Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013

Have a safe day!

Thursday, Feb. 7

11 a.m.
Computing Techniques Seminar - One North
Speaker: Tim Bell, CERN
Title: CERN Computing Infrastructure Evolution

2 p.m.
Computing Techniques Seminar - FCC1W
Speaker: Jakob Blomer, CERN
Title: CERN VM-FS – A Scalable and Low-Maintenance Software Distribution Service

2:30 p.m.
Theoretical Physics Seminar - Curia II
Speaker: Prateek Agrawal, Fermilab
Title: The Cosmological Constant Problem in Scalar Gravity

3:30 p.m.


Friday, Feb. 8

3:30 p.m.

4 p.m.
Joint Experimental-Theoretical Physics Seminar - One West
Speaker: Michelle Prewitt, Rice University
Title: A Closer Look: Searching for the Rare Decay Bs→μμ at DZero

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Wilson Hall Cafe

Thursday, Feb. 7

- Breakfast: corned-beef hash and eggs
- White-chicken chili
- Chicken quesadilla
- Chicken curry
- Smart cuisine: Mediterranean-style ziti with asparagus
- Buffalo chicken tender wrap
- Assorted pizza by the slice
- Grilled- or crispy-chicken Caesar salad

Wilson Hall Cafe Menu

Chez Leon

Friday, Feb. 8
- Bacon, boursin and spinach soufflé
- Filet mignon with morel sauce
- Grilled asparagus
- Herbed new potatoes
- Pear tart

Wednesday, Feb. 13
- Cheese fondue
- Mixed-green salad
- Mixed-berry pie

Chez Leon Menu
Call x3524 to make your reservation.


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Fermilab Theory Fellowship Program now in its third year and going strong

Fermilab Theory Group Fellows. Top row, from left: Max Hansen, Andreas Kronfeld (program organizer), Alexander Kaurov. Bottom row, from left: Roberto Vega-Morales, Andrea Peterson, Chia Chang Chang, Chiu-Tien Yu

When Roberto Vega-Morales arrived at Fermilab last fall as one of five 2012 Fermilab Theory Fellows, he said his expectations were high. Now in his fifth month of the fellowship program, Vega-Morales is surprised and happy to report that the experience has far exceeded his expectations and also helped him procure a postdoctoral position at the Laboratoire de Physique Théorique d'Orsay in Paris, France.

"I know for a fact that this fellowship went a long way toward helping me get that position," he said.

In 2010, Fermilab began offering fellowships to graduate students throughout the country studying theoretical particle physics or astrophysics. The motivation behind the program was to connect aspiring future theorists with some of today's leading experts to put the students on the path to success, said Andreas Kronfeld, who organizes the program. At the laboratory, the fellows conduct original research under the guidance of a Fermilab scientist, leading to papers that are published in refereed journals and that form part of their doctoral dissertations.

Vega-Morales currently works with Fermilab theorist Joe Lykken and will graduate with a Ph.D. in physics from Northwestern University this year. His work, which he will continue in Paris, involves the study of how the Higgs boson interacts with gauge bosons and determining how scientists might identify this interaction in a slew of Large Hadron Collider data.

"We want students to get the most out of their experience here," Kronfeld said. "Therefore, we select students whose research interests align best with the scientists they'll be working with at Fermilab."

Like Vega-Morales, 2011 Fermilab fellow Chiu-Tien Yu also found the experience helpful in preparing her for the postdoc position she will be taking at Stony Brook University in New York later this year.

"As part of this program you're treated more like a postdoc than a graduate student," she said. "You're given more independence and have the opportunity to come up with and pursue research ideas on your own."

Yu, who worked under the guidance of Fermilab theorist Roni Harnik, will graduate this year with her Ph.D. in physics from University of Wisconsin. She enjoys Fermilab so much, she said, that she decided to stay here another year on another stipend before continuing her research on LHC collider physics at Stony Brook.

One of Fermilab's first theory fellows, 2010 fellow Tim Linden, will start as a postdoc this year at the University of Chicago after graduating from the University of California, Santa Cruz, with a Ph.D. in physics. In fact, every Fermilab fellow who has graduated and those graduating this year have successfully secured a postdoc position. Vega-Morales, Yu and Linden all agree their experience at Fermilab helped.

Looking back, Linden suggested how current and future fellows can make the most of their time at the lab.

"Some of the top theorists and experimentalists in their fields are at Fermilab," Linden said. "I would recommend that all fellows talk to as many people doing research in the fields they find interesting and learn as much as they can from those valuable conversations."

