Fermilab Today Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2010

Have a safe day!

Tuesday, Aug. 3
12 p.m.
Summer Lecture Series - One West
Speaker: Tom Kroc, Fermilab
Title: Neutrons Against Cancer
3:30 p.m.

Wednesday, Aug. 4
3:30 p.m.

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Wilson Hall Cafe

Tuesday, Aug. 3
- Bagel sandwich
- Creamy turkey vegetable soup
- Chili dog
- Country fried steak
- Chicken cacciatore
- Italian panini w/provolone
- Assorted sliced pizza
- Super burrito

Wilson Hall Cafe Menu

Chez Leon

Wednesday, Aug. 4
- Spinach salad w/grilled shrimp
- Lemon-buttermilk panna cotta w/blueberry sauce

Thursday, Aug. 5
- Caesar salad
- Lobster tail w/lemon butter
- Grilled asparagus
- New potatoes
- Strawberry shortcake

Chez Leon Menu
Call x3524 to make your reservation.


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From symmetry

Science road trip

Illustration: Sandbox Studio

In the summer of 1928, the young Ernest O. Lawrence set out across America in a Flying Cloud coupe to begin his new life at the University of California, Berkeley. Eighty-one years later, a writer and a photographer took a road trip to visit the legacy of this accelerator-physics pioneer: American Big Science.

Every good cross-country road trip needs a theme. Sure, you can drive across the United States in three days flat, heading in a straight line on impersonal interstates and stopping at the occasional Waffle House for sustenance. But that doesn't do justice to the great American tradition of the road trip, heading from sea to shining sea with the windows down and the radio on. From On the Road to Easy Rider, we've learned that the destination isn't the point-it's how you get there that counts.

So when my boyfriend Nick Russell and I decided to drive from New York City to Los Angeles last summer, we weighed various options for our theme: The always-classic National Parks? The quirkier tour of Elvis museums? Major cities? Small towns? Desert, mountains, prairie?

Uninspired, we threw out ideas for stops along the way. Marfa, Texas- good art, family friends, and UFO lights in the desert. Pueblo, Colorado-the Rocky Mountains, a friend's parents, and Casa Bonita, a cross between a Mexican restaurant and Disneyland. Petersburg, Kentucky-the Creation Museum, devoted to disproving evolution, which we ultimately decided was not for us. And then we remembered Chicago, Illinois-a cousin with a spare bedroom and Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, where I'd worked as a science-writing intern for a summer in college. The idea snowballed from there, and soon our itinerary included visits to eight Department of Energy national laboratories (Brookhaven, Oak Ridge, Fermilab, Argonne, Los Alamos, Berkeley, Livermore, and SLAC), one NASA lab (the Jet Propulsion Laboratory), one gigantic radio telescope (the Very Large Array), and one ghost lab in East Texas (the abandoned site of the Superconducting Super Collider).

Read more

Photos of the Day

Summer picnics

Facilities Engineering Services Section employees take a break to thank their summer students with a picnic on Wednesday, July 28, outside of Kuhn Barn.
Environment, Safety and Health Section employees enjoy their luau-themed picnic on Wednesday, July 28, in Kuhn Barn.
Special Announcement

No warning system test today

Due to the threat of severe weather, the Sitewide Emergency Warning System test scheduled for today has been cancelled.

What's Happening Here?

Repairs to staircase on northwest side of Wilson Hall

Repairs are underway to the outdoor staircase on the northwest side of Wilson Hall. The stair case will remain closed for at least the next month. Please use the stairs or elevators inside the building.
In the News

Antarctica experiment discovers puzzling space ray pattern

From LiveScience, July 26, 2010

A puzzling pattern in the cosmic rays bombarding Earth from space has been discovered by an experiment buried deep under the ice of Antarctica.

Cosmic rays are highly energetic particles streaming in from space that are thought to originate in the distant remnants of dead stars.

