Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2011

Have a safe day!

Tuesday, Jan. 18
3:30 p.m.

Wednesday, Jan. 19
3:30 p.m.
4 p.m.
Fermilab Colloquium - One West
Speaker: Phillip Colella, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Title: High-Resolution and Adaptive Methods for Plasma Physics

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Secon Level 3

Wilson Hall Cafe

Tuesday, Jan. 18

- Bagel sandwich
- Tomato bisque soup
- Lemon pepper club
- Beef fajitas
- Smart cuisine: Korean garlic chicken
- Grilled chicken Caesar salad wrap
- Assorted sliced pizza
- Rio Grande taco salad

Wilson Hall Cafe Menu

Chez Leon

Wednesday, Jan. 19
- Crepes w/Black Forest ham & gruyere
- Green salad
- Cold lime soufflé

Friday, Jan. 21

- French onion soup
- Medallions of beef with merlot sauce
- Potato gratin
- Steamed green beans
- Marzipan cake w/bittersweet chocolate sauce

Chez Leon Menu
Call x3524 to make your reservation.


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Special Announcement

All-hands meeting at noon Wednesday, Jan. 19

An all-hands meeting will take place at noon on Wednesday, Jan. 19. Fermilab Director Pier Oddone will discuss the announcement about the Tevatron and the laboratory's future. The meeting will be streamed.

From symmetry breaking

The physics of Scotch tape

University of Maryland physicists Tim Koeth (left) and Pat O'Shea conduct their tape experiment at their university. (Photo courtesy of Tim Koeth)

Scotch tape won't fix a broken bone, but it might be able to tell you that the bone is broken. Tim Koeth, featured in the August 2010 edition of symmetry, is working to figure out how this humble office supply creates X-rays as it unrolls and what you could do with them.

Koeth, a physicist at University of Maryland, is following up on work by UCLA physicist Seth Putterman, who found in 2008 that Scotch tape emits X-rays as it is unspooled inside a vacuum.

In Putterman's experiment, the X-ray intensity was strong enough to allow the UCLA researchers to X-ray a finger. If the mechanism could be determined, this discovery could lead to a cheap, portable X-ray machine that could run without electricity – an invaluable tool for field workers in remote areas or military physicians and emergency responders.

Koeth was fascinated. "I just had to try it for myself," he said.

So he and his department head, physicist Patrick O'Shea, cobbled together a tape experiment of their own. In a corner of the lab near where they work on UMD's Electron Ring, they built a vacuum chamber to house a roll of tape, a phosphorescent material that glows when electrons hit it, and an X-ray detector, all with bits and pieces they found lying around the lab.

"Those are the best kind of experiments," O'Shea said.

Koeth was curious about the X-rays' source. While heavy metals such as tungsten often emit X-rays when hit by fast moving electrons, he was surprised that something as simple as tape's adhesive could produce them. The answer, he thought, might have to do with some sticky physics in which the ripping of the tape creates a strong electric field.

To illustrate this, Koeth suggests a simple experiment: Sprinkle glitter on your desk; unspool a roll of Scotch tape over it; and watch as an electrical field is formed and sucks up the sparkles. But don't worry; you're not creating X-rays on your desk. Electrons need to be accelerated to least 10 keV to produce penetrating X-rays, and air molecules slow them down long before they reach this energy.

Read more

-- Sara Reardon

Photo of the Day

New employees - Dec. 20

From left: Matt Slabaugh, AD; Dana Wehman, AD; Mohamed Hassan, AD; and Corinne Vendetta, PPD. Photo: Cindy Arnold
In the News

Recalling a fallen star’s legacy in high-energy particle physics

From New York Times, Jan. 17, 2011

The machine known as the Tevatron is four miles around. Bison graze nearby on the 6,800 acres of former farmland occupied by the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, Ill. Occasionally, physicists run races around the top of it.

It was turned on in 1983 to the sound of protesters who worried that its high-energy collisions between protons and antiprotons could bring about the end of the world or perhaps the whole universe.

