Have a safe day!
Thursday, Jan. 13
Theoretical Physics Seminar - Curia II
Speaker: Ethan Neil, Fermilab
Title: Approaching the Conformal Window on the Lattice
DIRECTOR'S COFFEE BREAK - 2nd Flr X-Over
THERE WILL BE NO ACCELERATOR PHYSICS AND TECHNOLOGY SEMINAR TODAY
Friday, Jan. 14
Computing Techniques Seminar - FCC1
Speaker: Sebastien Goasguen, Clemson University
Title: Inter-Cloud Computing
DIRECTOR'S COFFEE BREAK - 2nd Flr X-Over
Joint Experimental-Theoretical Physics Seminar - One West
Speaker: Friedrich Dydak, CERN
Title: New Results from HARP-CDP and the "LSND anomaly"
Fermilab Lecture Series - Auditorium
Speaker: Dr. D. James Surmeier, Northwestern University
Title: How the Brain Controls Our Choices, and What Can Go Wrong
Click here for NALCAL,
a weekly calendar with links to additional information.
Thursday, Jan. 13
- Breakfast: Chorizo burrito
- Southwestern chicken tortilla
- Philly-style cheese steak
- *Garlic herb roasted pork
- Mardi Gras jambalaya
- *Southwestern turkey wrap
- Assorted sliced pizza
- *Marinated grilled chicken Caesar salads
Wilson Hall Cafe Menu
Friday, Jan. 14
Wednesday, Jan. 19
- Crepes w/black forest ham & gruyere
- Green salad
- Cold lime soufflé
Chez Leon Menu
Call x3524 to make your reservation.
Relaunch of scientific computing publication
| A screen capture of The Digital Scientist, a scientific distributed computing publication that relaunched Wednesday.
Scientists who use distributed computing to support their research have a new online destination: The Digital Scientist.
The online publication, which launched yesterday, is the new incarnation of International Science Grid This Week. The Digital Scientist will continue iSGTW’s tradition of publishing weekly articles about distributed computing and the science it supports. But the new website can do a lot more.
“We wanted standard web features such as comments and ratings,” said Miriam Boon, The Digital Scientist’s US editor and Fermilab employee. “We also wanted enhanced features that readers will use to build an online digitial-science community.”
Now readers can use the site to submit and revise job ads, announcements and calendar items, create user profiles, bookmark favorite stories and create blog posts. Top profiles, blogs and posts can get promoted to the front page. A future release will include group profiles for universities, laboratories and collaborations, relationships linking readers and groups such as colleague, advisor, and employee, and a wiki where readers can collaborate to create learning resources for researchers new to scientific computing.
“The publication, just like the worlds of science and distributed computing, have come a long way since the National Science Foundation and DOE decided to launch Science Grid This Week in 2005,” said Katie Yurkewicz, the publication’s founding editor.
Yurkewicz, who is now the director of Fermilab’s Office of Communication, added, “We’re very excited to see what the The Digital Scientist team -- and its community of readers -- will accomplish with this fantastic new website.”
Visit The Digital Scientist website.
--The Digital Scientist staff
Lecture on how the brain makes choices Friday
Life is full of decisions. Whether we are deciding what to have for lunch or where to take the family on vacation, our brains make thousands of choices every day.
In a lecture on Friday, Jan. 14, James Surmier will give an overview of how the brain makes decisions, highlighting a small group of brain cells that release the chemical dopamine.
The lecture titled “How the Brain Controls our Choices, and What Can Go Wrong” will cover how the loss of certain neurons results in Parkinson’s disease and new strategies for slowing or stopping the decline of brain cells with aging.
The lecture takes place in the Ramsey Auditorium at 8 p.m. and tickets cost $7.
Surmeier is the Director of the Morris K. Udall Parkinson’s Disease Research Center of Excellence and Chair of the department of Physiology at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University.
His research program focuses on mechanisms underlying neural activity in the basal ganglia (a group of brain cells normally associated with motor control and cognitive functions) and how these mechanisms are affected by diseases like Parkinson’s.
