Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2011

Have a safe day!

Tuesday, Jan. 11
3:30 p.m.

Wednesday, Jan. 12
12:30 p.m.
Physics for Everyone - Ramsey Auditorium
Speaker: Patrick Fox, Fermilab
Title: The hunt for the Higgs
3:30 p.m.
4 p.m.
Fermilab Colloquium - One West
Speaker: Tom Malzbender, Hewlett Packard
Title: Imaging the Antikythera Mechanism

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Wilson Hall Cafe

Tuesday, Jan. 11

- Breakfast: Bagel sandwich
- Chicken & rice soup
- Italian Sausage w/peppers & onions
- Beef stroganoff
- Chicken tetrazzini
- Peppered beef
- Assorted sliced pizza
- Chicken tostadas

Wilson Hall Cafe Menu

Chez Leon

Wednesday, Jan. 12
- Spicy black bean & sausage calzone
- Confetti corn salad
- Pineapple flan

Friday, Jan. 14

- Closed

Chez Leon Menu
Call x3524 to make your reservation.


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Special Announcement

New year, new laboratory blogs on Quantum Diaries

Living in an era when the latest discoveries in physics regularly make headlines, it can be easy to miss the individual contributions from the scientists and institutions around the globe making these advances possible. Highlighting these contributions, along with the quirky world from physicists working behind the scenes, has been the focus of Quantum Diaries since it launched in 2005. Quantum Diaries is sure to continue in that role, and has relaunched with four physics laboratories in its ranks: Brookhaven, CERN, Fermilab and TRIUMF. Each of the laboratories will be posting regular updates to Quantum Diaries and have already gotten started.



Physics for Everyone on Higgs hunt - 12:30 p.m. on Jan. 12

Fermilab theorist Patrick Fox will give this month's Physics for Everyone lecture on the hunt for the Higgs. Image: Sandbox studios.

Scientists at Fermilab and at the LHC spend their days sifting through data in search of an elusive particle, the Higgs boson.

You've likely heard about the race to find the Higgs. Now, join Fermilab at 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday to learn what all of the fuss is about. In his lecture, titled "The hunt for the Higgs," Fermilab theorist Patrick Fox will explain what scientists believe the Higgs is, why finding it is so important and what scientists could learn from that discovery.

"The hunt for the Higgs " will take place from 12:30 – 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 12, in Ramsey Auditorium. The lecture is free and open to the public. No registration is required. There will be time for questions and answers. The lecture is part of a non-technical series about Fermilab science and culture. A video of the second lecture by Brenna Flaugher is now available online.


Retirement event

A retirement party for Stanley Pruss, who is retiring after 40 years of service, will take place at 11:30 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 21, 2011, at Pal Joey's, 440 E. Roosevelt Road, West Chicago. $15 covers lunch and gift. Please RSVP to Ruth DeJerld, x2767, or Ruth Becker, 4736.

Photo of the Day

Winter frost

AD's Julien Branlard submitted this photo of winter frost taken in the AZero parking lot on Dec. 15.
In the News

Tevatron faces final curtain

From Nature, Jan. 11, 2011

Particle accelerator to be switched off this year, as lack of funds spells the end for US bid to capture Higgs particle.

Depending on who you talk to, it is either a disappointing blow or a clean break heralding an exciting new era. After much debate, officials at the US Department of Energy's Office of Science revealed this week that they have decided not to extend funding for the Tevatron, the proton–antiproton collider at Fermilab in Batavia, Illinois, by an additional three years. The decision means that the first glimpse of the long-predicted Higgs particle, thought to endow other particles with mass, will probably be achieved by the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN, Europe's particle-physics lab near Geneva in Switzerland.

The decision was explained in a letter sent on 10 January by Bill Brinkman, director of the Office of Science, to Melvyn Shochet, a physicist at the University of Chicago, Illinois, and chairman of the energy department's High Energy Particle Advisory Panel (HEPAP). In October 2010, with the LHC suffering from delays, HEPAP had recommended that the US machine be extended beyond its planned 2011 closure if extra funding of US$35 million could be found. It couldn't, says Brinkman. "Unfortunately, the current budgetary climate is very challenging and additional funding has not been identified," he writes in his letter. He adds that the Tevatron will shut down this year as planned.

