Thursday, May 5, 2011

Have a safe day!

Thursday, May 5
2:30 p.m.
Theoretical Physics Seminar - Curia II
Speaker: Will Shepherd, University of California, Irvine
Title: Collider and Indirect Constraints on Dark Matter
3:30 p.m.
4 p.m.
Accelerator Physics and Technology Seminar - One West
Speaker: Daniel Mihalcea, Northern Illinois University
Title: High Gradient Wakefield Acceleration in Dielectric-Loaded Structures

Friday, May 6
3:30 p.m.
4 p.m.
Joint Experimental-Theoretical Physics Seminar - One West
Speaker: Fabio Maltoni, Université Catholique de Louvain
Title: AAA Phenomenology: Automatic, Accurate and… Amazing New MC Tools for Discoveries at Hadron Colliders

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

Upcoming conferences


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Secon Level 3

Wilson Hall Cafe

Thursday, May 5

- Breakfast: Apple sticks
- Torta de jamon
- Chicken mole
- Mexican philly style
- *Marinated grilled chicken Caesar salad
- Assorted sliced pizza

*Heart healthy choice

Wilson Hall Cafe Menu

Chez Leon

Friday, May 6

Wednesday, May 11

- Lemon sole
- Green beans
- Fresh fruit plate

Chez Leon Menu
Call x3524 to make your reservation.


Fermilab Today

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Result of the Week

Safety Tip of the Week

CMS Result of the Month

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Budget Update

Message from Fermilab Director Pier Oddone

In mid-April the federal government enacted a Continuing Resolution for the rest of this fiscal year, and over the past few weeks the Office of Science has allocated funds to its various offices and programs. The laboratory still awaits the final details from the Office of High Energy Physics, but we have received positive news on the level of funding we can expect to receive for the remainder of the fiscal year. Based on this news I can tell you that we will be able to run the Tevatron as planned through September and that there will be no furloughs at Fermilab during that time. Thanks to all of you for continuing your excellent work across all areas of the laboratory during the last few months’ very uncertain budget climate.


The Project X chopper challenge

Two Fermilab deflector prototypes being considered for the Project X chopper. In both cases, each rectangular copper plate sets up an electrostatic pulse that kicks the bunch farther and farther away from the beamline, chopping it out.

At the recent Project X collaboration meeting, attendees confronted the proposed accelerator’s wide-band chopper, a system that would allow scientists to cherry-pick particle bunches from beams to be routed to multiple experiments.

Though its design is a formidable challenge, researchers now believe it’s a workable problem.

“The meeting was the first time we were confident there’s a solution,” said Steve Holmes, Project X project manager. “There are options that look like they’ll work.”

The chopper would lend the proposed Project X a kind of maneuverability not seen in other accelerators.

Different particle physics experiments call for different bunch patterns. A chopper helps create the required pattern by using electric fields to selectively pick off bunches from a steady stream of particles. Bunches in the beam that are left alone accelerate toward an experiment’s target.

With only one target, the chopper’s job can be straightforward: leave every nth bunch alone.

With more than one target, as in the case of Project X, the chopper has to send a far more complicated bunch pattern down the particle conveyor belt. It must also work in concert with a splitter, or router, to direct the right bunches to the different experiments.

“A chopper combined with a splitter is a new twist on the idea,” said Sergei Nagaitsev of Fermilab’s Accelerator Division. This new twist will give scientists the freedom to put in any pattern they like while efficiently serving up bunches for multiple experiments. 

“We wanted the project to be as flexible as possible,” Nagaitsev said. “So this chopper is one of the strongest selling points for Project X.”

Collaborators from Fermilab, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and SLAC are pursuing various technical options for the system.

“Nobody’s done anything like this before, but it’s the key to making the whole thing work,” Holmes said.

Leah Hesla
Save the Date

DASTOW 2011 set for June 22

Children eat cryogenically frozen marshmallows after the Mr. Freeze show at DASTOW 2010. Credit: Cindy Arnold

Save the date: Wednesday, June 22, will be the annual Daughters and Sons to Work Day at Fermilab. DASTOW'11 will offer many of the always popular events along with some new additions. Watch Fermilab Today for more details in the coming weeks.

