Friday, May 13, 2011

Have a safe day!

Friday, May 13
3:30 p.m.
4 p.m.
Joint Experimental-Theoretical Physics Seminar - One West
Speaker: George Fuller, University of California, San Diego
Title: Sterile Neutrinos and Cosmology (In conjunction with the Short Baseline Neutrino Workshop)

Monday, May 16
9:30 a.m.
An open Symposium on Data Preservation and long-term analysis in HEP will be held on Monday, May 16, 2011 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in 1 West. More information online.
2:30 p.m.
Particle Astrophysics Seminar One West
Speaker: Nicole Bell, University of Melbourne
Title: Indirect Detection of Dark Matter - Electroweak Bremsstralung and Other Stories
3:30 p.m.
4 p.m.
All Experimenters' Meeting - Curia II
Special Topics: MI Studies for the g-2 Experiment; IARC Status

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

Upcoming conferences


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Wilson Hall Cafe

Friday, May 13

- Breakfast: Apple sticks
- Old-fashioned ham & bean soup
- Philly-style chicken
- Chicken pot pie
- *Baked fish over rice
- Roasted veggie & provolone panini
- Assorted sliced pizza
- Carved baked ham

Wilson Hall Cafe Menu

Chez Leon

Friday, May 13

Wednesday, May 18

- Chicken, spinach & mushroom crepes
- Spring salad
- Vanilla berry parfait w/
meringue cookies

Chez Leon Menu
Call x3524 to make your reservation.


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Gear up for Bike to Work Week May 16 - 20

Bike to work week is May 16-20. If you ride to work you can log your miles through the Fermilab Bicycle Commuters webpage. Photo: Traffic Safety Subcommittee

If you’re looking to save money and stay fit, biking to work could be your answer.

Fermilab’s Environment, Safety and Health personnel and the Fermilab Bicycle Commuters want you to consider riding your bike to work next week. Although the entire month of May is Bike month, May 16-20 marks Bike to Work Week and May 20 is Bike to Work day.

Dave Peterson, an Accelerator Division employee and one of Fermilab’s Bicycle Commuters, said that it doesn’t matter which day or days you bike to work next week, just give it a try.

“Even if you only bike part of the way to work, using your bike instead of a car can save you money, boost your health and help to reduce your greenhouse gas emission,” Peterson said.

As part of a federal goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the Department of Energy wants to reduce emissions from sources such as employee travel by 12 percent over the coming years, said Fermilab environmental specialist Eric Mieland. The department knows that meeting this goal will be challenging, he said.

Those who do choose to bike to work can log their commuting information on the Fermilab Bicycle Commuters webpage. Interested individuals just have to request a password to the site to do so.

Biking to work can also help you prepare for the Active Transportation Alliance’s Bike Commuter Challenge June 11-17, which pits businesses against one another to see who can get more employees to bike to work. PPD’s Jamieson Olsen is coordinating Fermilab’s participation.

If you do bike to work, please remember to follow the bicycling rules of the road both on and off site.

For more information on Bike to Work Week, please visit the League of American Bicyclists webpage.

Rhianna Wisniewski

Symposium: keeping former experiments' data viable

Keeping troves of data from large experiments accessible long after they complete data taking presents one of the latest challenges facing particle and astroparticle physicists.

A study group of international scientists and computing professionals are working to tackle this challenge to extend the discovery lifetime of experiments such as H1, ZEUS, BaBar and soon, CDF and DZero.

“We are trying to be proactive,” said Steve Wolbers, associate division head in the Fermilab Computing Division. “In the past, the idea was to just start a new experiment and focus on the new data, ignoring the old data and saying it is outdated anyway.”

Wolbers is the local organizer of the fifth workshop on Data Preservation and Long Term Analysis in HEP, which is being held at Fermilab for the first time May 16-18.

Fermilab employees and users are invited to the opening symposium from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Monday, May 16, in One West. Talks will give an overview of the group and some current efforts to preserve data from astrophysics, JADE and the LHC.

The importance of preserving data and overcoming the hurdles of lost expertise was recognized when LEP closed in 2000, and interest in these topics picked up steam three to four years ago with the shutdowns of BaBar, H1 and Zeus.

