Fermilab Today Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Have a safe day!

Tuesday, May 19
11:30 a.m
Traffic Safety Seminar - One West
Speaker: Nancy Glover, Open Roads Chapter of ABATE
Title: Motorcycle Awareness
2:30 p.m.
Theoretical Physics Seminar - Curia II
Speaker: Taku Izubuchi, Brookhaven National Laboratory
Title: Isospin Symmetry Breaking Effects in Hadron Masses
3:30 p.m
4 p.m.
Special Joint Experimental-Theoretical Seminar - One West
Observation of Omegab and Measurement of the Properties of Cascadeb and Omegab at CDF
Speaker: Pat Lukens, Fermilab

Wednesday, May 20
3:30 p.m.
4 p.m.
Fermilab Colloquium - One West
Speaker: Ken Marken, Los Alamos National Laboratory
Title: From Ions to Wires to the Grid: The Transformational Science of LANL Research in
High-Tc Superconducting Tapes and Electric Power Applications

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, May 19
- Chicken & rice soup
- Double cheese burger w/bacon
- Beef stroganoff
- Smart Cuisine: Lemon chicken
- Peppered beef
- Assorted sliced pizza
-Taco nachos

Wilson Hall Cafe Menu

Chez Leon

Wednesday, May 20
- Steak salad w/pomegranate vinaigrette
- Italian cream cake

Thursday, May 21
- Radicchio & endive salad w/roasted pears and gorgonzola
- Peppercorn crusted filet mignon w/ port jus
- Creamy parmesan orzo
- Chive green beans
- Fudgy soufflé cake with a warm turtle sauce

Chez Leon Menu
Call x3524 to make your reservation.


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Fermilab scientist earns prestigious award

Aaron Chou

The search for dark energy has put the spotlight on Aaron Chou.

The Fermilab physicist received the Department of Energy's Office of High-Energy Physics 2009 Outstanding Junior Investigator Award, an honor bestowed on only a handful of HEP scientists in the country.

The award debuted in 1978 and has become increasingly competitive, with about one in seven proposals accepted. The award identifies outstanding high-energy physicists early in their careers and financially supports their research programs.

More than 150 of the 200 past recipients have achieved tenured academic positions and many have gone on to renown in the field. Several worked on Fermilab experiments.

"I'm very happy, especially with the fact that the DOE review committee found my proposed research interesting and worthwhile," Chou said.

The award provides $70,000 annually for up to five years for Chou's proposal, Axion Search via Resonant Photon Regeneration, the second phase of a search for a milli-eV scale axion-like particle, a candidate for dark matter, started in the GammeV experiment.

"There are certain aspects of nature that no one has ever looked at in this detail before, so there could be something there," Chou said. "You don't need any more motivation that that - It is kind of like why you climb a mountain."

Chou and Fermilab physicist William Wester crafted the GammeV axion experiment, which used spare parts from other laboratory experiments in an effort to hold down costs. The proposed second-phase experiment also would use recycled equipment and would use advanced optical techniques to improve on GammeV sensitivity and improve the probability of detecting a photon converting to an axion by a factor of 10.

"Aaron's physics skills and his uncommonly deep understanding of theoretical concepts have allowed him to connect some hints seen in astrophysical measurements and to suggest a next level of sensitivity to try and experimentally probe," Wester said.

Chou's other Fermilab work includes the study of cosmic rays, dark energy and holographic noise.

--Tona Kunz

Photo of the Day

LPC theorist of the week

University of Washington's Steve Ellis joins the Fermilab LHC Physics Center from May 18-22 as the theorist of the week. During his week in the LPC, Ellis will present a series of talks and hold office hours on Thursday from 9-11 a.m. and 1-3 p.m on the 11th-floor crossover. His complete schedule is available online. Ellis is the fourth theorist of the week to participate in this program sponsored by the LPC to foster interactions between theorists and experimentalists at Fermilab.

In the News

Bill Andrews: Support basic science for a big bang down the road

From Wisconsin State Journal, May 8, 2009

Most of us use relativity and quantum physics every day.

If it weren't for relativity telling us how space is shaped, we wouldn't be able to track the orbit of satellites that make our cell phones and Global Positioning System navigators work.

And quantum physics, with its insights into the subatomic world of electrons and their interactions, makes possible our understanding and manipulation of most things electronic, including the Internet and cell phones.

All this was made possible thanks to basic, open-ended scientific research done without any thought of application to ordinary people's lives.

