Friday, July 1, 2011

Have a safe day!

Friday, July 1
3:30 p.m.
4 p.m.
Joint Experimental-Theoretical Physics Seminar - One West
Speaker: Dmitri Tsybychev, State University of New York at Stony Brook
Title: New Results from ATLAS

Monday, July 4

Tuesday, July 5
Summer Lecture Series - One West
Speaker: Harrison Prosper, Florida State University
Title: The Standard Model and Beyond
3:30 p.m.

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a weekly calendar with links to additional information.

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Wilson Hall Cafe

Friday, July 1

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

*Carb-restricted alternative

Wilson Hall Cafe Menu

Chez Leon

Friday, July 1

Wednesday, July 6
- Cornmeal-crusted catfish
- Creamy coleslaw w/ bacon
- Green beans w/ hot-pepper vinegar
- Blueberry pumpkin pound cake

Chez Leon Menu
Call x3524 to make your reservation.


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Korean scientists learn about quality assurance at Fermilab

Members of Fermilab’s Quality Assurance group met with scientists from the Korea Institute of Energy Research. From left: Tom King, Jed Heyes and Bob Grant, all from Fermilab; Sang-Jin Choi and Seongeun Lee from the KIER; Hyukil Kwon from the Korea Reactor Integrity Surveillance Technology; John Martzel, Tom Gehrke and Kurt Mohr, all from Fermilab. Photo: Rhianna Wisniewski

Three Korean scientists visited Fermilab last week to learn how to get a quality assurance program up and running. Sang-jin Choi and Seongeun Lee from the Korea Institute of Energy Research and Hyukil Kwon from the Korea Reactor Integrity Surveillance Technology visited Fermilab to learn how the laboratory started its program and what challenges and successes occurred during its development.

“We need to have a team like the quality assurance representatives that Fermilab has. We are in the same stage now as the quality-assurance program was here at Fermilab in 2007,” Choi said. “We hope to learn about ways to convince people to follow rules and get them to understand why research and development quality assurance is so important.”

The scientists are working to get a quality-assurance program in place for KIER, which just opened its doors in January. They will also visit Brookhaven National Laboratory to learn from that laboratory’s quality-assurance professionals.

“Quality assurance in a research environment is very different than traditional quality assurance. It is more challenging,” said Jed Heyes, Fermilab’s Quality Assurance manager. During the Korean scientists’ brief time at the laboratory they learned implementation practices from quality-assurance staff members under Office of Quality and Best Practices, and representatives from two divisions.

Rhianna Wisniewski

Fermilab Quality Assurance representatives Don Rohde, AD, and Bakul Banerjee, CD, talk with Korean scientists about the challenges and successes of implementing quality assurance within their divisions. Photo: Rhianna Wisniewski
Special Announcement

SSVSP deadlines and updates

The application period for the Self-Select Voluntary Separation Program (SSVSP) ends July 7, 2011 at 5:30 p.m. Employees will receive email notification of acceptance or rejection of their application on July 21 and 22.

Employees seeking more information about the SSVSP can view an overview presentation given by WDRS Head Kay Van Vreede and Benefits employee Mary Todd on June 24 and 28. The presentation includes program highlights and an explanation of the benefits that retirement and non-eligible retirement employees accepted into the SSVSP will be eligible for. New questions and answers are also available on the SSVSP site.

In the News

Dark matter may solve 'radio filaments' mystery

From BBC News, June 30, 2011

Unexplained "filaments" of radio-wave emission close to our galaxy's centre may hold proof of the existence of dark matter, researchers have said.

Dark matter is believed to make up most of the mass of our Universe, but it has yet to be definitively spotted.

A report now suggests the filaments' emission arises from dark matter particles crashing into each other.

However, the work, posted to the Arxiv repository, requires extensive further experiments to support or refute it.

The filaments have been something of a mystery to astronomers since they were first discovered in the 1980s.

They are known to be regions of high magnetic fields, and they emit radio waves of high frequency - some of them with striking intensity.

"There's a long literature about these objects, and there have been some ideas as to what might generate their emission - but frankly no one really knows," said Dan Hooper, an astrophysicist at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab) in the US and co-author of the paper, which is still under review by academics.

One explanation for this emission would be what is called synchrotron radiation, which arises when charged particles are accelerated in a magnetic field. There are several ideas that could account for the emission which do not invoke dark matter - so called "astrophysical" mechanisms.

Read more

CMS Result

Mapping the Frontier

The top quark is the most massive particle in the Standard Model, and might be pointing to what lies beyond.

Regular readers of Fermilab Today may be familiar with the top quark. For 15 years after its discovery in 1995, top quarks could only be produced by the Fermilab Tevatron. This changed with last year’s start-up of the LHC, when scientists saw top quarks in the CMS detector.

The top quark is, in a sense, at the extreme edge of the Standard Model. It is by far the most massive fundamental particle known to exist. Its enormous mass may be key to understanding the mystery of why particles have any mass at all— whatever that reason is, it most strongly manifests in top quarks.

Today’s featured CMS result is a measurement of the top quark’s mass and production rate at the LHC. Unlike any other quark, top quarks decay rapidly into a W boson and a b quark. Each of these can decay many different ways, giving scientists a choice in how to search for it. In this paper, scientists look for the following pattern: top and anti-top quarks produced in pairs, which together decay into two W bosons and two b quark jets, with both W bosons decaying into a lepton (electron e or muon μ) and a neutrino. Though the neutrino escapes undetected, it makes its presence known by shifting the balance of the other particles. Everything is observed at once in the detector, making these events very complicated to study.

Precision measurements of known particles provide important clues about the physics beyond them. Before the top quark was discovered, precision measurements of the W and Z bosons predicted the top quark’s mass fairly accurately. Similarly, the W, Z, and top quark properties together imply that the as-yet undiscovered Higgs boson has a mass just beyond the current searches. Indeed, the rocky shores of this distant outpost are ideal for disembarking into the unknown.

— Jim Pivarski

The U.S. physicists shown above played an essential role in this analysis.
The above Fermilab employees are crucial to the administrative support of the US CMS project.
Photo of the Day

One big happy gaggle of geese

This gaggle of geese – 26 in total – enjoy a nice sunny day on the west side of the Reflecting Pond on June 9. Photo: David Huffman, PPD

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Argentine Tango at Fermilab each Wednesday in Ramsey Auditorium

Fermilab Management Practices courses presented this summer

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