Fermilab Today Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2009

Have a safe day!

Tuesday, Oct. 20
12:30 p.m.
Lunchtime Talk - One West
Speaker: KC Cole, USC Annenberg School of Journalism
Title: The Uncle of the Atom Bomb: Frank Oppenheimer and the World He Made Up
3:30 p.m.

Wednesday, Oct. 21
10:30 a.m.
Research Techniques Seminar - One East
Speaker: Thor-Erik Hansen, SINTEF, Oslo
Title: Development and Fabrication of Full 3D-Sensors at SINTEF MiNaLab
3:30 p.m.

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


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Wilson Hall Cafe

Tuesday, Oct. 20
- Bagel sandwich
- Golden broccoli soup
- Southern-style fish sandwich
- Coconut-crusted tilapia
- Burgundy beef tips
- La Grande sandwich
- Assorted slices of pizza
- Chicken fajitas

Wilson Hall Cafe Menu

Chez Leon

Wednesday, Oct. 21
- Cherry-glazed cornish hens with sourdough cherry stuffing
- Steamed broccoli
- Oatmeal pecan pie

Thursday, Oct. 22

Chez Leon Menu
Call x3524 to make your reservation.


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Eagle project at Fermilab will replace picnic table wood

Samuel Schlicher, a Boy Scout from Troop 6 in Batavia, plans to replace rotting wood on some of Fermilab's 20-year-old picnic tables this fall.

Particle collisions are Fermilab's main output, but with its large number of wilderness and recreation areas, the laboratory also creates a major byproduct: Eagle Scout projects.

Samuel Schlicher, a Boy Scout from Troop 6 in Batavia, plans to replace rotting wood on picnic tables in the Main Ring in the next month. About 10 Boy Scouts from his troop will join him to help cut wood, drill holes, round off the tables' corners and stain the wood.

Schlicher took on the project after learning that Fermilab often had Eagle Scout projects available on site. He contacted Bob Lootens, Fermilab Roads and Grounds, who suggested fixing the picnic tables.

"It sounded like a project I would enjoy doing," Schlicher said. "Around my house, I've built wood patios and done projects like that."

The 20-year-old picnic tables have weathered over the years. Lootens expects the replacement wood to extend the lifespan of the tables, which are used for events such as the Prairie Harvest. Some of the material for the project will come from donations. Fermilab will supply the wood.

Lootens, who has coordinated about 25 Eagle Scout projects at Fermilab, said he tries to find projects that are appropriate for Boy Scouts and also add value to the laboratory. Lootens said many Boy Scouts in the area struggle to find projects, so he tries to find a few appropriate projects each year.

"The projects aren't that complicated. They're just a lot of manual work," Lootens said."It's good for the laboratory and it's good for Boy Scouts because it's hard for them to find a good Eagle Scout project."

Projects during the past few years include repairing and locating unmarked tombstones at Pioneer Cemetery, building park benches, renovating trail signs and installing shelters for native wildlife.

— Chris Knight


Frequently asked questions about sick leave for H1N1

As part of Fermilab Today's continuing coverage of H1N1, today we cover frequently asked questions about sick leave.

Q: If I have the flu, under what circumstances should I call the Fermilab Medical Office?

A: If you are ill with symptoms that resemble any kind of flu — fever, sore throat, cough, stuffy nose, chills, headache, body aches, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea — please call the Fermilab Medical Office at x3232.

If you take sick leave for the flu, you will need to speak to the Medical Office before returning to work. If diagnosed with H1N1, you should return only after you have been symptom- and fever-free for at least 24 hours.

If you feel sick, please stay home from work. Fermilab has instituted a more permissive stance on sick leave usage in light of the extraordinary circumstances.

Q: What happens if I need to stay home from work and have no sick days to use?

A: Under the new policy, new hires who have no accrued sick leave and employees with no remaining sick leave may draw up to 18 days of future sick leave to stay home to recover from the flu.

Employees may use up to 15 of their available sick days to care for immediate family members who are sick with the flu. In the event of a school closing, employees may use up to three days of family-friendly sick leave to arrange alternate care for their children. Employees whose children cannot attend school because of a closing should not bring their children to work.

If you require additional days off work, you may request vacation. Employees with no remaining vacation days may draw a limited number of future vacation days or elect to take excused leave without pay.

To inquire about your sick leave balance, please contact payroll or call at x3046. For your vacation balance, see the "Leave Balances" on your pay stub.

The new policy will remain in effect until further notice. For more information, see Fermilab's policy.

Accelerator Update

Oct. 16-19
- Three stores provided approximately 49 hours of luminosity
- Beam successfully sent to the Switchyard dump
- TeV quench during shot setup

The integrated luminosity from Oct. 12 to Oct. 19 was 55.11 inverse pico barns.

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

In the News

Considering an alternative fuel for nuclear energy

From The New York Times, Oct. 19, 2009

For decades, scientists have dreamed about turning thorium - an element that is less radioactive and produces less nuclear waste than uranium - into an alternative fuel for nuclear energy. Recent technological developments may be bringing the dream closer to reality.

