Fermilab Today Monday, Aug. 30, 2010

Have a safe day!

Monday, Aug. 30
3:30 p.m.
4 p.m.
All Experimenters' Meeting - Curia II

Tuesday, Aug. 31
3:30 p.m.

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H1N1 Flu

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



Slight chance of thunderstorms

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Current Security Status

Secon Level 3

Wilson Hall Cafe

Monday, August30
Not available

Wilson Hall Cafe Menu

Chez Leon

Wednesday, Sept. 1
- Fire steak salad
- Banana chocolate cake

Thursday, Sept. 2

Chez Leon Menu
Call x3524 to make your reservation.


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First African School of Physics empowers students

A small group of students from the first African School of Fundamental Physics and Applications enjoys a day of hands-on science at I-Themba Laboratory for Accelerator Based Science in South Africa.

Students from 17 African countries came together for the rare opportunity to learn about particle physics this month.

Some African students have earned advanced science degrees but are looking for the specialized training in particle physics and its associated applications not usually offered on their own continent. 

The first African School of Fundamental Physics and its Applications in Stellenbosch, South Africa, provided that training and financially supported some African students.

Sixty-five students from around the globe, including more than 50 from African countries, attended the three-week school for an overview of fundamental subatomic physics and its applications. They left with more information than they could process, new friends and connections, and ideas on how to pursue a particle-physics career.

 "We really wanted to empower students," said Fermilab scientist and school organizer Christine Darve. "We wanted them to have confidence in their skills and direction for their careers, but we also wanted them to become knowledge ambassadors – to take what they've learned back to their home countries."

Between Aug. 1 and 21, students attended lectures from experts in the particle physics field and participated in small group discussions. They also learned about the benefits of particle physics to society from experts such as Jim Gates, a member of the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. On their last day, students attended a career workshop where they learned which particle physics institutions offer fellowships and what job opportunities exist.

"I think that most important were the opportunities to be a part of this and to receive guidance about how to grow academically and careerwise," said Ekua Mensimah, a student from the University of Cape Coast, Ghana. "It was also reassuring to know that these opportunities don't end on Aug. 21."

While the students were learning about particle physics, the school organizers were learning more about the students' countries.

"We want to document where these students were from and what science was offered in their home countries in order to better support this kind of education," Darve said.

School organizers are still collecting feedback from the students, which they plan to use to inform the curriculum for the next school, which will take place in two years. The organizers will decide the next school's location this fall.

Read the press release.

-- Rhianna Wisniewski

Photo of the Day

Korean ambassador to the United States visits Fermilab

Fermilab Director Pier Oddone showed guests a display about applications of particle accelerators during a visit from His Excellency Duk-Soo Han, the Korean Ambassador to the United States, on Aug. 17.

In the News

The strange case of solar flares and radioactive elements

from symmetry breaking, Aug. 23, 2010

When researchers found an unusual linkage between solar flares and the inner life of radioactive elements on Earth, it touched off a scientific detective investigation that could end up protecting the lives of space-walking astronauts and maybe rewriting some of the assumptions of physics.

It's a mystery that presented itself unexpectedly: The radioactive decay of some elements sitting quietly in laboratories on Earth seemed to be influenced by activities inside the sun, 93 million miles away.

Read more

ES&H Tips of the Week - Health Health

Mosquitoes - sometimes more than an annoyance

Photo courtesy of Matteo Dudek through a Creative Commons license.

Anyone who has spent time outdoors lately has been beset by mosquitoes. Though typically we take our lumps and think no more about the insects, their bites can have serious consequences such as West Nile virus or Dengue fever.

The Illinois Department of Public Health recently notified Fermilab that testers found mosquitoes trapped on the laboratory site to be infected with West Nile virus.

Though Fermilab has an aggressive mosquito-control program, mosquitoes with the virus have appeared on site every year since the department began testing in 2001.

Mosquitoes can transmit West Nile virus to humans. According to the department of public health, more than 99 percent of people infected with the virus report no symptoms or have mild illness, such as fever and headache, before fully recovering. The department has recorded no human cases of West Nile virus this year.

However, the virus can in rare cases cause a serious infection in the brain, West Nile encephalitis. Those over 50 years of age or those whose immune systems are weakened by illness or medical treatment face a higher risk of contracting the disease.

The department of public health website advises: “Illnesses related to mosquito bites are rare. However, you should see a doctor immediately if you develop symptoms such as high fever, confusion, muscle weakness or severe headaches.”

For more information, visit the Illinois Department of Health West Nile virus website.

Travelers should also be aware that mosquito-carried Dengue fever has made an atypical appearance in the southern portion of Florida as well as in southern Texas in areas bordering Mexico. Many of the cases originated during travel outside the United States. But some were caused by local mosquitoes. Symptoms include fever, unusually severe headaches and fatigue.

There is no vaccine for West Nile virus or Dengue fever, but you can take measures to reduce the chances of an infection.

  1. Stay indoors.
  2. Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants to reduce mosquito access to skin surfaces.
  3. Spray long-lasting repellent on clothing to deny mosquitoes a landing site. (More information about repellents is available here.)
  4. Spray DEET on skin surfaces to repel mosquitoes.

Read Centers for Disease Control advice for avoiding mosquito bites here.

Accelerator Update

Aug. 25-27

- Three stores provided ~28 hours of luminosity
- Store 8010 aborted due to an RF trip
- TeV aborted during shot setup
- CUB LCW isolation valves closed
- Store 8017 quenched due to beam position
- MiniBooNE began taking beam

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


Fermilab Blood Drive today and Aug. 31 (Walk in only)

Fermilab Procard System - New link starting today

Workshop on Accelerator-Driven Sub-Critical Systems & Thorium Utilization

Toastmasters - Sept. 2

Bod Squad Muscle Toning begins Sept. 2

Card stamping club and scrapbooking club survey

Sign up for fall Science Adventures

Looking for league bowlers

Bristol Renaissance Faire discount

Regal Movie Theater discount tickets available

Scottish country dancing in Ramsey Auditorium through Aug. 31

International Folk Dancing in Ramsey Auditorium through Sept. 2

Fermilab Lecture Series Presents A Croc Odyssey: Speedy Gallopers with a Taste for Dinosaur

Gizmo Guys - Fermilab Arts Series - Sept. 25

Family Science Time - Saturday, Sept. 25

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