Fermilab Today Wednesday, April 23, 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 23
9 a.m.- 6:30 p.m
SCRF meeting - One North
9 a.m.- 7 p.m.
Third Annual Low Emittance Muon Collider Workshop - One West
3:30 p.m.
4 p.m.
Fermilab Colloquium - One West
Speaker: J. Grant, Smithsonian Institution
Title: The Mission of the Mars Exploration Rovers

Thursday, April 24
9 a.m.- 6:30 p.m
SCRF meeting - One North
9 a.m.- 10 p.m.
Third Annual Low Emittance Muon Collider Workshop - One West
2:30 p.m.
Theoretical Physics Seminar - Curia II
Speaker: A. Martin, Yale University
Title: Probing Technivector Scenarios at the LHC
3:30 p.m.
4 p.m.
Accelerator Physics and Technology Seminar - One West
Speaker: K. McDonald, Princeton University
Title: The MERIT Experiment: A Proof-of-Principle Demonstration of a Mercury Jet Target for Megawatt Proton Beams

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 23
- Beef barley
- Fish & chips
- Smart cuisine: Caribbean grill salmon
- Country fried steak w/pepper gravy
- Beef & cheddar panini w/sauteed onions
- Assorted pizza slices
- Cavatappi pasta w/Italian sausage & tomato rag

Wilson Hall Cafe Menu

Chez Leon

Wednesday, April 23
- Chipotle shrimp on corn cakes
- Tropical fruit platter

Thursday, April 24
- Closed

Chez Leon Menu
Call x4598 to make your reservation.


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Help for laid-off Fermilab employees

Fermilab employees who lose their jobs as a result of the coming layoff will receive help in finding new jobs, as well as information about continuation of benefits, retirement, insurance, unemployment compensation and Social Security. At a Career Resources Center in Lisle, Lee Hecht Harrison, a career transition firm, will provide job-search services. At the same location, employees will have the opportunity to meet with benefits representatives, Illinois Department of Employment Security staff, insurance company representatives, Social Security experts and representatives of other agencies.

Lee Hecht Harrison will provide a range of career transition services:

  • workshops on job-search topics;
  • job search work teams;
  • meetings with a consultant for job search assistance;
  • workspaces with access to a computer, the Internet, a phone, office supplies, a fax machine and a copier.

The Career Resources Center will offer a program that includes individual sessions, group workshops, Web-based training and phone interactions. Starting with an orientation program, individuals can begin the career transition process. The program helps to evaluate individual skills and strengths; develop effective resumes; define and locate the right new job in the marketplace; provide effective interviewing skills; and evaluate criteria to select the best job offer.

Laid-off employees will have access to LHH's proprietary job search Web site to post resumes, access an exclusive Web-based job system, view job leads specifically for the Fermilab community; schedule workshops and individual sessions and complete Web-based training.

In addition to using career transition services, individuals may schedule meetings with a Fermilab benefits representative at the CRC office to discuss retirement and continuation of benefits. The CRC office will also host individual sessions and group seminars by the Illinois Department of Employment Security, TIAA-CREF, Fidelity, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cigna, Social Security and other agencies.


Dr. Orbach addresses Fermilab in lab-wide meeting

Fermilab Director Pier Oddone (left) welcomes Dr. Raymond L. Orbach, DOE Under Secretary for Science, at the laboratory Tuesday. Dr. Orbach spoke to Fermilab employees and users in a laboratory-wide meeting.

Dr. Raymond Orbach visited Fermilab Tuesday to learn about the laboratory's advances and long-range plans as well as to offer support for its future for decades to come.

The DOE Under Secretary of Science told a crowd of nearly 1,000 that they, and American science as a whole, face a critical time where America must decide whether it wants to remain a leader of nations.

The President in his State of the Union address continued to support science, Orbach said. The long-range plans under formation by the Department of Energy and the Particle Physics Project Prioritization Panel also support the continued success of Fermilab.

"In my view, we have worked together to come up with a plan for HEP that will support Fermilab for decades to come," Orbach said.

Read more about Orbach's speech in symmetry breaking

View streaming video of the talk.


Fermilab scientist helps robot-building students

Fermilab particle astrophysicist Fritz DeJongh (center) stands with members of the Batavia Robotics Club after the team won a regional competition. Left to right: Kristo Deahl, Jacob Baran, DeJongh, Ethan DeJongh and team coach Ken Baran.

When students from the Batavia Robotics Club need help programming their Erector-Set-looking robots, they call Fermilab scientist Fritz DeJongh.

The skills he uses at the laboratory, including electronics programming, working on a team and problem solving, transfer to the club, which DeJongh has mentored for the last four years.

"The kids have to come together to collaborate. They have to learn how to work together to design (the robot) and build it," DeJongh said. "It does behave like a particle-physics collaboration in many ways."

Students, including DeJongh's son, design, build and program robots tailored to compete at various levels of competition.

He has watched as the competitions grew harder and the students' skill sets more impressive.

"They started out building Lego robots," DeJongh said. For the national robotics competition, April 17-19, they built an 18-inch robot that extends to 21 inches and includes a conveyor belt. Two remote controls operate the robot.

The Batavia team, named Pwnage, for an online gaming term that means dominating your opponents, beat out dozens of Midwest teams to enter the national competition.

