Fermilab Today Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2009

Have a safe day!

Tuesday, Dec. 22
3:30 p.m.
DIRECTOR'S COFFEE BREAK - 2nd floor crossover

Wednesday, Dec. 23
3:30 p.m.

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

Upcoming conferences


Take Five
Tune IT Up

H1N1 Flu

For information about H1N1, visit Fermilab's flu information site.



Extended Forecast
Weather at Fermilab

Current Security Status

Secon Level 3

Wilson Hall Cafe

Tuesday, Dec. 22
- Breakfast: bagel sandwich
- Chef's choice
- Grill menu
- Chef's choice
- Deli menu
- Assorted sliced pizza
- Closed

Wilson Hall Cafe Menu

Chez Leon

Wednesday, Dec. 23
- Closed

Thursday, Dec. 24
- Closed

Chez Leon Menu
Call x3524 to make your reservation.


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Special Announcement

Fermilab Today on vacation Dec. 23, returns Jan. 4

This is the final issue of Fermilab Today for 2009. Fermilab Today will begin publishing again on Monday, Jan. 4. Happy holidays!

Photo Gallery

Images from the potluck party and holiday skits on Dec. 16

Below are a few images from the inaugural potluck party and Fermilab Follies, a selection of comedy skits performed by Fermilab employees and users, on Dec. 16. You can view more images here.

Children from Fermilab's daycare center sing Christmas carols at the Potluck Party.
The Fermilab Singers perform during the Fermilab Follies at the potluck party on Dec. 16.
Fermilab scientist Luciano Ristori performs a magic trick using a cup and a ball.
CDF co-spokesperson Rob Roser performs as the cowardly spokesperson in "The Wizard of Odd," a "Wizard of Oz" parody skit, on Dec. 16.
Safety reminder

Holiday safety tips

This can be a wonderful time of year. To keep it that way, the Fermilab Fire Department offers a few tips to remember while you travel to your holiday destination or prepare your home for the holidays.

  • Slow down. Driving too fast for conditions contributes to many winter weather accidents. Allow extra distance for your vehicle to stop.
  • Use caution on snow-covered roads and when blowing snow causes poor visibility. Watch out for "black ice" conditions where asphalt appears wet or normal but is actually covered in a thin layer of ice. Do not follow closely behind snow plows.
  • When decorating a tree always use UL- approved lights. Do not overload the outlets or plugs. Check for broken/cracked sockets and frayed or bare wires. Replace these immediately. Only use approved lights and cords outside.
  • Never use real candles on trees. When lighting candles for holiday celebrations or general ambience, use only non-flammable holders and place candles where they won't be knocked over by children or pets. Don't leave candles unattended and do not place them near flammable objects or open windows.
  • Use caution around fireplaces. Keep screens and doors in place to avoid sparks or "popping" from logs. Keep small children away from the area also. Never burn wrapping paper in fireplaces. Paper may throw off dangerous sparks and flash fires may result.

Special Announcement

East gate to close 1 to 5 a.m. starting Jan. 5

On Tuesday, Jan. 5, Fermilab will start closing the east gate at night from 1 to 5 a.m. Personnel called in during those hours to work on emergency repairs will be provided access. All other employees and users who wish to enter the site between 1 and 5 a.m. will need to use the main entrance on Pine Street. As the laboratory gains experience with emergency repair access during the night, Fermilab management will modify the procedures as necessary.

For more information about the new gate, please read the articles published in Fermilab Today on Sept. 24 and Sept. 29.

In the News

Key to the universe found on the Iron Range?

From the Minnesota Star-Tribune,
Dec. 19, 2009

Eureka? U physicists are hopeful that what they have found at the bottom of an old iron mine is evidence of dark matter.

Two tiny dots encircled and projected on a screen in the University of Minnesota's physics building Friday afternoon signaled a potentially monumental discovery.

As a roomful of sometimes skeptical scientists looked on, a researcher stated his case for why a group of physicists believe that in a northern Minnesota lab at the bottom of an old iron mine a half-mile underground, they may have discovered a key to understanding the universe:

Dark matter.

It is believed to account for most of the universe's total matter. If its existence can be proven, it would go a long way toward unlocking celestial mysteries that have baffled scientists.

"There is not enough gravity in observable matter to keep stars and galaxies together," said Marvin Marshak, the University of Minnesota physics professor who directs the lab at the Soudan underground mine near Ely. The fact that these spiraling entities don't fly apart suggests that something else holds them together, something humans can't see.

Read more

Director's Corner

Happy holidays!

