Thursday, March 31, 2011

Have a safe day!

Thursday, March 31
2:30 p.m.
Theoretical Physics Seminar - Curia II
Speaker: Johan Alwall, Fermilab
Title: MadGraph 5 – the All-New Matrix Element Generator for Everything
3:30 p.m.

Friday, April 1
3:30 p.m.
4 p.m.
Joint Experimental-Theoretical Physics Seminar - Auditorium
Speakers: Vladimir Tishchenko, University of Kentucky
Title: Precision Measurement of the Positive Muon Lifetime by the by the MuLan Collaboration

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Wilson Hall Cafe

Thursday, March 31

- Breakfast: Apple sticks
- Tomato Florentine
- BBQ pork sandwich
- *Kielbasa and sauerkraut
- *Chicken Marsala
- Smoked turkey melt
- Assorted sliced pizza
- Eggplant parmesan panini

*Heart healthy choice

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Chez Leon


Chez Leon Menu
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Update on CDMS and MINOS

The head frame of the Soudan Underground Mine in April 2009. Photo: Reidar Hahn, Fermilab

Scientists are making progress with their assessment of the status of the CDMS and MINOS experiments in the Soudan Underground Laboratory, following a fire on March 17 in the access shaft of the Soudan mine. But power is still out in the MINOS cavern due to a damaged power feed into the laboratory.

Scientists inspected the MINOS detector on Wednesday. They found residue of fire-fighting foam, used to extinguish the fire in the shaft, across large parts of the MINOS cavern’s floor. No water or foam got on the connectors of the MINOS experiments’ electronics, but scientists discovered that they need to dry out the lowest part of the experiment’s large electromagnetic coil, which provides the experiment with a magnetic field for particle identification. A part of the coil runs through a shallow trench, which partially filled with water. The inspection of other parts of the experiment is ongoing.

“There are still some unknowns, and we don’t know how long it will take for the laboratory to be fully functional again,” said Rob Plunkett, co-spokesperson for the MINOS experiment. “The good news is that there seems to be very little damage to the experiments.”

CDMS scientists have had limited power to their experiment since Monday, March 28 (see this earlier update).They have found no problems with their particle detector. All cryogenic systems work as designed, and scientists expect the rest of the equipment to be fine, too.

Cleanup work and repairs continue in the access shaft of the mine. When complete, electricians will install a new power cable between the mine’s level 22 and the underground laboratory, which is located on level 27. The new cable is necessary to restore full power to the laboratory.

-- Kurt Riesselmann

Photo of the Day

A pleasant pheasant

Accelerator Division's Marty Murphy snapped this photo of a pheasant near the intersection of Batavia and Eola roads.
Special Announcement

Physics for Everyone talk on neutrinos - 12:30 p.m. April 6

Neutrino physicist Dave Schmitz sits in front of the MINERvA detector. Schmitz will give the next Physics for Everyone talk on neutrinos on April 6.

Neutrinos have been the darlings of poetry, the destructors of the world in science-fiction films, the names of companies, rafts and more. These ghostly particles generally come from the sun and travel through nearly everything. So, how exactly does Fermilab create and study these ghostly particles?

Join Fermilab at 12:30 on Wednesday, April 6, to learn about neutrinos, including where they come from, how they fit into the field of particle physics and what neutrinos might be able to tell us about the universe. In his talk, titled “In one ear and out the other: a neutrino talk” neutrino scientist Dave Schmitz will also explain what Fermilab experiments are trying to learn from these elusive particles and how they’re getting that information.

The lecture is free and open to the public. It will take place in Ramsey Auditorium. No registration is required. There will be time for questions and answers. The lecture is part of a non-technical series about Fermilab science and culture. View previous lectures here.

In the News

House Science Committee split on FY 2012 budgets for NSF and NIST

From American Institute of Physics, March 29, 2011

In a largely friendly, though occasionally combative, hearing, the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee examined the Obama Administration’s FY 2012 budget requests for the National Science Foundation (NSF) and National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in a hearing on March 11. The witnesses were: Subra Suresh, Director of the NSF; Ray Bowen, Chairman of the National Science Board; and Patrick Gallagher, Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology and Director of NIST.

Chairman Ralph Hall (R-TX) set the tone in his opening statement, saying, “There is no denying that both of these agencies make vital contributions to our Nation’s competitiveness, and this Committee has a long, bipartisan record of support for these agencies and their contributions.”

Read more

Result of the Week

Strange, stranger and strangest

The plot is proportional to the probability (invariant differential cross section) of observing lambda, cascade and omega particles as a function of their transverse momentum. The solid lines are fitted curves to the power law function (A(pT+1.3)-n) and n~8.5 for all three particles. The insert shows the ratios of cascades to lambdas and omega to lambdas.

While physicists have learned a lot of about our world on a fundamental scale, there are still things that remain a mystery. One of those is how hadrons are produced from particle interactions. Hadrons are composite objects made up of quarks and held together by the strong force. Hadrons vary in shape and size and their composition is based on the combination of quarks inside. Physicists still do not understand how nature chooses to produce one type of composite object over another in a proton-antiproton collision.

To try to help shed light on this issue, physicists at CDF have been investigating the properties of three specific objects, namely the lambda, cascade and omega particles. A detailed analysis of production properties of particles containing different quark flavors and different numbers of quarks could pave the way to understanding the process from a theoretical underpinning in the Standard Model. The lambda, cascade and omega particles each comprise of three quarks and respectively contain one, two and three strange quarks. These particles are short lived, with lifetimes less than a billionth of a second. Amazingly, even with such a fleeting existence, these particles can be studied by physicists.

CDF physicists measured the differential cross section for each particle – how often each particle is produced as a function of the particle’s momentum. They observed (see figure, above) that as the transverse momentum increases, the slopes of the transverse differential cross sections of the three particles are similar to each other and to those of mesons such as Kshorts and pions. This could indicate a universal principle of particle production. Our next step is to study the particle production in jets and check if this observation continues to hold.

Read more

-- Edited by Andy Beretvas

These physicists from Duke University were responsible for this analysis.
Accelerator Update

March 28-30

- No stores due to D16-2 magnet replacement
- D16-2 magnet replacement is complete
- Tevatron is cooled
- Main Ring, Booster and F-Sector accesed

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


Latest Announcements

Self-sponsored petitions for U.S. permanent residence - April 5

Book fair today

Fermilab Fuel Service Center shut down today

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

Toastmasters - April 7

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

Summer day camp

Free t-shirt for March gym memberships

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2011 Co-ed softball league

Jazzercise discount for employees


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