Fermilab Today Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2008

Wednesday, Oct. 1.
2:30 p.m.
Special Particle Astrophysics Seminar - Curia II
Speaker: Guido Mueller, University of Florida
Title: Gravitational Waves (GW): A New Window to the Universe
3:30 p.m.
4 p.m.
Fermilab Colloquium - One West
Speaker: Paolo Brenni, CNR - FST - IMSS, Florence
Title: The Telephone: An Invention with Many Fathers

Thursday, Oct. 2
1 p.m.
Research Techniques Seminar - West Wing, WH-10NW
Speaker: Nicoleta Dinu, LAL, Orsay
Title: Electro-Optical Characterization of SiPM Detectors
2:30 p.m.
Theoretical Physics Seminar - Curia II
Speaker: Jnan Maharana, Institute of Physics, Bhubaneswar
Title: Axion-Dilaton String Cosmology
3:30 p.m.

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



Partly cloudy

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Current Security Status

Secon Level 3

Wilson Hall Cafe

Wednesday, Oct. 1
- Portabello harvest grain
- Smart cuisine: Santa Fe chicken quesadilla
- Hoisin chicken
- Smart cuisine parmesan fish
- Cuban panini
- Assorted sliced pizza
- Pesto shrimp linguini w/leeks & tomatoes

Wilson Hall Cafe Menu

Chez Leon

Wednesday, Oct. 1
- Cider roasted pork loin
- Sage muffins/warm apple salsa
- Pumpkin cheesecake

Thursday, Oct. 2
- Frisée & apple salad w/dried cherries and walnuts
- Paella
- Pineapple flan

Chez Leon Menu
Call x4598 to make your reservation.


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Astronomical survey surpasses publication milestone

The image is a graphical representation of where the SDSS and SDSS-II survey scanned the sky to make a map. The figure is in equatorial coordinates,(RA,DEC), which are like longitude and latitude on the Earth except projected onto the celestial sphere of the sky. The blue dots indicate the location of SEGUE spectroscopic plates. Image courtesy of the SDSS collaboration.

Fermilab has been providing information from a survey of the universe to the public for about 10 years, and an increasing number of people are paying attention.

Refereed journals have published more than 2,000 articles about the Sloan Digital Sky Survey - only half of them written by researchers involved with the project.

"Because we've been able to put the data on the Web and made it accessible, things have been discovered that the collaborators didn't even think of when they started," said Brian Yanny, a scientist in Fermilab's Experimental Astrophysics Group. "The science that has come out of Sloan has actually affected nearly all areas of astronomy."

The number of papers about the project has doubled in the past 2 ½ years. Since 2005, journals have published papers using information from the research project about once a day.

While some projects like The Infrared Astronomical Satellite have published even more papers, such prolific output is rare.

"That is the scale that one hopes for out of a major, major project," said Sloan project spokesman Michael Strauss.

The survey started in 1998 and made its way into the astronomical journals in 2000. Every year since then, at least one paper about the SDSS has made it in the list of the top 10 astronomy papers of the year.

The first phases of the project had two goals: to create a map of the universe and to study configurations of dark matter in our galaxy.

Papers written about SDSS are cited more than 70,000 times in articles published in refereed journals. "So not only the quantity of papers is large, but their quality is large," Strauss said. Papers written about SDSS research average 35 citations by other articles and about 130 SDSS papers have been cited more than 100 times, he said.

Papers deal with diverse topics such as quasars, how galaxies affect one another and newly discovered classes of stars.

"I think this survey will probably be the definitive optical astronomy survey for about a decade," Yanny said.

-- Kathryn Grim

Budget Update

Message from the director on the Continuing Resolution:

Pier Oddone

The Continuing Resolution (CR) enacted by Congress and signed by the President last night will give funding to the laboratory for the first six months of the fiscal year, starting Oct. 1 at a rate determined by the FY08 enacted budget. The CR does not include the supplemental funding provided last July for any of the science agencies.

This rate will slow our programs down very significantly. For the first five months of the year, however, the supplemental funding championed by our Illinois Congressional delegation in FY08 allows us to keep working on our major programs during the hiatus of the CR. We will be able to continue Tevatron and neutrino operations full bore and have no layoffs at the laboratory. We will be working very hard to obtain relief when the full budget for FY09 is enacted sometime in the spring. I regret that, once again, despite the many words of support for science, the current budget process leaves us in a very uncertain situation for FY09.

