Fermilab Today Thursday, March 19, 2009

Thursday, March 19
2:30 p.m.
Theoretical Physics Seminar - Curia II
Speaker: Frank Petriello, University of Wisconsin, Madison
Title: Electroweak Effects in Higgs Physics
3:30 p.m.

Friday, March 20
3 p.m.
4 p.m.
Joint Experimental-Theoretical Physics Seminar - One West
Speaker: Jan Stark, LPSC, Grenoble
Title: Measurement of the W Boson Mass at DZero
5 p.m.
Gallery Lecture - Curia II
Speaker: Peggy Macnamara, The Field Museum
Title: Wildlife Studies

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


Partly sunny

Extended Forecast
Weather at Fermilab

Current Security Status

Secon Level 3

Wilson Hall Cafe

Thursday, March 19
- Tomato Florentine
- *Pork BBQ sandwich
- Pasta primavera
- Smart cuisine: chicken Marsala
- Smoked turkey melt
- Assorted sliced pizza
- SW Chicken salad w/roasted corn salsa

*Carb restricted alternative

Wilson Hall Cafe menu

Chez Leon

Thursday, March 19
- Tortilla soup
- Roasted lamb chops with charmoula sauce
- Skillet asparagus
- Roasted garlic potatoes
- Profiteroles

Wednesday, March 25
- Rouladen
- Spaetzel
- Glazed baby carrots
- Apple German chocolate cake

Chez Leon menu
Call x3524 to make your reservation.


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High rise lights go out for Earth Hour

Fermilab will shut off all nonessential lights in Wilson Hall between 8:30-9:30 p.m. Saturday, March 28, as part of Earth Hour.

Fermilab's Wilson Hall stands 15 stories above the surrounding prairie, serving as a beacon for the northwestern suburbs.

For one hour on Saturday, March 28, the building will boost its energy conservation efforts by joining businesses, organizations and homes around the world in darkness.

Earth Hour, a global 60 minutes without electricity, delivers a powerful message about the need for action to pull the plug on global warming.

"Turning off the lights in Wilson Hall is a visible reminder that there is an issue that we need to be concerned about," said Rod Walton, Fermilab's ecologist.

All nonessential lights in Wilson Hall will shut off at 8:30 p.m. Lights necessary for safety, such as those in stairwells, and those needed to run experiments will remain on. Those who need to work on Saturday night should try to do so before or after 8:30-9:30 p.m. If you must work during that time, please remember to switch lights off when done. As an extra measure of compliance, all nonessential lights switched on after 8:30 p.m. will shut off again at midnight.

Wilson Hall building manager John Kent hopes that employees will do their part by turning off personal computers, task lights or any other personal electronics before leaving for the weekend.

"We participated as part of Chicago's Earth Hour event last year, which cut the metropolitan area's energy consumption by 7 percent, or 818-megawatt hours, according to ComEd," Walton said.

That is the carbon equivalent of 1.3 pounds of carbon dioxide or taking more than 1 million cars off the road for one hour.

Already this year, nearly 1,600 cities and towns in 80 countries have signed on to participate in this year's event.

"If the entire world does it, we're in good shape," Walton said.

For more information on Earth Hour, visit www.earthhour.org. Building managers interested in participating can contact John Kent, x4753, jwkent@fnal.gov. Contact Rod Walton, x2565, rwalton@fnal.gov or Eric Mieland, x2248, mieland@fnal.gov with questions.

-- Rhianna Wisniewski

Special Announcement

All-hands meeting at 11 a.m. Friday in Ramsey Auditorium

Fermilab Director Pier Oddone will speak about the laboratory's plans at an All-hands meeting at 11 a.m. in Ramsey Auditorium on Friday. Overflow seating will be available in One West. All employees should plan to attend.

In the News

Meet Stephen Hawking, children's author

From New Scientist, March 18, 2009

Stephen Hawking barely needs an introduction, but his recent direction does. He is packaging the universe for the younger generation. With his daughter Lucy Hawking, he has branched out into writing children's books. They tell Alison George all about it, and recount Stephen's personal alien experience.

Everyone's got a copy of A Brief History of Time, but few have finished it. If we engage children in science young enough, will this change?

Stephen Hawking: The book aroused a great deal of interest, although many people found it difficult to understand. But I believe everyone can, and should, have a broad picture of how the universe operates, and our place in it. This is what I have tried to convey in all my popular books.

