Friday, Aug. 16, 2013

Have a safe day!

Friday, Aug. 16

3:30 p.m.


Saturday, Aug. 17

8 p.m.
Fermilab Arts Series - Auditorium
The Congregation
Tickets: $15/$7

Monday, Aug. 19


3:30 p.m.

4 p.m.
All Experimenters' Meeting - Curia II

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

Ongoing and upcoming conferences at Fermilab


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Wilson Hall Cafe

Friday, Aug. 16

- Breakfast: chorizo and egg burrito
- Breakfast: blueberry-stuffed French toast
- Breakfast burger
- Seafood linguine
- Barbecue pork spareribs
- Turkey and cucumber salad wraps
- Strawberry summer salad with chicken
- Chicken noodle soup
- Texas-style chili

Wilson Hall Cafe menu
Chez Leon

Friday, Aug. 16

Wednesday, Aug. 21
- Sun-dried tomato spiced soup
- Coconut almond couscous
- Steamed broccoli
- Fresh lemon mousse

Chez Leon menu
Call x3524 to make your reservation.


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In Brief

University of Chicago awards $225,000 to Fermilab-University collaborators

The University of Chicago recently awarded three teams of university and Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory researchers—one of which also includes a researcher from Argonne National Laboratory—$225,000, collectively, in Strategic Collaborative Initiative seed grants following a rigorous competition managed by Fermilab and the university. One of the teams received second-year funding.

The 2013 recipients include:

  • Project: An advanced, five-orders-of-magnitude dynamic range, wafer-scale pixel system for X-ray science
    University of Chicago Investigator: Keith Moffat, Louis Block Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
    Fermilab Investigator: Grzegorz Deptuch, engineer IV, Particle Physics Division
    Argonne Investigator: Robert Bradford, assistant physicist, X-ray Science Division
  • Project (funded for a second year): Development of low-noise electronics for the first direct dark-matter search using CCDs
    University of Chicago Investigator: Paolo Privitera, Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics
    Fermilab Investigator: Juan Estrada, scientist II, Particle Physics Division, and Gustavo Cancelo, engineer IV, Scientific Computing Division
  • Project: SCENE: SCintillation Efficiency of Noble Elements
    University of Chicago Investigator: Luca Grandi, Assistant Professor of Physics
    Fermilab Investigator: Stephen Pordes, scientist II, Particle Physics Division

The Strategic Collaborative Initiatives Program began in 2006 when the university renewed its contract with DOE to manage Argonne. The SCI program includes collaborative research projects, strategic joint appointments and joint institutes. The university extended the program to Fermilab when it became co-manager of the lab in 2007.

Photo of the Day

In case of hawk, wear helmet

A hawk demonstrates zen during a moment of motorcycle maintenance. Photo: Ben Galan, AD
In the News

Primed: the smashing science behind particle accelerators

From Engadget, Aug. 12, 2013

Long before the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) could smash its first atoms, researchers manning the Tevatron collider at Fermilab, in a quiet suburb 40 miles west of Chicago, raced to find evidence that the Higgs boson exists. After roughly three decades of service, the Tevatron shut down for good in late 2011, dealing the city of Batavia's largest employer a significant blow. Less than 18 months later, the LHC (the Tevatron's technological successor) also went offline—albeit temporarily. Only four years after recording its first proton collisions, the team at CERN is already scrambling to upgrade the staggering LHC, which lies under parts of no less than five cities in both France and Switzerland. With the world's largest particle colliders smashing a whole lot of nothing together for the next two years at least, the field of high-energy physics research is starting to look resource-starved. Of course, many might ask why exactly we need giant atom smashers like this, or even how they work. It turns out that first part is quite a bit easier to answer than the second.

Read more

Physics in a Nutshell

The shape of things that were

This shows the shape of the early universe as seen from outside of space and time. One spatial dimension is shown—the circumference of the bowl—and time is represented by the direction away from the bottom of the bowl. Inflation, nucleosynthesis, the cosmic microwave background and the first stars are not drawn to scale. Image: Jim Pivarski

In our culture, the phrase "big bang theory" is often used to mean the idea that the universe was created in one explosive moment (or it's a TV sitcom or a Styx album). For cosmologists, however, "big bang" means the early expansion of the universe, which might or might not have begun in an instant. The late stages of this process are better understood than the beginning: It ended with a sky full of stars, but at the beginning, even the laws of physics are unknown. Is a point of infinitesimal size and infinite density even possible? No one knows.

The big bang was no ordinary explosion. Not only did matter fly apart, as it does from fireworks, but space itself expanded from a small volume to a large volume. When scientists speak of expanding space, they mean a specific type of space-time curvature. On a curved object, such as a pear, the total length of one dimension varies as a function of the other. Near its stem, a pear's circumference is small, but this circumference grows, levels out, grows again and shrinks as you go from the top of the pear to the bottom. In the same way, the volume of space grew from early times to late times, if we think of time as a dimension. In fact, the image above shows what this space-time shape would look like if we could see the universe and time from the outside.

Simply due to the shape of the bowl, later times have more elbow room than earlier times. This is why the early universe was so hot and dense. If you go back far enough, the entire universe was as hot as the center of a star. Just as stars fuse heavy elements from lighter ones, the early universe fused helium from hydrogen, and modern measurements of the hydrogen-to-helium ratio (about 4 to 1) agree exactly with the expected temperature (a billion degrees Celsius) and time available for this process (three minutes).

At even earlier times, protons must have formed from quarks, and the Higgs field must have become as asymmetric as it is today. These earlier extrapolations are more uncertain, relying on discoveries about how matter behaves at such high energies (from colliders) and patterns in the distribution of matter (from telescopes). The shape of the earliest moments left its imprint in the cosmic microwave background, the light left over from when the whole universe glowed with heat. Advances in particle physics and cosmology could tell us whether space came from a point, like the bottom of a bowl, or started as a long bee-stinger called inflation (see figure). For all we know, the big bang was not the beginning of the universe, but a transition from some other kind of universe.

Jim Pivarski

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


Fermilab Arts Series: The Congregation band - Aug. 17

UChicago Tuition Remission program deadline - Aug. 22

An Honest Approach to Weight Management - register by Aug. 22

URA Visiting Scholars program deadline - Aug. 26

Earned Value Management course scheduled for Aug. 28, 29

Sign up for a GreenRide and cash in

Zumba Fitness and Zumba Toning coming soon

Kyuki-Do martial arts

Scottish country dancing meets Tuesday evenings in Auditorium

International folk dancing in Auditorium for summer

Chicago Fire discount tickets

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