Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013

Have a safe day!

Thursday, Jan. 24

2:30 p.m.
Theoretical Physics Seminar - Curia II
Speaker: Daniel Mohler, Fermilab
Title: Excited States and Hadron Resonances from Lattice QCD

3:30 p.m.


Friday, Jan. 25

3:30 p.m.

4 p.m.
Joint Experimental-Theoretical Physics Seminar - One West
Speaker: Phil Adamson, Fermilab
Title: Measuring the Neutrino Velocity with MINOS

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Ongoing and upcoming conferences at Fermilab


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Wilson Hall Cafe

Thursday, Jan. 24

- Breakfast: sausage gravy omelet
- Green pork chili
- Surf side tuna melt
- Mom's meatloaf
- Smart cuisine: finger-lickin' oven-fried chicken
- Crispy buffalo chicken wrap
- Assorted pizza
- Greek chicken salad

Wilson Hall Cafe Menu

Chez Leon

Friday, Jan. 25
- Roasted-red pepper soup
- Halibut with champagne butter sauce
- Lemongrass rice
- Sautéed sugar snap peas
- Pineapple coconut cake

Wednesday, Jan. 30
- Chicken satay with peanut sauce
- Pea pods
- Jasmine rice
- Coconut flan

Chez Leon Menu
Call x3524 to make your reservation.


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Fermilab scouts feathered fliers over the holidays

The great blue heron is a year-round resident of Fermilab. It is one of the birds sighted at the recent Christmas bird count at Fermilab. Photo: Dave Spleha

Every December the National Audubon Society, a nonprofit environmental organization focused on conservation, organizes a national bird census. Thousands of volunteers from across the country come together in small groups for a long day of looking and listening to deduce just how many birds and species of birds are in their area for the holidays.

Since 1976, Fermilab has hosted groups for the event, known as the annual Christmas bird count. Some teams, which consist of both avian experts and nonexperts, begin counting as early as 4:15 in the morning and continue until sunset. During that time they cover a circle that is 15 miles in diameter and expands to areas both on and around Fermilab grounds.

"It's always exciting because you never know what's going to turn up each year," said Peter Kasper, a physicist at Fermilab who's been part of the laboratory's bird counting club since 1988 and who also maintains the Birds of Fermilab website.

Despite the cold, wind and rain, many people turned out for last month's event, Kasper said. One of the main challenges for participants is to avoid counting the same bird multiple times. To do this, Kasper and the other volunteers stick to a strict schedule and path, covering as much area as possible.

One of this year's exciting finds for Fermilab counters was sighting a northern goshawk—a bird of prey with distinctive bars of white and black feathers across its front, which had remained unseen on Fermilab grounds for the last few years. Participants identified 53 different species for this year's count, which is an impressively high number, said Dave Spleha, who is active in monitoring the Fermilab bird population. The record high for the Christmas bird count at Fermilab is 55 species.

Unlike the northern goshawk, some species are becoming more prevalent at the laboratory with each passing decade. For example, the number of great blue herons at Fermilab steadily increased over the 1990s and remains ten times higher today than it was throughout the 1980s.

While this number could be due to an increase in population, the more likely explanation is changes in seasonal distributions, Kasper said. Many bird species, including the great blue heron, migrate south for the winter, but average winter temperatures are on the rise, leading to a reflective rise in bird numbers at higher latitudes.

Warmer climate is one of many factors that affects the results of the annual bird count. Other species, particularly the ring-necked pheasants, have declined over the years due to an increase in local coyote populations. Also, the West Nile virus greatly diminished American crow populations in 2002 when it reached Illinois.

In total, the laboratory has documented 285 bird species on its grounds. None of these include a festive partridge in a pear tree, however, since partridges are not native to the Americas. Instead, Kasper said he looks forward to sighting northern goshawks and barred owls in the coming years.

Jessica Orwig

The common merganser and other ducks are typical winter visitors in Fermilab's open waters. Photo: Dave Spleha

"Relics and Reliquaries:" an artist preserves a small part of history

"Oil Can" is one of the works by Mary Stoppert displayed in the Fermilab Art Gallery until Mar. 15. An artist reception will take place on Friday, Jan. 25, from 5 to 7 p.m.

As the world around us becomes more and more digital, artist Mary Stoppert strives to preserve the past. With a fascination for measuring tools and devices evidenced in her studio and wood shops, she is inspired by historical objects with a patina of time and use.

Fermilab's Art Gallery will host some of Stoppert's newest pieces of historical art from Jan. 24 through Mar. 15 on the second-floor crossover in Wilson Hall, and an artist reception will take place on Friday, Jan. 25, at 5 p.m. The exhibit, "Relics and Reliquaries," will feature pieces of art that capture a small part of history.

