Thursday, Feb. 10, 2011

Have a safe day!

Thursday, Feb. 10
2:30 p.m.
Theoretical Physics Seminar - Curia II
Speaker: Johannes Heinonen, University of Chicago
Title: 5D UED: Flat and Flavorless
3:30 p.m.
4 p.m.
Accelerator Physics and Technology Seminar - One West
Speaker:Dan Berkovits, Soreq NRC
Title: The SARAF Proton/Deuteron 5 MeV RFQ+Superconducting Linac Commissioning

Friday, Feb. 11
3:30 p.m.
4 p.m.
Joint Experimental-Theoretical Physics Seminar - One West
Speaker: Shabnam Jabeen, Brown University
Title: Three Tales of Two Tops

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Wilson Hall Cafe

Thursday, Feb. 10

- Breakfast: Apple sticks
- Southwestern chicken tortilla soup
- Philly-style cheese steak
- *Garlic herb roasted pork
- *Mardi Gras jambalaya
- Southwestern turkey wrap
- Assorted sliced pizza
- Marinated grilled chicken Caesar salad

*carb-restricted alternative

Wilson Hall Cafe Menu

Chez Leon

Friday, Feb. 11
Valentine's Day dinner

Guest Chef: Joe Walding
Special Time: 6 p.m
- Moules marinière
- Marinated lamb chops with honey and coriander
- Winter vegetable tagine
- Blueberry and pear frangipane with thyme ice cream

Wednesday, Feb. 16
- Chili chicken skewers with cilantro pesto
- Chunky banana sweet-potato mash
-Keylime and tequila pie

Chez Leon Menu
Call x3524 to make your reservation.


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Merle Olson, design coordinator, retires

Merle Olson

Merle Olson is looking forward to retirement and finally spending time with his wife and family. He has been working since he was in high school, first to help his single mother support her five children, and then to support his own family of six.

Olson, senior engineering associate, retired from Fermilab in December after 26 years of service devoted to the FESS engineering group, which was known as Tevatron Construction when Olson joined the laboratory in 1984.

Just as the name of the department has changed, so has the nature of Olson’s work. He began as a mechanical engineer, part of a large, in-house architectural group. “We did everything structural, electrical and mechanical,” he said.

His from-the-ground-up experience became invaluable later on when in-house work was delegated to outside firms. Olson moved into a project coordinator role; a liaison between the laboratory and the contracted architectural and engineering firms. He admitted he felt a bit intimidated at first, but “it worked out great,” he said.

His former boss, Steve Dixon, agreed.

“Over the years, Merle has transitioned from an excellent mechanical engineer to an outstanding design coordinator,” he said.

“He was excellent at coordinating contractors and vendors to ensure projects kept moving on schedule," said Adam Walters, who worked with Olson on the construction of state-of-the art computer rooms, including the ARRA-funded Data Center upgrade projects in the Feynman Computing Center.

“All of the facility operations staff wishes Merle the best in his retirement and he is greatly missed,” said Walters, department head of facility operations in the Computing Division.

Olson and his wife of 40 years, Sharon, are looking forward to taking walks, traveling and spending time with family, which includes six children, 14 grandchildren and five great grandchildren.

-- Rita Hoover

Photos of the Day

Korean scientific dignitaries visit Fermilab

On Jan. 24, Dong-Pil Min, the chairman of the Korea Research Council of Fundamental Science & Technology, and Young-Kee Kim, deputy director of Fermilab, signed a Letter of Intent to collaborate on activities such as superconducting radio-frequency technology and accelerator-based sciences, including detectors, computing and data analysis. Photo: Reidar Hahn.

The visit included a tour of the 15th floor, CDF, the SRF Accelerator Test Facility and the Dark Energy Camera. CDF co-spokesperson Rob Roser (second from left) explained how the detector works to (from left), Byung-Hoon Oh, director and senior researcher at the Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute, Dong-Pil Min, Chairman of the Korea Research Council of Fundamental Science and Technology, and Whanyung Kim, a reporter from Joong Ang Ilbo. Photo: Reidar Hahn.

From iSGTW

Computing to advance new cancer treatment

Feb. 9, 2011

European proton-carbon ion facility in Heidelberg, Germany. Image courtesy GSI, HIT, Siemens.

Imagine yourself in a tough fight against an entrenched opponent that is small and elusive.

What weapon would you prefer to use: a cannonball or a bullet?

That is the basic concept behind hadrontherapy, a technology that provides more effective, tightly targeted cancer treatment with fewer side effects than conventional radiotherapy. Soon researchers and clinicians will be able to share hadrontherapy-related data via an online 'data hub' supported by grid middleware.

Read more

In the News

Could the Higgs be hiding in graphene?

