Fermilab Today Wednesday, April 16, 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, April 16
3:30 p.m.
4 p.m.
Fermilab Colloquium - One West
Speaker: A. Smirnov, International Centre for Theoretical Physics
Title: Neutrino Oscillograms of the Earth

Thursday, April 17
2:30 p.m.
Theoretical Physics Seminar - Curia II
Speaker: S. Chang, New York University
Title: When Worlds Collide: The Cosmological Observables of Pre-Inflationary Bubble Collisions
3:30 p.m.

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




Extended Forecast
Weather at Fermilab

Current Security Status

Secon Level 3

Wilson Hall Cafe
Wednesday, April 16
- Portabello harvest grain
- Smart cuisine: roasted pepper & artichoke quesadilla
- Hoisin chicken
- Smart cuisine: Normandy stoganoff
- Cuban panini
- Assorted pizza slices
- Pesto shrimp linguini w/leeks & tomatoes

Wilson Hall Cafe Menu

Chez Leon

Wednesday, April 16
- Sesame ginger flank steak w/asparagus
- Banana chocolate egg roll

Thursday, April 17
- Chicken coconut soup
- Shrimp curry
- Jasmine rice
- Cucumber, pepper, tomato & onion
- Hazelnut cake w/espresso ice cream

Chez Leon Menu
Call x4598 to make your reservation.


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Mixing it up: SciBooNE switches to antineutrino mode

An event display of a neutrino interacting in the SciBooNE Detector. The displayed reaction is nu + neutron --> mu + proton (tracks in the detector are labeled). The green region represents the SciBar detector. The white boxes represent the Electromagnetic Calorimeter and the yellow/black boxes represent the Muon Range Detector.

SciBooNE, an experiment that could help scientists explain why matter exists, has finished running in neutrino mode.

This week, SciBooNE switched to its final data-taking phase using an antineutrino beam. Future experiments will use data from SciBooNE in comparisons of neutrino and antineutrino oscillation to better understand why matter dominates antimatter in the universe.

"We got enough data in neutrino mode, so we want to switch back," said experiment co-spokesperson Morgan Wascko.

The experiment, scheduled to run through the end of summer, should produce the first finished results this summer. Collaborators hope to publish papers by the end of the year.

SciBooNE measures precise cross sections of neutrinos, or the rates at which a neutrino interaction occurs, using neutrinos and antineutrinos. The cross section information can then used by experiments that measure neutrino oscillation. If rates of neutrino oscillation vary from rates of antineutrino oscillation, it would indicate CP violation, or asymmetry of matter and antimatter.

In early April, the experiment reached 1x1020 protons on target in neutrino mode, one overall goal for the experiment.

A previous run in antineutrino mode yielded .52x1020 protons on target. The more neutrinos and antineutrinos that are produced, the more data the experiment has to work with. Wascko said they'd like to reach 1x1020 before the experiment ends in late summer or early autumn.

-- Rhianna Wisniewski


Fermilab Today troubleshooting

Some or all subscribers with comcast.net addresses no longer receive Fermilab Today via e-mail. Comcast blocks e-mails from the Fermilab Today listserv. We are working with Comcast to resolve this problem if at all possible.

Also, beginning late last month, we switched the program used to send out Fermilab Today. For those of you who can view HTML in your e-mail, Fermilab Today now comes neatly packaged to your inbox every morning. Those that can't or do not want to view Fermilab Today as HTML, can click on the link at the beginning of the e-mail to view the publication online.

In the News

Gauging a collider's odds of creating a black hole

From New York Times Essay, April 15, 2008

In Walker Percy's "Love in the Ruins," the protagonist, a doctor and an inventor, recites what he calls the scientist's prayer. It goes like this:

"Lord, grant that my work increase knowledge and help other men.

"Failing that, Lord, grant that it will not lead to man's destruction.

"Failing that, Lord, grant that my article in Brain be published before the destruction takes place."

Today we require more than prayers that a scientific experiment will not lead to the end of the world. We demand hard-headed calculations. But whom can we trust to do them?

That question has been raised by the impending startup of the Large Hadron Collider. It starts smashing protons together this summer at the European Center for Nuclear Research, or Cern, outside Geneva, in hopes of grabbing a piece of the primordial fire, forces and particles that may have existed a trillionth of a second after the Big Bang.

