Friday, Dec. 2, 2011

Have a safe day!

Friday, Dec. 2
3:30 p.m.
4 p.m.
Joint Experimental-Theoretical Physics Seminar - One West
Speaker: Eric Dahl, University of Chicago
Title: The COUPP Dark Matter Search: Results from the First Year of Deep Underground Running at SNOLAB

Monday, Dec. 5
2:30 p.m.
Particle Astrophysics Seminar - One West
Speaker: Bhuvnesh Jain, University of Pennsylvania
Title: Tests of Gravity in the Local Universe
3:30 p.m.
4 p.m.
All Experimenters' Meeting - Curia II
Special Topics: Advanced Superconducting Test Accelerator (ASTA/NML); Electron Lifetime Measurements at the LAPD; DZero Cosmic Ray Running

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

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Secon Level 3

Wilson Hall Cafe

Friday, Dec. 2

- Breakfast: Chorizo burrito
- Smart cuisine: Chunky vegetable soup w/ orzo
- Buffalo chicken wings
- Cajun breaded catfish
- Smart cuisine: Teriyaki pork stir-fry
- Honey mustard ham & Swiss panini
- Assorted sliced pizza
- Smart cuisine: Carved turkey
Wilson Hall Cafe Menu

Chez Leon

Friday, Dec. 2
- Mussels in white wine & thyme
- Filet w/ morel sauce
- Hasselback potatoes
- Green beans
- Chocolate cup w/ raspberry mousse

Wednesday, Dec. 7
- Bourbon & brown sugar flank steak
- Chipotle-maple sweet potatoes
- Green beans
- Chocolate pecan pie

Chez Leon Menu
Call x3524 to make your reservation.


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Video of the Day

What is antimatter?

Fermilab scientist Don Lincoln describes antimatter and its properties in this short video. He also explains why antimatter, though a reality, doesn't pose any threat to our existence.

Low-mass, low-power photon detectors in testing

Paul Rubinov, a Fermilab scientist working on the detector, stands in front of PPD testing equipment formerly used with the Dark Energy Camera.

In a dimly lit room within Fermilab’s SiDet building, scientists are testing the next generation of extremely light-sensitive detectors. Known as pixelated photon detectors (PPD), these tiny silicon chips play an instrumental role in the particle physics detectors of the future.

They are the key to the continuing evolution of medical imaging devices like PET scanners.

About five years ago, the development of PPDs was a major breakthrough. Compared to the traditional photomultiplier light detectors that are based on a vacuum tube concept, the silicon chips are cheaper, lighter, more compact and more robust. PPDs are also insensitive to magnetic fields and require much lower voltage. All of these advances mean PPDs are an entirely different technology from photomultipliers.

But PPDs are a very new and not completely understood technology. The chips undergo rigorous testing, as their successful performance could mean a lot to future particle physics experiments and to private industries worldwide. The testing has to be done very carefully, with every aspect of the room taken into account.

“I think they make the room look quite nice,” commented Fermilab physicist Adam Para, donning a laboratory clean suit, about a pair of floor lamps he had just flipped on.

Read more

Brad Hooker

Special Announcement

Winter holiday tea - Dec. 5

On Monday, Dec. 5, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Barbara Oddone will host a winter holiday tea at Site #29, just outside the Wilson Street gate.

Please bring a dessert or appetizer to share, but feel free to attend even without a dish.

In the News

Can physicists crack the big puzzle?

From, Nov. 30, 2011

In his new book, "The Infinity Puzzle: Quantum Field Theory and the Hunt for an Orderly Universe," Oxford physicist Frank Close reviews decades' worth of brain-teasing theories and looks ahead to puzzles yet to be solved.

Close traces the decades-long effort to find the deep connections between the fundamental forces of nature and resolve the "infinity puzzle" — that is, the fact that the mathematics of quantum theory came up with nonsensical numbers. That puzzle was eventually solved, as Close describes in the book, but an even bigger puzzle remains: Why is the cosmos built the way it is?

