Friday, Feb. 3, 2012

Have a safe day!

Friday, Feb. 3
3:30 p.m.
4 p.m.
Joint Experimental-Theoretical Physics Seminar - One West
Speaker: Camillo Mariani, Columbia University
Title: Constraining Electron Neutrino Backgrounds for Low Energy Neutrino Oscillation Experiments

Saturday, Feb. 4
8 p.m.
Fermilab Art Series - Ramsey Auditorium
Ladysmith Black Mambazo
Tickets: $30/$15

Monday, Feb. 6
2:30 p.m.
Particle Astrophysics Seminar - One West
Speaker: Immanuel Buder, University of Chicago
Title: Cosmic Microwave Background Polarization Results from the QUIET Experiment
3:30 p.m.
4 p.m.
All Experimenters' Meeting - Curia II
Special Topics: Measurements in the Muon Rings; Surface Chemistry and the Quality Factor in SCRF Cavities

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a weekly calendar with links to additional information.

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Wilson Hall Cafe

Friday, Feb. 3

- 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, Feb. 3

Wednesday, Feb. 8
- Cheese fondue
- Marinated vegetable salad
- Mixed berry pie

Chez Leon Menu
Call x3524 to make your reservation.


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Art exibit takes new direction

Tony Armendariz's watercolor,"The Red Broom."

Editor's note: Contemporary realist painter and Chicago native Tony Armendariz will feature over 30 original paintings in Fermilab’s Art Gallery from Jan. 26 through March 16. An artist reception will take place from 5 to 7 p.m. today.

Dilapidated but dignified: two words that aptly describe the urban portraits Tony Armendariz paints exclusively in watercolor. His work will be on display in Fermilab’s Art Gallery through March 16.

“The aging man-made structures I depict are often decaying, but my goal is to present them with dignity,” Armendariz writes in his artist statement. “Through a representational style, my intent is that the structures convey a variety of stories told over years of use and abuse.”

While the Fermilab art gallery primarily features science-based artwork, curator Georgia Schwender thought it was time for a change.

“Tony’s paintings have a very human element. Even though he primarily paints buildings, it feels like he is capturing more than the exteriors,” Schwender said.

Schwender chose to feature a solo exhibit of Armendariz’s work because his watercolor technique is terrific and his style is very different from the last exhibit, which was a collection of science-themed quilts.

“We always want diversity in our gallery, and it was just the right time to feature Tony’s work.” Schwender said.

Armendariz’s work is a sober reflection on the end of an era, but it also evokes hope for the beginning of the next. It’s a message that resonates even more today with the recent desistance of Fermilab’s Tevatron and the laboratory’s push forward to the Intensity Frontier.

Although Armendariz paints pensive humanist scenes, he is no stranger to the inherent connection between art and science.

“My cousin has a PhD in particle physics, of all things, so we often talk about the connection between the right and left side of the brain. They address very different things, but both sides always work together,” Armendariz said.

Armendariz will tour Fermilab before his artist reception on Feb. 3.

“There is something about particle physics that is fascinating. It has to do so much with our own being and creation,” Armendariz said. “Fermilab inspires ideas, and if I find a composition full of human presence it might inspire some future work. I really look forward to the tour.”

Sarah Charley

In the News

Mikhail Lomonosov and the dawn of Russian science

From physicstoday, Feb. 1, 2012

Curiously unsung in the West, Lomonosov broke ground in physics, chemistry, and astronomy; won acclaim as a poet and historian; and was a key figure of the Russian Enlightenment.

On 7 December 1730, a tall, physically fit 19-year-old, the son of a peasant-turned-fisherman, ran away from his hometown, a village near the northern Russian city of Archangel. His departure had been quietly arranged. He had borrowed three rubles and a warm jacket from a neighbor, and he carried with him his two most treasured books, Grammatica and Arithmetica. He persuaded the captain of a sleigh convoy carrying frozen fish to let him ride along to Moscow, where he was to fulfill his dream of studying “sciences.” He left behind a kind but illiterate father, a wicked and jealous stepmother, prospects of an arranged marriage into a family of means, and his would-be inheritance—a two-mast sailboat named Seagull. The young man’s name was Mikhail Vasilevich Lomonosov (figure 1).

He thought that ahead of him lay a month-long trek along a snowy, 800-mile route. In fact, it was the beginning of a much longer journey that would usher in the modern era of Russian science. Young Lomonosov couldn’t have known that after years of hardship and a decade of scientific training, he would become the first Russian-born member of the Saint Petersburg Academy of Sciences, a nobleman, and Russia’s most accomplished polymath. And although his name was forgotten in scientific circles for nearly 50 years, he has reemerged during the past two centuries as a cult figure in Russian science.