U.S. Science faces a flat 2009

From ScienceNow News, Oct. 1, 2008

U.S. science agencies will receive no budget increases until March 2009 at the earliest after Congress voted over the weekend to freeze spending for every federal program outside of national security and veterans affairs. For many agencies, that means a second year of little or no growth.

The stopgap legislation, known as a continuing resolution (CR), averts a shutdown of the government. The 2009 fiscal year starts on Wednesday, but Congress has not finished its spending bills. That lag was intentional--Democratic leaders decided this summer to wait until after the 4 November election rather than run the risk of having the bills vetoed by outgoing President George W. Bush. The only 2009 spending bills that were approved cover the departments of Defense, Homeland Security, and Veterans Affairs; those bills were folded into the CR.

Read more


Extraordinary people

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

Randy Ortgiesen

I have been at the laboratory nine years and have often heard the phrase "how it used to be." The phrase came to mind on the weekend of Sept. 13.

That weekend, in less than 48 hours, Fermilab and its surrounding areas received more than 10 inches of rain. Employees from many areas of the laboratory made extraordinary efforts to reduce the flooding and to minimize the damage to buildings and equipment. As a result, flooding had only a minimal impact on laboratory operations.

These employee efforts reminded me that people and the pursuit of a common goal define "the way it used to be."

We have just gone through a year with furloughs and voluntary separations-a year in which employees made huge personal sacrifices to keep the laboratory operating and performing superbly. We should remind ourselves that just as it was the people who made our laboratory "the way it used to be," it's also the people who will make Fermilab's future.

As we embark upon one of the most exciting times in particle physics, we need to focus on our common goals, and we need extraordinary people to continue to perform at all levels. Our projects require that all divisions and sections work closely together. Based on my experience, Fermilab and its employees are ready to do what it takes to make new projects a reality.

Safety Update

ES&H weekly report, Sept. 30

This week's safety report, compiled by the Fermilab ES&H section, lists three injuries reported last week. Two were minor first-aid injuries and the third is still under investigation. The injury rate calculations appearing in this report are still estimates until final end-of-quarter "hours worked" are reported by our subcontractors during the next few days. Find the full report here.

Safety report archive


Have a safe day!

Wilson Hall relamping begins today
Replacement of all flourescent light bulbs in Wilson Hall begins today. Workers will replace bulbs one floor at a time, beginning on the 15th floor and working downward.

Safe Winter Driving Seminar Oct. 8
Learn how to properly prepare your car for winter and drive safely in hazardous winter conditions. Illinois State Trooper Delila Huerta will present on these topics and others, including distracted driving, during a lunchtime seminar from 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. on Oct. 8 in One West. Prizes will be raffled.

Save the date: labwide party on Oct. 17
To say thank you and to celebrate Fermilab's achievements of the last year, the Fermi Research Alliance will host a labwide party in the Wilson Hall atrium on Friday, Oct. 17, from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. The party will feature international snacks, beverages, music and door prizes. All Fermilab employees, retirees, users, contractors and DOE employees are invited.

Fermilab hosts LHC Grid Fest, Oct. 3
Celebrate the launch of the LHC Computing Grid at Fermilab's Remote Operations Center on Friday, Oct. 3, at 10:30 a.m. Experts will highlight the successes and challenges of the grid and its applications for other sciences. More information

New Travel Office form effective Oct. 1
Effective Oct. 1, the Travel Office and Accounting Department discontinues the use of the four-part Travel Authorization/ Expense Voucher (TA/EV). For trips approved on or after Oct. 1, employees should use the new TA/EV Excel spreadsheet for travel authorization, travel advance and travel settlement. Trips approved prior to Oct. 1 on the old four-part form should be completed on that form. The new form has a procedure section that outlines the travel approval, advance and reimbursement process. The form is available on the Accounting and Travel Office Web sites.

Flu shot clinics for 2008 season
Use the east entrance of each building for the following clinics: Oct. 2 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Wilson Hall, ES&H training room; Oct. 14 from 9 to 11:30 a.m. in the Industrial Center Building's main floor lunch room; Oct. 21 from 9 to 11:30 a.m. Wilson Hall, ES&H training room. Active full-time employees, term employees and temporary employees are eligible for the vaccinations. Not eligible are: contractors, family members of employees, visitors/experimenters, seasonal employees, dayworkers, on-call employees and retirees. Register online at the ES&H homepage or call ext. 3232. Bring your Fermilab ID card and a completed consent form from the ES&H homepage. Wear a loose-fitting shirt. Pregnant employees need a note from a doctor.

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