Read more

Special Announcement

"Angels & Demons" international Webcast features Fermilab scientists

You can watch a live Webcast with journalists and scientists at Fermilab and CERN discussing the science of "Angels & Demons" today at noon. International media will interview Fermilab theorist Boris Kayser, CERN Director-General Rolf-Dieter Heuer and former Fermilab Director Leon Lederman.

The National Science Foundation arraigned the media briefing available at: http://www.science360.gov/live/.

You can learn more about how antimatter is used in the book and in real-life research at a lecture given by Fermilab theorist Marcela Carena at 8 p.m. May 21 in Ramsey Auditorium.

Director's Corner

Focus Group Report

Pier Oddone

From November 2008 through January 2009, 23 focus groups gave a cross-section of Fermilab employees and users the opportunity to provide an in-depth look at the work environment at the laboratory. When we began this process, I committed to make public the results of the focus groups and the accompanying report. I hope you will take time to read and think about them. For anyone who cares about Fermilab, they make compelling reading.

A primary purpose of the focus groups was to examine workplace issues for women and members of minorities, but they also explored a wide range of issues affecting the working environment. To protect the privacy of the participants and encourage candid dialog, Fermilab engaged a consultant, The Perspectives Group, to design and carry out the focus-group process using a representative sample of the full range of Fermilab employees and users. All in all, 187 employees and users took part.

The focus groups gave us some good news. In the words of the Perspective Group's report, "Based on the focus groups, there is no evidence of a recognizable systemic bias toward any minority group at Fermilab. Few minority participants believed that issues or concerns they have faced at Fermilab resulted from their minority status. The vast majority of participants indicated that they enjoy working at Fermilab and describe it as a respectful workplace."

However, as you will see, the focus groups also identified real challenges and issues in the Fermilab workplace, ranging from specific questions about the fairness of flex-time policies and parental leave to all-encompassing issues of our common Fermilab culture. It is clear that the performance review program as it is currently implemented is not well understood and may need revision. A lack of common management standards and training leads to great variability in the way managers interpret and apply policies. Communication between managers and employees at all levels can be poor. Many graduate students feel lost in the system. Career paths are not always clear, and we lack a lab-wide mentoring program. These are some of the major themes that emerge.

I committed not only to make the focus-group results public but to act on them. Our next steps will be to take advantage of what we have learned to make Fermilab a better place to work. I encourage everyone to read the report and the working group summaries, and to discuss these in your workplace and with your supervisors. To make Fermilab a better place to work we must all engage.

Areas that we will be addressing over the next year include:

  • Management
  • Communication
  • Implementation of flex-time and other policies
  • Performance reviews
  • Human Resources
  • Grad students
  • Laboratory culture

Of course, we will also continue our focus on ensuring that Fermilab provides a respectful and supportive work environment for women and members of minorities.

We will hold an all-hands meeting very soon to discuss these issues as a community.

Accelerator Update

May 15-18
- Four stores provided ~67 hours of luminosity
- Pbar Debuncher injector kicker repaired
- Meson M01 LCW trips trouble MTest
- MI Quadrupole magnet suffered ground fault

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


Latest Announcements

Film Society looking for new members

Argentine Tango classes through June 24

Microsoft Office 2007 help at the library

Pool membership drive begins

Asthma & Allergy Awareness Lunch & Learn - today

Process piping (ASME B31.3) class offered in October

Come to the Main Ring for Employee Health & Fitness Day May 20

"Angels & Demons" Lecture Night: The Science Revealed - May 21

Computing account requests reach peak season

Concerned about H1N1? Ask a question

May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month - send us your photos

Jobs at Fermilab: Employee Profiles Updated

Deadline for The University of Chicago Tuition Remission Program - May 22

NALWO - Brown Bag Lunch - Chinese Pottery - May 26

Are you Fit to a T? May 27 event

Nanotechnology Lecture: Crafting of Self-Assembling Materials for Medicine & Energy - Fermilab Arts Series

Science Adventures for children

Discounted Rates at Grand Geneva Resort, Lake Geneva, WI

Summer co-ed volleyball league begins June 1

Registration for Users' meeting is open

Conflict Management and Negotiation Skills class - June 3 and 10

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

Accelerated C++ Short Course: registration open - June 8

Python Training June 17-19

Susan Werner - singer/songwriter Performs on Arts Series

SciTech summer camps

Intermediate/Advanced Python Programming July 22-24

Additional Activities

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