Fermilab Today Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2010

Have a safe day!

Wednesday, Oct. 20
3:30 p.m.
4 p.m.
Fermilab Colloquium - One West
Speaker: Giacomo Mauro D'Ariano, University of Pavia
Title: Physics as Information Theory

Thursday, Oct. 21
2:30 p.m.
Theoretical Physics Seminar - Curia II
Speaker: Antonio Delgado, University of Notre Dame
Title: The S-MSSM: The Singlet Saves the Day
3:30 p.m.

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a weekly calendar with links to additional information.

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Secon Level 3

Wilson Hall Cafe

Wednesday, Oct. 20
- Breakfast: English muffin sandwich
- Cheese soup
- Gyros
- Goulash
- Bratwurst
- Beef and cheddar panini
- Assorted sliced pizza
- Sauerbraten with potato pancake

Wilson Hall Cafe Menu

Chez Leon

Wednesday, Oct. 20
- Rouladen
- Spaetzel
- Dilled baby carrots
- Apple walnut cake

Thursday, Oct. 21
- Crab cakes w/ red pepper mayonnaise
- Medallions of beef
- Potato cups
- Sauteed zucchini
- Grand Marnier souffle

Chez Leon Menu
Call x3524 to make your reservation.


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Experiment Profile

Dark Energy Camera

Dark Energy Survey scientists work on a prototype of the Dark Energy Camera

Editor's note: This is the first in an ongoing series of Experiment Profiles. Each profile will give an overview of an experiment at Fermilab or that Fermilab is involved in. These profiles will explain what scientists hope to learn, why the experiment is needed, what makes it unique and more. Please watch Fermilab Today for more experiment profiles.

NAME: The Dark Energy Survey, or DES, which uses the Dark Energy Camera, called DECam

WHAT WILL THIS TELL US? Because gravity causes mass to attract other mass, over time, this gravitational pull should slow the universe’s expansion. Instead, the universe is accelerating: Galaxies are speeding away from each other faster and faster. DES aims to help pin down the cause of this acceleration. Theorists offer two possibilities: Either three-quarters of the universe is dark energy, which causes a type of anti-gravity, or gravity itself behaves differently on cosmic scales than Einstein thought it did. The answer will determine the fate of the universe. If Einstein was correct, the expansion of the universe will continue to speed up, and in 100 billion years the observable universe will be almost empty of galaxies or will have ripped apart.

To find clues to the characteristics of dark energy, DES also will trace the history of the expanding universe roughly three-quarters of the way back to the time of the Big Bang. It will do this by measuring the distribution of galaxies throughout space, how the gravity of dark matter distorts their shapes, how galaxies cluster and the brightness of exploding stars called supernovae.

WHY IS THIS EXPERIMENT NEEDED NOW? Research during the last decade using different methods has confirmed that the expansion rate of the universe is speeding up. The next step is to understand why the expansion rate of the universe is accelerating---its physical cause. The answer is likely to change our understanding of the behavior of the natural forces, such as gravity, that cause everything in the world to interact.

WHAT IS DES LOOKING FOR? DES will survey about one-tenth of the sky, or 5,000 square degrees, to measure 300 million galaxies and carry out repeat surveys over a smaller portion of the sky to discover thousands of supernovae.

FUNDED BY: DOE, NSF, non-U.S. funding agencies and participating institutions

NUMBER OF COLLABORATORS: More than 120 scientists, plus students and postdocs

U.S. COLLABORATING INSTITUTIONS: Four national labs, eight universities, one national observatory

NON-US COLLABORATING INSTITUTIONS: 13 universities and research centers (Germany, Brazil, UK, Spain)

STATUS: Final construction and testing of DECam is underway; part shipments to Chile set for September 2010 through June 2011.

LIFESPAN OF EXPERIMENT: Starting in 2012 and continuing for five years.

Read more

In the News

Super-cool show for kids

From Gary Post-Tribune, Oct. 19, 2010

Explosions were the order of the day when "Mr. Freeze" presented a cryogenics demonstration recently to a gym full of home-schooled students at South Lake Church of the Nazarene, on U.S. 30 between Indiana 51 and Randolph Street

Cryogenics, according to Mr. Freeze, is the science of making things really cold and what happens when you do.

