Monday, Oct. 14, 2013

Have a safe day!

Monday, Oct. 14

1 p.m.
Theoretical Physics Seminar (NOTE DATE, TIME, LOCATION) - WH3NE
Speaker: Eray Sabancilar, Arizona State University
Title: Cosmic Magnetic Fields from Level Crossing Fermions and Sphalerons

2:30 p.m.
Particle Astrophysics Seminar - WH6W
Speaker: Chris Gordon, Canterbury University
Title: Constraining Dark Matter Models using Fermi-LAT Gamma Ray Observations of the Galactic Center

3:30 p.m.

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

Tuesday, Oct. 15

11 a.m.
Academic Lecture Series - Curia II
Speaker: Robert Bernstein, Fermilab
Title: The Mu2e Experiment

2 p.m.
Computing Techniques Seminar - WH7X
Speaker: Shantenu Jha, Rutgers University
Title: A Fresh Perspective on Large-Scale Distributed Cyberinfrastructure: Abstractions, Models and Interoperable Tools

3:30 p.m.


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a weekly calendar with links to additional information.

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Current Security Status

Secon Level 3

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Flags at full staff

Wilson Hall Cafe

Monday, Oct. 14

- Breakfast: blueberry crepes
- Breakfast: sausage, egg and cheese croissant
- Sloppy joe
- Smart cuisine: pasta primavera
- Pecan-crusted chicken breast
- Oven-roasted vegetable wrap
- Shrimp and crab scampi
- Texas-style chili
- Vegetarian potato leek soup

Wilson Hall Cafe menu

Chez Leon

Wednesday, Oct. 16
- Spicy Italian lasagna (vegetarian option available on advance request)
- Caesar salad
- Fudgy banana cream pie

Friday, Oct. 18
- Lentil soup
- White fish with Moroccan spice marinade
- Couscous
- Moroccan vegetables
- Tangerine custard tart

Chez Leon menu
Call x3524 to make your reservation.


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Experimenters relish MTest control room updates, new one coming soon

Researchers at the Fermilab Test Beam Facility have a more comfortable place to work while their experiments run now that the MTest control room has been renovated. FTBF will begin building a new MCenter control room soon. Photo: Sarah Witman, DO

The Fermilab Test Beam Facility, on the brink of building a new MCenter control room, is fresh off another update: renovating its MTest control room.

The FTBF, housed on the west side of the Meson Detector Building, uses two versatile beamlines — MTest and MCenter — to provide beam for a variety of experiments. Users of the facility bring in their detectors for short periods, usually days or weeks at a time, to see how they behave in conjunction with the facility's many beam types.

"Everybody that comes in has different needs," explained Eugene "JJ" Schmidt, deputy manager of the facility. "We need to basically pull out one experiment and bring in another in 24-hour periods."

Taking advantage of the recent year-plus accelerator shutdown, FTBF staff made some much-needed improvements to the MTest control room.

First, they installed pieces of equipment called patch panels for network, signal and high-voltage cables in both the control room and the enclosures that house the experiments' detectors. This means experimenters no longer need to run long bundles of cables between these areas — a distance of about 50 feet at the far end. Schmidt said this helps saves time, which is precious on their tight schedules. It also mitigates safety risks, since experimenters no longer have to climb up high to install cables.

The renovated MTest control room also boasts new network cameras for researchers to keep tabs on their experiments and a fully upgraded network infrastructure. Perhaps most valuable to experimenters, if mainly cosmetic, were the changes to the control room's interior.

"We stripped down the entire control room," Schmidt said. "We got it patched, painted, re-carpeted and got some surplus desks from CDF."

Currently, the room is active with experimenters milling about or sitting at the new desks, heads together. Schmidt said some of the most well received features by users have been a new videoconference table with a big-screen monitor and a fish tank housing some new mascots. Some updates seem to have improved workflow as well.

"Now, based on who is in here, we can move furniture around to create workstations. It is much more flexible than it was before," Schmidt said.

Now that the MTest renovation is winding down, they can start to focus on building a whole new control room for MCenter, the other FTBF beamline. The goal is to complete that project in November so that it's ready to go when beam starts running early next year.

They hope this will make room for more experiments, particularly ones that will be installed for longer periods of time. The first experiment to run will be LArIAT, which studies particle tracks in liquid argon.

In 2012, the Fermilab Test Beam Facility served 11 experiments with 229 collaborators from 64 institutions in 14 countries.

"We are trying to develop this into a very user-friendly facility serving a lot of experiments," Schmidt said.

