Friday, July 6, 2012

Have a safe day!

Friday, July 6
3:30 p.m.

4 p.m.
Joint Experimental-Theoretical Physics Seminar - One West
Speaker: James Degenhardt, University of Pennsylvania
Title: ATLAS results on W'/Z' and MSSM Higgs searches

Monday, July 9

3 p.m.

Special Joint Experimental-Theoretical Physics Seminar (NOTE DATE, TIME, LOCATION) - Ramsey Auditorium
Speaker: Andrei Gritsan, Johns Hopkins University
Title: Latest results in the search for the Higgs boson at CMS
Speaker: Jianming Qian, University of Michigan
Title: Latest results in the search for the Higgs boson at ATLAS


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Wilson Hall Cafe

Friday, July 6

- Breakfast: Chorizo burrito
- New England clam chowder
- Carolina burger
- Tuna casserole
- Dijon meatballs over noodles
- Bistro chicken & provolone panini
- Assorted sliced pizza
- *Brazilian beef w/ chimichurri

*Carb-restricted alternative

Wilson Hall Cafe Menu
Chez Leon

Friday, July 6

Wednesday, July 11
- Salmon w/ cucumber cream sauce
- Rice pilaf
- Lemon-coconut cake

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Staying up late for the Higgs

Fermilab employees, users and friends applaud CERN's announcement of a new particle discovery. Photo: Reidar Hahn

On July 4 at 2 a.m., around 200 people across all age groups packed into One West. It wasn't for early-morning fireworks – for this audience, it was something better. Projected on the big screen was a live feed from Geneva, Switzerland, and over the speakers came a historic announcement – the Higgs boson, or something an awful lot like it, was discovered.

When Joe Incandela, spokesperson for CERN's CMS experiment, and ATLAS spokesperson Fabiola Gianatti presented the Large Hadron Collider's five-sigma results and CERN Director-General Rolf-Dieter Heuer said the word – "I think we have it" – the Fermilab crowd erupted into applause. To so many who worked on the search for the Higgs, the moment was emotional.

"It's the result of an effort of a lot of people working very hard to uncover these results," said Patty McBride, head of the CMS Center at Fermilab.

"I was shocked to see so many people, and the thing I was gratified about was how many young people were here," said CMS physicist Don Lincoln. "So many young people gave up their night to come here and see physics. I'm very happy."

Some of those young people wanted to see even more. Postdoc Michelle Medeiros said she wished she could have been in Geneva to ask questions.

Another postdoc, Yasuyuki Okumura, found the results from Geneva encouraging.

"It might not be the Higgs, but already we have something new for understanding electroweak symmetry," Okumura said. "These are very interesting things, essential things."

"We started working in the designing and the computing of the experiments 20 years ago," said CMS physicist Dan Green, who started the CMS effort at Fermilab. "It's taken us a long time. From here, it's going to be a wild ride."

—Joseph Piergrossi


Al Flowers retires next week

Al Flowers

Al Flowers' first day at Fermilab was on Aug. 30, 1982. Hired as a senior design drafter, he was later promoted to designer. Next week he retires after almost 30 years at the laboratory.

Initially the lion's share of Flowers' work was the development of electrical design and drafting project drawings for the CES group, which later became the Tevatron Construction Group. These intricate infrastructure-based drawings encompassed high-voltage layouts as well as industrial and commercial drawings for the engineering groups. Later, Flowers put the same skills to work to develop the first complete utility maps for the FESS Operations Group for all electrical and mechanical utilities, which includes sewer, water and gas systems. This monumental data source has been the baseline data set for many years in FESS-OPS, aiding in the troubleshooting of the laboratory's utility breaks and repairs and in the design of utility upgrades. The utility maps continue to be a resource going forward for the Geographic Information System portal.

Additionally for the FESS-OPS group, Flowers developed and maintained plant maintenance plans for buildings and enclosures across the site. They provided a valuable information resource for craft personnel in FESS-OPS.

Flowers' last day at the lab is July 13. Though he will be greatly missed, we hope to see him again during breaks from his active life of skiing, traveling, golfing, bicycling or whatever he decides to conquer next.

—Larry Sliwa, Mechanical Engineering Operations, FESS
In Brief

Scientists invited to send feedback on LBNE reconfiguration

The Long-Baseline Neutrino Experiment Reconfiguration Steering Committee is seeking feedback on the recent effort to reconfigure the LBNE project into stages. Feedback can be sent to a public blog where comments will be visible to the community, or privately to the Steering Committee at Feedback received before July 15 will be included in the final report of the Steering Committee to be delivered on July 20.

Click here for more information.
Special Announcement

Special colloquium and seminars next week

Scientists at Fermilab are giving several special science talks next week. Mark your calendars:

Monday, July 9, 3:30 p.m. in Ramsey Auditorium - Special Joint Experimental-Theoretical Physics Seminar

Speaker: Andrei Gritsan, Johns Hopkins University
Title: Latest results in the search for the Higgs boson at CMS
Speaker: Jianming Qian, University of Michigan
Title: Latest results in the search for the Higgs boson at ATLAS

Tuesday, July 10, 4 p.m. in One West - Special Colloquium
Speaker: Dan Green, Fermilab
Title: Fermilab: Life on the Energy Frontier

Thursday, July 12, 3:30 p.m. in Ramsey Auditorium - Special Joint Experimental-Theoretical Physics Seminar
Speakers: Bob Hirosky, University of Virginia and Homer Wolfe, The Ohio State University
Title: Review of ICHEP 2012 CDF and DZero Results

Special Announcement

Higgs background flyer available online

It's Higgs 101: Fermilab's two-page fact sheet on the Higgs field and Higgs boson is now available online.