Photo of the Day

Night sky

The view on the road from the new Muon lab to DZero on April 6. Photo: Alexey Naumov
In the News

Keep it simple, SUSY

From symmetry breaking,
May 3, 2011

Experimentalists at the Large Hadron Collider recently proved effective a simple, new method of looking for evidence of supersymmetry. The method addresses a challenge particle physicists often face in looking for new particles and processes: They can manifest themselves in a multitude of ways.

How new physics will reveal itself is anybody’s guess. It’s a bit like the game Plinko on “The Price is Right” – contestants drop a token at the top of a pegboard and watch hopefully as it zigzags toward a slot at the bottom that may or may not contain a prize. If the game is played enough times, the token is likely to retrace some of the same routes, but occasionally it will take an unexpected path to the prize.

Read more

Lauren Rugani
In the News

Hinting at dark matter

From PhysicsCentral Buzz Blog,
April 30, 2011

We haven't seen dark matter yet. We haven't, right? Sitting in a plenary talk at the APS April meeting today I started to have my doubts.

Dan Hooper from Fermilab gave a great overview discussion of the attempts to detect dark matter covering the three major techniques: direct detection, where you see dark matter particles collide with nuclei; indirect detection, where you use telescopes to observe the gamma rays produced by dark matter annihilating; and collider detection, where you create the dark matter in something like the Tevatron or the Large Hadron Collider.

Read more

Result of the Week

Impossible, except…

The Standard Model forbids direct production of a strange quark from the decay of a bottom. Indirect decay of the kind illustrated here is possible and is the focus of this analysis. Since observation of direct production of strange quarks from bottom quarks would indicate a discovery, we need to understand very well the indirect production described here.

Subatomic particles called quarks are some of the building blocks of our universe. The heaviest of the six types of quarks are the top and the bottom quark, and the bottom quark is where we begin our story.

Today’s result explores the decay of a particle called the Λb (pronounced lambda sub b), which contains an up, down and bottom quark, into a regular Λ (lambda) particle, which contains an up, down and strange quark. This decay requires the transmutation of the bottom quark to a strange one.

Historically, the quark type is called flavor, so when a quark decays from one kind to another, we call it flavor changing. If the bottom quark could decay this way, it would do so by emitting a neutral particle, since the bottom, strange and down quarks all have the same electric charge. Because of this, physicists call a possible decay of a bottom quark into a strange quark a flavor-changing neutral current or FCNC.

According to the Standard Model, FCNCs are impossible and to observe one would be a sign of new and interesting physics (and a trip to Stockholm). However, we need to be careful: It is only impossible for a bottom quark to directly decay into a strange quark. The Standard Model allows indirect decays of bottom quarks into strange ones (see above figure). This happens when a bottom quark turns into a charm quark and a W boson, followed by a subsequent decay of the W into a charm quark and a strange quark. This kind of indirect decay is the basis of today’s result. Given that observing direct FCNC would be the sign of a very surprising discovery, we need to understand very well the phenomenon of indirect FCNC so we can account for it in our calculations.

The precision of the measurements in this study are over three times better than all earlier measurements combined. This is a necessary achievement if we ever hope to convincingly observe direct flavor changing neutral currents.

Don Lincoln

These physicists from CINVESTAV in Mexico performed this analysis.
A crucial capability of a modern particle physics experiment is to accurately determine the path of charged particles as they cross the tracking detectors. These physicists form the nucleus of the current DZero tracking algorithm group. Left to right: Michael Cooke, Fermilab; Leah Welty-Rieger, Northwestern University; Mandy Rominsky, Fermilab; Amitabha Das, University of Arizona; Dookee Cho, Brown University; Herb Greenlee, Fermilab; and Guennadi Borissov, Lancaster University.
Special Announcement

Secretary Chu to give public lecture at Fermilab on June 2

Secretary of Energy Steven Chu will give the public lecture at this year’s Fermilab Users’ Meeting. The lecture will take place at 8 p.m. on Thursday, June 2, in Fermilab’s Ramsey Auditorium. Tickets must be reserved in advance, and there is a limit of two tickets per person. Tickets are available for free on a first-come, first-served basis through the Arts & Lecture Series box office located on the first floor of Wilson Hall, or by calling 630-840-ARTS.

Accelerator Update

May 2-5

- Three stores provided ~45.5 hours of luminosity
- Controls personnel repaired Pbar repeater problem
- Store 8709 set record with a luminosity of 431.07E30

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


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