From Discovery News, Feb. 6, 2011

Pop quiz: what does a sheet of two-dimensional carbon have in common with the early state of the universe? If three Spanish physicists are correct, the way graphene buckles into ripples when compressed could provide some critical insights into the Higgs boson.

Graphene is the two-dimensional version of graphite, the stuff of pencil lead. There was some doubt as to whether this was even possible -- for it to be truly 2D it would have to be a mere atom thick, making it also highly unstable -- but Andre Geim and cohorts at the University of Manchester in the UK succeeded in creating sheets of graphene in 2004, in perhaps the most ingenious use of scotch tape yet devised.

"Scads of physicists have been investigating this new substance further ever since. Geim and Konstantin Novoselov shared the 2010 Nobel Prize in Physics for their graphene research.

Why are scientists so excited about a 2D sheet of carbon? Graphene has quantum superpowers! Much has been made of the material's potential for creating ultrafast molecular-scale transistor, especially the fact that the electrons in graphene zip along at the speed of light, as if they had no mass -- contrary to special relativity, which says no object with even the tiniest bit of mass can exactly reach the speed of light.

Read more

Result of the Week

Sand fairies redux

The top figure shows the normal production and decay processes of top quarks. In the bottom figure, the magenta section shows a FCNC process. This type of event is forbidden in the Standard Model and, if it were observed, would require rewriting of the books.

In an earlier article, I compared the search for something that the Standard Model deems impossible to searching for tiny fairies in the sand on a beach. I also promised that this wouldn’t be the last time you heard about the idea. Today’s result describes another search for the phenomenon using markedly different techniques.

According to the Standard Model, it is exceedingly rare for a quark to change its identity (physicists say flavor) without also changing its charge. In fact, it is so rare that we do not expect to see this happen at the Tevatron. We have a name for this type of process. We call it Flavor Changing Neutral Currents, or FCNC, where the neutral in the title means no change in charge.

Recall that up, charm and top quarks all have the same electrical charge (2/3 that of a proton), while down, strange and bottom quarks all have an electrical charge that is -1/3 that of a proton. When a bottom quark decays, it can only decay into an up or charm quark. Similarly, a top quark could decay into a down, strange or bottom quark, but never an up or charm one.

For other reasons, top quarks decay essentially 100 percent of the time into a W boson and a bottom quark. This provides an ideal situation to search for FCNCs. DZero physicists looked for events in which two top quarks were produced; one of which decayed in the normal way, while the other one underwent FCNC decay and emitted a neutral Z boson and an up or charm quark. As you can see from the figure above, a normal top quark event resulted in two bottom quarks and two W bosons, while a FCNC event resulted in a W boson, a Z boson and two quarks. By selecting specific decay modes of the Z boson, physicists could reliably distinguish these two kinds of events.

The final result of this measurement was that the data is entirely consistent with the Standard Model. No evidence for FCNC was observed and physicists used the data to set the best limit so far achieved. Falling back on our extended, multi-article, metaphor, it’s back to the drawing board until we return with a better sieve.

-- Don Lincoln

These physicists were responsible for this analysis.

DZero’s forward preshower detector helps identify electrons, which are W&Z boson decay products. These physicists are responsible for making this detector work.
Accelerator Update

Feb. 7-9

- Three stores provided ~29.3 hours of luminosity
- MiniBooNE suffered three hours of downtime due to system problems
- Tevatron personnel conducted orbit kicker tests
- Interlock personnel conducted Meson Safety system tests
- Linac personnel repaired a RF station that suffered a power surge
- MI will be accessed today for 2-3 hours to make RF repairs

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


Latest Announcements

Immigration presentation on permanent residence - Feb. 15

Urgent plea for blood donors - Feb. 14-15

NALWO arts & crafts show & tell - March 15

On-site housing for summer 2011 - Now taking requests deadline - March 7

Barn dance - Feb. 13

Embedded Design with LabVIEW FPGA and CompactRIO class - Feb. 25

Toastmasters - Feb. 17

NALWO - Piano Concert at noon - Feb. 21

NALWO - Mardi Gras Potluck - March 3

Free stress relief massages for employees - Feb. 11

Lunch and Learn about Acid Reflux

March 4 deadline for The University of Chicago Tuition Remission program

View UEC tax presentation for users online

School's Day Out - Feb. 21 and 25

English country dancing in Oak Park - today

Kyuki-Do Martial Arts classes - Feb. 14

Rapid Hardware Prototyping and Industrial Control Application Development with LabVIEW FPGA, Compact RIO, and FlexRIO by National Instruments course - Feb. 25

Introduction to LabVIEW course - Feb. 25

Floating holiday - Kronos timecard

GSA announced 2011 standard mileage reimbursement rate

Accelerate to a Healthy Lifestyle wrap up

FRA Scholarship 2011

Argentine Tango Classes through Feb. 23

Open basketball at the gym

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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