"I make containers, or reliquaries, to preserve objects that, for a variety of reasons, are or will be relics," Stoppert said.

All of the objects in her exhibits are genuine and authentic articles, not reproductions, she said. The objects are not altered except to permit display.

"Each piece that I create is unique because I begin with an object and build around it," Stoppert said. Having been an artist for more than 30 years, Stoppert's recent work reflects her artistic beginnings as a sculptor, with her natural attraction to three-dimensional form.

"It's rewarding for me to create unique and original pieces of work that are intelligent and well-crafted," Stoppert said.

When viewing her art, she would like people to think about the object, the process of building around it and the resulting meaning, either abstract or obvious.

For further information about Mary Stoppert and her art, visit her website.

Deb Sebastian

Frontier Science Result: CDF

Advancing theory through precision measurements

This figure shows the photon pair-production probability (or cross section) as a function of the angle between the two photons in the plane normal to the proton beam. The bars show the statistical uncertainty and the shaded areas the systematic uncertainty of the measurement. The data points are the CDF measurements and the curves are predictions of various theories.

The detection of photons, produced in proton-antiproton collisions, plays an important role in particle physics by providing clean information about particle interactions. This is because photons produce an easily identifiable signal in the detector. In particular, events with two photons are of special interest because particles such as the boson discovered last year at the LHC or the graviton, the hypothetical particle responsible for the gravitational force in quantum theories of gravity, decay into two photons. To make the identification of such decays more efficient or possible, in case of hypothetical particles like the graviton, physicists need to understand and model all of the ways photon pairs can be produced.

A team of Fermilab physicists identified all events with photon pairs detected in the CDF detector and measured some of their properties in two stages. In the first stage, announced from this column three years ago, the team compared the results with the best available theoretical calculations. The comparisons showed that none of the calculations could adequately describe all aspects of the measurements. This conclusion called for further investigation into the ways the photon pairs can be produced.

In the second stage, using the full data set of 9.5 inverse femtobarns, the results of all pairs of photons are compared with more recent calculations, motivated by the results of the previous stage. An example of the comparisons is shown in the figure. The blue curve (MCFM) is derived from a calculation representing the best theoretical precision available three years ago. The red (NNLO) and green (SHERPA) curves are derived from two new calculations representing current theoretical precision. There is a clear improvement in the description of the measurements by the recent calculations. This improvement is a characteristic example of how high-precision measurements conducted at CDF have advanced our knowledge of particle interactions.

Learn more

edited by Andy Beretvas

These Fermilab scientists are responsible for this analysis. From left: Ray Culbertson and Costas Vellidis.
Photo of the Day

Coyote canter

A coyote near Lake Law trots away. Photo: Steve Krave, TD

In memoriam: Dale Miller

Fermilab retiree Dale Miller passed away on Jan. 16. A memorial service for Miller will be held on Friday, Jan. 25, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Bolingbrook-McCauley Funeral Chapel, 530 W. Boughton Rd., in Bolingbrook.

Miller worked in the Accelerator Division's Instrumentation Department, retiring in 2006. Read his obituary.

Special Announcement

Road D closed Friday, Jan. 25

Due to the construction of the IARC Office Technical and Educational building, part of Road D will be closed tomorrow.

See this map to view the detour route.

In the News

The science of big data

From A.T. Kearney's Ideas and Insights, January 2013

Rob Roser has been on the front lines of one of the most exciting periods in the history of physics. In his role at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab) just outside of Chicago, and as the leader of the Collider Detector at Fermilab (CDF) and technical liaison to Europe's Organization for Nuclear and Particle Research (CERN), Roser led a team of scientists searching for evidence of the Higgs boson, also known as the "God Particle." In January 2012, Roser was named the head of Fermilab's Scientific Computing Division, which provides the facilities, tools, and programming necessary for scientists to conduct their experiments and analyze their findings.

Read more

Today's New Announcements

Service Desk Web interface upgrade - Jan. 31

NALWO Armenian cooking demonstration - today

Artist reception - Jan. 25

Fermilab Arts Series - Tomas Kubinek - Jan. 26

Budgeting Basics for 2013 - Jan. 30, Feb. 2

January 2013 float holiday for timecard use

UChicago panel discussion on Higgs discovery - Feb. 7

URA Visiting Scholars Program deadline - Feb. 25

2013 FRA scholarship applications accepted until April 1

Professional development courses

Abri Credit Union - member appreciation

Scottish country dancing Tuesday evenings in Kuhn Barn

International Folk Dancing Thursday evenings in Kuhn Barn

Indoor soccer

Employee discounts