Jerry Zimmerman of Aurora, Ill., has presented the popular liquid nitrogen demonstrations for 13 years through his employer, Fermilab, of Batavia, Ill., about 45 miles west of Chicago.

During the presentation, he heated a gallon-size plastic bag filled with nitrogen, which exploded; a small garbage bag with liquid nitrogen, which exploded; a plastic ball frozen in liquid nitrogen, which exploded; and a pop bottle filled with soapy water and nitrogen, which exploded, this time covering himself and the floor with soap suds.

He also demonstrated how to cryogenically freeze flowers for use in perfume, how to freeze a banana so solid it can be used as a hammer, and how the O-ring that led to NASA's Challenger disaster in January 1986 became so brittle.

Commissioned in 1967 by the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, Fermilab has built a state-of-the-art facility on 6,800 acres of land where physicists study particle physics. Originally named the National Accelerator Laboratory, it was renamed in 1974 in honor of Nobel Prize winner Enrico Fermi, one of the leading physicists of the atomic age.


From the ES&H Section

Communication is key: new ES&H web pages

Nancy Grossman, head of the ES&H section, wrote this week’s column.

Nancy Grossman

I am impatient with web pages.  Maybe it was the one-click rule from all of those Director’s Reviews, when we strived to have single-click links to all our documents.  It was hard.

Today we are launching a new ES&H website. The old one was state of the art when it was developed more than 10 years ago. Its pages contained an amazing amount of information, but they were difficult to navigate and certainly didn’t follow the one click rule.   

Nearly a year ago we embarked on a plan to revamp our web pages, with a focus on our various stakeholders and audiences.  We formed small groups to identify the appropriate information on pages intended for specific audiences; for example, we asked engineers and technicians to identify the content and navigation for a dedicated engineer/ technician page.  We received a lot of suggestions and recommendations for our new web pages from these groups, and I want to thank all participants for their time and efforts. 

Our new website has audience-specific pages for 12 categories such as task managers/construction coordinators, building managers, scientists/users, laboratory managers, project managers/spokespeople, engineers/ technicians and all the different types of ES&H officers. For example, we have a new page for scientists and users where they can easily get to information on training requirements, TLD badges, documents about safety at CERN, safety footwear request forms and emergency information. The new ES&H website also has a resources page where you can find information on Fermilab ES&H committees, NEPA, green house gases and more.  And we have a single page dedicated to training, consolidating the scattered information on ITNAs, training programs and more.

We are looking forward to receiving your feedback and suggestions for improvements. Ultimately, the new website will make everyone’s life easier, even if it might take previous users a few moments to get used to the new navigation of our new website.

In Brief

Dealing with difficult people: administrative event - Oct. 21

An event to help administrative employees learn skills to best deal with difficult people will take place at 10 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 21, in Curia II.

During her 90-minute workshop, speaker Laura Lewis-Barr will teach strategies and skills to work more effectively and efficiently with difficult people. The workshop will cover meeting the service and psychological needs of customers, recognizing emotional messages in others and ourselves and using strategies and techniques to defuse conflict situations and convert angry customers into happy ones.

All administrative professionals are welcome.

Safety Update

ES&H weekly report, Oct. 20

This week's safety report, compiled by the Fermilab ES&H section, includes one recordable incident. Find the full report here.

Safety report archive


Latest Announcements

Needles and Threads introductory meeting schedule

Accepting nominations for Director's Award

Toastmasters - Oct. 21

Argentine Tango through Nov. 3

Accelerate to a Healthy Lifestyle program

Fright Fest discount tickets at Six Flags

Chicago Blackhawks discount tickets

Regal Movie Theater discount tickets available

GD&T Introduction and Fundamental Principles class - Oct. 28 & 29

PowerPoint 2007: New Features class - Oct. 28

Outlook 2007: New Features class - Oct 28

Introduction to COMSOL Multiphysics 4.1 and Its Electromagnetic Waves Simulation Capabilities tutorial - Oct. 26

Facilitating Meetings That Work class - Nov. 4

Management and Negotiation Skills class - Nov. 9 & 16

Word 2007: Intro class - Nov.9

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