Thursday, March 17, 2011

Have a safe day!

Thursday, March 17
1:30 p.m.
LHC Physics Center Topic of the Week Seminar - One West
Speaker: Ben Loer, Princeton University
Title: The DarkSide-10 Prototype Dark Matter Detector
2:30 p.m.
Theoretical Physics Seminar - Curia II
Speaker: Jiji Fan, Princeton University
Title: Heavy Squark at the LHC
3:30 p.m.
Accelerator Physics and Technology Seminar - One West
Speaker: Alex Rak, Bradley University
Title: Developments in Radiation Detection Systems

Friday, March 18
2 p.m.
LHC Physics Center Topic of the Week Seminar - Sunrise (WH11SE)
Speaker: Christos Leonidopoulos, CERN
Title: Trigger 101: The Role of the Trigger at a Hadron Collider and Why You Should Care
3 p.m.
3:30 p.m.
Joint Experimental-Theoretical Physics Seminar - One West
Speakers: Chris Jones, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Title: Reactor Simulations with DRAGON for Antineutrino Experiments and Nonproliferation

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

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Secon Level 3

Wilson Hall Cafe

Thursday, March 17

- Breakfast: Apple sticks
- Santa Fe black bean soup
- Steak tacos
- Corned beef
- Chimichangas
- Baked ham and swiss on a ciabatta roll
- Assorted sliced pizza
- Crispy fried chicken salad

Chez Leon

Friday, March 18
- Closed

Wednesday, March 23
- Hearty vegetable lasagna
- Caesar salad
- Chocolate fondue

Chez Leon Menu
Call x3524 to make your reservation.


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Needles and Threads group sends cheer to cancer patients

Members of the Unity Coat Needles and Thread group pose with their creations.

In the next few weeks, a group of Fermilab volunteers will donate more than 130 hand-made items to cancer patients around the country. Since the group’s first meeting in October of last year, members of the Unity Coat Needles and Threads group have worked in their free time crafting caps, scarves, bags, blankets and pillowcases.

“This is such a great cause,” said group member Sheila Cisko. “We hope that the the items we’ve created will help a cancer patient know that there’s someone out there rooting for them.”

Needles and Threads will donate items to the Neutron Therapy Facility at Fermilab and cancer care organizations such as Haloes of Hope and ConKerr Cancer and oncology centers such as Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center and Massey Cancer Center of Southern Virginia.

Special Announcement

Additional support this week for Windows 7 upgrades

The Computing Division has launched a phased effort to upgrade all Fermilab computers that use Windows to the Windows 7 operating system. Local support team members will be on hand to answer your questions about Windows 7 at the doctor booth in the Wilson Hall atrium during lunch hours on Thursday, March 17.

For more information about Windows 7, including a tentative deployment schedule, check the website.

From symmetry

Global from the get-go?

Experiments in particle physics have decades of experience as thoroughly international collaborations. Can the giant accelerators that power these experiments make the leap to go global as well?

At a recent meeting of scientists at CERN on the border of France and Switzerland, a physicist recalled words of wisdom imparted to him by a professor of literature: “Physics is wonderful,” the professor said. “At least it teaches scientists to speak French.”

Although the comment elicited a chorus of self-deprecating proclamations about physicists’ language skills, it did highlight the reputation physicists have earned for working together across borders. This model of international collaboration has been the norm among experimentalists like those at the meeting for decades. Thousands of scientists from dozens of countries now spend their days and nights at CERN, the laboratory that hosts the Large Hadron Collider, the world’s highest-energy particle accelerator. The US Department of Energy and National Science Foundation contributed $531 million to the construction of the collider and its experiments, and 1700 US scientists are involved today. Similarly, experiments at Fermilab’s Tevatron can cite decades of collaboration among scientists worldwide speaking nearly 100 languages.

But the practice of collaborating internationally to design and construct the enormous accelerators that power these experiments has emerged only recently. And the world’s next big, one-of-a-kind particle collider will require even greater cooperation than any of those that preceded it.

Scientists from across the globe contributed to building accelerators such as HERA at DESY laboratory in Germany, RHIC at the DOE’s Brookhaven National Laboratory and the LHC at CERN. But in each of those cases, one laboratory drove and managed the project and operated the accelerator. Scientists are now working on ways to govern projects as global communities from the beginning.

These giant particle colliders take at least a decade to build and are meant to last for decades more. Their costs reach multiple billions of dollars. In practice, this dictates building only one global machine at a time, which means all regions must work together in order to participate in scientific progress. The process of building an international collaboration and agreeing on the location of a new machine takes time.

