Thursday, March 3, 2011

Have a safe day!

Thursday, March 3
1:30 p.m.
Particle Astrophysics Seminar - One West
Speaker: Chris D'Andrea, University of Pennsylvania
Title: Systematic Environmental Effects in Supernova Surveys
2:30 p.m.
Theoretical Physics Seminar - Curia II
Speaker: Radja Boughezal, Argonne National Laboratory
Title: Bounding New Physics Using the Tevatron Higgs Exclusion Limit
3:30 p.m.
4 p.m.
Accelerator Physics and Technology Seminar - One West
Speakers: Marcel Stanitzki, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory
Title: Detector Challenges at Future Linear Colliders

Friday, March 4
2 p.m.
LHC Physics Center Topic of the Week Seminar - Sunrise (WH11SE)
Speaker: Albert De Roeck, CERN
Title: Searches for New Physics with the CMS Experiment
3:30 p.m.
4 p.m.
Joint Experimental-Theoretical Physics Seminar - One West
Speaker: Akito Kusaka, University of Chicago
Title: A Measurement of the CMB Polarization at 43 GHz by the QUIET Collaboration

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

Upcoming conferences


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Wilson Hall Cafe

Thursday, March 3

- Breakfast: Apple sticks
- Tomato florentine
- BBQ pork sandwich
- *Kielbasa and sauerkraut
- 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, March 4
- Closed

Wednesday, March 9
- Stuffed flank steak
- Parmesan orzo
- Italian cream cake

Chez Leon Menu
Call x3524 to make your reservation.


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In Memoriam

Bruce Winstein, physicist, 1943-2011

The University of Chicago, March 2, 2011

Bruce Winstein

Editor’s note: Bruce Winstein was heavily involved in work at Fermilab. During the 1990s he led a program at Fermilab of kaon physics experiments, which studied matter-antimatter asymmetries. He received the Panofsky Prize in physics for this work.

Bruce Winstein, an experimental physicist who studied the afterglow of the universe’s birth, died Feb. 28 after a four-year battle with cancer. He was 67.

Winstein, the Samuel K. Allison Distinguished Service Professor in Physics, the Enrico Fermi Institute and the College, was known as a punctilious leader of experiments measuring the aftermath of the big bang in two fundamental fields of physics — particle physics and cosmology.

A strong advocate of “blinded” measurements, in which scientists intentionally conceal the final answer while analyzing data to prevent their preconceptions from influencing the result, he imported many practices of particle physics after his mid-career switch into cosmology, the study of the early universe,. “Psychologically, it’s better,” Winstein told an interviewer in 2000. “There’s no concern about, ‘Do we agree with our old experiment?’”

Read more


Fermilab releases a new version of Scientific Linux

The Linux operating system produced at Fermilab enabled the laboratory, and other high-energy physics institutions to build large physics data analysis clusters using affordable, commercially available computers. The photo shows computer clusters in the laboratory's Grid Computing Center.

For more than 12 years, Fermilab has supplied thousands of individuals in the scientific community with the operating system that forms the foundation for their exploration of the universe’s secrets. The Linux operating system produced at Fermilab enabled the laboratory, and other high-energy physics institutions to build large physics data analysis clusters using affordable, commercially available computers.

The newest version of the Scientific Linux is now available.

Fermilab began packaging and distributing Scientific Linux in 2004 to the broad high-energy physics community. At that time, it was used on only 1,500 machines. Today, Scientific Linux is run on tens of thousands of machines and is the operating system that powers some of the world’s largest physics experiments, including some experiments at the Large Hadron Collider. The newest version, Scientific Linux 6, is put together by the Fermilab Computing Division, specifically the Fermilab Experiments Facilities Department, and by DESY, CERN and other laboratories and universities across the world.

“This version of Scientific Linux continues a tradition of technical excellence,” said Jason Allen, head of Fermilab Experiments Facilities Department in the laboratory’s Computing Division. “This product is the result of users worldwide who have contributed, tested and provided feedback for this release.”

Fermilab modifies Scientific Linux, the base product, to include security measures and other laboratory-specific elements to create Scientific Linux Fermi. The newest version of Scientific Linux Fermi 6 will be released at Fermilab later this year.

-- Kimberly Myles and Edward Simmonds

From symmetry breaking

LHC publishes first Higgs measurements

March 2, 2011

The CMS collaboration at CERN has published its first results about the search for the Higgs boson. The paper concludes that CMS found no evidence of the Higgs in their dataset from 2010. The latest result explores an exotic version of the Higgs that proposes an extra generation of fundamental particles exists.

