Fermilab Today Friday, Oct. 10, 2008

Friday, Oct. 10
3:30 p.m.
4:00 p.m.
Joint Experimental-Theoretical Physics Seminar - One West
Speaker: Thomas Schwarz, University of California, Davis
Title: Measurement of the Top Cross Section at CDF

Monday, Oct. 13
3:30 p.m.
4 p.m.
All Experimenters' Meeting - Curia II
Special Topics: Multi-Batch Proton Injection into the Tevatron; CMS Commissioning; First MINERvA Modules

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


WeatherMostly sunny 60°/37°

Extended Forecast
Weather at Fermilab

Current Security Status

Secon Level 3

Wilson Hall Cafe
Friday, Oct. 10
- Old fashioned ham & bean
- Philly style chicken
- BBQ ribs
- Smart cuisine: baked fish over rice
- Roasted veggie & provolone panini
- Assorted sliced pizza
- Roasted pork loin w/raspberry sauce

Wilson Hall Cafe Menu

Chez Leon

Wednedsay, Oct. 15
- Beef bourguignon
- Parsley buttered egg noodles
- Apple walnut cake w/cream chantilly

Thursday, Oct. 16
- Roasted red pepper & portabella mushroom salad
- Surf & turf
- Potato cups
- Brussels sprouts
- Lemon Napoleons

Chez Leon Menu
Call x4598 to make your reservation.


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Fermilab scarecrow display tonight at St. Charles festival

Fermilab docent Mary Hawthorne and Bob Shaw, of Fermilab's Education Office prop up a piece of Fermilab's scarecrow for the St. Charles Scarecrow Festival.

Neighbors of Fermilab docent Mary Hawthorne have seen her building something unusual in her garage lately.

This week Hawthorne cobbled together a nearly six-foot-tall replica of Fermilab's iconic high rise to serve as the setting for Fermilab's entry in this year's Scarecrow Festival in St. Charles.

The model of Wilson Hall, home to a wild-haired, science-loving scarecrow, goes on display today. The festival, which attracts about 60,000 visitors each year, will run from Friday to Sunday in Lincoln Park on Main Street.

Fermilab has connected with the community by submitting a science-themed automated entry to the festival for the past five years.

In this year's entry, a scarecrow Albert Einstein will burst out of the top of the high rise wearing guitar-shaped sunglasses to the sound of a jammin' guitar riff and say, "Relativity rocks!"

"The one thing that's unique about our scarecrows is that they're always interactive," Hawthorne said. "We make sure people can go by and push buttons and make things happen."

Fermilab will also give visitors a hands-on experience with games demonstrating the properties of electricity and magnetism in the family activities booth.

David Burk, who works in Fermilab's model shop, cut the frame for Wilson Hall. Bob Shaw of Fermilab's Education Office and John Urish of the Computing Division helped Hawthorne with construction and mechanics.

Judges at the festival award prizes for the best scarecrows. Fermilab's scarecrow is always one of the most popular entries, Hawthorne said, but another contestant usually snags the top prize in the mechanical category.

"This guy starts doing his scarecrow for the next year the day after the festival ends," she said. "He builds it all year long under lock and key in his garage. One year it was all UFOs. Last year it was a life-size Sasquatch with forest animals singing and playing instruments."

"But's not really about the winning," Hawthorne said. "It's about having fun."

For more information, visit http://www.scarecrowfest.com/index.cfm.

-- Kathryn Grim


Problem with sirens on site

A malfunction of equipment in the Fermilab Communications Center caused the sirens on the Fermilab site to go off twice within a 24-hour period. All six sirens sounded on Wednesday at 11:15 p.m. and Thursday at 8:10 a.m.

Fermilab informed the emergency dispatch centers for Warrenville, West Chicago, Aurora, and the Tri-Cities area of the problem. People on site called the Fermilab Communications Center to inquire about the situation. The exact cause of the failure is still under investigation.

The sirens are part of the Sitewide Emergency Warning System, which also includes loud speakers across the site. Fermilab has disabled the sirens while a contractor is troubleshooting the system. The remainder of the system is still operational.

"Disabling the sirens does not impact our ability to communicate with people on site or to respond to emergencies," said Martha Heflin, of the Fermilab ES&H section.

-- Kurt Riesselmann

In the News

Tiny science, big implications

From World Changing, Oct. 9, 2008

Is there value in knowledge for the sake of knowledge? My gut says "of course," but when the question comes down to dollars and cents - and it does, in the case of funding for arts, science, and other often intangible cultural resources -- it's helpful to have a more practical argument on hand.