For the next three decades it reigned as a symbol of human curiosity and of American technological might, becoming the biggest, grandest, most violent physics experiment of its time, devouring a small city’s worth of electricity to collide subatomic particles with energies of up to a trillion electron volts apiece in an effort to retrieve forces and laws that prevailed during the Big Bang.

The world as a whole never did end, but for American physicists a small piece of it has now. Last Monday the Department of Energy, which runs Fermilab, as it is known, announced that despite last-minute appeals by physicists, the Tevatron will shut down as scheduled in September.

The news disappointed American physicists who had hoped that three more years of running might give them a glimpse of as yet unobserved phenomena like the Higgs boson, a storied particle said to imbue other particles with mass.

Read more

Director's Corner

Planning is everything

Fermilab Director Pier Oddone

President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s quote that “Plans are nothing; planning is everything” is right on target for particle physics. Our circumstances change quickly in response to new physics observations, budget changes in the middle of the fiscal year or unexpected agency decisions such as the recent failure to secure interim funding for DUSEL. Reacting quickly and adjusting our plans to re-optimize our program is a necessity. We want to elevate our game in this regard, and to do so we need to be more systematic.

Planning is ultimately a line management responsibility. Many of our programs and projects, however, cut across laboratory organizations, making planning a collective enterprise. To facilitate the development of programs and projects and their integration into the laboratory we are establishing the Office of Program and Project Support (OPPS). The charge to this office is to support the Divisions, Sections, Centers and the Directorate across a broad front. OPPS responsibilities include strategic planning, project and program planning from construction through operation of facilities, human resources planning, integration of the site development plan with the strategic plan, and the support of laboratory systems and standards such as the Organization Human Assets Plan (OHAP), the Earned Value Management System (EVMS) and the Engineering Manual. There are three offices under the OPPS:

Office of Quality and Best Practices (OQBP):
This office exists and its mission stays unchanged. It supports the integration of quality assurance across the laboratory and the introduction of best practices throughout laboratory processes.

Office of Project Management Oversight (OPMO):
This office exists and its mission stays unchanged. It provides support to project managers in structuring projects and support systems and supports senior managers in the oversight of projects and the organization of reviews.

Office of Integrated Planning (OIP):
This new office supports the Directorate, Divisions, Sections and Centers in:

  1. Maintaining the strategic plan,
  2. Acting as a technical interface between the Directorate, Divisions, Sections and Centers and the CFO in developing budget plans for the laboratory,
  3. Ensuring that that the OHAP is kept up to date and supporting the Directorate to maintain plans for the evolution of the work force across the laboratory,
  4. Providing oversight and aiding the planning for the integration of projects into laboratory operations, and
  5. Improving the support systems and standards for engineering, project management and quality assurance.

We are very fortunate that Peter Garbincius has agreed to head the new OPPS. He brings great experience and a deep knowledge of the laboratory to the job. He will report to me. I look forward to his involvement and his leadership of this important function in the laboratory. Garbincius will need the support and cooperation of all of us at Fermilab to attain these goals.

Accelerator Update

Jan. 12-14

- Four stores provided ~41 hours of luminosity
- NuMI conducted target and horn scans
- Operations rebooted MECAR
- Store 8417 aborted due to Tevatron RF station trip

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


Latest Announcements

Butts & Guts class starts Jan. 20

Floating holiday - Kronos timecard

Jennifer Gunn (Flutist with CSO), and Fareed Haque (Guitar) in concert - Jan. 23

Toastmaster - Jan. 20

GSA announced 2011 standard mileage reimbursement rate

Accelerate to a Healthy Lifestyle wrap up

Lecture Series - Electrochemical Energy Storage for Transportation: Opportunities and Challenges in an Evolving Lithium Economy - Feb. 4

Project Management Introduction class - Feb. 14, 16 & 18

Traffic Safety Seminar - Jan. 20

FRA Scholarship 2011

Open basketball at the gym

Planning & Scheduling with Primavera P6 class - Jan. 25 - 17

Disney On Ice presents Toy Story 3 - Feb. 2-13

Project Management Introduction class - Feb. 14, 16 & 18

Apply now for URA Visiting Scholars awards program deadline Feb. 18

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