Jessica Orwig

In the News

NASA 'Super-Tiger' balloon breaks two records soaring over Antarctica

From Time, Feb. 5, 2013

You'd think the records would have to do with a figure like "50 million"—the number of cosmic rays an NASA science balloon drifting over Antarctica recently intercepted—but it actually involves a pair of flight duration records.

The large, unmanned helium balloon, impressively dubbed the Super Trans-Iron Galactic Element Recorder (or Super-Tiger for short), took off on Dec. 8, 2012 from a launch site near McMurdo Station, a U.S. research center located on the southern tip of Antarctica's Ross Island. Thereafter, it hovered for more than 55 days at 127,000 feet—about as high as Austrian daredevil Felix Baumgartner's epic jump last October—before NASA brought it down to complete the mission last Friday.

Read more
In the News

Dark matter: experiment to shed light on dark particles

From BBC News, Feb. 5, 2013

In a man-made cavern, deep beneath a mountain, scientists are hoping to shed light on one of the most mysterious substances in our universe—dark matter.

The Gran Sasso National Laboratory seems more like a Bond villain's lair than a hub for world class physics.

Read more
Frontier Science Result: CDF

Looking for additional Higgs-like particles

Distribution of events, in the signal region. The horizontal axis shows bb invariant mass. The figure shows the data, the signal and four different backgrounds. The signal hypothesis is: a total cross section of 250 femtobarns, a heavy neutral Higgs boson of mass 500 GeV/c2 and lighter charged Higgs boson H± of mass 300 GeV/c2 along with the Standard Model Higgs boson.

An exciting part of the much-celebrated particle discovery recently made at the Large Hadron Collider is that it is only the first step on the road to understanding the Higgs boson. Much remains to be discovered about the particle and its properties; knowing its mass is just the beginning. The next step is to study how the particle behaves and how it fits into the big picture of physics as a whole. One of the biggest questions is whether the Higgs boson theorized by the Standard Model (SM) is the only Higgs boson, or rather whether the SM Higgs boson is part of a larger family of particles.

In this analysis CDF physicists investigate a phenomenological model. We assume a heavy neutral Higgs boson decays into a lighter charged intermediate Higgs boson and a charged W, and that the charged intermediate Higgs boson then decays into the SM Higgs and a charged W. The net result of this cascade decay is a final state consisting of two bottom quarks and two W bosons. This model, called a two-Higgs boson doublet, involves four Higgs boson particles: a new neutral heavy Higgs boson, a neutral SM Higgs boson (having a mass of 126 GeV/c2), and two intermediate charged Higgs bosons.

By careful comparison to a SM background-only theory (see above figure), we set the world's first upper limits on a two-Higgs-doublet cascade decay. Using a data sample corresponding to an integrated luminosity of 8.7 inverse femtobarns, we find that the observed data are consistent with SM backgrounds. While our analysis does not explicitly exclude this model from the realm of possibility, it does offer the first look and upper limit on the possible contributions from this process. It is hoped that this process will be examined in more detail at the LHC.

Learn more

edited by Andy Beretvas

The CDF physicists responsible for this analysis are all from the University of California, Irvine. Top row from left: Adam Johnstone, Kanishka Rao. Bottom row, from left: Alan Truong, Daniel Whiteson.
Photo of the Day

A path through the mist

Is it a dense, low-lying fog? The Dead Marshes near the entrance of Mordor? No, this cloudy floor near the NuMI access road is the eerie result of ice covered by an inch of water. Photo: Charlie King, AD

Today's New Announcements

Barn Dance - Feb. 10

Fermilab Barnstormers Delta Dart Night - Feb. 13

UChicago panel discussion on Higgs discovery - today

English country dancing Sundays - Feb. 10

Sneak preview of Fermilab documentary - Feb. 11

Budker Seminar - Feb. 11

Financial and procurement systems down - through Feb. 11

Wheaton Sensory Garden Playground seminar - Feb. 12

No on-site prescription safety eyewear - Feb. 13

Project Scheduling and Earned Value Management Systems course offered - Feb. 18-19

School's Day Out - Feb. 18, March 1

Employee art show applications - due Feb. 20

Fermilab Lecture Series: Engineering Biology - Feb. 22

Fermilab Gallery Series: Dios no Choro (Brazilian flute and guitar)

URA Visiting Scholars Program deadline - Feb. 25

2013 FRA scholarship applications accepted until April 1

Professional development courses

2013 standard mileage reimbursement rate

Scottish country dancing Tuesday evenings in Kuhn Barn

Indoor soccer

Employee discounts