of songs from Cherish the Ladies here.

Watch a YouTube video of a performace here.


Challenging times

Randy Ortgiesen, head of the Facilities Engineering Services Section, wrote today's column.

Randy Ortgiesen

I read an article in my local paper last weekend about layoffs at a door manufacturing plant in my home town. This plant has conducted business for nearly 60 years. The layoffs were yet another consequence of the downturn in the housing industry that affects the entire economy. As I read further, I was pleased to learn that open communication between the workforce and management had resulted in a plan to help the company prepare for a prolonged manufacturing slump and get ready to ramp up when things improve. Hopefully, the arrangements will help the company weather the impact of the biggest new-construction housing slump in the company's history. The article made me wish I had an equally clear explanation for the slow-down in the scientific enterprise.

I recognize that door manufacturing and science differ greatly in levels of complexity, end products and political implications, but reading the article helped me better appreciate Fermilab's challenge in dealing with our current situation and charting a path forward. With a list of fairly well-defined variables and limited political involvement, the door company can monitor when and how the construction industry will improve. It is much harder for Fermilab and those involved in the sciences. Additional variables and countless global political influences contribute to field's uncertainty. Knowing this, I can more readily appreciate the information we receive about our situation. I am also thankful for those who understand the scientific enterprise and work to develop scenarios to chart the future. It will require near-term difficult decisions to ensure the current workforce is balanced to meet the most likely future mission.

Like the workers in the door plant, we seek to understand as much as we can about the future of our laboratory and how each individual's contribution better positions the organization to move forward. When confronted with dramatic change, organizations must take difficult measures. I am beginning to better appreciate the responsibility of the highest levels of leadership to ensure the long-term viability of the entire enterprise. The alternative would be a far worse option for the workforce, for local communities and--in the case of science--for our nation.

Safety Update

ES&H weekly report, March 11

This week's safety report, compiled by the Fermilab ES&H section, includes two cases. One reportable, first-aid case included an individual who needed first aid to remove a staple from between their finger and fingernail. A non-reportable case involved a person injuring their back while lifting. The full report is available here.

Safety report archive

In the News

UK supercomputer probes secrets of universe

From The Register,
March 7, 2008

CP violation, kaons and the Standard Model

A team of theoretical particle physicists at Edinburgh University has applied some hefty computing power to one of the great unanswered questions of particle physics - why does the universe contain more matter than antimatter when, on paper at least, there should be equal amounts of both and we shouldn't exist at all.

The researchers have focused their efforts on probing this mystery, known as the "CP violation", which was confirmed in 1964 by James Cronin and Val Fitch in the decay of neutral kaons ("strange" particles containing strange quarks).

CP violation runs contrary to the principle of "CP symmetry", which states that the sum of two symmetries - charge conjugation (C), which transforms a particle into its antiparticle, and parity (P) - should result in an equal amount of matter and antimatter.

Read more


Have a safe day!

Computing Techniques Seminar
Today, March 12, at 3 p.m. in Curia II, Fermilab will offer C++: New and Improved!, a Computing Techniques Seminar that will present an overview of changes forthcoming in the next C++ standard. Walter Brown, who participates on Fermilab's behalf in the international C++ standardization effort, is the presenter. He is a member of the Computing Division's LSC department.

Going to CERN?
Take your camera! Have your photos featured in the Fermilab Remote Operations Center online gallery. Contact Elizabeth Clements for details.

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