Fermilab Today Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2008

Tuesday, Dec. 16
2:30 p.m.
Special Particle Astrophysics Seminar - Curia II (NOTE DATE)
Speaker: Lotty Ackerman, California Institute of Technology
Title: Dark Matter and Dark Radiation
3:30 p.m.
4 p.m.
Accelerator Physics and Technology Seminar - One West
Speaker: Robyn Madrak, Fermilab
Title: Two Devices for HINS

Wednesday, Dec. 17
3:30 p.m.
4 p.m.
Fermilab Colloquium - One West
Speaker: Chris Holland, University of California, San Diego
Title: Simulation of Fusion Plasmas

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

Tuesday, Dec. 16
- Creamy turkey vegetable
- Chili dog
- Shepard's pie
- Chicken cacciatore
- Italian panini w/provolone
- Assorted sliced pizza
- Super burrito

Wilson Hall Cafe Menu

Chez Leon

Wednesdsay, Dec. 17
- Tortellini with shrimp, red peppers, green onions and pine nuts
- Spinach & pomegranate salad
- Peppermint cheesecake

Thursday, Dec. 18
- Spinach & strawberry salad
- Lobster tail
- Spaghetti squash w/ green onions
- Green bean almandine
- Crème de menthe mousse w/Christmas cookies

Chez Leon Menu
Call x3524 to make your reservation.


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The doctor is in

Matt Strassler held office hours as the first Theorist of the Week in the LHC Physics Center.

Matt Strassler is not your average theorist. He researches both string theory and collider physics, while most theorists focus on either one or the other. He also spent the last five years in experimentalist territory, getting to know the detectors at the LHC.

That's why Strassler agreed to serve as the first Theorist of the Week for the new visiting theorist program at Fermilab's LHC Physics Center.

"Theorists don't usually learn how to speak an experimentalist's language," said Strassler, a quantum field theorist at Rutgers University. "I can see which theories might sneak through the gaps."

As Theorist of the Week, he spent the week in the LPC, gave seminars and held office hours in a visiting theorist booth, complete with a sign reading, "The doctor is in."

"We put the visiting theorists out in the open because we want to encourage experimentalists, especially students, to work with them," said Ben Kilminster, a Fermilab scientist who organizes the visiting theorist program. "We want to make the LPC a central resource for high-energy physics."

Kilminster hopes to have a Theorist of the Week once a month. He plans to select topics that interest both experimentalists and theorists, such as Strassler's research on the hidden valley scenario.

In this theory, new particles and forces exist in a hidden sector and can be accessed at the Tevatron and LHC. The experimental signatures that these particles and forces leave behind can be very unusual and challenging though. The experiments are not designed to find them. Strassler believes that in some cases modifying the experiment's trigger software can help remedy the situation.

"The trigger has to throw away all but the interesting events," Strassler said. "You need to make sure that the important physics doesn't get lost though."

-- Elizabeth Clements

Photo of the Day

Looking for lunch

AD's Greg Vogel submitted this image of a coyote on site looking for lunch Thursday, Dec. 4. The photo was taken near the bike path at Eola Road.
In the News

House Appropriations Committee report: Views on DOE science

Dec. 15, 2008

About six months after a decision was made to suspend the deliberations of the House Appropriations Committee, the report accompanying the FY 2009 Energy and Water Development Appropriations bill was "Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union and ordered to be printed." With the official release and printing of this report, 110-921, stakeholders have an opportunity to read the views and recommendations of those representatives who will determine how much funding the Department of Energy receives in FY 2009 and, looking ahead more generally, in the coming years.

This is the first of a series of FYIs on several reports that were just released by the House Appropriations Committees. In June, FYI #76 summarized an unofficial copy of the House committee report pertaining to the Office of Science. The recommended levels of funding for the programs of the Office of Science are as previously reported. An official copy of the Senate Appropriations Committee report was summarized in FYI #78.

Read more

Director's Corner

The news of the week

Pier Oddone
Pier Oddone

Important news for us this week was President-elect Barack Obama's nomination yesterday in Chicago of the energy and environmental leadership team of his administration: Steve Chu as Secretary of Energy, Lisa Jackson as head of the Environmental Protection Energy, Nancy Sutley as head of the Council on Environmental Quality and Carol Browner as Coordinator of Energy Policy at the White House. They are a formidable team with great experience in science, administration and policy. Their mandate is huge: to tackle the very difficult task of transforming the country to a new-energy economy, addressing the challenge of global warming and protecting the environment. President-elect Obama indicated that science will play a key role in the long term solution of these problems.

President-elect Obama's nomination of Steve Chu to head the Department of Energy is an exciting prospect for us within the community of DOE national laboratories. For the first time in the history of the DOE, a distinguished physicist has been nominated to take the helm. Steve Chu shared the 1997 Nobel Prize in physics and is currently the director of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. He is passionate about science. Even while serving as laboratory director he has kept a very active research program with students and post-docs, inquiring into fundamental processes in cell biology using new molecular and atomic techniques. One has to go back 50 years to the DOE's grandparent agency, the Atomic Energy Commission and the leadership of Glenn Seaborg to find a scientist of such distinction at the helm.

A natural concern for us with any change of administration is how particle physics will fare in the view of the new leadership. People ask me: will all of DOE science be turned to developing the technologies for a carbon-neutral economy? Steve Chu has advocated the use of science to solve energy and climate change problems and has moved Berkeley Lab into this arena through many basic and applied programs. At the same time, he has strongly supported a broad basic science agenda that includes particle and nuclear physics and has championed the laboratory's involvement in the Joint Dark Energy Mission, Daya Bay, the Large Hadron Collider and the Deep Underground Science and Engineering Laboratory. He shares President-elect Obama's appreciation and broad support for basic sciences, which bodes well for our future.

Accelerator Update

Dec. 12 - 15
- Four stores provided ~58.5 hours of luminosity
- NuMI resumes taking beam
- Booster kicker problems resolved
- CAMAC crate restart resolves ECOOL problem

Read the Current Accelerator Update
Read the Early Bird Report
View the Tevatron Luminosity Charts


Have a safe day!

Science Chicago hosts Mythbusters

NALWO - A Russian Style New Year

Holiday Pay Dates

Fermilab Blood Drive Dec. 16, 17

The University of Chicago Tuition Remission Program deadline Dec. 17

Weekly Time Sheets are due Dec. 18

International Folk Dancing Holiday Party Dec. 18

Monthly Leave Sheets due Dec. 19

Shop early - Lederman Science Center store open until Dec. 20

Barn Dance Dec. 21

Weekly Time Sheets are due Dec. 22

SciTech winter camps, Dec. 22-23 and 29-30

Find carpool partners with PACE

Python Programming - Jan. 6 - 8

Intermediate / Advanced Python Programming - Jan. 27 - 29

IRS Final 403(b) Regulations

Submit an announcement

Additional Activities

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