Friday, Sept. 21, 2012

Have a safe day!

Friday, Sept. 21

3:30 p.m.

4 p.m.
Joint Experimental-Theoretical Physics Seminar - One West
Speaker: Patrick Huber, Virginia Tech
Title: Large Theta13—Challenge and Opportunity

Monday, Sept. 24

2:30 p.m.
Particle Astrophysics Seminar - One West
Speaker: Anastasia Fialkov, Tel Aviv University
Title: Velocity and Feedback Enhanced 21-cm Signal from First Stars at z~20

3:30 p.m.


Click here for NALCAL,
a weekly calendar with links to additional information.

Upcoming conferences


Take Five

Weather Showers likely

Extended forecast
Weather at Fermilab

Current Security Status

Secon Level 3

Current Flag Status

Flags at full-staff

Wilson Hall Cafe

Friday, Sept. 21

- Breakfast: blueberry-stuffed French toast
- New Brunswick stew
- Philly portobello sandwich
- Southern chicken and biscuits
- Smart cuisine: Greek fish florentine
- Baked-ham and Swiss ciabatta
- Greek chicken pizza
- Malaysian curried chicken

Wilson Hall Cafe Menu
Chez Leon

Friday, Sept. 21
- Salad with cranberries, walnuts and blue cheese
- Pan-roasted beef tenderloin with stroganoff sauce
- Barley risotto
- Sautéed baby zucchini
- Cocoa cappuccino mousse

Wednesday, Sept. 26
- Crab cakes w/ Cajun aioli
- Lemon orzo
- Sautéed tri-color peppers
- Sour cream pound cake with raspberry sauce

Chez Leon Menu
Call x3524 to make your reservation.


Fermilab Today

Director's Corner

Result of the Week

CMS Result

Physics in a Nutshell

Tip of the Week

User University Profiles

Related content


Fermilab Today
is online at:

Send comments and suggestions to:

Visit the Fermilab
home page

Unsubscribe from Fermilab Today


Out-of-the-box thinking meets in-the-box pizza for a lunch dedicated to education

Mike Albrow talks with a family at the Science Adventures Family Science Night. Photo: Susan Dahl

If you smell the unmistakable aroma of pizza wafting through the hallways on Sept. 26, that’s probably the lunch that Fermilab’s Education Office is co-hosting with the Fermilab Graduate Student Association and Fermilab Friends for Science Education.

Each year the Education Office recruits graduate students, scientists and others interested in science education to get involved with Fermilab programs aimed at sparking children’s interest in science.

“It’s wonderful for the scientists and engineers at Fermilab to be able to affect young students in grades kindergarten through 12 and motivate and inspire them to one day want to be a scientist or engineer,” said Education Program Leader and FFSE President Susan Dahl.

During the lunch, speakers will discuss various volunteer opportunities for educational programs the Education Office offers. Such opportunities, which are key to the programs’ success, include teacher workshops, classroom presentations and mentor programs.

Engaging demonstrations can leave a lasting impression on students, said Fermilab Graduate Student Association officer Brian Tice, who will be attending the lunch. In fact, he still remembers a demonstration he saw on electricity from a visiting physics teacher when he was in third grade.

“I remember thinking that it was so cool that she knew how to explain such fascinating phenomena like the shock you get from a knob after scooting across carpet,” he said. “Of course, we immediately applied this knowledge by shocking each other.”

The lunch, which will be held from noon to 1 p.m. in Curia II on Wilson Hall’s second floor, is open to anyone wishing to satisfy their stomachs and their interests in science education. And for anyone who can’t attend but is interested in volunteering, e-mail Susan Dahl at to be added to the Education Office’s listserv of volunteers.

Jessica Orwig

In the News

Experiment corrects prediction in quantum theory

From R&D Magazine, Sept. 20, 2012

An international team of scientists is rewriting a page from the quantum physics rulebook using a University of Florida laboratory once dubbed the coldest spot in the universe.

Much of what we know about quantum mechanics is theoretical and tested via computer modeling because quantum systems, like electrons whizzing around the nucleus of an atom, are difficult to pin down for observation. One can, however, slow particles down and catch them in the quantum act by subjecting them to extremely cold temperatures. New research, published in the Sept. 20 edition of the journal Nature, describes how this freeze-frame approach was recently used to overturn an accepted rule of thumb in quantum theory.