In the News

Essay: Nature's secrets foretold

From ScienceNews, July 4, 2012

By now, all aficionados of physics news — and quite a few people who don't know physics from phonics — have heard about the discovery of the Higgs boson. It's the biggest news in physics ever tweeted. And it came after a long wait. For more than three decades, the Higgs has been physicists' version of King Arthur's Holy Grail, Ponce de Leon's Fountain of Youth, Captain Ahab's Moby Dick. It's been an obsession, a fixation, an addiction to an idea that almost every expert believed just had to be true.

But despite years of searching, using the most complex machines ever built on the planet, the Higgs remained as elusive as a World Series ring for a Chicago Cub. Until now. Physicists at the Large Hadron Collider have finally established the existence of a new particle, weighing in at a mass of about 11 dozen protons. Although the official announcement of the new particle was cautiously worded, everybody assumes it's the Higgs.

Read more

CMS Result

Have we found the Higgs?

Physicist Peter Higgs stands in front of the CMS detector in 2008. This is generally conceded by all to be the only definitive observation of a Higgs in CMS. Photo: CERN

The Higgs boson has been found, right? You know this because you've heard it about it on the radio. If only it were that simple. Fermilab Today readers know to be more cautious.

The CMS experiment has long been feverishly working to find the Higgs boson. It is only due to editorial oversight that I restrain myself from using a long range of extreme superlatives to describe the performance of the LHC, the CMS detector and the analyzers working on the Higgs boson analyses. (Although words like unreal, amazing, and crazy-awesome all fit very well.) Using the 2012 data set (already larger than all the data recorded in 2011), combined with the 2011 data set (taken at a different energy), all analyzed almost the instant it was recorded, the CMS collaboration employed a breathtaking set of complex algorithms, all aimed to find the Higgs boson. To ensure that the measurement wasn't tainted by the analyzers' expectations, it was done "blind," which means that the analyzers were forbidden to look at the data until the analysis techniques were developed and finalized. This was done by optimizing the procedures on data in regions in which the Higgs boson was ruled out. This approach meant the techniques were developed using data – and not just calculations – but data that didn't color the final result. It was especially important given that the 2011 data gave hints of a discovery, and it would have been easy to let that information guide our thinking.

After intense scrutiny from the most skeptical members of the CMS community of some 3,000 scientists, the results were announced to the world in the early morning hours of July 4. This date was chosen to be able to both make the announcement at CERN and open the ICHEP conference, held in Melbourne, Australia. ICHEP is one of the most widely anticipated conferences of 2012 and one in which the first LHC results at 8-TeV collision energy was to be announced. These requirements explained the bleary-eyed reporters, physicists and science enthusiasts sitting in Fermilab's One West.

Both CMS and ATLAS announced their results. CMS announced that we discovered a new boson with a mass of 125 GeV (133 times heavier than a proton). ATLAS then announced that they saw a new boson with mass about 126 GeV. Some context is in order. First, the significance of the CMS result is high (as is the ATLAS result). If our estimates of our uncertainty are correct, there is only 1 chance in 3.5 million of seeing this result if there were no new physics. The fact that there are two independent experiments is crucial as it greatly reduces the chances of a mistake that would be misinterpreted as a discovery. If both experiments see the same thing, you can be more confident that it is real.

However…and this is important…we don't know if what we've seen is the Higgs boson. The Higgs boson is predicted to have specific properties, like a certain charge, a certain spin and a certain set of specific decay patterns (with specific ratios). The data thus far is NOT enough to definitively state that what has been observed is the Higgs boson predicted in 1964. It looks like a Higgs boson, but the final page in this saga has yet to be written.

—Don Lincoln

Joe Incandela of the University of California, Santa Barbara, has led CMS since January 2012. He represents the approximately 3,000 physicists who worked together to accomplish this exciting measurement. Photo: CERN

CERN Director General Rolf Dieter Heuer has presided over one of the most exciting times in CERN history. (And, given CERN's very successful half-a-century scientific program, that's saying something.) Photo: CERN
Photoshop of the Day

Photoshop contest: Where have you seen the Higgs?

It's the Higgs at 20,000 feet. Image: Lori Ann White

Have you spotted the Higgs? symmetry magazine is collecting photographic evidence. Submit yours by posting a link to the comments section of the post here, by alerting symmetry to a photo you've posted to Facebook or by tweeting to them a link to the image you created.


Latest Announcements

Wilson Hall Cafeteria closed - July 7

10,000 Steps-A-Day participation winner

Collider New Play Project - July 7, 14 and 21

Scottish country dancing in Ramsey Auditorium - July 10

Earned Value Management course - July 10-11

Circuit design applications w/ National Instrument's multisim course - July 10 and 19

International Folk Dancing moves to Ramsey Auditorium - July 12

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

Louisiana roots band Red Stick Ramblers - July 14

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

EAP Webinar, "Do I Have Enough? Saving for Retirement" - July 17

Collecting school supplies - through July 27

ANSYS courses offered in July and August

Howard Levy & Chris Siebold - August 18

Project Management Introduction class - Sept. 10-14

Fermilab Management Practices Seminar - begins Oct. 4

Interpersonal communication skills training - Nov. 14

Outdoor soccer - Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6 p.m.

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