Thursday, March. 29, 2012

Have a safe day!

Thursday, March 29
1 p.m.
Particle Astrophysics Seminar - One West
Speaker: Matthew Colless, Australian Astronomical Observatory
Title: Expansion, Acceleration and Growth Rate of the Universe from the 6dF and WiggleZ Surveys
2 p.m.
Computing Techniques Seminar - FCC1
Speaker: Ioan Raicu, Illinois Institute of Technology/Argonne National Lab
Title: Challenges and Opportunities in Large-Scale Storage Systems
2:30 p.m.
Theoretical Physics Seminar - Curia II
Speaker: Jure Zupan, University of Cincinnati
Title: Bounds on Dark Matter Annual Modulation Signals
3:30 p.m.

Friday, March 30
3:30 p.m.
4 p.m.
Joint Experiment-Theoretical Physics Seminar - One West
Speaker: David Mietlicki, University of Michigan
Title: Top Pair Forward-Backward Asymmetry with the Full CDF Sample

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Wilson Hall Cafe

Thursday, March 29

- Breakfast: Apple sticks
- Minnesota wild rice w/ chicken
- Tuna melt on nine grain
- Smart cuisine: Italian meatloaf
- Chicken casserole
- Buffalo crispy chicken wrap
- Assorted sliced pizza
- Smart cuisine: Mandarin chicken salad

Wilson Hall Cafe Menu

Chez Leon
Friday, March 30

Chez Leon Menu
Call x3524 to make your reservation.


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Fermilab's Muon Department at edge of Intensity Frontier

Rendering of the proposed Fermilab Muon Campus, which will support the experiments Muon g-2 and Mu2e. Image courtesy of Muon Department/FESS

Fermilab's antiproton source is preparing to host a new tenant—the Muon Department.

The Muon Department was established to support and develop the infrastructure for Muon g-2, Mu2e and future muon experiments as part of Fermilab's move to the Intensity Frontier.

"We're very excited to start something new again," said Jerry Annala, head of the Muon Department. "We're still in the early stages, but we are moving ahead with two exciting projects and are working with the experimenters to transition into muon research."

As part of the Intensity Frontier initiative, Fermilab is inaugurating experiments that hunt for physical anomalies and look for discrepancies between the Standard Model's predictions and experimental measurements. Scientists working on Muon g-2 and Mu2e have chosen to scrutinize muons, one specimen of the subatomic world.

"Muons are special," said Chris Polly, the Muon g-2 project manager. "They are light enough to be produced copiously, yet heavy enough that we can use them experimentally to uniquely probe the accuracy of the Standard Model."

The Muon g-2 experimenters will examine the precession, or wobble, of muons that are subjected to a magnetic field. The main goal is to test the Standard Model's predictions of this value by measuring the precession rate experimentally. If there is an inconsistency, it could mean the Standard Model is incomplete or wrong.

"An analogous experiment at Brookhaven National Laboratory showed that there is a discrepancy between the predicted value and the experimentally observed value," Polly said. "They measured the precession with 3 sigma certainty, which made the discrepancy tantalizing, but not decisive. We want to take this experiment to the next level and make an extremely precise measurement that will either verify or refute the Standard Model. If the discrepancy remains it could be interpreted as evidence of an undiscovered class of particles interacting with muons or that the muons themselves are more complicated than we previously thought."

The Mu2e experiment will also use an intense beam of muons but will examine a property outside the understanding of the Standard Model: the possibility of a muon-to-electron conversion.

Read more

—Sarah Charley

In Brief

Long-term care insurance enrollment ends March 31

This Saturday, March 31, is the last day of the long-term care insurance open enrollment period. Fermilab employees can enroll in the CNA Independent Solutions Group Long-Term Care insurance plan without being asked any medical questions. During open enrollment, your acceptance into the plan is guaranteed. Once the open enrollment ends, you can still submit an application, but you will need to provide evidence of insurability and it will be at the discretion of CNA to approve or deny the coverage.

There is not an annual open enrollment period for LTC insurance, as CNA decides when to have open enrollment. This was the first laboratory-wide open enrollment since 1996.