Sarah Witman

In the News

Fermilab played big part in Nobel Prize-winning research

From The Beacon-News, Oct. 8, 2013

BATAVIA — It took 50 years, thousands of workers, at least three research facilities and physicists from around the world to discover the Higgs boson last year, the so-called "God particle."

The long theorized subatomic particle explains why matter has mass.

So excuse the physicists at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory here if they took a breath and had a toast when the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences Tuesday awarded the Nobel Prize in physics to theorists Peter Higgs and Francois Englert — developers of the theory of what is now known as the Higgs field.

Read more

In the News

No physicist is an island

From The New York Times, Oct. 8, 2013

LOS ANGELES — The physicist Richard Feynman liked to gripe about what he called "Alfred Nobel's Other Mistake." The first mistake was the invention of dynamite. The second was creating the Nobel Prizes. Mr. Feynman thought it was ridiculous that something as material as a cash prize should be awarded to something as grand and open-ended as scientific research. (The griping wasn't a matter of sour grapes; Mr. Feynman shared a well-deserved prize for physics in 1965.) This year's physics Nobel has just been awarded to François Englert and Peter Higgs, for what is simply called "the Higgs mechanism." But while Mr. Englert and Mr. Higgs undoubtedly deserve acclaim, bestowing an award on them alone distorts the nature of modern physics research.

Read more

Tip of the Week: Cybersecurity

Keeping your experiment on the Internet

If you get a message from TIssue about vulnerabilities in your experiment's data acquisition system, don't ignore it. Work with your computing liaison to address the alert and fix the problem.

With Fermilab's accelerator complex getting into operation again, experiments are running data acquisition systems. Sometimes these must be configured rapidly to take advantage of limited time available in test beams. It is important for experimenters to be aware of ways that computer security policies and operations can affect them, even to the extent of blocking their data acquisition systems from the Internet.

The lab cybersecurity team operates a set of scanners looking for systems that are vulnerable to common exploits. It is important that we quickly either fix these vulnerabilities or remove the vulnerable systems from the network to prevent being taken advantage of, potentially creating a serious computer security incident.

Our system to notify users about such detected vulnerabilities is called TIssue (issue tracker). Upon detection, it will issue a message to the manager of the system involved, warning the user that the system will be blocked from the Internet if the vulnerability is not fixed. At that point the system manager is supposed to mitigate the vulnerability and respond to the TIssue alert to avoid a network block from being issued. Unfortunately, however, there are several ways in which this process can fail.

First, the notification email may go to the wrong person if the experiment manager information is not up to date. Also, the manager might decide that this message can be ignored and does not really apply to the experiment. He or she may think the experiment deserves an exemption (and may even create a Service Desk ticket requesting such an exemption), not realizing that such exemptions are granted only when the request is accompanied by a list of compensatory security controls, such as firewalls or access controls, that will allow secure operation even with the vulnerability. Or the manager might fix the vulnerability but fail to inform TIssue. In any of these cases, the system will be blocked from the network, likely interfering with the experiment taking data. This applies not only to computers but also to any device connected to the lab network, such as oscilloscopes or other vendor devices whose configurations are difficult to manage.

How can an experiment avoid getting blocked? Make sure the listed system manager is correct. Do not ignore messages from TIssue. Involve your experiment computing liaison as quickly as possible when a TIssue alert is issued; the liaison can assist you in dealing with the situation. Be especially careful about third-party devices with unknown configurations: Get them onto the network well before data taking starts so issues can be dealt with while there is plenty of time to fix a vulnerability or explore options.

We know blocking devices from the network will get your attention. Paying close attention to earlier, more subtle alerts can avoid this drastic alternative.

Irwin Gaines

Special Announcement

Director's feedback form available for questions

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions for Fermilab Director Nigel Lockyer, a feedback form is available online on the Fermilab at Work home page. You can send suggestions or questions about how the national budget situation will affect the laboratory, how to make Fermilab a more productive place to work or anything else related to the lab. You may identify yourself or submit the form anonymously.

Photo of the Day

The morning sun is shining like a red rubber ball

The pond in front of Wilson Hall reflects a cloud-dotted sky as the sun peers over the horizon. Photo: Dan Bauer, FCPA

Fermilab public events and lectures canceled

Budker Seminar - today

Scottish country dancing meets at Baker Community Center - Oct. 15

Office of Science's Patricia Dehmer speaks at UChicago - Nov. 5

Heartland Fermilab walk-in blood drive - Nov. 5 and 6

New wireless guest network service now available

SPIE digital library online trial at Fermilab

Flu vaccination information

Money just got cheaper

Accelerate to a Healthy Lifestyle

Indoor soccer now on Tuesdays and Thursdays

Basketball open gym on Wednesdays

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey discounts