"This seems to be an activity that really engages the kids and gets them going," DeJongh said. "It is a good extracurricular for college applications, but more than that, the students are getting real problem-solving experience that you don't get in normal course work."

To win competitions, the students must build and program their robots to respond to remote-control commands. Students manipulate steel- and-electronic robots to do difficult tasks quickly. At the national competition, teams won points when their robots picked up large colored rings and placed them on posts, and then took possession of the posts. Although team Pwnage didn't take home any awards, DeJongh was proud the students made it to such a prestigious level of competition.

Pwnage and two other Batavia Robotics teams, SWAT and RoboGophers, will demonstrate their robots' skills at a lunchtime presentation at noon Wednesday in the Wilson Hall atrium.

-- Rhianna Wisniewski

From the Accelerator Division

Ups and downs

Paul Czarapata, deputy head of the Accelerator Division, wrote this week's column.

Paul Czarapata

Sometimes it's an easy win. then there are the other times!

In February and March, our accelerator complex set many records: most antiprotons produced (Antiproton Source), most collisions produced (Tevatron), most neutrinos produced (NuMI beam line). All those records were possible because our Booster accelerator pumped out protons at a record pace. But this month, the Booster endured a difficult stretch of down time. A magnet, located at one of the most difficult places to work at in the Booster tunnel, developed an intermittent ground fault and needed replacing.

From one of my previous columns, you might recall that there are "never any weekends in the accelerator business." This was the case here as work lasted through a weekend. One group prepared a replacement magnet for installation while another group removed the defective magnet. Space in the tunnel was tight: replacing the magnet required disconnecting and removing parts of a transfer line. Our highly skilled crews safely and efficiently made the swap, then prepared to pump down the vacuum and to restart the Booster.

Many crew members had already spent long hours at work when they got more bad news. When carrying out standard tests to check the machine before resuming operation, they found a ground fault on the main magnet bus, unrelated to the magnet change. Indeed, the Booster can be an old, cranky machine at times. After going without a ground fault for more than 15 years, it now had one. Later we learned that it had two. It took another shift by a crew to locate and fix the ground faults.

Bringing the machine back to operation required the close coordination of a number of groups and the inherent dedication of our crews. They are always ready to tackle the next problem, no matter how difficult. Thank you.

In the News

Senator Alexander warns of $750 million ITER default

From AIP FYI, April 22, 2008

Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) has gone on record warning that the United States might be liable to a $750 million default clause in the ITER agreement. Lamar's comments, made at an April 9 hearing of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations, were addressed to Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice.

The Administration requested $160 million for ITER last year for the U.S. contribution to the project this year. The report accompanying the Consolidated Appropriations Act passed in December contained the following language: "$0 for the U.S. contribution to ITER, and $10,724,000 for Enabling R&D for ITER," later stating, "Funding may not be reprogrammed from other activities within Fusion Energy Sciences to restore the U.S. contribution to ITER."

Read more

In the News

U.S. Department of Energy launches Web site with energy saving tips for consumers

From DOE Department of Energy,
April 22, 2008

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today launched a new internet feature which provides tips to consumers on how to make everyday Earth Day by making smart energy choices to save money while protecting the environment. The interactive web page, at www.energy.gov, shows consumers steps to use less energy with household electronics, lighting, and appliances to save on monthly bills and how to avoid wasting energy by improving the energy efficiency of their homes and cars.

The site also features the Department's work to develop cleaner, more affordable, diverse, reliable and sustainable energy sources supporting the President's goal to stop the growth of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 2025 while meeting increasing energy demands. DOE and its seventeen world class National Laboratories, in partnership with private industry and universities, perform cutting-edge research to meet these challenges, developing innovative energy solutions in areas such as cellulosic biofuels, solar, geothermal, nuclear, and clean coal power. Other areas of emphasis highlighted include DOE's work to make a smart and efficient electric transmission grid, make homes, buildings and industrial sites more energy efficient, and reduce dependence on oil with Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles and hydrogen-powered cars.

Read more

Safety Update

ES&H weekly report, April 22

This week's safety report, compiled by the Fermilab ES&H section, lists no DART injuries. It has been 42 days since the last recordable injury. The full report is available here.

Safety report archive


Blood drive April 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.

Computer programming course April 24
"C++ Templates and Template Metaprogramming," the third course in the current series of "Selected Topics in Computer Programming," will occur on Thursday, April 24. Aimed at programmers with C++ experience, it will deal in depth with issues related to function and class templates in modern C++ programs. Attendees will learn techniques of template-based programming and metaprogramming, as well as related new techniques from the next C++ standard. Participants will receive TRAIN credit for the free course. Course registration is now open. Future courses will occur at two-week intervals.

NALWO Spring Tea May 5
Members of the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory Women's Organization will hold their Spring Tea on May 5 from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. Barbara Oddone will host the event in her home, Site #29, located just inside the Wilson Street gate. Photo identification is necessary to enter the laboratory. When entering at Wilson Street, turn right at the driveway just beyond the gate. If possible, please bring a favorite dessert or appetizer from your home country. For additional information, contact Susan Kayser, Margie Nagaitsev or the Housing Office at (630) 840-3777.

Additional Activities

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