Friday, Nov. 16, 2012

Friday, Nov. 16

2 p.m.
LHC Topic of the Week Seminar - WH11NE
Speaker: Evan Friis, University of Wisconsin
Title: Searches for Higgs Bosons Using Taus at CMS

3:30 p.m.

4 p.m.
Joint Experimental-Theoretical Physics Seminar - One West
Speakers: Alain Blondel, University of Geneva and Weiren Chou, Fermilab
Title: Higgs Factory: Physics and Accelerators (in association with HF2012)

8 p.m.
Fermilab Lecture Series - Auditorium
Physics Slam
Tickets: $7

Monday, Nov. 19


3:30 p.m.


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Wilson Hall Cafe

Friday, Nov. 16

- Breakfast: blueberry-stuffed French toast
- Cuban black beans
- Philly portobello sandwich
- Southern chicken and biscuits
- Smart cuisine: Greek fish florentine
- Baked-ham and Swiss ciabatta
- Assorted pizza
- Malaysian curried chicken

Wilson Hall Cafe Menu
Chez Leon

Friday, Nov. 16

Wednesday, Nov. 21
- Cheese fondue
- Mixed-green salad
- Cold lemon soufflé

Chez Leon Menu
Call x3524 to make your reservation.


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Rare red flower crops up in high numbers at Fermilab

A unusually dense patch of cardinal flowers was found thriving along a tree line on Fermilab grounds. Photo: Ryan Campbell, FESS

Thanks to the efforts of one dedicated student, Fermilab has more than 4.5 million seeds of cardinal flower—the most ever collected at Fermilab. The red flower crops up in small, scattered patches around Fermilab, but this summer Roads and Grounds came across an unusually dense stretch hiding beneath some trees.

The rare occasion was too much for student Michael Shemanske to pass up. This summer Shemanske worked with Roads and Grounds to fulfill community service hours for the Gustafson scholarship offered by Waubonsee Community College. Although his scholarship requires 10 hours of community service, Shemanske enjoyed the work so much he spent 40 hours harvesting Fermilab's fields.

About eight of those 40 hours were spent collecting cardinal flowers and extracting their seeds. Cardinal flower seeds are much smaller than poppy seeds, and 4.5 million seeds amounts to about a pound.

"It was cool to be involved with collecting seeds from such a weird, rare plant," Shemanske said. "But it was just as rewarding as harvesting other plants in the area."

The plant is native throughout parts of Canada and the United States and flourishes in swampy regions. Fermilab grounds have few areas where cardinal flowers can thrive and so they are a rarity within the area.

Shemanske will graduate from WCC in December and begin studying aerospace engineering in January at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. He will not be around when Roads and Grounds disperses the seeds, but he plans to return on occasion to see the fruits of his efforts in full bloom.

Fermilab employee and restoration ecologist Ryan Campbell expects that Fermilab will start to blush red within the next couple of growing seasons.

"Michael took it upon himself to make sure we collected a lot of this seed and that it was processed correctly," Campbell said. "His contribution is important to keeping Fermilab's native species alive."

Jessica Orwig

Photo of the Day

Here comes the sun

Day breaks over the laboratory. Photo: Leticia Shaddix, PPD
In the News

New Large Hadron Collider data may thin out theories in particle physics

From ars technica, Nov. 14, 2012

Although the Large Hadron Collider is often viewed as a Higgs discovery machine—a task for which it turned out to be admirably suited—the collider isn't a one-trick pony. Its general purpose detectors, ATLAS and CMS, should be able to spot any other unusual particles out there, while the ALICE detector is specialized for heavy ion collisions. But this week, attention fell on LHCb, the Large Hadron Collider beauty experiment.

Read more
In the News

Higgs boson continues to be maddeningly well-behaved

From New Scientist, Nov. 14, 2012

The world's favourite particle is proving far too well-behaved for physicists' liking. The first major update from the Large Hadron Collider since a particle resembling the Higgs boson was discovered in July rules out one way in which the boson might open the door to new physics, and weakens another.

What's more, direct searches for particles not accounted for in the standard model of particle physics, our leading theory of the fundamental particles and forces, are also coming up empty. "I would, as a hunter of new physics, have liked to see it different than what we have now," says Albert De Roeck of CMS, one of the two major detectors at the LHC, which is based at CERN near Geneva, Switzerland. "But the data is the data."

Read more
Physics in a Nutshell

What are hadrons, baryons and mesons?

Hadron? Baryon? Meson? What's what? Who's who? And why do physicists insist on tacking the suffix "on" onto the name of just about every particle they encounter?

Unlike the NFL, it is common in high-school football that a team's jerseys won't have the players' names emblazoned on the back. That can make watching a game very confusing for the casual spectator. While the experts know who is who without thinking, the casual spectator can easily lose track of which player is which without a list that links each jersey's number with the player's name.

Particle physics has some of the same problems with all of those particle names ending with "on." It's enough to give you a massive headache. Insiders recognize them on sight, but for non-experts, a list identifying them would be very helpful. In this week's Nutshell, we are going to identify three of them and explain how they are related. The three classes of particles are hadrons, mesons and baryons.

First off, all three terms identify classes of particles. Hadrons are particles that experience the strong nuclear force. This means that they contain quarks. A baryon is a type of hadron, and it contains three quarks. A meson is also a type of hadron, and it contains one quark and one antiquark. Making an analogy to the animal kingdom, the term hadron corresponds to the term animal, while the terms meson and baryon might correspond to the classifications mammal and reptile.

Historically, the name baryon implied a heavy subatomic particle, while the term meson was given to particles with much lower masses. This can be seen from the words' Greek etymological roots—"barys" for heavy and "mesos" for intermediate. (There are also particles called leptons, from the Greek "leptos," meaning light, but these particles are not hadrons and are not discussed here.) In the 1960s, the identification of baryons as heavy particles and mesons as particles of intermediate mass was absolute. But the discovery of the heavier charm and bottom quark ruined that connection—it turned out they could make up mesons that were heavier than the earliest-discovered baryons. Thus in the modern world, the quark content is the only thing that identifies a hadron as a baryon or a meson.

One thing that mesons and baryons have in common is that, even though their constituent quarks carry color, they themselves do not—they're color-neutral. That is, it is their quark and gluon constituents that carry the charge of the strong force, not the mesons and baryons that comprise them.

In short, hadrons are particles containing quarks. Baryons are hadrons containing three quarks, and mesons are hadrons containing a quark and an antiquark. Hopefully the next time you encounter these terms, you won't have to reach for the Tylenol.

—Don Lincoln

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

Baryons and mesons are examples of hadrons. Any particle that contains quarks and experiences the strong nuclear force is a hadron. Baryons have three quarks inside them, while mesons have a quark and an antiquark.

Today's New Announcements

Barn Dance - Nov. 18

School's Day Out - Nov. 19, 20

C2ST screening of "A Beautiful Mind" - Dec. 6

Book Fair - today

Artist reception - today

Fermilab Lecture Series presents Physics Slam - today

Timecards due early for week of Nov. 12-18

Free stability ball class - Nov. 19

Deadline for UChicago Tuition Remission Program - Nov. 26

Employee site tours - Nov. 27, 29

Environment, Safety & Health Fair - Nov. 29

Ruby course offered - Jan. 22-24

Windows 8 at Fermilab

Indoor soccer

Additional professional development courses

Fermilab employee discounts

Atrium work updates

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