Thursday, Feb. 3, 2011

Have a safe day!

Thursday, Feb. 3
2:30 p.m.
Theoretical Physics Seminar - Curia II
Speaker: Wolfgang Altmannshofer, Fermilab
Title: Low Energy Probes of CP Violation in the MSSM
3:30 p.m.

Friday, Feb. 4
3:30 p.m.
4 p.m.
Joint Experimental-Theoretical Physics Seminar - One West
Speaker: Graham Kribs, University of Oregon/Fermilab
Title: Boosting Higgs Discovery

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Wilson Hall Cafe

Thursday, Feb. 3

- Breakfast: Apple sticks
- Tomato florentine
- BBQ pork sandwich
- *Roast pork loin
- *Chicken marsala
- Smoked turkey melt
- Assorted sliced pizza
- Southwest chicken salad with roasted corn salsa

*carb-restricted alternative

Wilson Hall Cafe Menu

Chez Leon

Friday, Feb. 4

- Closed

Wednesday, Feb. 9
- Baby back ribs
- Baked potato
- Tangy BBQ beans
- Sherbet with cookies

Chez Leon Menu
Call x3524 to make your reservation.


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From the Directorate

A heroic effort

Bruce Chrisman, Fermilab's chief operating officer, wrote this column.

Bruce Chrisman

This week's blizzard was one of epic proportions. Equally epic were the efforts of the personnel who worked around the clock in heavy snow and gale-force winds to keep Fermilab roads passable, our accelerator running and our site safe and secure. While the storm didn't do a lot of damage, it did knock out power to parts of the Village, the director's house and to the Main Injector. We expect that power will be restored to the affected areas of our laboratory later today.

I, along with the entire directorate and the DOE Fermi Site Office staff, would like to thank the individuals from across the divisions, sections and centers who put forth heroic efforts during the last few days.

Special Announcement

Timecards and laboratory closure Wednesday

Employees: When you fill out your time cards for this week, add in eight hours and select 'other pay' as the pay code option for Wednesday.

Photos of the Day

Digging out

Roads and Grounds’ Bob Lootens clears snow along the reflecting pond outside of Wilson Hall. Roads and Grounds crews worked around the clock to clear the roads of snow on Wednesday, Feb. 2. Photo: Reidar Hahn

A pickup truck is half buried in snow outside of the MI-60 building on Feb. 2 after a blizzard dumped more than 15 inches of snow on the laboratory. Photo: Reidar Hahn

Roads and Grounds’ Bob Lootens clears snow from laboratory roads on Feb. 2. Photo: Reidar Hahn

In the News

Cluster encounters a natural particle accelerator

From, Feb. 1, 2011

Two of Cluster's four satellites found themselves in a natural particle accelerator above the northern hemisphere on June 5, 2009. The first to cross was satellite C3 at an altitude of 6400 km, followed five minutes later by C1 at 9000 km.

This is the first time that scientists have measured such a region simultaneously using more than one satellite. The readings allow the electrical landscape of the acceleration region to be mapped.

"This is like geography, only instead of the contours being the height of a landscape, they are the electrical potentials that span the region," says Göran Marklund from the Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden.

These electrical potentials act in both uphill and downhill directions, accelerating particles towards and away from Earth, according to their charges.

Read more

Result of the Week

Looking for the unexpected

Some of the Feynman diagrams that contribute to the decay of a D0 (a meson composed of a charm quark and up anti-quark) to a pair of muons. The loops (square or triangle) in the diagrams are an indication that the processes they represent are suppressed. This decay has no processes without loops in the Standard Model. But new physics can have processes without loops and these can dominate over the Standard Model contribution, so this decay becomes an interesting probe for new physics.

Scientists can see new particles either directly by producing them in collisions, or indirectly by observing their effect on another process. Indirect processes are sensitive to particles with masses much greater than those that can be produced directly in detectors.

CDF has been looking for the decay of a neutral charm meson (D0) to a pair of oppositely charged muons. This process conserves energy, momentum, and quantum numbers such as lepton number and baryon number. Conservation means that if you start with a certain set of quantum numbers, the sum of the particles produced in a collision must have the same net quantum numbers. However, the Standard Model rarely permits this process and therefore scientists predict this decay process to occur in fewer than one in 10 trillion decays of D0 mesons.

When a Standard Model process is so strongly suppressed, CDF would be lucky to observe a single decay. On the other hand, the observation of even a handful of events would be a smoking gun. It would indirectly reveal the presence of new and yet unknown physics processes, which might lurk far beyond energies available for direct exploration at even the most powerful accelerators.

CDF physicists searched through data selected from 360 inverse picobarns of integrated luminosity, which is estimated to contain about 50 million D0s. If the Standard Model is correct, than the probability of a real D0 decaying into two muons in this sample is low and there are possible sources of background that might mimic the signal, confounding the measurement. After a careful study, physicists expect 8.6 background events.

Finally, after counting the events in their actual data sample, CDF physicists observed, just four events, which are consistent with no signal. The measurement set a limit that fewer than 2.1 out of 10 million D0 meson decays would decay into two muons.

This limit is close to the best limit ever obtained using dedicated b-factory experiments at other laboratories. CDF has much larger samples yet to be analyzed in this particular way. Through more results similar to this one, CDF physicists hope to update this analysis and either find this rare decay and herald new physics, or exclude it with unprecedented sensitivity.

More information.

-- edited by Andy Beretvas

These individuals contributed to this analysis. From left to right: Edmund Berry, University of Chicago; Ivan Furic, University of Florida; Robert Harr, Wayne State; Fermilab Deputy Director Young-Kee Kim, University of Chicago.

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School's Day Out - Feb. 21 and 25

English country dancing - Feb. 6 (and Feb. 8 in Oak Park)

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

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