Friday, June 22, 2012

Have a safe day!

Friday, June 22
3:30 p.m.
4 p.m.
Joint Experimental-Theoretical Physics Seminar - One West
Speaker: Robert Tschirhart, Fermilab
Title: Project X Physics Study: Summary and Outlook

Monday, June 25
12:30 p.m.
Particle Astrophysics Seminar (NOTE TIME & LOCATION) - Hornet's Nest, 8th Flr X-Over
Speaker: Lisa Barsotti, MIT
Title: Squeezing in Gravitational Wave Detectors
3:30 p.m.


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Friday, June 22

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Project X Physics Study shows a way forward for Fermilab

Fermilab and University of Illinois physicist Kevin Pitts discusses kaon experiments at the Project X Physics Study on Thursday. Photo: Joseph Piergrossi

Fermilab physicist and Project X participant Bob Bernstein summed up this week's Project X Physics Study in one word: "Intense."

In more ways than one, the word is apt for the workshop whose goal is to define the flagship effort of the Intensity Frontier at Fermilab. About 215 participants from around the United States and the world have used the past week to plan their experiments for the new accelerator project.

Plans involved plenary and breakout sessions in which particle physicists with various interests could collaborate and discuss new directions for the lab.

"It's one of the better conferences I've been to," Bernstein said. "There were kaon people talking to neutrino people talking to electric-dipole-moment people – not something you see too often."

Fellow Fermilab physicist Andreas Kronfeld said the participants all expressed high hopes for Project X, which is expected to begin construction in the latter part of the decade. This week's workshop, run by Project Scientist Bob Tschirhart and Project Manager Steve Holmes, was meant to get scientists thinking about the experiments they would run.

"I see this as particularly good because it is like a new field where you can bring new ideas and proposals," said scientist Yuri Kamyshkov of the University of Tennessee. "We need to inject new ideas, and that is what our group is trying to do."

One such idea Kamyshkov said he was considering would test the possibility of matter becoming antimatter.

"This is an idea that has not been explored enough before but that has a very good theoretical motivation," he said.

Kamyshkov added that the collaborative nature of the conference allowed each experiment to debate the sorts of instrumentation necessary for all of these experiments.

Scientists will present plans started at this conference in greater detail at next year's Snowmass conference, a meeting of members of the high-energy physics community hosted by the American Physical Society Division of Particles and Fields.

Tschirhart will give a summary talk on the Project X Physics Study this afternoon at 4 p.m. in One West.

Joseph Piergrossi

Photos of the Day


The Fermilab Fire Department simulated a rescue in full gear and in 90-degree heat as part of Wednesday's DASTOW event. Photo: Cindy Arnold
Fermilab employees, their daughters and sons kept their eyes on the ball as Mr. Freeze fired it toward the sky on Wednesday. Sharp eyes can spot it in the photo. Photo: Cindy Arnold

DASTOW group photo posters are now available for pick-up in the Wilson Hall atrium by the security desk. They are also available in the Office of Communication on the first floor of Wilson Hall.

In the News

Fox Valley Rep, Fermilab gear up for 'Collider 2012'

From the Kane County Chronicle, June 21, 2012

ST. CHARLES – Fox Valley Repertory has selected four playwrights for the Fox Valley Repertory's second annual Collider Project, taking place during the St. Charles Summer Theater Festival in July.

Each of these playwrights from around the country is getting ready to start projects that tie to Fox Valley Rep's goal of "developing new works that help us better understand the universe and who we are while illuminating and celebrating the worlds of art, science and technology."

Read more

In the News

BaBar data hints at new physics

From Discovery News, June 20, 2012

It might not have the name recognition of Fermilab's late, lamented Tevatron, or the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, but results from the BaBar experiment at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory continue to yield interesting results hinting at potential new physics.

No, this is not the iconic cartoon elephant beloved of children over generations. BaBar is a particle accelerator, so named because it was designed to measure the decay of B-mesons and their antiparticles, known as B-bar mesons. The international collaboration is especially interested in the question of why there is matter but little antimatter in our universe, among other questions.

Read more

CMS Result

Layers of discovery

As physicists dig deeper into the Energy Frontier, they find new particles through their decays into known ones.

Three thousand years ago, the inhabitants of ancient Crete used a writing system called Linear B. Archaeologists in the mid-20th century managed to decipher it because they had a working knowledge of Mycenaean, an early form of Greek. Linear A, an earlier and still-unknown language, may someday be understood through its relationship with Linear B.

Discoveries often make other discoveries possible, even in particle physics. Most particles created in proton collisions are not produced in the first instant, but through successive chains of decay. For instance, top quarks are far too short-lived to make it from the collision point to the first layer of the CMS detectors, even at speeds approaching the speed of light. A top quark immediately decays into a bottom quark and a W boson. The bottom quark lives long enough to travel a fraction of an inch, but the W boson instantly decays into two more quarks. The quarks form dozens of mesons and baryons, some of which are unstable while others live for 10 nanoseconds or more (a long time). Only these last survivors are directly observed.

Each step in this decay chain was once considered new physics. The discovery of each stage made the next one possible: As with Linear B, scientists could reconstruct the top quark because they knew the language of bottom quarks and W bosons.

CMS scientists are currently engaged in a new expedition to search for massive particles that decay into pairs of high-energy top quarks. It is particularly challenging because the many decay products of each top quark overlap one another in the detector. These scientists had to invent sophisticated algorithms for disentangling the fragments of each W boson and bottom quark— so that they could reconstruct energetic top quarks, so that they might reconstruct a new particle, Z-prime, decaying into them.

Each step brings us closer to understanding the origins and fundamental structure of the universe, but it relies on the accumulated wisdom of generations of physicists.

Jim Pivarski

The U.S. physicists pictured above made major contributions to the search for Z-prime through high-energy top quark decays.
These are the U.S. members of the CMS Computing Development Team. They develop and maintain the mission-critical services and infrastructures to produce, process, transfer and catalog all CMS data and simulated data samples, including distributed access to alignment and calibration constants.
Construction Update

Wilson Hall atrium construction resumes Monday

The west-center area of the Wilson Hall atrium will be walled off beginning June 25.

Now that the major summer atrium events are complete, the construction work on the Wilson Hall Atrium Safety Improvements Project will resume.

Beginning Monday, June 25, the west center area of the atrium will be walled off and the west stairs will again be closed for construction. The schedule calls for completion of the west-side work by mid-September.

For more information on the improvements, visit the atrium construction webpage.


Latest Announcements

Creation's Birthday: a new play about Hubble and Einstein - July 5

Collider New Play Project - July 7, 14 and 21

On-site housing requests for fall 2012 and spring 2013 - through July 16

Martial arts classes - begin June 25

Volunteers invited to Fermilab prairie quadrat study - June 26, July 12 and 28

After-hours shuttle trial extended through June

Circuit design applications w/ National Instrument's multisim course - July 19

Project Management Introduction class - July 23-27

Fermilab Management Practices Seminar - begins Oct. 4

Interpersonal communication skills training - Nov. 14

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