Read more

-- Kathryn Grim

In the News

Dark energy is not an illusion after all

From New Scientist, March 16, 2011

New measurements of exploding stars are challenging an upstart theory that dark energy is just an illusion caused by our location within a giant void.

In 1998, astronomers reported that the universe's expansion seems to be faster now than it was in the past, based on measurements of supernova explosions in both nearby and distant galaxies. The latter provide a record of the past because of the time it takes their light to reach us.

That the universe's expansion could be accelerating was a surprise, since gravity should act as a brake on the expansion, slowing it with time. The most popular explanation is that energy of unknown origin – called dark energy – permeates space and acts as a repulsive force to speed up the expansion.

But some researchers have proposed an alternative: that the acceleration is an illusion that results from an uneven distribution of matter in the universe.

Read more

Result of the Week

High-mass Higgs searches from CDF and DZero

The top (CDF) and bottom (DZero) images show the expected and observed 95 percent confidence level upper limits on the production rate of a Higgs boson as a multiple of the Standard Model prediction, assuming standard model decay branching ratios. The solid, horizontal line shows the prediction for the Higgs boson according to the Standard Model. We determine our measurement by how our data relates to this solid line. The figures have two squiggly lines: one dotted and one solid. The dotted line shows what we expected to measure and is surrounded by a bright green band. The band shows how certain we were in our prediction. The best way to interpret this is that the bright green region shows the area where we predicted our measurement should be.

The Standard Model of particle physics needs the Higgs mechanism to explain why all the particles in our universe have mass, but no experiment has yet observed the elusive Higgs boson. Answering the question of whether the Higgs mechanism is correct or whether something else is responsible for the masses of particles is central to our understanding of nature. Many physicists around the world have spent decades searching for the Higgs boson. This week, a crucial step forward in this quest has been made by the CDF and DZero experiments.

All recent Higgs boson mass exclusions have come from combinations of results from more than one experiment. Despite the importance of such combined statements, it is an important milestone when a single experiment reaches the level of sensitivity necessary to rule out or see the Higgs boson. Late last week, the CDF and the DZero experiments crossed this threshold individually. The CDF and DZero experiment collaborations recently updated their Higgs boson searches in the high mass range (130 to 185 Gev). In this range, the Higgs boson mass is high enough to allow it to decay to a pair of W bosons.

Together, the Tevatron experiments put to good use an additional 1.5 inverse femtobarns of data collected since their joint result from last summer, and added several new improvements to their analysis techniques. The new data and improvements have allowed both Tevatron experiments to exclude a portion of the Higgs boson mass range: 158 to 168 GeV for CDF and 163 to 168 GeV for DZero. The CDF and DZero experiments have also combined their results; the region thus excluded is 158 to 173 GeV. A Higgs boson of mass 165 GeV is now excluded at the unprecedented level of more than a 99.5 percent confidence level.

Fermilab currently expects the Tevatron to keep recording data until September 2011. CDF and DZero are also ideally suited to look for the Higgs boson in the low mass range, where the Higgs would decay mainly into bottom quarks. CDF and Dzero expect to present new results in this search region later this year. This large data sample, along with expected analysis improvements, will allow the experiments to either exclude the Higgs boson over the entire mass range of interest if it does not exist or to see hints of it – representing a major breakthrough in our understanding of nature.

-- Edited by Andy Beretvas



Ronald Grosklaus, 73, a former Fermilab firefighter who retired as deputy chief, died March 13. Visitation takes place today in Monterey, TN. Read Grosklaus's obituary here.

Accelerator Update

March 14-16

- Four stores provided ~39.31 hours of luminosity
- Recycler kicker pre-fired
- MiniBooNE resumed taking beam on March 15 during the day shift
- Meson Septa motors were replaced

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


Latest Announcements

DocDB unavailable 7-8 a.m. - March 24

ACU Offers $1,000 scholarship deadline - April 25

ProCure Proton Therapy Center tour deadline - March 28

Upgrade of Fermilab central email gateway servers today

"Creating Life in The Lab: A Challenge to Theism?" Lunchtime presentation - March 18

Fermilab Arts Series presents Arianna String Quartet - March 20

Free t-shirt for Muscle Toning participants

Free t-shirt for March gym memberships

FREE Intro to Argentine Tango classes today and March 23 and 30

School's Day Out - March 28-April 1

NALWO - Poetry reading - April 1

Toastmasters today

Fermilab Arts Series presents "Reduced Shakespeare Company: Complete World of Sports, Abridged" - April 2

Fermilab Arts & Lecture presents: Dramatic reading of "Copenhagen" by Wheaton Drama - April 8

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2011 Co-Ed Softball League


2010 Flexible spending accounts deadlines

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