The insurance premium rates are based on age of participant, benefit options and inflation feature selected. Purchasing LTC insurance through Fermilab affords you the benefit of a group rate, and your insurance payments are automatically deducted from your paycheck.

For more information, please visit the WDRS Benefits website.

In the News

Physics: A century of cosmic rays

From Nature, March 21, 2012

"Coming out of space and incident on the high atmosphere, there is a thin rain of charged particles known as the primary cosmic radiation." With these words on the nature of cosmic rays, British physicist Cecil Powell began his Nobel prize lecture in 1950.

Powell's prize was awarded for his development of the photographic method of identifying high-speed and short-lived particles that were turning up unexpectedly in cosmic-ray studies as the products of high-energy collisions. At the same time, that photographic method was being used to discover new components of Powell's 'thin rain': heavy atomic nuclei. These two strands — the study of primary cosmic rays and the products of their collisions — continue to be woven into the fabric of today's research.

Although particle collisions are now studied mainly through the use of giant particle accelerators, the only window into the behaviour of the very highest-energy particles comes from examining cosmic rays. The study of the primary cosmic radiation is a part of current astrophysics: by comparing the composition of cosmic rays with that of stars, we can identify their sources and use them to investigate violent stellar processes.

This year, we celebrate the centenary of the discovery of cosmic rays by Austrian–American physicist Victor Hess. Over the decades, cosmic-ray research has spread in directions that he could never have imagined, from the discovery of antimatter to the use of carbon dating in archaeology. It has even played a crucial part in the origins of 'big science'.

Read more

Result of the Week

Place your bets on Higgs mass

The grey bands show the remaining allowed regions for the Higgs boson mass, after exclusions obtained at LEP, the Tevatron and the LHC.

The curve represents the mass fit for the W boson.

In quantum mechanics, the W boson is the carrier of the weak nuclear force. The weak force is responsible for beta-decay in radioactivity and for nuclear reactions in the burning of the sun. But the W boson has another important responsibility. From the precise measurement of the W boson's mass and the measurements of other particles in the Standard Model, we can deduce the mass of the Higgs boson. Currently, the uncertainty on W boson's mass is the limiting factor in our ability to predict the mass of the Higgs.

Measuring the W boson's mass requires a detailed modeling of detector response to a level unprecedented at CDF. CDF scientists performed independent measurements of the Z boson mass by examining both the electron and muon decay channels, validating the detector model. These are the most precise Z boson mass measurements performed at a hadron collider, and they are in excellent agreement with the high-precision measurements made at the LEP experiments at CERN.

Using 2.2 inverse femtobarns of data, CDF has measured the mass of the W boson to be 80387 ± 12 (stat) ±: 15 (syst) = 80387 ± 19 MeV/c2. This is the most precise measurement of W boson's mass to date, exceeding the precision of all previous measurements combined. Theoretical calculations including this new W mass measurement with the previous world average predict the mass of the Higgs boson to be less than 145 GeV/c2 with high confidence. This range is also favored by direct Higgs searches at the Tevatron and the LHC.

If the Higgs boson shows up in this mass range, it will be a spectacular confirmation of the Standard Model. If it does not, it will be an even more spectacular demonstration of new physics awaiting discovery. It's time to place your bets.

Learn more

—Edited by Andy Beretvas

These physicists were responsible for this analysis. Top row from left: Daniel Beecher, University College, London; Ilija Bizjak, University College, London; Chris Hays, Oxford University. Second row: Bodhitha Jayatilaka, Duke; Ashutosh Kotwal, Duke University; Sarah Malik, University College, London. Third row: Tom Riddick, University College, London; Ravi Shekhar, Duke University; Oliver Stelzer-Chilton, TRIUMF. Fourth row: Siyuan Sun, Duke University; Dave Waters, University College, London; Yu Zeng, Duke University.

Accelerator Update

March 26-28

- SeaQuest continued to commission their beamline
- Muon Ring personnel used antiproton target for muon yield studies
- FTBF experiment T-1017 completed its run

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


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