Thursday, Feb. 24, 2011

Have a safe day!

Thursday, Feb. 24
2:30 p.m.
Theoretical Physics Seminar - Curia II
Speaker: Gil Paz, University of Chicago
Title: The Charge Radius of the Proton: A 5 Sigma Discrepancy?
3:30 p.m.
4 p.m.
Special Joint Experimental-Theoretical Physics Seminar - One West
Speakers: Steve Geer, Vladimir Shiltsev, Ron Lipton - Fermilab
Title: Muon Collider R&D: Status and Opportunities for Participation

Friday, Feb. 25
1:30 p.m.
Computing Techniques Seminar - Curia II
Speaker: Rajeev Thakur, Argonne National Laboratory
Title: Future Directions in MPI
2 p.m.
LHC Physics Center Topic of the Week Seminar - Sunrise (WH11SE)
Speaker: Pushpalatha Bhat, Fermilab
Title: Multivariate Analysis Methods
3:30 p.m.
4 p.m.
Joint Experimental-Theoretical Physics Seminar - One West
Title: Searches for Physics Beyond the Standard Model at CMS

Click here for NALCAL,
a weekly calendar with links to additional information.

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Wilson Hall Cafe

Thursday, Feb. 24

- Breakfast: Apple sticks
- Minnesota wild rice with chicken
- Tuna melt on nine grain
- *Italian meatloaf
- Chicken casserole
- Buffalo crispy chicken wrap
- Assorted sliced pizza
- Mandarin chicken

*carb-restricted alternative

Wilson Hall Cafe Menu

Chez Leon

Friday, Feb. 25
- Bacon, boursin and spinach soufflé
- Filet mignon with morel sauce
- Grilled asparagus
- Herbed new potatoes
- Chocolate silk Napoleon with carmel dipped pecans

Wednesday, March 2
- Chicken marbella
- Green rice
- Sautéed zucchini with coriander chutney
- Caramel chocolate cheesecake

Chez Leon Menu
Call x3524 to make your reservation.


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Photo of the Day

Congressman Randy Hultgren visits Fermilab

Congressman Randy Hultgren visited Fermilab on Wednesday, Feb. 23, to meet with Director Pier Oddone and senior staff members of the staff. Pictured left to right: Congressman Randy Hultgren, Oddone, DOE Deputy Fermi Site Manager Mark Bollinger and Chief of Staff for Congressman Hultgren Jerry Clarke. Photo: Reidar Hahn.

From symmetry breaking

Double Chooz neutrino experiment starts operations

A view of the Chooz power plant highlighting the positions of both Double Chooz detectors. Photo: Courtesy of the Commissariat à l'Énergie Atomique.

The Chooz Nuclear Power Plant in the Ardennes region of France produces more than just electricity. It produces neutrinos that may help scientists solve some of the biggest mysteries in the universe.

Neutrinos are electrically neutral and rarely interact with matter. Billions pass through us undetected every second. They come from natural sources, like the sun and cosmic rays. Nuclear plants also produce them as a by-product of fission, making power stations like Chooz a primary location for scientists to set up neutrino experiments.

That’s exactly what the Double Chooz collaboration did.

Herve de Kerret, spokesperson for the now operating Double Chooz neutrino detection experiment, says neutrinos may hold the key to developing physics beyond the current Standard Model. Physicists want to discover the rate at which neutrinos change flavor and the likelihood of each transition. Kerret explains that studying neutrino behavior could provide answers as to why the universe appears to be composed of matter rather than antimatter. Detector experiments in such places as Japan, Italy, Korea, China and the United States all search for neutrino measurements in complementary ways.

At the Chooz plant, the first of two neutrino detectors for the Double Chooz experiment began collecting data last December. Managed by a collaboration of 38 laboratories and universities from eight countries, the detector observes neutrinos created by the plant’s reactor cores.

The completed detector sits one kilometer from the reactors, looking for electron neutrinos, one of three neutrino flavors. Data from the detectors is sent to a computer center in Lyon that dispatches information to all collaborators. Experimenters measure how many electron neutrinos are missing because they changed to a different flavor on their journey.

-- Cynthia Horwitz

Read more

In the News

Batavia mayor ready to fight for Fermilab

From Geneva Republican, Feb. 22, 2011

Proposed Congressional budget cuts that could mean 450 jobs lost at Fermilab has Batavia Mayor Jeff Schielke up in arms.

“Fermilab is a real golden nugget for us to have,” Schielke said. “I’m ready to start making noise again about Fermilab funding."