I thought about this issue a lot last weekend, when I traveled to North America's epicenter of livable density to attend a sold-out screening at the Vancouver International Film Festival. The film was The Atom Smashers, a documentary about Illinois-based Fermilab and the international race to discover the Higgs boson. The film was produced by Chicago-based nonprofit 137 Films (COI: several members of the 137 team are good friends of mine).

Read more

From iSGTW

What is the grid, anyway?

Our Link of the Week this time is the latest of our GridBriefings, where we attempt to answer a question as old as the grid: Just what is the grid?

In "Grid computing in five minutes," you see case studies of the grid in action, running the gamut from nuclear fusion to earth science to agriculture. And you can hear what different people have to say about what it is, how it works, why it matters, and the challenges for its future.

For example, Fa´rouz Malek, LHC ATLAS experiment physicist and scientific project leader for the LHC Computing Grid in France, says: "As a particle physicist in the 90s, I witnessed the birth of the World Wide Web: I still remember the trouble I caused in my experiment when I suggested we create a web page to facilitate interaction between international members. I have since witnessed the birth of grid computing, and am deeply involved in the Large Hadron Collider Computing Grid. I can't imagine how LHC physicists could produce science without it. Grid technology enables the science to be worldwide and collaborative."

Read more (pdf)

In the News

Guest column: Invest in expanding frontiers of knowledge

From Des Moines Register, Oct. 9, 2008

In the long, hot summer days in the Central Valley of California, over-romanticized in the movie "American Graffiti," the boredom could sometimes drive you to the coolness of the public library across town.

A new issue of Scientific American told about new exotic particles discovered at the Berkeley Bevatron - 3,000 times heavier than an electron, with big Greek letters for names. I learned the Greek alphabet, but that didn't help.

A few years later this new world opened up to me as a physics major and later a graduate student in high-energy physics at the University of California, Berkeley, studying for six wonderful years the interactions of these very same particles.

The inner stuff of these particles is now known to be tiny objects called "quarks," which swirl around one another in groups of three to make a proton or a neutron. Different groups of three quarks make up all the particles with those Greek-letter names. Today, the most challenging question is why these quarks have the masses they do.

On Sept. 10, the first protons circulated through the magnets of the highest-energy particle collider ever built, the LHC ("Large Hadron Collider") at the CERN laboratory outside Geneva, Switzerland. [An electrical malfunction has since temporarily sidelined the collider.] One goal is to search for the origin of mass and to explain why the proton made of three quarks has the mass it does. Three Iowa groups pursue these questions, the ISU group of Eli Rosenberg and the University of Iowa groups of Yasar Onel and Usha Mallik.

These deep questions can be answered only by high-energy microscopes like the LHC, and they can be built and operated only by international collaborations supported by the governments of many nations. Consequently, high-energy physicists routinely transcend international borders in politics, economics and science.

Read more


Have a safe day!

Fermilab barn dance Sunday
Fermilab barn dance Sunday, Oct. 12, in the Kuhn Village Barn at 6:30 p.m. with music by Kit, James & Ericka and calling by Dan Saathoff. See www.fnal.gov/orgs/folkclub/ for more info.

George Winston piano concert coming Oct. 19
The Fermilab Arts Series presents George Winston at 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 19, in Ramsey Auditorium. Winston's solo piano concert features music from his melodic seasonal recordings, Vince Guaraldi's Peanuts pieces, New Orleans R & B piano, stride piano, and more, including pieces from his latest CD, "Gulf Coast Blues and Impressions: A Hurricane Relief Benefit." Tickets are $25 for adults and $13 for those 18 and younger. For reservations, call (630) 840-2787 weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, see www.fnal.gov/culture.

Learn about disability workplace inclusion
October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). Although this October marks the 61st year that our country has celebrated employment opportunities for people with disabilities, it was not until Feb. 1, 2001, when President George W. Bush announced his disability agenda, the New Freedom Initiative, that a President focused on full inclusion of people with disabilities in all aspects of society, including the workplace. Click here to learn more about inclusive workplaces.

Town hall meeting with future director general of CERN Oct. 28
Fermilab will host an open town hall meeting with Rolf-Dieter Heuer, the designated director general of CERN, Oct. 28, at 10:45 a.m. in Ramsey Auditorium, followed by a reception in the WH Art Gallery (2nd floor) at noon. The town hall meeting includes a 10-minute presentation by Heuer and a 60-minute Q&A session. Everyone is invited. Heuer would like to meet with all members of the U.S. particle physics community.

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