As people who built the detectors move onto other research or retire, it becomes more difficult to maintain expertise and to adapt old analysis techniques and software to ever-advancing software systems.

“It is very hard to understand the detailed design and capabilities of these detectors even if you are a member of the collaboration, so the discussion is how can we overcome that barrier? What would it take to do that?”

Finding ways to continue accessing these systems by experimenters and possibly even citizen scientists will enable physicists to create new searches of old databases to complement new experiments or discoveries of new physics.

“Everyone’s using this as a focus to come together and discuss it and see what’s next,” Wolbers said. “The more people that know about this, the better off we’ll be scientifically and as a field.”

See the conference agenda.

View the conference website.

Visit the study group website.

In the News

Beware Higgs impostors at the LHC

From New Scientist, May 12, 2011

NEW particles that mimic the long-sought Higgs boson may bamboozle physicists, who could spend years trying to confirm or rule out the possibility of an impostor, a new study warns.

The standard model of particle physics predicts that a particle called the Higgs boson endows many other particles with mass. The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN near Geneva, Switzerland, was built in part to detect and study it for the first time.

Higgs bosons should be produced in the wreckage of collisions between pairs of protons smashed together at the LHC. While the Higgs will not be detected directly, it should quickly decay into more familiar particles, such as pairs of photons or heavy Z bosons, carriers of the weak nuclear force. The standard model of particle physics predicts what fraction of the occasions the Higgs should decay into each type of particle, so if decay products are seen in those ratios, we might assume we have finally found the Higgs.

Read more

CMS Result

The Higgs boson: one might not be enough

A popular extension of the Standard Model includes the principle of supersymmetry. This extension is called the minimal supersymmetric Standard Model (MSSM) and it predicts not one, but five Higgs bosons, including some with electric charge. This analysis searched for the three electrically neutral Higgs bosons predicted by the MSSM, shown here in red.

Fermilab Today readers have heard a lot about the search for the Higgs boson. What might be surprising is that scientists don’t know if it exists. We don’t know if there is only one Higgs boson or many or even none. What physicists do know, however, is that the Standard Model predicts a single Higgs boson with specific properties. These predicted properties are that the Higgs boson is massive, electrically neutral and is not made of smaller particles.

On the other hand, we also know that the Standard Model is incomplete. We know this because we cannot answer many key questions about the universe with the information we have. Scientists have proposed extensions to the Standard Model as one potential way to help answer these questions. One such extension is to include a new principle called supersymmetry.

There are many ways to add supersymmetry to our currently successful theories, but the simplest and least intrusive version is called the MSSM, for minimal supersymmetric Standard Model. This extension of the existing theory offers potential answers to those unanswered questions. However, when we look at the MSSM to understand its consequence to Higgs theory, we find that this new theory predicts not one Higgs boson, but five, including two electrically charged Higgs bosons.

CMS physicists searched for the three neutral MSSM Higgs bosons by looking for their decays into pairs of tau leptons. While this particular decay path is relatively rare, it is uncommon to produce pairs of tau leptons using more ordinary physics. This makes it easier to ferret out these hypothetical MSSM Higgs bosons.

Unfortunately, no evidence for this trio of MSSM Higgs bosons was observed, but physicists were able to rule out a much bigger range of values for the theoretical parameters than had been achieved by earlier measurements. This is just the start of the story as CMS scientists will continue to pursue this analysis as the data rapidly accumulates.

— Don Lincoln

These physicists contributed to this analysis.
Because the LHC can deliver collisions far more rapidly than they can be recorded, the CMS detector selects only a fraction of them. These physicists from the University of Wisconsin-Madison have played a strong role in developing and maintaining the electronics and algorithms that use calorimeter data to select interesting events.

Birth: Mason Harris

On Saturday May 7, Mason Harris was born to Heather and Alan Harris. Alan is a facilities engineer with the DOE Fermi Site Office. Mason was a healthy 7 pounds 11 ounces and 21 inches long. Mom, baby and dad are all doing well. Congratulations Heather and Alan and welcome Mason!


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