Friday, Sept. 23, 2011

Have a safe day!

Friday, Sept. 23
3:30 p.m.
4 p.m.
Joint Experimental-Theoretical Physics Seminar - One West
Speakers: Ben Hooberman, Fermilab
Title: Searches for New Physics at CMS
8 p.m.
Fermilab Arts Series - Ramsey Auditorium
Tickets $7
Speaker: Dr. Dan Green
Title: The LHC Voyage of Discovery

Monday, Sept. 26
2:30 p.m.
Particle Astrophysics Seminar - One West
Speaker: Pat Scott, McGill University
Title: New Results from Dark Matter Minihalos: Limits on the Spectrum of Cosmological Perturbations, Reionization and Dark Stars
3:30 p.m.
4 p.m.
All Experimenters' Meeting - Curia II
Special Topics: HTS Power Cable with Low AC Losses

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a weekly calendar with links to additional information.

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Wilson Hall Cafe

Friday, Sept. 23

- 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, Sept. 23
- Potato, bacon & cheese soufflé
- Lobster tail w/ champagne butter sauce
- Spaghetti squash
- Snow peas
- Strawberry crepes

Wednesday, Sept. 28
- Oven-roasted trout w/ lemon dill stuffing
- Fresh green beans
- Café au lait cake

Chez Leon Menu
Call x3524 to make your reservation.


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Press Release From CERN

OPERA experiment reports anomaly in flight time of neutrinos

Editor's note: The OPERA collaboration has measured the time of flight of neutrinos sent from CERN to the Gran Sasso laboratory in Italy, along with the distance they cover. These measurements appear to show that the neutrinos are traveling a little faster than light. When a collaboration makes a surprising observation such as this and is unable to account for it, the results are made public so that independent measurements can be performed to check the results. Fermilab's MINOS collaboration published its own measurement of the time of flight of neutrinos in 2007, which yielded a value exceeding the speed of light by only 1.8 sigma—a level of significance far below the five-sigma threshold that physicists have established for a discovery. MINOS has begun the process of upgrading its detector to repeat the time-of-flight measurement with greatly increased precision. New results from the MINOS collaboration on this phenomenon are not expected until at least 2012.

The OPERA experiment, which observes a neutrino beam from CERN 730 km away at Italy's INFN Gran Sasso Laboratory, will present new results in a seminar at CERN this afternoon at 16:00 CEST. The seminar will be webcast. Journalists wishing to ask questions may do so via twitter using the hash tag #nuquestions, or via the usual CERN press office channels.

The OPERA result is based on the observation of over 15000 neutrino events measured at Gran Sasso, and appears to indicate that the neutrinos travel at a velocity 20 parts per million above the speed of light, nature's cosmic speed limit. Given the potential far-reaching consequences of such a result, independent measurements are needed before the effect can either be refuted or firmly established. This is why the OPERA collaboration has decided to open the result to broader scrutiny. The collaboration's result is available on the preprint server

Full press release is here.


At new detector school, students get hands-on

Registration for the 2012 EDIT school at Fermilab is now open.

Eager to build your own particle detector? Want to test it in an actual beam? Students at Fermilab’s 2012 EDIT detector school will have the opportunity to do just that.

Based on CERN’s Excellence in Detectors and Instrumentation Technologies (EDIT) 2011 school, the Fermilab EDIT 2012 program gives graduate students the chance to get their hands on actual particle detector components. This is unusual, since today’s doctoral candidates often enter the field with the detectors already running. These students then miss out on the construction, assembly and commissioning process.

“Graduate students come onboard to fully developed experiments,” said Erik Ramberg, chair of EDIT’s local organizing committee. “Detectors are a key to the business. This is a good opportunity to actually hook a cable up to a detector and get data from it.”

Read more

Brad Hooker

Photo of the Day

Waterfall at Fermilab

Along the old Proton line, sump water spills over into a creek on Sept. 20.Photo: Mike McGee, AD
In the News

Roll over Einstein: Pillar of physics challenged

From Associated Press, Sept. 22, 2011

A startling find at one of the world's foremost laboratories that a subatomic particle seemed to move faster than the speed of light has scientists around the world rethinking Albert Einstein and one of the foundations of physics.

Now they are planning to put the finding to further high-speed tests to see if a revolutionary shift in explaining the workings of the universe is needed - or if the European scientists made a mistake.

Researchers at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research outside Geneva, who announced the discovery Thursday are still somewhat surprised themselves and planned to detail their findings on Friday.

If these results are confirmed, they won't change at all the way we live or the way the universe behaves. After all, these particles have presumably been speed demons for billions of years.

Read more

CMS Result

The color of collisions

The photons measured by CMS differ from visible light only in energy: light that we see has 2-3 electron-volts per photon, while photons from the LHC have billions of electron-volts.

When protons collide in the LHC, they sometimes emit a flash of light. Light is made of particles called photons, and the energy of the photons determines the color of the light. Red light is approximately 2 electron volts (eV) while blue light is about 3 eV, with all visible colors in between. Photons that are more energetic than blue light are usually called ultraviolet (100 eV), X-rays (10 thousand eV) and gamma rays (100 thousand eV or more). Many of the photons produced in LHC collisions have 30 billion to 300 billion electron volts (GeV).

CMS scientists recently measured the color of LHC collisions. That is, they measured the energy of each photon as it emerged from the collision debris and plotted the distribution of all of them. The figure above shows what that distribution looks like: Most of the measured photons have an energy of 30 GeV, with fewer and fewer at higher energies. One could say that the collisions are reddish, if the whole distribution were scaled down to the visible range.

Why is this interesting? Photons are unaffected by all of the other particles in the collision debris, so they let us see the first instant of collision. Most of the particles in the debris are hadrons such as pions, kaons, etas and rhos—the so-called particle zoo. Hadrons are made from coalescing quarks and gluons. This process changes their trajectories after the collision and hides their initial energies. Photons from the initial collision, however, stream directly into the CMS electromagnetic calorimeter to be measured. These measurements quantify the accuracy of current quark collision models, which are used in nearly all interpretations of LHC data.

The photons studied in this analysis are also the background noise that scientists need to sift through to search for a Higgs boson, assuming that it is hiding in the parameter range that is not yet ruled out. A Higgs boson can decay into two photons with a very narrow range of energy, like a pure but faint color in a ruddy mix of hues.

Jim Pivarski

The U.S. physicists pictured above contributed to this analysis of the photon energy spectrum.
The above physicists work to help identify photons and characterize the detector's performance in ways that are directly applicable to this analysis. They are part of a much larger photon identification effort.

Fermilab Lecture Series presents "The LHC Voyage of Discovery" - today

Bohr and Heisenberg at Elgin Arts Theatre - through Sept. 25

Commemorative t-shirts on sale in Wilson Hall - Sept. 26-30

Martial Arts classes - Sept. 26

Visa Office closed - Sept. 26-30

Introduction to LabVIEW course - Sept. 27

Special Tevatron Chez Leon dinner - Sept. 29

Shuttle buses - Sept. 30

School's day out - Oct. 7 and 10

International Folk Dancing Thursday evenings in Kuhn Barn

Scottish country dancing meets Tuesday evenings in Kuhn Village Barn

August blood drive - 75 units collected

OrgPlus URL change

Web query (crystal reports) server name change

Weight Watchers at work

Accelerate to a Healthy Lifestyle Program continues

Athletic leagues: Outdoor soccer Tuesdays and Thursdays

Bowlers wanted for 2011/2012 bowling season

Open badminton

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