Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Have a safe day!

Wednesday, March 27

3:30 p.m.

4 p.m.
Fermilab Colloquium - One West
Speaker: Jonathan Wurtele, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Title: Trapping and Probing Antihydrogen

Thursday, March 28

2:30 p.m.
Theoretical Physics Seminar - Curia II
Speaker: Aaron Pierce, University of Michigan
Title: Top Partners as a Window to Extended Scalar Sectors

3:30 p.m.


4 p.m.
Special Joint Experimental-Theoretical Physics Seminar (NOTE DATE) - One West
Speaker: Lloyd Knox, University of California, Davis
Title: New Results from Planck

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

Ongoing and upcoming conferences at Fermilab


Take Five

Weather Cloudy

Extended forecast
Weather at Fermilab

Current Security Status

Secon Level 3

Current Flag Status

Flags at full staff

Wilson Hall Cafe

Wednesday, March 27

- Breakfast: breakfast pizza
- Tomato florentine soup
- Ranch house steak sandwich
- Italian lasagna
- Smart cuisine: Thai peanut chicken
- California club
- Assorted calzones
- Chicken carbonara

Wilson Hall Cafe Menu

Chez Leon

Wednesday, March 27
- Rouladen
- Spaetzle
- Glazed carrots
- Black forest cake

Friday, March 29

Chez Leon Menu
Call x3524 to make your reservation.


Fermilab Today

Director's Corner

Frontier Science 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

Unsubscribe from Fermilab Today

From symmetry

How particle physics improves your life

From MRIs to shrink wrap, particle physics technology improves the world we live in. Image: Sandbox Studio

Using particle accelerators, chemists were able for the first time to see the detailed wet structure of the superabsorbent polymer material used in diapers. That enabled them to adjust and improve the formula for the superabsorbent polymers until they had the perfect material—the one that's used in all modern-day diapers.

Shrink wrap
If you buy a Butterball turkey, you have particle accelerators to thank for its freshness. For decades now the food industry has used particle accelerators to produce the sturdy, heat-shrinkable film that Butterball turkeys—as well as fruits and vegetables, baked goods, board games and DVDs—come wrapped in.

Cargo scanning
More than 2 billion tons of cargo pass through ports and waterways annually in the United States. Many ports are now turning to high-energy X-rays generated by particle accelerators to identify contraband and keep ports safe. These X-rays penetrate deeper and give screeners more detail about the nature of the cargo.

Read more

Photo of the Day

Squirrel sighting

A squirrel surveys Fermilab after a long winter. Photo: Lori Limberg, BSS
From symmetry

OPERA snags third tau neutrino

For the third time since the OPERA detector began receiving beam in 2006, the experiment has caught a muon neutrino oscillating into a tau neutrino. Image: INFN

For the third time ever, scientists have seen the particle transformation that explains the mystery of the "missing neutrinos"—particles we expect to rain down from the Sun and Earth's atmosphere at higher rates than observed.

Neutrinos are light particles that come in three types, or flavors, each associated with a different subatomic particle: an electron, a muon or a tau. One of the biggest surprises that came with the discovery of neutrinos was that they could change from flavor to flavor.

Members of the OPERA experiment announced [Tuesday] the observation of a muon neutrino that had switched flavors to a tau neutrino. OPERA scientists, based at Gran Sasso National Laboratory in Italy, have caught this rare event only twice before, once in 2010 and once in 2012.

The new observation "is an important confirmation of the two previous observations," says Giovanni De Lellis, head of the international research team, in a statement released by INFN.

Read more

Kathryn Jepsen

University Profile

Oklahoma State University

Oklahoma State University

Stillwater, Okla.

Pistol Pete

Orange and black



Two faculty, one postdoc, three graduate students

The Oklahoma State University group is involved in top quark studies, searches for a non-Standard Model Higgs boson, heavy flavor tagging and the upgrade of the pixel detector in the ATLAS experiment.


View all university profiles.

In the News

Progress on helium legislation

From FYI: The AIP Bulletin of Science Policy News, March 22, 2013

On Wednesday the House Natural Resources Committee approved legislation that would significantly reform how one-half of the nation's domestic helium supply is managed and sold. Indicative of the committee's recognition of the importance of helium was the unanimous vote to send this legislation to the full House.

This action by the committee is the latest development in crafting legislation to prevent the closure of the nation's Federal Helium Reserve this year. Under current law, this reserve will cease operation when a debt from previous operations is repaid. The reserve holds approximately one-half of the nation's supply of helium.