Read more

In the News

Huge cosmic-ray observatory set for Siberia

From Physics World, Sept. 19, 2012

Construction has begun in the Tunka Valley near Lake Baikal in Siberia, Russia, on the world's largest cosmic-ray observatory. The first prototypes for the $46 million Hundred Square-km Cosmic Origin Explorer (HiSCORE) are now being installed and when complete by the end of the decade the facility will consist of an array of up to 1000 detectors spread over 100 square kilometres. HiSCORE will aim to solve the 100-year-old mystery surrounding the origins of cosmic rays – particles that originate in outer space and are accelerated to energies higher than those achieved in even the largest man-made particle accelerators.

Read more

In the News

Higgs boson unmasked by world's biggest test instruments

From IEEE Spectrum, Sept. 18, 2012

Two papers in the 17 September issue of Physics Letters B formally report independent discoveries of a particle that looks like a Higgs boson, walks like a Higgs boson, and quacks like a Higgs boson. The papers cautiously venture only that the particle is "consistent, within uncertainties, with expectations for the standard model Higgs boson": It has a rest mass of about 125 GeV (gigaelectronvolts), no electrical charge, and a spin different from one. (For the record, the Intrade Prediction Market declared the Higgs boson found on September 12 and paid off its Higgs positions.)

Read more

Physics in a Nutshell

Neutrinos: Majorana or Dirac?

If neutrinos are Dirac particles, their matter and antimatter versions are very different. If they are instead Majorana particles, the matter and antimatter components are the same thing.

Read the expanded column on Majorana and Dirac neutrinos.

The neutrino is one of the most mysterious particles in the Standard Model. Nearly massless, these subatomic ghosts can penetrate anything. If you filled space from here to the nearest star (about five light-years) with solid lead, you’d stop about half the Sun’s neutrinos. Neutrinos really don’t interact much.

Neutrinos have additional mysteries. For instance, the three types of neutrinos – electron, muon and tau – can morph into one another, converting back and forth as they travel. We call this behavior neutrino oscillation.

While neutrinos are a fascinating laboratory with which to study the fundamental laws of nature, there is a seemingly simple question about neutrinos that has not yet been answered. This question is, “Are neutrinos and antimatter neutrinos different particles or the same particle masquerading as two?” In a different Nutshell, we described matter and antimatter. Antimatter is the opposite of matter and will annihilate with matter to create energy. Thus it seems rather odd to ask if neutrinos and antineutrinos are the same particle.

In 1957, physicists showed that neutrinos and antineutrinos were different. The difference lies in their subatomic spin. You can, with some poetic license, treat subatomic particles as little spinning balls. In the microrealm, the axis around which the ball spins points in the direction of motion of the particle. Neutrinos have “left-handed” spin and antineutrinos have “right-handed” spin. This seems to clearly indicate that neutrinos and antineutrinos are different. However, if neutrinos have mass, it is always possible to change your frame of reference so that your direction of motion is reversed.

To understand this, imagine walking along a street in a northerly direction. As you walk, your position becomes “more north” with each step, compared to a streetlamp you pass. However, if a car heading north drives past you, a person in the car will see every second that you are further south from them as they travel. Thus a person standing near the lamppost and a person in the car will disagree as to your direction of motion. These two people would also therefore disagree on a neutrino’s handedness.

If neutrinos have mass (and we know they do, as we have observed neutrino oscillation), one can ask whether a neutrino and antineutrino are one and the same particle. If the two are different, they are called a Dirac particle (after Paul Dirac), while if the same, they are called a Majorana particle (after Ettore Majorana).

If neutrinos are Majorana particles, this opens up all sorts of new kinds of physics and could explain the very light mass of the neutrino.

—Don Lincoln

Want a phrase defined? Have a question? E-mail


Today's New Announcements

October School's Day Out

Prescription safety eyewear notice

Chess club starting new season

Writing for Results: Email and More - Oct. 30

Fermilab Arts & Lecture Series: Broadway's Next H!T Musical - Sept. 22

NALWO and Playgroup SciTech Museum visit - Oct. 6

Discussion of the views of Sam Harris on religion

Update on Mac OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion)

Change in Users' Office hours

International Folk Dancing returns to Kuhn Village Barn

Scottish country dancing returns to Kuhn Village Barn

Martial Arts classes

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

Professional development courses

Atrium work updates

Find new classified ads on Fermilab Today.

Security, Privacy, Legal  |