Surmeier received his Ph.D in Physiology and Biophysics, training with leaders in the field of neurophysiology and has published in journals such as Science, Nature, Nature Neuroscience, and the Journal of Neuroscience.
Visit the Fermilab Lecture Series website for more information. Ticket information is available online.
-- Cynthia Horwitz
URA Thesis Award submissions now accepted
Fermilab and the Universities Research Association invite submissions
for the fourteenth annual URA Thesis award competition. The award
recognizes the most outstanding thesis based on work on an experiment
located at Fermilab or carried out together with Fermilab scientists.
Nominations must be submitted to Steve Brice by
March 1 and should include two letters supporting the
merits of the thesis being nominated. For work carried out together with
Fermilab scientists, one of the letters should come from one of those scientists.
The URA Thesis Award Committee will select the winners. The committee
members will judge each thesis on clarity of presentation, originality
and physics content. To qualify, the thesis must have been submitted
as partial fulfillment of the Ph.D. requirements in the 2010 calendar
year, be written in English and it must have been submitted in
electronic form to the Fermilab Publications Office in accordance with
For further details consult the URA Thesis Award website.
Quest for dark energy grows brighter with special camera
From Space.com, Jan. 12, 2011
A special camera on a South American telescope aims to search for elusive dark energy, a force that may be pulling the universe apart at the seams.
The so-called Dark Energy Survey, using a 570-megapixel Dark Energy Camera that will be mounted on the 4-meter (158-inch) telescope at the National Science Foundation's Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile, is set to begin later this year.
The camera's enhanced sensitivity will allow astronomers to peer at distant galaxies for signs of dark energy, a theorized force that could explain why the universe is speeding up in its expansion. Though dark energy has not been directly detected, scientists think it exists based on observations of how galaxies are speeding away from each other.
Scientists reported on the new survey today (Jan. 11) at the 217th meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Seattle.
"The camera is now undergoing final tests on a specially built telescope simulator at Fermilab," said Brenna Flaugher, Dark Energy Camera project manager at the Fermilab research facility in Batavia, Ill.
The W boson’s heavy cousin
The W’ boson is a hypothetical, much more massive, cousin of the W boson. This article describes a new search for it.
In the late 1960s, theorists were able to mathematically show that the electromagnetic and weak nuclear forces were actually two facets of a single common force, now called the electroweak force. This new theory postulated two new particles called the W and Z bosons. The theory was vindicated in 1983 with the discovery of both of them by the UA1 experiment at CERN.
In the intervening years, scientists discovered quarks. Quarks are located at the center of atoms. Nestled inside protons and neutrons, two specific kinds of quarks (called up and down) are primary building blocks of the universe.
However, scientists also discovered that, in addition to the ubiquitous up and down quarks; other types of quarks exist that are carbon copies of the common ones. The charm quark is very similar to the up quark, except heavier. The top quark, discovered at Fermilab in 1995, is also similar to the up quark but even heavier still. (The down quark also has two cousins, the strange quark and the bottom quark.)
Given that duplicates (scientists call them “generations”) of the quarks exist; it is natural to wonder if there are heavier cousins of the W & Z bosons. While wholly hypothetical, these particles have names: the Z’ and W’ (pronounced W-prime and Z-prime) bosons. In a popular scenario, these particles are essentially identical to their lighter relatives (although there have been alternate proposals).
DZero scientists recently searched for the W’ boson. In order to maximize the chances of finding this theoretical particle, they looked for the specific decay mode in which the W’ boson decayed into a top/bottom and quark/antiquark pair.
Unfortunately, the data didn’t support the hypothesis of the existence of the W’, but the measurement did increase the range of excluded possible W’ boson mass by about 15 percent. This increase is a significant advance in our understanding of the universe.
-- Don Lincoln
These physicists from Brown University were responsible for this analysis.
A successful particle experiment only analyzes a tiny fraction of the total number of collisions in the detector. Picking which collisions to record is one of the most important responsibilities on the experiment and these physicists are responsible for getting it right.