Read more

In the News

Thunderstorms caught making antimatter

From New Scientist, Jan. 11, 2011

Thunderstorms have been caught producing one of the most mysterious substances in the universe: antimatter. The discovery could further our understanding of the murky physics of lightning production.

NASA's Fermi spacecraft seems to have been hit by the antimatter counterpart to electrons – positrons – emanating from thunderstorms on Earth.

Thunderstorms emit gamma rays, known as terrestrial gamma ray flashes (TGFs), although what causes them is still a mystery. While observing these flashes, Fermi also detected a separate set of gamma rays with an energy of 511 kiloelectronvolts. These rays were produced when a barrage of positrons struck the spacecraft's detectors and were annihilated by making contact with electrons there.

"These signals are the first direct evidence that thunderstorms make antimatter particle beams," said Michael Briggs, a member of the Fermi team at the University of Alabama in Huntsville.

Read more

Director's Corner


Pier Oddone

Today’s Director’s Corner includes more details on yesterday’s Tevatron announcement.

Yesterday we received the news that we will not receive funding for the proposed Tevatron extension and consequently the Tevatron will close at the end of FY2011 as was previously planned. The present budgetary climate did not permit the DOE to secure the additional funds needed to run the Tevatron for three more years as recommended by the High Energy Physics Advisory Panel. Both Tevatron collaborations did a splendid job articulating the physics case and all the relevant issues to both our Physics Advisory Committee and the national advisory committees, which led to the recommendation to extend the Tevatron.

We plan to extract every bit of physics we can from this final Tevatron running period. The Tevatron has already exceeded all expectations, and given the large datasets we will continue to find new results and discoveries in the Tevatron data for years to come. The life of this legendary machine has been marked by historic discoveries made possible by its innovative accelerator and detector technologies. The experience gained during its operation has also immensely helped the development of the LHC accelerator and detectors. Fermilab is and will remain a very strong part of the LHC program and will continue to pursue physics at the high-energy frontier together with our collaborators at CERN.

As you can imagine I have answered many questions from the press over the last 24 hours. They are interested in the future of Fermilab, what may happen with jobs on our site and whether or not there will be any layoffs. There are about 100 jobs connected with the operations and maintenance of the colliding beam program. At this point the situation is very fluid because we do not have all the information we need to make decisions. In particular:

    a) We do not know the budget for FY11 since we are in a Continuing Resolution and Congress has not acted on any of the appropriations bills.
    b) We do not know the President's budget request for the following year, FY12. We will know this only in mid February.

When the Tevatron concludes operations, we plan to move as many employees as possible to jobs on several new experiments and projects, many of which are already well underway and in need of extra help. Of course, this depends on the budget for FY11 and FY12 and on how fast the new projects ramp up. It will be a complex transition for the laboratory, and soon we will set up a Q&A website to answer questions about the issues that this transition entails.

The Office of Science and Fermilab are committed to maintaining our laboratory as a world leader for particle physics research. We have the Office of Science's strong support to develop into the foremost laboratory at the Intensity Frontier with new neutrino experiments NOvA, MicroBooNE and the Long Baseline Neutrino Experiment (LBNE); the muon-to-electron conversion experiment (Mu2e); and ongoing experiments MINOS, MINERvA and MiniBooNE. Underlying our Intensity Frontier program we have the Office of Science’s support for the development of Project X. In addition we have leading programs at the Cosmic Frontier with the Dark Energy Survey, the dark-matter experiments CDMS and COUPP, and Pierre Auger. While we would have liked to run the Tevatron for three more years, our life going forward is full of promising projects and great opportunities for major discoveries.

Accelerator Update

Jan. 7-10

- Three stores provided ~18.5 hours of luminosity
- The Tevatron quenched many times over the weekend
- FTBF T-978 (CALICE) has returned to the MTest beamline
- A Pbar CAMAC power supply failed and caused the loss of 38mA of beam from the stack

*The integrated luminosity for the period from 1/3/11 to 1/10/11 was 10.79 inverse picobarns. NuMI reported receiving 7.6418 protons on target during this same period.

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


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