Pier Oddone

As we close this year, I wish you every happiness to you, your family and friends and a prosperous New Year!

2009 was very good year for us and you should be proud of all the laboratory's accomplishments across a wide front. The Accelerator Complex broke all previous records and we obtained beautiful results from the Tevatron and the neutrino programs. The non-accelerator experiments also did very well with new results in the dark matter searches and the Pierre Auger observatory. The LHC and CMS turn on was very successful. We advanced considerably in implementing the future program with strong support by the Department of Energy Office of High Energy Physics. Minerva is nearly complete and DES and NOvA are well on their way. MicroBooNE is progressing well, Mu2e has CD-0 and LBNE is on track to get CD-0 soon - these will be the anchors of the program later in the decade. The SCRF and ILC R&D continue successfully. We made progress on the design of Project X with exciting new ideas and we will host the national program on muon collider and neutrino factory R&D. Our national and international collaborations are developing strongly and will be essential for the success of our future program. Our safety record that was already quite strong has improved noticeably in the last three months. We have started a series of improvements in operations that will allow us to be more efficient and rigorous in the delivery of projects and programs. And we even know how to have fun as we demonstrated at the lab-wide pot-luck party with performances last week, including skits written and acted out by talented citizens of our laboratory.

2010 promises to be an exciting but very challenging year for us. Our program is now quite extensive, with opportunities for discovery and new projects under construction. It will require our utmost concentration and effectiveness. We certainly cannot do everything that is in front of us by ourselves and we depend, on every project, on the collaboration of many institutions. We appreciate and are thankful for our collaborators and friends throughout the community. Have a safe and happy holiday season!

Ask the Ethicist

Q&A about gifts and gratuities

Q. What should a FRA employee do with free items (pens, calendars, tote bags, radios and food) left by a vendor?

A. As mentioned in the Dec. 18 issue of Fermilab Today, the Code of Conduct prohibits employees from accepting any gratuity, gift or special favor from individuals or organizations with whom FRA is doing business or proposing to do business. The policy states that "except for advertising novelties of minimal value, gratuities shall be refused or returned."

This means that your actions depend on what the vendor leaves. Items such as calendars, pens and tote bags generally qualify as advertising novelties of minimal value and can be accepted. An item such as a radio probably does not qualify and should be refused or returned. Food is trickier. If you can politely refuse the food offered, you should do so. If the food is left behind, place it in a public area for general consumption. This helps remove the appearance of a conflict of interest.

Q. What should an employee do with a personal gift offered by a friend who works for a vendor to FRA?

A. Many employees regularly interact with the same vendor representative. Naturally, personal friendships can develop. A gift from a vendor-employed friend blends the line between your personal and professional life. In this situation you must remain conscious of the prohibition on gifts and gratuities and you must keep in mind the appearance of a conflict of interest created.

Whether you should accept a gift from a vendor-employed friend depends on your relationship with the person, the gift, the manner in which it was given and the appearance created by your acceptance. For example, if you received a personal gift at a separate function (e.g., dinner at your house); then you can probably accept the gift. If your interactions with a vendor only relate to their business at Fermilab, and they offer you a personal gift; you should probably decline or return the gift.

Clear cut answers are hard to come by. If you are offered a gift or have accepted a gift that you think may conflict with FRA policies, feel free to contact the Legal Office for specific advice.

Accelerator Update

Dec. 18-21
- Four stores provided ~62.25 hours of luminosity
- Store 7444 had an AIL of 306E30
- BRF19 cavity suffered a vacuum failure and was removed
- The Booster west anode power supply suffered some problems

* The integrated luminosity for the period from Dec. 14-21 was 51.27 inverse picobarns.
*NuMI reported receiving 6.38E18 protons on target during this same period.

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


Martial Arts classes begin Jan. 4

Atrium events - book through Office of Communication

Lederman Science Center holiday hours

International folk dancing meets Jan. 7

Scottish country dancing will meet every Tuesday through December

Fermilab December payroll Information

Sign up for spring Science Adventures classes

English Country Dancing - Jan. 3

Process Piping Materials, Fabrication, Examination & Testing (ASME B31.3) class offered in Feb. 3-4

East gate to begin closing 1-5 a.m. beginning Jan. 5

Fermilab Management Practices seminar beginning Feb. 11

Python Programming class offered Feb. 24-16

Give the gift of movies

Chicago Blackhawks discount tickets

FMLA and FTL policy updates

Prescription eyewear technician - location change

Additional activities

Submit an announcement

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