Some clues could emerge from Europe's Large Hadron Collider, where physicists are looking for a mysterious particle known as the Higgs boson. Close delves into the strange role that the Higgs plays in contemporary physics, but he emphasizes that his latest book is about

Read more

In the News

New twist in the search for dark matter

From, Nov. 30, 2011

Sometimes it seems like dark matter is intentionally trying to drive physicists mad.

New research using observations from dwarf galaxies has set a lower limit on the mass of dark matter particles. But the results contradict findings from several previous experiments, which observed dark-matter particles with masses below this threshold.

Dark matter is an invisible substance found throughout the universe that doesn’t emit any light. Scientists know that if dark matter exists, then so does anti-dark matter, and putting the two together will cause them to annihilate each other and produce gamma radiation.

“We are looking for this byproduct of the annihilation,” said physicist Savvas Koushiappas of Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, who co-authored one of the papers, which will both be published Dec. 1 in Physical Review Letters.

Read more

CMS Result

Z-ray vision

Z bosons are identified by the particles that they decay into (μ+ and μ− in this case). Then, the Z bosons are used to study the collision that made them.

All of the matter and energy of our everyday experience is made of only five basic particles: electrons, up and down quarks, gluons to glue the quarks together and photons, which are particles of light. This is just a corner of the particle landscape as we currently know it: including these five, 29 different types of fundamental particles and antiparticles are routinely produced in high-energy collisions. Some of the others are antimatter, some immediately decay, and some interact so weakly with normal matter that they disappear from view, leaving those that make up our material world.

One of these unfamiliar particles is the Z boson, a high-energy analogue of the photon. Whereas a photon is massless and stable, a Z boson is very heavy and decays within a trillionth of a trillionth of a second. Yet the two are twin aspects of the same electroweak force. Processes that produce photons also produce Z bosons, if they have enough energy to create the Z particles' large mass.

The high energy of collisions in the LHC is sufficient to produce Z bosons in abundance. Compared to the handful of Z particles observed at the time of their discovery in 1983, the LHC at peak luminosity produces millions of them per day. The flashes of impact in the LHC are approximately as bright in Z-light as they are in ordinary light.

In a recent paper, CMS scientists analyzed the angular distribution and energy spectrum of Z bosons emerging from these collisions. These distributions provide a view of the first instant of collision since Z bosons are unaffected by all of the other particles in the collision debris.

If this sounds familiar, there's a good reason. An article two months ago presented the same kind of study using photons instead of Z bosons. The energy spectrum, or color, of the light emerging from the collisions provides an early snapshot of the interaction because light also streams out unaffected by the other particles.

Thirty years ago, the Z boson was an exotic, theoretical particle. Today, it is a new pair of eyes to reach deeper into the microcosm.

—Jim Pivarski

The U.S. physicists pictured above played an important role in this analysis, as part of an international collaboration.
These physicists are responsible for the system that identifies and records muons passing through the CMS endcap, which makes this kind of Z boson decay visible.

Latest Announcements

School's Day Out Camp - Dec. 19-22 and Dec. 27-29

Free 12-week weight management program

English country dancing - Dec. 4

NALWO - Winter Holiday Tea - Dec. 5

Wilson Hall super science stocking stuffer sale - Dec. 6-7

Free webinar: “A Strategy for Financial Recovery” - Dec. 7

Behavioral interviewing course - Dec. 7

Introduction to LabVIEW class - Dec. 7

Computer Security Awareness day - Dec. 8

Fermilab Arts Series: Second City's Dysfunctional Holiday Revue - Dec. 10

NALWO: Bus trip to Chicago - Dec. 10

Excel Power user/Macros course - Dec. 14

Free 10-minute stress relief massages - Dec. 15 and 20

Fermilab's 3rd annual potluck party - Dec. 16 discount for employees

Atrium work updates

Winter basketball league

Indoor soccer

Sam's Club announces membership offer for employees