Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2010

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Wednesday, Nov. 24
3:30 p.m.

Thursday, Nov. 25

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Wilson Hall Cafe

Wednesday, Nov. 24

- Breakfast: English muffin sandwich
- *Chicken noodle soup
- Steak sandwich
- Thanksgiving dinner
- *Mongolian beef
- California club
- Assorted sliced pizza

*carb restricted alternative

Wilson Hall Cafe Menu

Chez Leon

Wednesday, Nov. 24

- Cheese fondue
- Marinated vegetable salad
- Fruit tart

Thursday, Nov. 25

- Closed

Chez Leon Menu
Call x3524 to make your reservation.


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Scientists step back for wide view of collider data

Scientists face a daunting task collecting and analyzing the data from just one of the large collider experiments at Fermilab or CERN.

Pulling it all together to compare results from several experiments presents yet another challenge. On Nov. 19-20, experimentalists and theorists held a workshop at Fermilab to start doing just that.

“Lots of new information has come out,” said Yale experimental physicist Helen Caines, who spoke at the workshop on behalf of the ALICE collaboration. “We’re trying to bring it together in a cohesive story.”

One reassuring development is that the experiments at the Large Hadron Collider are in agreement with one another and with experiments at the Tevatron about most of their results so far, she said.

“As we’re starting up, it’s important to see that we agree where we have overlapping abilities so that, when you get to the exotic stuff, it’s more likely you’re right,” Caines said.

During the conference, experimentalists from the ATLAS collaboration let their colleagues on the CMS experiment know that they were preparing to study an unexpected ridge CMS scientists found in their data.

Agreement lets scientists know that their detectors are well tuned, said experimental physicist Fabrizio Palla of INFN, who presented on the CMS collaboration’s first published paper on heavy flavor physics.

For many theorists, the workshop presented an important chance to discuss LHC experiment results with experimentalists, said speaker and theorist Stephen Ellis of the University of Washington and the Coordinated Theoretical-Experimental Project on QCD, or CTEQ.

“The history of physics is littered with cases in which experimentalists and theorists didn’t work well together and the science got hung up,” Ellis said. “This meeting is an opportunity for that kind of interaction to occur.”

Workshop organizers included CTEQ; the LHC Physics Centers at CERN, DESY and Fermilab; and the ATLAS Analysis Center at Argonne National Laboratory.

-- Kathryn Grim

In the News

He was Mr. Universe, but he was really in love with the stars

From New York Times, Nov. 23, 2010

The first time I met the eminent cosmologist Allan R. Sandage, who died Nov. 13 at 84, he refused to talk to me.

In the late 1970s I was junior editor at Sky & Telescope magazine. An astronomer had just made some remarkable measurements of quasars that dovetailed with recent work by Dr. Sandage I’d read about in this newspaper, indicating that the expanding universe would eventually close in on itself and collapse in a Big Crunch. If true, that was big news, so I called him up.

Dr. Sandage answered — a newsworthy event in itself — but he said there was nothing to talk about. The newspaper reporters had screwed it up again and mistakenly interpreted his observations. In fact he was on the other line with The New York Times demanding a correction. “So you see,” he said cheerily, “you have no story.”

And just like that I was ushered off the line, feeling very junior indeed.

Read more

In the News

FSU physicist to lead scientists at national laboratory

From Florida State University, Nov. 22, 2010

More than 3,000 scientists from around the world conduct research at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, better known as Fermilab, each year. Now those researchers have a new leader: Associate Professor Todd Adams of the Florida State University Department of Physics.

Adams, a member of the FSU faculty since 2001, has been elected chair of Fermilab’s Users Executive Committee (UEC) for a one-year term. Fermilab, located in Batavia, Ill., is the premier particle physics laboratory in the United States, and the UEC is the organizing body that represents its visiting and laboratory-based scientists, known collectively as “users.”

Read more

From the Computing Division

The two sides to service delivery

Tim Currie, the Computing Division service manager, wrote this week’s column.

Tim Currie

Prior to coming to Fermilab, I spent 10 years as a consultant working with Information Technology organizations. I helped them transition from part of the overhead of an organization to that of a service provider. When I assumed the role of Service Manager for the Computing Division, I began to do the same thing here at Fermilab.

The transition to a customer service centered organization is hard. It usually involves consolidation and restructuring, as well as time and energy to sustain a cultural transition that can be painful. It is a transition that requires big shifts only achievable through small steps. However, making this transition is worth it, since it results in an IT service organization that delivers services that the customers want and value at a sustained quality level that meets their expectations.

All that being said, along the way you occasionally have to settle in for an old-fashioned firefight. This is what the Computing Division faced last week. In the early morning hours of Nov. 18, the CD support teams took preventive action to repair a failing component in the electrical infrastructure. They conducted a phased shutdown and power-up of systems before and after the repair activities. This operation went as planned and central services were restored by noon. Services to the experiments were either restored or well on their way to being restored when another, larger breaker tripped at 3 p.m., causing a second outage to all FCC computer rooms and dependent systems, including the network, e-mail and storage. The Computing Division facilities group, along with help from FESS engineering personnel, worked through the night to replace the second breaker. CD support teams came back in at 5 a.m. the next day to begin restoring services for the second time in roughly 24 hours. By the end of the day, the Computing Division and its users were largely back in business, although the outage had a greater impact on some groups and work continues on that fallout. 

While we will continue to work on recovering from this outage and getting confirmation of the root cause, we have already learned valuable lessons. Our knowledge about the interdependencies of systems, the people who support them and the way we communicate to the stakeholders around the world was put through its paces. What we've learned from this experience should pay valuable dividends as we work hard to transform Fermilab’s Computing Division into a more support-oriented organization.

Safety Update

ES&H weekly report, Nov. 23

This week's safety report, compiled by the Fermilab ES&H section, includes no recordable incidents. Find the full report here.

Safety report archive


WDRS announcement

New Q&A posted on VSO website

Folk Dancing cancelled Nov. 25, resumes weekly in December

PayFlex PowerPoint presentation

VISA Office closed Nov. 23-26

Arts & Lecture Series closed Nov. 25-26

Fermilab Today holiday schedule

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Users Office holiday hours

Tango at Fermilab through Dec. 1

Pedestrian Safety Awareness for Families

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Accelerate to a Healthy Lifestyle Program through Dec. 31

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