Friday, April 8, 2011

Have a safe day!

Friday, April 8
3:30 p.m.
4 p.m.
Joint Experimental-Theoretical Physics Seminar - One West
Speakers: Mark Neubauer, University of Illinois, Urbana/Champaign
Title: New Results from ATLAS
8 p.m.
Fermilab Art Series - Auditorium
Copenhagen: Dramatic reading by Wheaton Drama
Tickets: $7

Monday, April 11
2 p.m.
LHC Physics Center Topic of the Week Seminar - Sunrise (WH11NE)
Speaker: Qaisar Shafi, University of Delaware
Title: To Be Announced
Particle Astrophysics Seminar - One West
Speaker: Judd Bowman, Arizona State University
Title: The Dawn of 21 cm Cosmology
3:30 p.m.
4 p.m.
All Experimenters' Meeting - Curia II
Special Topics: Startup of Depleted Argon Distillation Column

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a weekly calendar with links to additional information.

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Wilson Hall Cafe

Friday, April 8

- Breakfast: Chorizo burrito
- New England clam chowder
- Carolina burger
- Tuna casserolen
- Dijon meatballs over noodles
- Bistro chicken and provolone panini
- Assorted sliced pizza
- *Carved top round of beef

*Heart healthy choice

Wilson Hall Cafe Menu

Chez Leon

Friday, April 8
Guest Chef: Jean Reising
- Mixed greens, red onion and cherry tomatoes with balsamic vinaigrette
- Steamed lobster tail with a tomato-thyme butter sauce
- Spring pea risotto
- Grilled asparagus
- Bittersweet chocoalte pots de crème with fresh berries

Wednesday, April 13

- Chili chicken skewers with cilantro pesto
- Chunky banana sweet potato mash
- Key lime tequila pie

Chez Leon Menu
Call x3524 to make your reservation.


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Special Announcement

Impact on Fermilab of a government shutdown

If action is not taken by Congress by midnight tonight, the government will shut down. A shutdown, however, will not immediately affect FRA employees. Fermilab has sufficient monetary reserves in its contract from DOE to continue operating for about four weeks. Employees of FRA will be able to continue working for a minimum of one month during a government shutdown.


Happy anniversary!

Allen Rusy (left) and Dan Turrioni, from the Superconductor R&D Group, inspect the cabling machine used to make Nb3Al superconducting cable.

One hundred years ago, In April 1911, Dutch scientist Kamerlingh Onnes discovered superconductivity. While investigating the electrical resistance of pure mercury at very low temperatures, Onnes discovered that mercury’s resistance dropped suddenly to zero in the vicinity of 4.2 Kelvin (see graphic). Scientists found that similar transitions happened in other metals and dubbed the phenomenon superconductivity.

Since 1911, we have discovered superconductors among chemical elements, alloys, ceramics and organic materials that can carry very strong electric currents without electrical resistance. These materials are perfect for developing powerful magnets and other applications. Their development and our improved understanding of superconductivity have paved the way for applications such as superconducting magnets in accelerators, MRI devices and levitating trains; various electrical power applications; and new particle acceleration devices known as superconducting radio-frequency cavities.

Fermilab has a long history of forefront research in the field of superconducting accelerator magnets. In addition, the laboratory has been involved in developing and testing superconducting RF cavities made of niobium for many years (see this article in Symmetry magazine.

The Superconductor R&D Group in the Technical Division’s Magnet Systems Department works on new materials and technologies for superconducting accelerator magnets for various Fermilab and multi-laboratory projects. It has the equipment and expertise needed for cable fabrication, small coil winding, strand and cable testing, strand processing and material studies. Our experts work closely with industry to improve the superconductor's performance and collaborate with other laboratories and universities to improve the fundamental understanding of strands, cables and magnets. The outcome of this work provides material specifications and engineering data for accelerator magnet design and construction.

For the LHC luminosity upgrades, we are developing robust and cost-effective accelerator magnets with 11-15 Tesla magnetic fields. We are using niobium-three-tin (Nb3Sn), a low-temperature superconductor that is widely used for high-field solenoids and other types of magnets in fusion, solid-state physics and other fields of research. This material can produce stronger magnetic fields than the niobium-titanium conductor used in the Tevatron and LHC magnets, but it requires a completely different magnet fabrication technology. We also have worked with niobium-three-aluminum. In 2010, Fermilab scientists and their collaborators in Japan won the prestigious Superconductor Science and Technology Prize for their investigation of a highly strain-tolerant Nb3Al cable. This work continues in collaboration with CERN.

Read More

-- Emanuela Barzi

In the News

What has the Tevatron really discovered?

From Discovery News, April 7, 2011

If you're a little hazy about the details of Wednesday's buzz surrounding the potential discovery of "new physics" in Fermilab's Tevatron particle accelerator, don't worry, you're not alone. This is a big week for particle physicists, and even they will be having many sleepless nights over the coming months trying to grasp what it all means.

That's what happens when physicists come forward, with observational evidence, of what they believe represents something we've never seen before. Even bigger than that: something we never even expected to see.

In the quest to probe the very edge of our understanding of how the Universe works, massively powerful particle accelerators need to be built.

The more powerful the accelerator, the more energetic the collisions and the more rare the particles produced.

Read more

CMS Result

Subatomic mythbusters: Confirmed

One of the first lead-ion collisions in the LHC as recorded by the CMS experiment on November 8, 2010. Image: Courtesy of CERN

In 2006, the popular television show Mythbusters tried to test a legend, which was that two Civil War-era bullets, if fired at one another, would fuse into a single bullet. The team was unable to confirm the myth, simply because it was too hard to get the bullets to collide. They eventually did a simpler test and fired one bullet into a stationary bullet and found that the two bullets did indeed fuse. They listed the legend as plausible. And in 2009, a story in the UK's Daily Mail showed two bullets fired during the Crimean War that were reported to have hit in midair and fused. The odds of this occurring were incredibly small, but even rare things happen.

At the LHC, bullets made of lead don’t collide in the accelerator, but lead nuclei did during the December 2010 running period. Every second, two clouds of 100 trillion of these subatomic lead bullets passed by one another and something like 200 times per second two of them collided head on. The fireball formed between colliding lead nuclei is much more complex than ordinary collisions between protons, which makes it correspondingly more difficult to study the details of these collisions.

For some physicists, lead nuclei collisions weren’t enough. They wanted to see something never before observed. They wanted to be the first to see Z bosons in collisions between heavy nuclei. Z bosons can decay in many ways, but a decay into pairs of muons is the most striking signature.

A short while ago, CMS reported an observation of lead collisions that produced Z bosons. Because muons can escape the fireball more-or-less unscathed, this observation opens a unique window into the collision’s inner workings. In the paper described today, CMS physicists report the results of a detailed study of 39 Z bosons made in collisions between lead nuclei. We are just beginning to exploit the capabilities of the LHC.

And, with all due respect to the producers of Mythbusters, the accelerator scientists at the LHC have tested the idea of colliding subatomic lead bullets. Verdict: confirmed.

-- Don Lincoln

These scientists, in collaboration with their foreign colleagues, are responsible for this discovery.
Any measurement of this magnitude is not possible without considerable effort to make sure the right events are recorded and then reconstructed properly. Equally important is the ability to correctly simulate the data. These scientists are just a few who contributed to the "nuts and bolts" that made this analysis possible.

Latest Announcements

Barn dance - April 10

Word 2010: Transition from 2003/2007 course offered - May 25

Windows 7 Introduction course offered - May 19

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

Argentine tango classes - April 20 - May 4

Monday night golf league - April 25

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

Chilled water plant design offer - June 14 - 16

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