Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Have a safe day!

Tuesday, March 29
3:30 p.m.

Wednesday, March 30
10:30 a.m.
Particle Astrophysics Seminar - One West
Speaker: Kirk Gilmore, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory
Title: LSST Overview and Status
3:30 p.m.
4 p.m.
Fermilab Colloquium - One West
Speaker: Elliott Bloom, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory
Title: The Search for Dark Matter with the Fermi Gamma-Ray Space Telescope

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

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Weather Partly sunny

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Current Security Status

Secon Level 3

Wilson Hall Cafe

Tuesday, March 29

- Bagel sandwich
- Creamy turkey vegetable soup
- Chili dog
- Country fried steak
- Chicken cacciatore
- Italian panini with provolone
- Assorted sliced pizza
- Super burrito

Wilson Hall Cafe Menu

Chez Leon

Wednesday, March 30
- Vietnamese caramelized pork and rice
- Noodle salad
- Banana cake

Chez Leon Menu
Call x3524 to make your reservation.


Fermilab Today

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CMS Result of the Month

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Scientists reenter Soudan Underground Laboratory

This photo, taken in 2004, shows the CDMS experiment in the Soudan Underground Laboratory.

Ten days after a mine access shaft fire shut down the Soudan Underground Laboratory, the first scientists returned to the laboratory as electricians began to restore power to the laboratory. It was the first time that lights in the laboratory were back on since March 17, when a fire protection system shut down the power to the entire laboratory because of a fire in the access shaft (see Fermilab Today article on March 21, 2011).

“I’m grateful to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and the laboratory staff for getting us to this point,” said Marvin Marshak, director of the underground laboratory, which is managed by the University of Minnesota; the mine is owned and operated by the Minnesota DNR. “Now that we have some power, we can make progress on returning the experiments to their normal operating conditions.”

The laboratory so far only receives limited power since crews still need to test the electrical system and replace a backup power cable. In the next couple of days, scientists will carry out a thorough investigation of the status of the two major experiments in the laboratory: the detector of the MINOS neutrino experiment and the detector of the Cryogenic Dark Matter Search experiment. The MINOS hall was still without power on Monday.

Last week, the DNR reported that some fire-extinguishing foam had entered the caverns of the MINOS and CDMS experiments. Yesterday, Dan Bauer, Fermilab Operations Manager for experiments at Soudan, entered the laboratory and found “a basically foam free environment” since the foam had collapsed. The parts of the cavern floors that are close to the access shaft showed signs of a sticky residue from the foam, which needs to be cleaned up.

CDMS scientists have begun to assess the status of their experiment’s cryogenic system, which cools ultra-sensitive particle detectors to less than one Kelvin, close to absolute zero temperature. The experiment has warmed to room temperature without losing vacuum, which gives hope that the cryogenics system was undamaged by the long power outage. Fermilab Today will provide an update when more information is available.

- Kurt Riesselmann

Photo of the Day

Tractricious at dawn

The Tractricious sculpture at dawn Friday, March 25. Photo: Greg Vogel, AD.

In the News

My favourite particle: the proton

From Guardian, March 26, 2011

Protons are not fundamental, they are made of quarks. But they are more durable than most fundamental particles; and there's at least one in every atomic nucleus..

So this week, and for quite some time past, protons have been my favourite. Lily says it's ok if I tell you about it.

What can I say? A proton is a nuclear family of two "up" quarks and a "down" quark. If you look inside you see all kinds of mess. But left on their own they don't split up for at least 1029 or so years. Given the universe seems to be about 1.4 x 1010 years old, that means the lifetime of your average proton is 1,400,000,000,000,000,000,000 longer than the age of the universe.

We know the lifetime of the proton is very long because we've watched lots and lots of protons very carefully for a for a very long time, and none of them decayed.

Read more

Director's Corner


Fermilab Director Pier Oddone holds his first grandchild, Gemma Lucia, while the family’s dog, Dante, licks the baby’s ear.

As we watch and worry about the political debate in Washington and struggle to maintain our laboratory at the forefront of particle physics, it is also important to look at the positive side of our lives. Counting one’s blessings is a very good way to maintain perspective. A special blessing for me has been the arrival of our first grandchild on March 2: Gemma Lucia Oddone. I was fortunate to meet her a week later and be reminded once more how amazing babies are: so totally captivating, so totally dependent and at the same time, as a colleague reminded me, “tough little buggers.” During the few days I saw her I could see the day-to-day changes as the circuits in her brain self-assembled and she connected to her surroundings.

Gemma Lucia’s entry into the world was no picnic: a difficult delivery for both mother and child that might have had a very different outcome before our era of modern medicine and the benefit of a cutting-edge university hospital. What could have been threatening to the health of mother or baby was routinely and successfully dealt with. Another blessing to count.

For those of us old enough for such an event, the arrival of a grandchild is also a time for reflection. We have lived long enough to accumulate more than a half-century of experience watching the world evolve and participating in that evolution. What kind of world will Gemma Lucia inhabit? One can think of many positives and also many negatives. The only thing we can be certain of in the decades ahead is change, and fast change at that. Change requires adaptation, and adaptation requires knowledge and critical thinking, qualities that we are in a position to nurture in the new generation. But those qualities will not be enough to make a better world. In even shorter supply than critical thinking today is a sense of civic duty, something that requires commitment to the common good, tolerance of different viewpoints and – perhaps most important and most difficult to teach - generosity of spirit. There is ample work for us ‘oldies’ yet to do to recapture and enhance these qualities in our society. We owe it to our grandchildren.

Accelerator Update

March 25-28

- No stores due to D16-2 magnet replacement
- Booster and Main Injector RF problems

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


Latest Announcements

Book fair - March 30 and 31

Fermilab Fuel Service Center shut down - March 29-31

Free t-shirt for March gym memberships

Join the Fermilab golf league

FREE Intro to Argentine Tango classes start March 30

Fermilab Lecture Series - The LHC - Maleika Meddahi, LHC - April 15

Toastmasters - March 31

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

Martial Arts classes begin April 11

ACU offers $1,000 scholarship deadline - April 25

Fermilab Arts & Lecture series - Nagata Shachu Taiko drumming - May 7

2011 Co-ed softball league

Jazzercise discount for employees


View UEC Tax presentation for users online

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