Read more

In the News

Could Simple Experiments Reveal the Quantum Nature of Spacetime?

From Scientific American Observations Blog, Feb. 2, 2012

Conventional wisdom has it that putting the words “quantum gravity” and “experiment” in the same sentence is like bringing matter into contact with antimatter. All you get is a big explosion; the two just don’t go together. The distinctively quantum features of gravity only show up in extreme settings such as the belly of a black hole or the nascent universe, over distances too small and energies too large to reproduce in any laboratory. Even alien civilizations that command the energy resources of a whole galaxy probably couldn’t do it.

Physicists have never been much for conventional wisdom, though, and the dream of studying quantum gravity is too enthralling to give up. Right now, physicists don’t really know how gravity works—they have quantum theories for every force of nature except this one. And as Einstein showed, gravity is special: it is not just any old force, but a reflection of the structure of spacetime, on which all else depends. In a quantum theory of gravity, all the principles that govern nature will come together. If physicists can observe some distinctively quantum feature of gravity, they will have glimpsed the underlying unity of the natural world.

Even if they can’t crank up their particle accelerators to the requisite energies, that hasn’t stopped them from devising indirect experiments—experiments that don’t try to swallow the whole problem in one gulp, but nibble at it.

Read more

CMS Result

Let's talk top

The LHC can be considered a factory for creating top quarks. Since the top quark is so heavy, high precision studies of its properties are thought to be a promising way to search for new high energy phenomena.

In March 1995, the discovery of the top quark was announced at the Fermilab Tevatron. With fewer than one hundred collisions between them, the DZero and CDF experiment were able to estimate the mass of the top quark and the production probability, but the estimates were relatively imprecise. Of course, discovery was only the beginning of the story. In the 15 years that followed, about 200 times as much beam was delivered to each of the experiments, resulting in a substantial improvement in the number of top quarks produced. By the time the Tevatron stopped running in the fall of 2011, both CDF and DZero produced about 75,000 events with top quarks.

The LHC has been running for a much shorter time, with nearly all of the beam delivered in 2011. The LHC has been colliding beams with 3.5 times as much energy as the Tevatron. The beams were also brighter, meaning that there were more collisions per second. The higher collision energy makes it easier to produce pairs of top quarks. About 770,000 top quark events have already occurred in the CMS detector, over 10 times what was observed in the Tevatron experiments. In the upcoming year, it is expected that the LHC will deliver perhaps three to five times more data than has been seen so far. In a couple of years, when the LHC is running under design conditions, one pair of top quarks will be created every second. The LHC really is a high-precision top quark factory.

CMS has recently published the results of an extensive study of top quark production. While this measurement has only explored less than one percent of the data CMS has recorded so far, the precision of the study is already impressive. The analysis was also cross-checked with many different techniques and strategies, varying to optimize the extraction of the measurements.

The CMS experimenters are carefully reviewing the larger data set, extending the studies. As the number of recorded events becomes larger, the collaboration’s detailed understanding of detector performance starts to limit the precision of their measurements. Ongoing studies are focused on achieving the required performance by the detector and this will lead to a substantial improvement in the measurements. These improvements are critical as top quarks stop being discovery material and become ordinary; merely backgrounds or decay products for searches for even rarer phenomena.

—Don Lincoln

These physicists worked on this complex analysis. Mikhail Makouski, Kansas State University (not pictured), also contributed.
This group of physicists has worked on algorithms to find bottom quarks and applied them to identify events in which top quarks are produced.

Latest Announcements

The University of Chicago Tuition Remission Program deadline -
March 2

Artist reception - Feb. 3

ES&H & Computing Sector website, CRL, Lasso unavailable - Feb. 4

Fermilab Arts Series presents Ladysmith Black Mambazo - Feb. 4

English country dancing - Feb. 5

Argentine tango classes - Wednesdays, through Feb. 8

Outlook 2010: Intro. - Feb. 22

Embedded Design with LabVIEW FPGA and CompactRIO class scheduled - Feb. 23

Introduction to LabVIEW scheduled - Feb. 23

PowerPoint 2010: Intro. - Feb. 28

Word 2010: Intro Mar. 6

Excel 2010: Intro. - Mar. 8

Access 2010: Intro. - Mar. 14

FRA scholarship applications due Apr. 1

Python Programming class - April 16-18

Fermilab Management Practices courses are now available for registration

"5 Treasures" Qigong for stress relief

January 2012 float holiday

NALWO - Volunteers needed for English conversation

Tax presentation for users and visitors

Requests for on-site housing for summer

International folk dancing Thursday evenings in Kuhn Barn

Scottish country dancing Tuesday evenings in Kuhn Village Barn

Abri Credit Union Appreciates Our Members

Open badminton at the gym

Winter basketball league

Indoor soccer

Atrium construction updates

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