Friday, Dec. 16, 2011

Have a safe day!

Friday, Dec. 16
2:30 p.m.
Joint Experimental-Theoretical Physics Seminar - One West
Speaker: Andrey Korytov, University of Florida
Title: Higgs Searches at CMS
3:30 p.m.

Monday, Dec. 19
3:30 p.m.
4 p.m.
All Experimenters' Meeting - Curia II
Special Topics: Project X Injector Experiment (PXIE); DZero Detector Decommissioning - Phase One; T-1014: SciBath Tests in the MINOS Underground Area

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Wilson Hall Cafe

Friday, Dec. 16

- 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, Dec. 16

Wednesday, Dec. 21
- Salmon wellington
- Parmesan orzo
- Lemon pound cake w/ blueberry sauce

Chez Leon Menu
Call x3524 to make your reservation.


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A cheaper way to purify liquid argon for neutrino experiments

The Liquid Argon Purity Demonstrator at Fermilab could help scientists cut costs for future neutrino experiments. Photo: Terry Tope

Today’s high-end experiments are pushing scientists to invent new technologies to meet the demands of the next generation of physics. These innovations, however, must be balanced with creative cost-saving strategies. One expense currently under evaluation is the construction of liquid argon tanks, which play a vital role in sensitive neutrino experiments.

When neutrinos reach an experiment tank full of liquid argon, they interact with the nuclei in the argon and produce charged particles. Those particles spawn electrons that then drift toward an array of wire detectors. The distance the electrons drift, along with arrival information gathered from the wires, provides scientists with a detailed 3D reconstruction of the event.

In order to reduce the chance of those electrons interacting with other particles, the liquid argon should have the highest purity possible, with oxygen contamination levels that are only 100 parts per trillion. To achieve this level of purity, scientists often evacuate a tank to remove oxygen and water vapor before filling it with liquid argon. Making a tank that can withstand the complicated evacuation process is very expensive, as is the equipment to perform the evacuation.

Fermilab physicists Brian Rebel and Rob Plunkett, along with mechanical engineer Terry Tope, have led an effort over the last two years to design a new method to cut these costs. The innovative Liquid Argon Purity Demonstrator (LAPD) they engineered is the first system without evacuation that can achieve the necessary electron lifetimes for long drift distances.

The purification process begins with argon gas flowing into a tank that will eventually hold up to 30 tons of liquid argon.

Read more

Brad Hooker

In the News

Building a massive neutrino hunter beneath the Mediterranean

From, Dec. 14, 2011

The second-biggest structure in human history will seek to answer deep cosmic mysteries

Neutrinos may or may not move faster than light, but regardless, they're special little things. They speed through the planet, and through you, and through everything; but, chargeless and puny, they interact with their surroundings so minimally that other particles hardly take notice.

These subatomic particles are so tiny and so imperturbable they’re almost impossible to see, but they originate in some of the most violent and disruptive processes in the universe. Energetic neutrinos that originate in deep space, known as astrophysical neutrinos, escape from the dark centers of the universe’s most powerful places — gamma ray bursts, blazars and quasars, and black holes at the centers of galaxies.

Read more

In the News

Physicists close in on universal puzzle

From the Wall Street Journal,
Dec. 14, 2011

Clues from Geneva's collider suggest existence of Higgs boson, fabled particle key to presence of stars, planets, people.

Scientists are making tantalizing progress in the hunt for the elusive Higgs boson, a theoretical particle that could explain how the universe is built, though their data aren't robust enough yet to claim a conclusive discovery.

On Tuesday, physicists at the Large Hadron Collider, or LHC, near Geneva, Switzerland, said that data from two independent experiments had narrowed the range of the would-be particle's likely mass.

The Higgs boson is the only particle that the standard model of physics says should be there but hasn't been observed in an experiment. The model describes how matter is built and particles interact.

Proof that the particle exists would help explain a big puzzle: why some objects in the universe—such as the quark, a constituent of protons—have mass, while other objects—such as photons, the constituent of light—possess only energy.

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Special Announcement

Fermilab potluck - today

The third annual international potluck party will take place from 5 to 8:30 p.m. today, in the Wilson Hall atrium, auditorium and Art Gallery. Fermilab employees, users, contractors, funding agency employees, friends and family are all welcome to attend.

Please bring a hearty appetizer, main dish or side dish to share, along with serving utensils. Please bring enough food for 20 or more servings. The laboratory will provide non-alcoholic beverages, plates, cutlery and cups. For more information, please visit the potluck website.


Births: Elliot Eugene and
Isaac Warren Shanahan

On Wednesday, Nov. 2, Elliot Eugene and Isaac Warren were born to Jennifer and Peter Shanahan. Peter is a scientist in Fermilab's Particle Physics Division. Elliot weighed in at five pounds three ounces, while Isaac came in at four pounds six ounces. Congratulations Jennifer and Peter, and welcome Elliot and Isaac!

Press Release from Caltech

High-energy physicists set record for network data transfer

With a sustained data rate of 186 gigabits per second, high-energy physicists demonstrate the efficient use of long-range networks to support cutting-edge science

Researchers have set a new world record for data transfer, helping to usher in the next generation of high-speed network technology. At the SuperComputing 2011 (SC11) conference in Seattle during mid-November, the international team transferred data in opposite directions at a combined rate of 186 gigabits per second (Gbps) in a wide-area network circuit. The rate is equivalent to moving two million gigabytes per day, fast enough to transfer nearly 100,000 full Blu-ray disks—each with a complete movie and all the extras—in a day.

The team of high-energy physicists, computer scientists, and network engineers was led by the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), the University of Victoria, the University of Michigan, the European Center for Nuclear Research (CERN), Florida International University, and other partners.

Read more


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