Friday, May 6, 2011

Have a safe day!

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

Monday, May 9
2 p.m.
LHC Physics Center Topic of the Week Seminar - Sunrise WH11NE
Speaker: Marina Artuso, Syracuse University
Title: Highlight on Early Physics Results from LHCb
2:30 p.m.
Particle Astrophysics Seminar One West
Speaker: Segev BenZvi, University of Wisconsin
Title: The Deepening Mystery of Cosmic Rays: Observations of Anisotropies in the Galactic Cosmic Rays at 10 TeV
3:30 p.m.
4 p.m.
All Experimenters' Meeting - Curia II
Special Topics: T-978:  CALICE - SiW ECAL/Digital HCAL at FTBF

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Wilson Hall Cafe

Friday, May 6

- Breakfast: Apple sticks
- New England clam chowder
- Carolina burger
- Tuna casserole
- *Dijon meatballs over noodles
- Bistro chicken & provolone panini
- Assorted sliced pizza
- *Carved top round of beef

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.


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Honoring public servants

Bruce Chrisman

On Wednesday, May 4, Energy Secretary Steven Chu provided this message to all national laboratories honoring the contributions of public servants.

Here at Fermilab, we’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of the public servants, including the members of the DOE Fermi Site Office, for their contributions to the laboratory. Without their support of public servants, the work we do at the laboratory would not be possible.

Bruce Chrisman
From ILC Newsline

Impersonating bulk niobium

Vacuum chamber for energetic condensation via electron cyclotron resonance. The vacuum chamber is open to show the coil structure in the center. Niobium atoms are ionised inside the coil by electrons. The substrate on which the ions are deposited is positioned at one end of the coil. Image courtesy of Anne-Marie Valente-Feliciano

Superconducting radiofrequency power only runs skin-deep, and accelerator scientists have been taking advantage of the phenomenon’s surface-crawling tendencies with a view to making high-performing, low-cost accelerator cavities. The trick is to manipulate a metal’s top-most layer so that it conducts just like a thick slab of superconducting material.

Scientists at Jefferson Laboratory in the US are researching a deposition technique for applying thin niobium films to a metal’s surface. The approach, layer deposition via electron cyclotron resonance (ECR), allows them to fashion fine layers into something that could be mistaken for the tried-and-true superconductor standby, bulk niobium.

“The top layers should effectively mimic bulk niobium performance,” said Anne-Marie Valente-Feliciano, scientist in the Process and Materials Group at JLab’s SRF Institute.

If the layers do a good job of it, expensive niobium cavities could be dispensed with altogether. Lower-cost copper or aluminium cavities with niobium thin films could replace them.

“Using niobium layers is a way to produce the lowest-cost accelerating structures you can possibly make,” said JLab SRF scientist Larry Phillips who, along with Ron Sundelin and Genfa Wu (now at Argonne National Laboratory), broached the possibility of pursuing ECR for cavities at JLab in the late 1990s. Recent funding has kicked the current effort into high gear.

Read more

Leah Hesla
Photo of the Day

Birds of prey

A turkey vulture seen from a parking lot south of Wilson Hall. Photo: Alexey Naumov
In the News

Fleeting antimatter trapped for a quarter of an hour

From New Scientist, May 3, 2011

What can you do with a quarter of an hour? Write a few emails, cook rice – or store antimatter.

The team working on the Antihydrogen Laser Physics Apparatus (ALPHA) at the CERN particle physics laboratory near Geneva, Switzerland, have stored atoms of antihydrogen for 1000 seconds – roughly 10,000 times longer than before. This should help reveal if antimatter and matter are true mirror images.

Read more

From Quantum Diaries

Particle detectors don’t like the light

How a QuarkNet detector reads a cosmic ray remenant. Credit: Fermilab/QuarkNet

Editor's Note: Bob Peterson continues to travel with his QuarkNet particle detector around the edge of Africa recording remnants of cosmic rays. This offers a chance to study how cosmic ray recordings differ on land and sea and at different latitudes.

Progressively, over the last three days, the data from the cosmic ray muon detector has become more problematic.

Here’s how our system works. Plastic scintillator is covered with aluminum foil and then with black paper and tape to make it “light-tight.” Any light leaking in will incorrectly be recorded as a particle interaction and make the data unreliable. A photo multiplier tube, or PMT, is attached to the wrapped scintillator; this assembly is called a counter. Up to four of these can be connected to the data acquisition card. The data acquisition system, or DAQ, sends data to the computer via the USB port. When a cosmic ray muon passes through the scintillator it causes a few photons to be emitted in the scintillator material. These are picked up by the photo multiplier tube, converted to an electrical pulse and amplified. Each photo multiplier tube sends its signal to the data acquisition system.

It is not working like that today.

One of the counter channels has become variable; first rising in counts and then falling. We look for what we call coincidences, two signals, one from each photo multiplier tube, received within a short time. These are reported to the computer; all other signals are vetoed as likely background noise from the photo multiplier tubes.

I have been seeing far fewer coincidences than the data acquisition system should be recording. This has affected the overall data flow, causing it sometimes to fall to zero.

Looking back over the several days, I seemed to notice a day/night dependency. So, I decided to disassemble the counter “stack” and see if there was a possible light leak in the fourth counter; of course, that was the bottom counter. Sure enough, the bottom counter had been poorly assembled and much of the wrapping tape had let go and opened several “seams”. There were not major gaps, but they were large enough to let light leak into the photo multiplier tubes. I’m glad I found this out. I inspected all the counters and found a few other suspect areas.

Read more


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