Read more

From the Scientific Computing Division

Scientific computing: bridging the gap between detectors and physics discovery

Panagiotis Spentzouris
Jim Kowalkowski

Panagiotis Spentzouris and Jim Kowalkowski, head and deputy head of the Accelerator and Detector Simulation and Support Department, wrote this column.

To collect data and perform a typical physics analysis in today's high-energy physics experiments requires a wide range of computational tools as well as specialized techniques and algorithms. The analysis goal is to measure fundamental physical quantities and compare them to theoretical models. Raw event data must be filtered, stored and then processed using a variety of computational tools and algorithms.

The first step in the transformation of raw experimental data to physics discoveries is the data acquisition, where we read out millions of detector electronics channels, then filter and process the data to construct a detector "event." It is here that we push the limits of real-time computing hardware, network configurations and data filtering to produce the highest-quality data sets that can be achieved. This is an area that requires employment of sophisticated low- and high-level software, including operating system modifications, custom drivers, physics reconstruction software and graphical user interfaces for data quality and control.

Our division has been heavily involved in the design and development of data acquisition and event filtering systems for current and future experiments. We have an ever-growing toolkit of reusable pieces: "artdaq" for collecting events and managing data paths; "art" for complex data processing, filtering and formatting tasks; and a large set of tools for state management, problem reporting and messaging.

Since data processing requires many steps that are not specific to a particular experiment, you can find components of our toolkit deployed by NOvA, MicroBooNE, DarkSide-50 and soon Mu2e. The elements of the toolkit are designed to accommodate important current and future needs of these experiments to permit continuous, high-rate readout of detector signals.

Changes in high-performance commodity computing and networking (including multi- and many-core improvements) have led to important changes in how our tools can operate. Through close collaboration among real-time system developers, computer science researchers and experiment scientists, we continuously adapt and improve our toolkit features to best use the latest technologies.

The latest improvements, for example, are already visible in the differences between the NOvA and DarkSide-50 implementations. NOvA has a farm of more than 180 computers handling the data flow from more than 190 custom data concentrator modules using conventional 1-GB/s Ethernet. DarkSide-50 has a system of fewer than 10 commodity computers with data processing bandwidth that can exceed 1 GB/s using off-the-shelf high-performance networking. Our toolkit evolved quickly and now is able to handle such data rates using almost an order of magnitude less computing resources!

The most mature part of our toolkit is the event processing framework "art." This is a third-generation framework based on the expertise and successful tools developed and acquired by Fermilab computer scientists for Tevatron Run II, MiniBooNE and CMS experiments. A key feature of the new framework is the packaging. Our "art" package is delivered to experiments and maintained as an external product or library, and online training is available. New physics algorithms and analysis modules can be introduced without any framework recompilation. The algorithms can be used in the context of event filtering, reconstruction from data and simulation, and analysis. Its underlying packaging comes with all the tools that an experiments needs, from event generators to Geant4 to ROOT to a standard version of the GCC compiler.

Our developers work hard to ensure that "art" uses the latest standards and programming techniques, including C++11 and Intel Thread Building Blocks. In addition to serving as the offline software of NOvA, DarkSide-50 and Mu2e, "art" is used as the base of LArSoft, a common set of physics tools developed by experimenters working within the liquid-argon detector program. Other Intensity Frontier experiments, including ArgoNeut, MicroBooNE and the upcoming LBNE, use this shared resource.

Safety Update

ESH&Q weekly report,
March 26

This week's safety report, compiled by the Fermilab ESH&Q section, contains one incident.

An employee struck his head on a concrete stairwell while leaning over to speak to a co-worker. He received first-aid treatment.

Find the full report here.

Certificate doctor-is-in booth - today

Road D closed - through March 29

Martial arts class - begins April 1

Nominations open for 2013 Tollestrup Postdoc Award - through April 1

Hiring managers: submit summer personnel requisitions by April 12

The World According to Higgs - Chris Quigg - April 12

Fermilab Arts Series: Barynya: Music & Dance of Russia - April 20

Writing for Results: E-mail and More - May 3

Reminder - FSA debit card PIN required

2013 Fermilab Heartland Blood Drives - upcoming dates

Fermilab Management Practices courses available for registration

Walk 2 Run

International folk dancing meets Thursday evenings in Kuhn Barn

Monday golf league