Particle physicists theorize that the Higgs boson can explain why particles have mass. Particle accelerators like the Tevatron at Fermilab have been on the hunt for the elusive particle for decades now. The CDF and DZero experiments at Fermilab are quickly closing in on the version of the Higgs that fits within the framework of the Standard Model.

Read more

In the News

Tevatron closure: There's life in the old dog yet

From New Scientist, March 1, 2011

The closure of the Tevatron particle accelerator later this year doesn't spell the end of its glittering career, says the Fermilab chief.

Last month, the US Department of Energy decided not to extend the working life of the Tevatron, the pioneering particle accelerator at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab) in Batavia, Illinois.

The proposed three-year extension received broad support from scientists but would have required an additional $35 million a year in order not to impact future programmes at Fermilab. The DOE failed to secure the additional funds and so the Tevatron's 26-year life will come to an end later this year. Or will it?

Read more

Result of the Week

CDF finds more evidence of an asymmetry in top production

The plot shows the rapidity difference between the reconstructed top and anti-top quarks in data, and the predicted signal and background simulations. The observed forward backward asymmetry in the data is Afb = 14 ± 5 percent. The corresponding reconstructed forward-backward asymmetry, after correcting for experimental effects, is Afb = 42 ± 16 percent, which can be compared to the Standard Model prediction of Afb = 6 ± 1 percent

Symmetries have long been an important part of characterizing physical laws. Although some of the most beautiful theories exhibit symmetric properties, startling discoveries in physics have come at the expense of these symmetries, which have been broken to reveal an underlying property of nature.

Indeed, studies of weak nuclear reactions in the 1960s led to the discovery of parity violation, and a deeper understanding of electromagnetism and the weak force. Current theory predicts that the strong force, the force that binds quarks together, should exhibit only symmetric properties. However, physicists at Fermilab will leave no stone unturned. Towards this goal, the CDF experiment has tested discrete symmetries of the strong force by studying top quark events produced by the Tevatron.

Top quarks are produced at the Tevatron dominantly through the strong force. They are the most massive known particle, and have properties that some theories suggest may be related to electroweak symmetry breaking and the Higgs boson. The Tevatron is a highly suitable experiment to study the symmetry of producing top quarks. As it collides protons with anti-protons the collision is asymmetric.

Previous research by the CDF experiment found evidence of a larger asymmetry than the Standard Model leads us to expect, which could be evidence of a new particle just out of reach at the Tevatron’s collision energy. The result presented here measures the forward-backward asymmetry in top production in completely separate data from previous work: data where the signature of top quark events in the detector include two leptons. This new result provides an independent look at the this strange effect. In this new result, CDF measures a corrected Afb = 42 +/- 16 percent, which is 2.6 sigma from zero and 2.3 sigma from the Standard Model expectation. This exciting result provides further evidence of a larger than expected asymmetry in top quark production.

View more about this analysis here.

-- Edited by Andy Beretvas

These physicists are responsible for this analysis. First row from left: Yuji Takeuchi, Tsukuba; Yen-Chu Chen, Academia Sinica;  Jaroslav Antos, Slovak Academy of Science. Second row from left: Chang-Seong Moon, Seoul National University, Korea; Youngdo Oh, Kyungpook National University, Korea; Hyunsoo Kim, Chonbuk National University, Korea; and Tom Schwarz, University of California, Davis.
Accelerator Update

Feb. 28 - March 2

- Three stores provided ~42.5 hours of luminosity
- Two Main Injector electrical safety system ground faults caused the loss of two stashes
- Tevatron personnel will conduct an end-of-store study on store 8542

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


Latest Announcements

Card stampers meet - March 8

Hiring summer students for 2011

FREE Intro to Argentine Tango classes - March 9, 16, 23 and 30

Free t-shirt for March gym memberships

The database server fnalpgsprd will be shut down for system maintenance today

Toastmasters today

ES&H system down time today

NALWO - Mardi Gras potluck today

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

Oracle E Business Suite & ProCard application systems will be unavailable March 5

NALWO arts & crafts show & tell - March 15

Fermilab Employee Art Show applications due - March 16

On-site housing for summer 2011 now taking requests

The Service Desk offers a new loaner laptop service

View UEC tax presentation for users online

Open basketball at the gym

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