But it turns out these particles are not arriving uniformly from all directions. The new study detected an overabundance of cosmic rays coming from one part of the sky, and a lack of cosmic rays coming from another.

This odd pattern was detected by the IceCube Neutrino Observatory, an experiment still under construction that is actually intended to detect other exotic particles called neutrinos. In fact, scientists have gone out of their way to try to block out all signals from cosmic rays in order to search for the highly elusive neutrinos, which are much harder to find.

Read more

Director's Corner

CD-4 and my daughter's wedding

Pier Oddone

Many of the DOE orders that we follow in our contract contain a prescriptive framework on how to deal with a variety of issues from health and safety to conduct of operations to project management. For those of us who deal with these orders day in and day out, it is all too easy to fit the world outside the laboratory to the same framework. Hence the title of this column on the DOE Project of Management Order 413.3 and my daughter's wedding.

For some the idea of carrying the framework outside the laboratory to our daily lives may appear to be a kind of mental disorder, some kind of post-DOE stress syndrome. But sometimes there are real advantages in doing so. For instance, the safety practices we adhere to in the laboratory have made many of my activities outside the laboratory considerably safer. More generally, when you apply the framework elsewhere you learn two things. The first is that it actually can be quite useful in the real world. The second is that, generally speaking, the framework is no more than good practices and common sense, albeit a kind of rigid common sense. But back to my daughter's wedding...

The first key decision contained in DOE Order 413.3, called CD-0, is "mission need." This was easily established. All the research was done, the young couple having been happy together for a number of years. In fact, they had kept their parents in suspended animation wishing they would formalize what to all seemed a great union.

The next key decision is CD-1, the approval of "alternatives and cost range." There was no question of alternatives. It was like asking: where are you going to build the next HEP facility if not Fermilab? It was quickly decided the wedding would be at our vineyard in California - a venue completely unprepared for 200 guests, but where the wedding of her older brother successfully took place. The management plan was very simple: let Mom do it. Always a key to successful projects is getting the right project manager.

Next is CD-2, the approval of the precise scope and baseline budget. Here I must confess we used more of a European style than a DOE style. We defined the scope rather precisely, ran on a rigid schedule since CD-4 had to be completed the night before the wedding, but budgeting was done more on the style of the LHC project where you build to scope and if you need more money you go to the bank. We appreciated our children's practicality when they gave up on the idea of roasting a whole pig on site the day of the wedding and settled on bringing in a whole pig instead, already cooked.

CD-3 is the approval to really start spending money. Contracts went out to the many vendors, delivery schedules were worked out and job distributions were given to family members. It was great to have someone define my job instead of what I usually do; specifically I was to light up the garden, help my son assemble the dance floor and make soothing remarks when needed.

Finally CD-4, the approval of operations, came with the wedding rehearsal and the completion of an extensive punch list - everything was ready to go the evening before. Fortunately everything worked out well, and the bit of redundancy we built in, just like in any project, saved the day when the first thing the band did was to blow out the GFI-circuit we had given them.

Shutdown Update

July 23-30
- Shutdown work on schedule
- Two unplanned power outages occurred

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Latest Announcements

ASK HR: The Office for Professional Development at FCC - Aug. 4

Summer intern presentations today at 1 p.m.

Argentine Tango, Wednesdays, Aug. 4-25

Aug. 20 deadline for The University of Chicago Tuition Remission Program

Applications for URA Visiting Scholars Awards due Aug. 20

Martial arts classes begin Aug. 9

Regal movie theater discount tickets available

NIM and Physics Reports now completely online at Fermilab

Toastmasters - Aug. 5

Grounding and Shielding of Electronic Systems course - Aug. 12 and 13

Free piano concert featuring Sandor Feher, Ramsey Auditorium at noon on Aug. 12

What's New with NI and the latest version of LabVIEW (NI Week highlights)? - Aug. 19

Gizmo Guys - Fermilab Arts Series - Sept. 25

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