Thursday, Dec. 8, 2011

Have a safe day!

Thursday, Dec. 8
10:30 a.m.
Presentations to the Physics Advisory Committee - Curia II
3:30 p.m.

Friday, Dec. 9
8:30 a.m.
Presentations to the Physics Advisory Committee - Curia II
3:30 p.m.
4 p.m.
Joint Experimental-Theoretical Physics Seminar - One West
Speaker: Ken Herner, University of Michigan
Title: WZ/ZZ Measurements and Evidence for Diboson Processes in b-Tagged Final States

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

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Secon Level 3

Wilson Hall Cafe

Thursday, Dec. 8

- Breakfast: Apple sticks
- Tomato Florentine
- BBQ pork sandwich
- Smart cuisine: Kielbasa & sauerkraut
- Smart cuisine: Chicken marsala
- Smoked turkey melt
- Assorted sliced pizza
- SW chicken salad w/ roasted corn salsa

Wilson Hall Cafe Menu

Chez Leon

Friday, Dec. 9
- Red pepper soup
- Lobster tail
- Spinach w/ scallions & lemon
- Lemon orzo
- Parfait w/ cookies

Wednesday, Dec. 14
- Cornish hen w/ cranberry-thyme sauce
- Roasted potatoes
- Broccoli
- Apple walnut cake

Chez Leon Menu
Call x3524 to make your reservation.


Fermilab Today

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Special Announcement

Computer security awareness

The annual Computer Security Awareness Day will take place today from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Wilson Hall. The Internet can be a dangerous place, so come learn about how you can protect yourself online. See the complete schedule here.

In Memoriam

Linda Christiansen - Nov. 20

Linda Christiansen

Long-time Fermilab employee Linda Christiansen died on Nov. 20 after a battle with cancer.

“Linda joined the laboratory in 1989, and we worked together for more than 20 years,” Boyrs Jurkiw, human resources services manager, said. “No job was too small or too challenging for her. She was dedicated to making things work and making them work right, the first time.”

Christiansen was the lead human resources system and records analyst. She maintained an extensive database of all Fermilab employees, among other duties.

“Linda knew all of the employees,” Christine Johnson, an administrative associate, said. “She was very dedicated to her job and conscientious.”

Laurie Pederson, a human recourse information system associate, remembers her first days at the laboratory, with Christiansen as her supervisor.

“Linda was the best boss. She was patient, understanding and incredibly knowledgeable,” Pederson said. “She was unforgettable.”

Christiansen’s work was not only thorough, but also quickly completed.

“If you needed a report in a week, she would get it to you the next day,” Barb Brooks, the deputy head of human resources, said. “I’ll miss her ‘can-do’ attitude and her willingness to help with our Section get-togethers.”

Read more

Ashley WennersHerron

Photo of the Day

New employees - Oct. 31

From left: Sho Maruyama, CMS; Theresa Stonehocker, FS; Adam Olson, ESH; Jan Sobczyk, PPD; Brent Stone, TD; and Chris Baker, TD. Photo: Cindy Arnold
In the News

Ghostly particles that may explain the universe

From The Financial Times Magazine,
Dec. 2, 2011

Editor's note: This article reports on Fermilab's Dark Energy Camera as well.

This autumn’s claims that neutrinos travelled faster than light – and in the process broke one of the firmest rules of modern physics – have drawn attention to the universe’s most abundant and at the same time most elusive subatomic particles.

The scientific jury will take several more months to come to a judgment about whether neutrinos really exceeded the speed of light on their 730km trip from Cern, the European nuclear physics centre near Geneva, to the Gran Sasso underground detector in central Italy. But even if it ends in the anticlimactic conclusion that measurement errors exaggerated the particles’ speed, neutrinos will still provide a rich field of research for physicists seeking to understand the fundamental nature of the universe.

Read more

From Quantum Diaries

DNA in a haystack

While avoiding writing the final exam for my course (sorry students, I’m now almost done with it), I stumbled on this article in The New York Times about the problems of a deluge of data in genomics. At this point, genomes can be sequenced much more quickly than they can be analyzed. Indeed, the article reports that there is enough sequencing capacity in the world to fill a stack of DVD’s two miles high with data each year.

Sound familiar? (Including the DVD analogy?) Particle physics experiments face the same problem. At the LHC, we have particle collisions 600 million times per second. The four LHC experiments produce a petabyte of data (a million gigabytes) per second — if we were to keep every bit of data that the LHC produced. Obviously, we don’t do that; the data is heavily filtered by the experiments’ trigger systems, which reduce the data rate to 300-400 events per second per experiment. Now, that will still get you something like 15-25 PB of data per year, and a stack of DVD’s that’s several times higher than that of the DNA sequences. So we have the same problem, if not a bigger one — and that is after we’ve only kept one in a million collisions!

Read more

Ken Bloom

Result of the Week

Testing for top quark teams

DZero physicists search for signs of top quarks teaming up to form new particles that would indicate exciting new physics.

Top quarks live a short and lonely life in the Standard Model, where they are expected to survive such a brief amount of time that they never become part of something larger. While all other quarks team up in twos and threes to make mesons and baryons, respectively, the top quark keeps to itself. But some models of new physics envision pairs of top quarks teaming up to form new composite particles that may play an important role in the universe.

One theory predicts that a top-antitop bound state replaces the Higgs boson and plays the role of giving other particles mass. This theory also predicts a new particle called a topcolor Z-prime (Z’) boson. If such a Z’ boson exists, it would lead to enhanced top quark pair production at energies near the mass of the Z’. Alternatively, enhanced top quark production could be the first evidence for a Grand Unified Theory. In a Grand Unified Theory, all of the different forces that the Standard Model explains—the strong, weak and electromagnetic forces—would be understood as different low-energy behaviors of a single force that explains everything at very high energies.

A team of physicists at DZero studied a large sample of top quark pairs to search for evidence of enhanced production. For each event, they calculated the rest mass of the top quark pair. This would be the mass of a new particle that decays into top quarks, if such a particle exists. The Standard Model predicts a smooth distribution of this invariant mass. One of the new particles considered in this search would stand out as a bump in that spectrum. While this analysis improved the lower limit on a Z’ boson’s mass beyond the previous study at DZero, a slight excess of events was noted at invariant masses around 950 GeV. This excess is not significantly above the Standard Model expectation when the statistics are considered.

—Mike Cooke

These physicists made major contributions to this analysis.
The calorimeter calibration group provides precision calibration of the DZero calorimeter, which is critical for many measurements performed by DZero like the one featured above.
Accelerator Update

Dec. 5-7

- Booster, Main Injector and muon rings personnel conducted studies
- Booster kicker personnel repaired a kicker that was holding off beam to Switchyard
- Operators made adjustments to the I- Source arc current

Read the Current Accelerator Update
Read the Early Bird Report
View the Tevatron Luminosity Charts


Latest Announcements

403(b) supplemental retirement plan contributions

Computer Security Awareness day - today

NALWO: Bus trip to Chicago - Dec. 10

Fermilab Blood drive Dec. 12-13

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

Open badminton at the gym

Movie Tickets Make Great Gifts discount for employees

Atrium work updates

Winter basketball league

Indoor soccer

Sam's Club announces membership offer for employees

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