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill, issued a statement Monday criticizing a proposed House Republican cut of $1.1 billion from a $5.121 billion budget request from the Office of Science.

But Schielke remembers a time when it was a Republican who helped keep Fermilab funded.

Read more

In the News

Hultgren says Fermilab cuts go too deep

From Batavia Patch, Feb. 23, 2011

U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren said the proposed cuts affecting the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory are simply too much.

As a member of the Science, Space and Technology committee, Hultgren said he is in a good place to fight for Fermilab, which is in the 14th Congressional District. He spoke on Tuesday to a group of mostly business owners at the Eagle Brook County Club in Geneva.

Hultgren is making rounds in his district during this week's congressional recess. He is the latest in a line of local politicians speaking out against the science cuts, including U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin. Click here to read Durbin's reaction to the proposed cuts.

Congress will consider a 20 percent funding drop to the Office of Science budget, one that would require Fermilab to cut 400 employees, furlough all remaining staff for two months and suspend experiments. To read more about the possible Fermilab cuts, click here.

Responding to the first question after his initial remarks, one posed by a Fermilab employee, Hultgren acknowledged that he cannot ask other legislators to make cuts to programs in their districts and not expect reductions to programs in this district.

Hultgren understand cuts must be made, but no one has to "take an ax" to places like Fermilab.

“I think 20 percent is too much, maybe 5 percent," he said of the funding cut. "We need to be fair and reasonable ... I am a fan of Fermilab, and I want to see it still vibrant 20 to 30 years from now.”

Read more

Result of the Week

Subverting the subatomic telephone game

In the telephone game a message is garbled by changes in how it is repeated. Today's article describes how we defeat a similar subatomic process using the world's largest collection of top quarks.

When I was young, a bunch of us would play the telephone game. In this game, a person would whisper a message to someone. That person would whisper it to someone else and, after a series of whispers, we’d compare what was the last person heard to what the first person said. Typically the initial and final phrases would be quite different.

In today’s article, I report the outcome of a similar problem in the subatomic world and how DZero tried to cleverly overcome it. In particle collisions, such as those that occur at the Tevatron, theorists can calculate what goes on as the quarks and gluons (collectively called partons) inside the beam interact. However, as they exit the collision, the partons might undergo a dozen or more interactions before they reach the detector. These interactions can obscure the information about the original collision so much that experimenters are unable to determine the conditions of the partons immediately after the collision.

One such measurement might occur when two quarks scatter in the collision. Quarks have a property called spin, and we can picture each quark as a little spinning top. Quantum chromodynamics, the theory describing the behavior of the strong force, makes firm predictions about how the spins of the two quarks are related. If you measure the spin of one quark, for example, you have knowledge of the spin of the other one.

Most quarks emit gluons as they exit the collision. The problem is that each time the quark emits particles, its nature is altered. DZero scientists needed a way to peer at the quark before the interactions occurred.

It turns out that top quarks decay in less than a trillionth of a trillionth of a second and long before they undergo any other interactions. Top quarks decay 100 percent of the time into a bottom quark and a W boson. The W boson can decay into electrons or muons (collectively called charged leptons) and an associated neutrino. Because the nature of decays involving W bosons, the charged leptons carry a lot of the spin information of the parent top quarks.

DZero physicists isolated a sample of over 400 events in which a pair of top quarks was created and decayed in the desired way. We were able to compare the trajectories of the charged leptons and ascertain how the spin of the top quarks was related. The measurement was consistent with predictions and shows how far we have come since the top quark’s discovery more than 15 years ago.

-- Don Lincoln

These physicists performed the data analysis leading to this measurement.
These Fermilab physicists are responsible for the smooth operations of the DZero detector for the purpose of this analysis.
Accelerator Update

Feb. 21-23

- Three stores provided ~32 hours of luminosity
- The Antiproton Source Department worked on their target station LCW system
- Controls personnel replace a bad Pbar card
- NuMI had problems with their humidity control system
- Tevatron personnel conducted beam alignment studies

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


WDRS announcements

FRA scholarship applications due March 1

Latest Announcements

Scrappers Club meets March 1

On-site housing for Summer 2011 now taking requests

Introduction to LabVIEW course - Feb. 25

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

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

Next yoga session begins - March 1

NALWO - Mardi Gras potluck - March 3

March deadline for The University of Chicago tuition remission program - March 4

NALWO arts & crafts show & tell - March 15

Fermilab Employee Art Show applications due - March 16

The Service Desk is offers a new loaner laptop service

View UEC tax presentation for users online

Open basketball at the gym

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