As a naturally occurring metal that is substantially more abundant than uranium, its most common isotopic form, thorium-232, can be converted by irradiation to uranium-233, which is suitable for use in nuclear fuels.

The United States is estimated to have 400,000 tons of thorium, Turkey 344,000 tons and India 319,000 tons, according to a 2008 joint report by the Nuclear Energy Agency, a body linked to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Read more

Director's Corner

Two meetings

Pier Oddone

Last week we had two important meetings. The first one took place on Monday at the University of Chicago. It was the sixth science collaboration meeting between Argonne National Laboratory, Fermilab and the University of Chicago, with some 90 participants discussing opportunities for collaboration among our three institutions. Closer collaboration with Argonne and University of Chicago was one of the primary motivations for the creation of the Fermi Research Alliance, and the positive results are very much in evidence.

In addition to the direct collaboration on accelerator and non-accelerator particle physics research, there are important collaborations in areas of material science applied to particle physics problems that would be impossible for us to carry out on our own. These collaborative studies are developing the scientific understanding of niobium surfaces that are so important for the fabrication and processing of high-gradient superconductive cavities. In addition, a very strong program on new kinds of photomultipliers, using advanced material science technologies is underway, supported by American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding. These programs received initial seed funding from the University of Chicago as part of the contributions that the university makes to Fermilab and Argonne. The Universities Research Association has a similar sized program for promoting collaborations with its institutions.

Last Thursday and Friday, we had a meeting of the FRA Board of Directors at Fermilab. The board is chaired by Bob Zimmer, President of the University of Chicago, and Fred Bernthal, President of URA is the vice chair. The board members are distinguished scientists, university administrators, industrial leaders and policy makers selected by URA and the University of Chicago. The board meets three times a year for two days. The first day is devoted to meetings of the board's six subcommittees: Administration and Finance, Audit, Environment Safety and Health, Physics, Science Planning and Compensation. These subcommittees review and track all aspects of the laboratory as part of the oversight function of the board.

On the second day of the meeting, the board heard from me on the status of the laboratory and received the reports from its subcommittees. One innovation in these meetings has been breakout sessions on important issues for the laboratory when the board asks specific questions. For these breakout sessions the board invites notable outside folks that can help lead the discussions. We were fortunate to have Kei Koizumi, Assistant Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) for the breakout session on science policy, Kevin Lesko head of DUSEL project at the University of California, Ed Seidel, interim head of the Mathematics and Physical Sciences Directorate of NSF and Jonathan Kotcher from the Physics Office of NSF on the breakout session on DUSEL. In addition, Barry Barish from Caltech, Director of the Global Design Effort for the International Linear Collider participated in the breakout session on the ILC. These discussions and the input of these outside experts are invaluable in analyzing and setting directions for the work ahead of us.

Special Announcement

Oppenheimer, Wilson and physicists of the nuclear age

Science journalist KC Cole gives talk today at 12:30 p.m. in One West

At Frank Oppenheimer's memorial service, Fermilab's founding director Robert Wilson said, "In his romantic way, Frank believed that one man could make a difference. Well, my friend Frank Oppenheimer did make a difference. He did, he did."

Science journalist KC Cole, of the USC Annenberg School of Journalism and author of a book about Frank Oppenheimer, will recount the touching and sometimes tortuous dialogues between Oppenheimer, Wilson and other physicists as they struggled to find a way to survive the nuclear age — dialogues filled with insights perhaps more relevant today than ever. Her 45-minute lunchtime presentation titled, "The Uncle of the Atom Bomb: Frank Oppenheimer and the World He Made Up" will take place at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday in One West.

Cole will tell the story of the ever-mischievous Oppenheimer chasing balloons with cosmic-ray detectors through the Cuban jungles, working with his brother Robert Oppenheimer during the war years and creating the Exploratorium in San Francisco — an institution imitated worldwide that combines art, science and serious play in the hopes of promoting a world view based on understanding and persuasion rather than coercion.

—Kurt Riesselmann


Latest Announcements

Frank Oppenheimer and the World He Made Up - Oct. 20

Overcome Your Fear of Public Speaking - Oct 29

Fermilab hosts Workshop on Applications of High-Intensity Proton Accelerators - Oct. 19-21

Interpersonal Communication Skills class - Oct. 21

Scottish Country Dancing Tuesday evenings at Kuhn Village barn

Annual Enrollment ends Oct. 23

Children's Halloween party - Oct. 23

Buttered Rum performs at Fermilab Arts Series - Oct. 24

Director's Award nominations accepted until Oct. 26

Facilitating Meetings That Work - Nov. 4

Fred Garbo Inflatable Theatre at Fermilab Arts Series - Nov. 7

Process Piping (ASME B31.3) class offered in October and November

"The Night Before Christmas Carol" at Fermilab Arts Series - Dec. 5

Conflict Management and Negotiation Skills - Oct. 28, Nov. 11

Additional activities

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