Fermilab Today Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Wednesday, April 1
3:30 p.m.
4 p.m.
Fermilab Colloquium - One West
Speaker: Isabelle Grenier, University of Paris Diderot/CEA Saclay
Title: The Animated Gamma-Ray Sky Revealed by the Fermi Gamma-Ray Space Telescope

Thursday, April 2
2:30 p.m.
Theoretical Physics Seminar - Curia II
Speaker: Witold Skiba, Yale University
Title: Supersymmetry with Lots of Leptons
3:30 p.m.
4 p.m.
Extreme Beam - Physics at the Intensity Frontier Lecture Series - One West
Speaker: Yoshitaka Kuno, Osaka University
Title: Charged Lepton Flavor Violation: Experimental Searches with Muons

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 1
- Beef barley
- Cowboy burger
- Smart cuisine: Caribbean grill salmon
- Liver w/onions
- Beef & cheddar panini w/sauteed onions
- Assorted sliced pizza
- Cavatappi pasta w/Italian sausage & tomato Ragu

Wilson Hall Cafe Menu

Chez Leon

Wednesday, April 1
- Cheese fondue
- Marinated vegetable salad
- Amaretto pears

Thursday, April 2
- Crab cakes
- Stuffed flank steak
- Orzo w/ pine nuts & parmesan
- Lemon Neapolitans

Chez Leon menu
Call x3524 to make your reservation.


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April Fool

We hope that the 9 a.m. edition of Fermilab Today made you laugh! Here is the real issue. (Really).


Crafting the camera's eyes

Michelle Jonas examines a one-millimeter square of tape.

With a surgeon's precision, Fermilab technician Michelle Jonas cuts a one-millimeter square of tape that helps hold in place a charge-coupled device, which acts like digitized film on a camera. What she is handling is as vital to the dark energy camera as a retina is to the human eye.

The dark energy camera, which is being built by Fermilab scientists, will take pictures of the universe back through time, to the Big Bang. The 74 CCDs that will be placed on its lens will record longer wavelengths of light than any previous tool. They will enable scientists to view roughly 300 million galaxies and 60 million stars in the southern hemisphere.

The location and brightness of the stars and galaxies could give scientists clues about dark energy, the mysterious substance thought to make up 70 percent of the universe.

Jonas is the craftswoman behind these delicate silicon devices, each the size of a Matchbox car, and placed on a camera the size of a Mini Cooper. "Michelle is just really good at handling these. It takes some real skill," said Tom Diehl, a PPD physicist who oversees Jonas. "You need super-steady hands and magnifying-glass eyes."

Jonas, who has worked at Fermilab for 12 years, also hones her concentration outside of the office. "No drinking during the week, a clear mind, lots of rest," she said. "I drink my coffee an hour before work so my hands don't shake."

What else helps her stay focused on the nearly 200 steps to the finished product?

"Knowing that I'm working with something that costs $50,000 -- you don't want to destroy it," Jonas said.

Handling pressure is another one of her skills, said Diehl. "Every time I tell her not to drop one, she just laughs," he said. "She has nerves of steel."

-- Kristine Crane

Photo of the Day

Blue skies and a big bird

AD's Martin Murphy snapped this photo of a red tailed hawk sitting in a tree near Pine Street last week.

In the News

Exploding a theory

A recent supernova is calling into question what we know about the life and death of stars.

From SEED, March 27, 2009

About 220 million years ago, deep within the galaxy NGC 266, a blue hypergiant star exploded. When the light from that supernova reached Earth in 2005, astronomers began piecing together something of a stellar mystery: a star that died before its time.

The key piece of evidence in this mystery came from astronomers Avishay Gal-Yam, of Israel's Weizmann Institute, and Douglas Leonard, of San Diego State University. Publishing in Nature on March 22, their findings include the second-ever set of images that conclusively link a supernova with its progenitor, the star it used to be.

Gal-Yam and Leonard established this link by comparing historical images of the galaxy, taken by Hubble in 1997, with those taken in the same location 10 years later. Noting the absence of a single star is harder than it sounds. It was only because the progenitor was in one of the brightest, hottest, and largest classes of stars - luminous blue variables - that scientists could distinguish it from its neighbors and pick it out from the objects in the intervening millions of light-years between it and Hubble.

Read more

From ES&H

The "E" and "H" in ES&H

Nancy Grossman, head of the ES&H section at Fermilab, wrote this week's column.

Nancy Grossman

At Fermilab, we pay a lot of attention to working safely, and in the last few years we've made great progress on reducing our already low injury rates even further.

While safety always will remain a top priority, the ES&H section also focuses on environmental and health issues. Although environment and health effects are harder to quantify and reward than safety issues, they are just as important as reducing the number of injuries and lost days of work.

The ES&H section works to keep the Fermilab site a priceless place for people, animals and plants. Our site is a breath of fresh air in the middle of suburban development, and our goal is to remain a good steward of the land. For example, we continue to keep our emissions low, we've increased the acreage of natural habitat on site and we've expanded our recycling efforts. In FY2008, we received four environmental awards for our efforts.

Our beautiful site also can help us to remain healthy and fit through walking, biking, running, rollerblading - you name it. If you are healthy and fit, you are less likely to get hurt, and when you do get hurt, you tend to recover more quickly. I often think how grateful I am to work at Fermilab, where I can jog at lunchtime and ride my bike to work. Getting out for a walk helps clear your head and reduces stress. I know I am more alert and work more efficiently in the afternoon after a lunchtime jog. The break also helps me step back and better prioritize my day.

Now that spring is here, try getting outside to enjoy the environment at Fermilab that we are so fortunate to have. Or consider one of the classes and activities offered by our WDRS section and the various clubs and organizations here at Fermilab. As you drive across our site, please look out for people walking, riding and running. Keeping everybody safe remains our top priority.

Safety Update

ES&H weekly report, March 31

This week's safety report, compiled by the Fermilab ES&H section, lists no injuries reported. We have now worked 27 days since the last recordable injury. Find the full repot here.

Safety report archive


Latest Announcements

Barn Dance April 12

Wanted: safety messages

Have a safe day!

Spring book fair April 1-2

Fermilab club & league fair

Blackberry Oaks Golf League

Sustainable Energy Club

Goodrich Quality Theater and AMC Theater tickets

WDRS researches transit benefit program

Got golf? Join the Fermilab Golf League

New Financial Planning & Investment Services at ACU

English country dancing, April 5

COMSOL Multiphysics workshop at Fermilab - April 6

Outlook 2007 new features class offered April 8

Harlem Globetrotter employee discount April 13

Changes to Participating Pharmacies Blue Cross Pharmacy Program

Artist within - employee art show '09

MathWorks Seminar - April 21

Word 2007: Styles and Templates class offered April 23

Coed softball season begins May 13

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

SciTech summer camps

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