Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2011

Have a safe day!

Wednesday, Dec. 21
3:30 p.m.

Thursday, Dec. 22
3:30 p.m.

Friday, Dec. 23
Half-day holiday - no seminars

Monday, Dec. 26 - Monday, Jan. 2
Happy holidays!

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a weekly calendar with links to additional information.

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Secon Level 3

Wilson Hall Cafe

Wednesday, Dec. 21

- Breakfast: English muffin sandwich
- Smart cuisine: Beef barley soup
- Smart cuisine: Fish florentine
- Baked linguine and cheese
- Assorted sliced pizza

Wilson Hall Cafe Menu

Chez Leon

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

Friday, Dec. 23

Chez Leon Menu
Call x3524 to make your reservation.


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Special Announcement

Happy holidays from Fermilab!

This is the final issue of Fermilab Today for 2011. Fermilab Today will begin publishing again on Tuesday, Jan. 3. Happy holidays! Photo: Reidar Hahn

New CMS website is easy on the eyes and efficient

Members of the CMS collaboration officially switched to their new website this month. The site now functions as a single portal to all the experiment’s public and internal web pages.

CMS has about 3,000 members and about 1,000 official websites. Anyone can make one; few take them down.

“It’s all a bit chaotic,” said CMS Head of Communication Lucas Taylor. Nine months ago the collaboration asked him to create a new web portal using a modern content management system.

For years members of the experiment have been creating documents, detailing all aspects of CMS since its construction began, and posting them online. While 280,000 were already stored securely, a similar number were scattered over numerous systems. The CMS Communications Group is systematically harvesting these documents and storing them in the DocDB database, developed by Fermilab. So far 123,000 documents have been secured in this way.

Google analytics showed that the previous public website lacked viewers for many of its pages.

Read more

Amy Dusto

From isgtw

The Tevatron's enduring computing legacy

A night-time view of the Tevatron. Photo: Reidar Hahn

This is the first part of a two-part series on the contribution Tevatron-related computing has made to the world of computing. This part begins in 1981, when the Tevatron was under construction, and brings us up to recent times. The second part will focus on the most recent years, and look ahead to future analysis.

Few laypeople think of computing innovation in connection with the Tevatron particle accelerator, which shut down earlier this year. Mention of the Tevatron inspires images of majestic machinery, or thoughts of immense energies and groundbreaking physics research, not circuit boards, hardware, networks, and software.

Yet over the course of more than three decades of planning and operation, a tremendous amount of computing innovation was necessary to keep the data flowing and physics results coming. In fact, computing continues to do its work.

Read more

Miriam Boon

From Quantum Diaries

U.S. ships world’s largest digital camera to Chile

This is the completed Dark Energy Imager. Click here to see more photos of parts of the Dark Energy Camera. Photo: Reidar Hahn

A four-ton digital camera landed safely in Chile last week on its way to making history by enabling the world’s largest galaxy survey, starting next year. Getting the camera there was a worldwide feat of technlogy and transportation prowess.

Doing big science, such as building the Dark Energy Camera, takes big effort and big cooperation. Building and installing one of the world’s largest digital cameras to conduct the most extensive galaxy survey to date as part of the Dark Energy Survey experiment required scientists and manufacturers from across the globe. Researchers from more than 26 institutions enlisted the help of 129 companies in the United States and about half a dozen in foreign countries to fabricate the often one-of-a-kind components for the camera.

Read more

Tona Kunz

CMS Result

CMS in 2011: A mountain of particle collision data

This is the proton collision data delivered by the LHC to CMS. The red triangles indicate how much data was delivered up to a given day in 2011.

Datasets are the currency of physics. As data accumulate, measurement uncertainty ranges narrow, which increases the potential of discoveries and makes non-observations more stringent, with more far-reaching consequences. In collider physics, the amount of data is measured by the total number of collisions observed and the rate of those collisions, or the luminosity.

In 2011, the LHC produced more collisions than scientists dared to expect, breaking the world record luminosity in April and then continuing to grow seven-fold. By the end of the proton collision run in November, 240 million protons were colliding each second. Top quarks, once considered rare, were produced at a rate of one pair every two seconds. This provided CMS scientists with enough data to measure known processes with unprecedented precision, improving our understanding of the way protons collide and sharpening theoretical predictions of new phenomena.

One of the most pervasive ideas in theoretical physics is supersymmetry. This is the idea that matter and forces were unified in the early universe. Although this symmetry principle may appear in many guises, CMS scientists cast a wide net of search strategies to look for signs of supersymmetric particles. None were observed, and this means that many models that had been plausible in 2010 are now ruled out. Supersymmetry is still possible, but it has less wiggle room than it did before.

Many other models of new phenomena were studied as well: extra dimensions, substructure within familiar quarks and leptons, excited variants, new generations, conglomerates of these particles, new forces, new long-lived or stable particles, and even microscopic black holes. In each case, the fact that these phenomena did not appear rolls back the scope of speculation with hard facts. Curled-up extra dimensions may exist, but if so, they must be curled 2.5 times smaller than previously supposed.

The last four weeks of the year were dedicated to collisions of lead ions and physics of an entirely different character. When lead ions collide, so many quarks and gluons are produced that the fireball forms a fluid like the one that existed in the early universe. The December 2010 data revealed that this fluid is lumpier and more asymmetric than expected, that it absorbs even very energetic quarks and gluons, and that it melts mesons. It is too soon to say what will be found in this year's lead ion dataset, which is 16 times larger.

The most dramatic revelation of 2011 concerns the Higgs boson, the as-yet undiscovered cornerstone of the Standard Model of particle physics. Hundreds of CMS scientists have pooled their data to show that the Standard Model Higgs, if it exists, can only have a mass in the narrow range between 115 and 127 GeV. This could mean that the Higgs is hiding within this range, or that the real Higgs boson is not a Standard Model Higgs but has exotic properties, or that it simply does not exist. LHC scientists anticipate a large enough dataset in 2012 to make a definitive statement. Regardless of the outcome, the stage is set for an exciting year.

We would like to thank the LHC accelerator staff for a highly successful physics run, and wish everyone a restful break and a happy new year!

Jim Pivarski

Safety Update

ES&H weekly report, Dec. 20

This week's safety report, compiled by the Fermilab ES&H section, includes no incidents or injuries.

Find the full report here.

Latest Announcements

Holiday folk dance parties - Dec. 22 and Dec. 30

English country dancing - Jan. 1

Cafeteria holiday hours

Cashier's Office closed for holiday

Yoga begins Jan. 3

Free martial arts class - today

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

Timecards due early - Dec. 19 - 25

No prescription safety eyewear service - Dec. 28

Visa Office closures over the holidays

January 2012 timecards - float holiday

Timecard instructions for non-exempt employees working on half holidays

Abri Credit Union holiday hours

403(b) supplemental retirement plan contributions

10-minute stress relief massages still available

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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