Critics have contended that the machine could produce a black hole that could eat the Earth or something equally catastrophic.

To most physicists, this fear is more science fiction than science fact. At a recent open house weekend, 73,000 visitors, without pitchforks or torches, toured the collider without incident.

Nevertheless, some experts say too much hype and not enough candor on the part of scientists about the promises and perils of what they do could boomerang into a public relations disaster for science, opening the door for charlatans and demagogues.

Read more

From the Finance Section

Reporting time and effort

Cindy Conger, head of the Finance Section, wrote today's column.

Cindy Conger

Last November, monthly employees in the Directorate and the Sections began using the new Fermilab Time and Labor system to report their time and attendance, finally leaving behind the 30-year-old paper leave sheet. In the new Web-based FTL system, we collect time and attendance information, including charges to various projects and programs (effort reporting), on one automated time card weekly. Supervisors approve time cards online and automated processes send the appropriate information to the Payroll system for check preparation and to the Oracle Project Accounting system for budget and cost reporting.

Finance's Management Information Systems group has worked since November to evaluate the Phase I pilot implementation and to determine a realistic schedule for rolling out FTL to the rest of the laboratory's employees. The original goal was to implement FTL laboratory-wide by the end of FY 2008. Given the current circumstances of the project and the laboratory, it is now clear that we will not meet this schedule.

The budget crisis has taken a significant toll on the project schedule, reducing the availability of the employees in Finance and across the laboratory who are vital to delivering a high-quality system. In particular, the Payroll Department must process payrolls on two systems while providing additional services related to the furlough and layoffs. They also must take their furloughs and required vacation time. Payroll's highest priority is timely and accurate payroll processing for our employees.

Additionally, our "lessons learned" exercise from the pilot has revealed that we must make improvements, such as streamlining the processes between FTL and the PeopleSoft Payroll system, and enhancing reports for timekeepers on the status of time cards.

Brad Trygar, FTL Project Manager, will meet with Division and Section representatives during the next several weeks to evaluate the impact of the various options for converting remaining laboratory employees reporting on paper time-and-leave sheets to FTL. Once we formulate the revised schedule, we will advise you through Fermilab Today and your Division/Section/Center management. We will give you ample notice of the change and will fully train you prior to requiring you to use FTL to submit your time.

We can all look forward to the laboratory-wide rollout of FTL. While a major change from the way we do business now, it will eliminate paper; provide a Web-based means to report time and attendance; provide labor costs to projects and programs weekly instead of monthly; eliminate the many home-grown systems across the laboratory that were developed to keep track of time spent on various projects; and fully integrate time reporting with our other core financial systems for streamlined access to information.

Safety Update

ES&H weekly report, April 15

This week's safety report, compiled by the Fermilab ES&H section, lists two minor, non-recordable injuries. The last DART case involving a Fermilab employee occurred more than 6 months ago. The last DART case involving a subcontractor happened almost three months ago. The full report is available here.

Safety report archive


Brown Bag Seminar - Sharing the Road
A Brown Bag Seminar titled "Bicycle Commuting and Sharing the Road: Tips for both Cyclists and Motorists," will take place 11:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m. Friday, April 18, in One West. Ed Barsotti, executive director for the League of Illinois Bicyclists, will present information for cyclists and motorists about sharing the road and new laws for 2008. A discussion will focus on bicycle commuting and issues related to Fermilab employees. Barsotti will provide maps and safety information. A door-prize drawing will also take place.

Fidelity representative here Wednesday
A Fidelity representative will provide one-to-one consultations, Wednesday, April 16, in the Small Dining Room (1SW) in Wilson Hall. Schedule an appointment by calling (800) 642-7131 or visiting the Web site.

Deadline for 2008 Tollestrup Award nominations extended to Friday
The Tollestrup Award committee will accept nominations for the 2008 Tollestrup Award for postdoctoral research until Friday, April 18. The original date was publicized as April 15, but the e-mail address to submit materials was incorrect. Submit nominations and materials to usersoffice@fnal.gov.

Blood Drive April 22, 23
Mark your calendars. Heartland Blood Centers will conduct a Fermilab Blood Drive on April 22 and 23 from 8 a.m to 2 p.m. in the Wilson Hall Ground Floor NE Training Room. Schedule appointments on the Web or call Diana at x3771 or Margie at x5680. More information available here.

Additional Activities

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