It is extremely important to me to write for children. Children ask how things do what they do, and why. Too often they are told that these are stupid questions to ask, but this is said by grown-ups who don't know the answers and don't want to look silly by admitting they don't know. It is important that young people keep their sense of wonder and keep asking why. I'm a child myself, in the sense that I'm still looking. Children are fascinated by black holes and ask me questions. I find they soon get the idea if it is explained in simple language. And yes, it is nice to think a few of them might grow up and read A Brief History from cover to cover.

Read more

In the News

Particle Hunters

From NPR's Science Friday, March 13, 2009

NPR's Ira Flatow talks about the CDF and DZero experiments' disccoveries of single top quarks. Flatow also talks to DZero collaborator and Northwestern University physics professor Heidi Schellman about the DZero collaboration's refinement of the W mass measurement.

Researchers announced this week that they've detected the production of single top quarks at Fermilab. The production of single top quarks has been predicted by the Standard Model of physics, but such events hadn't been definitely seen before. Now, two groups using different detectors at Fermilab have spotted the production of the single particles, which is governed by the weak interaction. Observing a single top quark gives physicists more information about the top quarks and the other particles that pair with them.

The lab also announced this week that they've refined their measurement for the mass of the W-boson, a value that helps define the window for the search for the Higgs boson. We'll talk about the work and the search for other, still more exotic particles such as the Higgs. Teachers, find more information about using Science Friday as a classroom resource in the Kids' Connection.

Listen to podcast

Fermilab Result of the Week

Astounding accuracy

DZero collaborators have recently released their extremely precise measurement of the W boson mass. It is the single most precise measurement thus far.

Jan Stark, of LPSC, Grenoble, will describe this analysis in Friday's Wine and Cheese seminar.

Take out your driver's license and look at the number listed for your weight. If you're like most of us, that number might not be exactly, precisely, accurate. In fact, fudging your weight is one of the few remaining socially-acceptable little white lies. So you should probably breathe a sigh of relief that the DZero collaborators haven't felt the need to inspect your license too closely. It turns out that they are very serious about precise numbers, even when it comes to weight.

These physicists have spent years trying to precisely determine the weight--or more scientifically, the mass--of a very important subatomic particle, the W boson. An accurate measurement of the mass of the W boson is crucial for improving the precision of searches for new physical phenomena that involve electroweak interactions, including the elusive Higgs boson. The W boson was first discovered at CERN in early 1983, and is one of two particles that mediate the weak force. That discovery was based on only nine events in which a W boson was made. You could imagine that, while this was a crucial moment in the history of particle physics, there remained a lot of work to pin down all the important parameters of the W boson, one of which was the boson's mass.

DZero physicists have used their data to extract half a million events in which a W boson was created and decayed into an electron and its associated neutrino. Using their very precise detector, they were able to measure the mass of the W boson to the record accuracy of 0.05 percent. That's equivalent to measuring the weight of a 150 pound man to an accuracy of an ounce and a half. Just to be sure of their accuracy, they used three distinct techniques to cross-check themselves. All three techniques produced a similar mass value. These scientists are now working to combine these three measurements in hopes of improving their accuracy just a bit more.

So next time you step up to renew your license, just be glad there isn't a DZero W boson expert behind the counter.

-- Don Lincoln

This team is currently responsible for the offline analysis resulting in updated calorimeter calibrations. Without such excellent calibrations, this analysis would not be possible.

These physicists played a crucial role in this analysis. The large size of the group is indicative of the difficulty of the analysis.

Accelerator Update

March 9-11
- Three stores provided ~43.25 hours of luminosity
- MTest experiment T988 ends and T971 begins
- NuMI condensation tank level fixed
- Recycler suffers from vacuum burst

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


Have a safe day!

COMSOL Multiphysics workshop at Fermilab

Free Step Aerobics class in March

Lunch & Learn: Eat Right America...What This Means to You

Discount tickets to "1964"...Beatles Tribute - June 6

Discount tickets to "Dora the Explorer Live" - March 26-29

Blackberry Oaks Golf League

Sustainable Energy Club

Goodrich Quality Theater and AMC Theater tickets

Muscle Toning classes

Bulgarian Dance Workshop, March 19

URA visiting Scholars applications due March 20

NALWO Adler Planetarium Trip March 21

NALWO "Meet the Teacher" English class - March 23

Child Care program March 24

Dandia/ Garba Dance evening March 28

Kyuki Do classes March 30

Publisher 2007: Intro class April 1

Conflict Management & Negotiation Skills class April 1

English Country Dancing, April 5

Outlook 2007 New Features class April 8

SciTech Summer Camps

Heartland Blood Drive Disney Vacation winners

Harlem Globetrotter employee discount

WDRS Researches Transit Benefit Program

Coed softball season begins May 13

Additional Activities

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