Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2013

Have a safe day!

Wednesday, Oct. 23

3:30 p.m.

4 p.m.
Fermilab Colloquium - One West
Speaker: Chris Hill, Fermilab
Title: What is the Higgs Telling Us?

Thursday, Oct. 24

11 a.m.
Intensity Frontier Seminar - WH8XO
Speaker: Kate Scholberg, Duke University
Title: Supernova Neutrinos


3:30 p.m.

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Wilson Hall Cafe

Wednesday, Oct. 23

- Breakfast: crustless quiche casserole
- Breakfast: ham, egg and cheese English muffin
- Western barbecue burger
- Smart cuisine: braised beef with vegetables
- Stuffed pork chops
- Zesty turkey pastrami sandwich
- Mandarin orange pecan chicken salad
- Texas-style chili
- Cuban black-bean soup
- Assorted calzones

Wilson Hall Cafe menu

Chez Leon

Wednesday, Oct. 23
- Crispy salmon
- Spiced lentils
- Baked apples with calvados
- Custard sauce

Friday, Oct. 25

Chez Leon menu
Call x3524 to make your reservation.


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Cavity Processing R&D Group earns 2012 Industrial Hygiene Award for new facility

Standing in front of the electropolishing room at the Cavity Processing Research Laboratory, David Baird, ESH&Q, presents Fermilab's Cavity Processing R&D Group with the 2012 Industrial Hygiene Award for the design and construction of the facility. From left: Dan Assell, Todd Thode, Lance Cooley, David Baird, Chad Thompson, Charlie Cooper. Not pictured: Dave Burk, Anthony Crawford. Photo: Reidar Hahn

The Technical Division's Cavity Processing R&D Group recently built, from the ground up, a state-of-the-art facility at Fermilab for electropolishing accelerator cavities. The group's ingenuity in incorporating the facility's safety features has garnered them Fermilab's 2012 Industrial Hygiene Award.

ESH&Q Industrial Hygiene Subcommittee Chair David Baird presented the group, led by Lance Cooley and Charlie Cooper, with the award on Oct. 18.

"What was so impressive about their project was that they built environmental, health and safety elements into every step of the process," Baird said.

It was no small feat considering that researchers using the electropolishing facility, housed in the Cavity Processing Research Laboratory in Industrial Building 4, will deal with some particularly nasty chemicals to polish accelerator cavities — metal structures that provide an increasingly energetic path down which particles travel. Electropolishing is the standard cavity-polishing method, one that involves an acid, such as hydrofluoric acid, to smooth cavities' inner surfaces. The process requires expertise well outside particle physics.

"Fermilab is not a chemistry or materials lab, and that meant that we had to create as much as we had to copy existing best practices," Cooley said. "Both of those aspects defined the challenge of building this facility."

As little as 30 parts per million of the vapor from hydrofluoric acid is considered to be immediately dangerous to life and health, and mere contact with skin can cause chemical burns and potential systemic poisoning. Unlike other acids, hydrofluoric acid does not cause an immediate burning sensation to alert the victim, so exposure can go unnoticed for a long time.

The facility minimizes risk at every level. The electropolishing room is functionally isolated from the rest of the building and under constant negative pressure. Controls are fully automated so operators never come close to acid, and interlocked safety systems can shut down operations if acid is detected by sensors. The polishing tool itself is housed in a specially designed enclosure. All exhaust air from the enclosure goes through a scrubber, and all rinse water from the etching process goes through a neutralization unit. Spent acid is automatically transferred to approved double-layer containers. Even in the unlikely event of a spill, a special containment system allows responders to recover acid and neutralize the wash-down completely within the facility.

Further, access to the facility is strictly controlled, and authorized employees undergo extensive training.

Cooley noted that Lead Engineer Cooper fit the design into existing building space and that the polishing tool and computer control system were built from scratch by talented staff.

"It's our research facility — home-grown," Cooley said.

Fermilab's Industrial Hygiene Award is given annually to a Fermilab employee or group whose efforts have resulted in substantial progress to Fermilab's Industrial Hygiene program, which is concerned with the control of occupational health hazards that arise as a result of or during work.

"When you see staff working to limit the potential for exposure from design to construction to operation — that's what we all aspire to," Baird said.

Leah Hesla

Graduate Profile

Jason St. John

Jason St. John, pictured here in the MicroBooNE clean tent, works on the MicroBooNE experiment. Photo courtesy of Jason St. John

Jason St. John

Boston University

James Rolfe


I'm helping to answer the question, "What's going on with those neutrinos?" They can't have mass the same way as all the other particles of matter. And what's up with the way that the three masses have such similar probabilities to interact as one of the three flavors?

Lots of challenges must be met to answer these questions (which is what I actually spend my time working on).

I didn't even know there was such a thing as particle physics at the time, but at age 12 I wound up spreading the volumes of our Encyclopædia Britannica across the floor, all open to the cross-referenced articles on subatomic particles. At the time, I was totally unclear on what the rules were that explained all these decays and particle properties, and I just wanted to find out more. The decays and a few of the particles I can explain now, and if I could explain the rest of it, well, that's worth a Nobel Prize!

Either living in a hole a few kilometers under South Dakota or some place equally compelling. Hard to tell what opportunities life will bring, but I'm excited.

Being stationed at CERN made it possible to explore nearby places when cheap flights appeared. With a few friends, I got to explore cities like Marrakesh and Porto for a few days each, at different times. Hard to choose between the appeal of seeing the world and hikes into the surrounding mountains. I really wish we had some of those here. "Fermilab-by-the-Mountains" sounds good, right? Totally worth the pile of email waiting for me when I got back to the lab.

Anything but rest. Both of my experiments, MicroBooNE and LArIAT, are getting under way in a serious way these days. Getting experiments up and running is about the most fun you can have legally.

From the Accelerator Physics Center

A step closer to demonstrating muon ionization cooling

Mark Palmer

Mark Palmer, director of the Muon Accelerator Program, wrote this column.

This month, scientists of the Muon Accelerator Program celebrated the arrival of a U.S.-supplied magnet and six tons of RF hardware at the Muon Ionization Cooling Experiment (MICE), located at Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in the UK. The experiment's goal is to demonstrate the feasibility of shrinking the size of a muon beam with a process called ionization cooling. Creating compact muon beams is a crucial step toward future muon accelerators and colliders.

In ionization cooling, muons are cooled by sending them through absorber materials made of light nuclei (such as hydrogen) and then are reaccelerated using RF cavities. This process can be repeated many times and reduces the transverse momentum of each muon relative to its longitudinal momentum.

In 2015, MICE scientists will begin key experiments that will characterize the interactions of muon beams with various absorbers. The muon trajectories will be carefully measured using scintillating fiber tracking detectors embedded in spectrometer solenoid magnets located at the beginning and end of the cooling beamline. A subsequent experimental configuration, expected to be in operation later in the decade, will employ a full "cooling cell" with suitable absorbers, focusing solenoid magnets and multiple RF cavities to characterize the evolution of the beam's emittance as the beam travels through a whole sequence of devices.

In support of these R&D efforts, the DOE-funded U.S. Muon Accelerator Program is providing two spectrometer solenoid magnets and two coupling coil magnets, as well as RF and detector hardware for the experiment. The NSF has provided additional support for U.S. participation in the experiment.

Earlier this month, two important milestones were achieved with the arrival at RAL of the first U.S.-supplied spectrometer solenoid magnet along with a shipment of RF hardware funded through an NSF Major Research Instrumentation grant to Don Summers at the University of Mississippi. The construction of the spectrometer solenoid magnet took place at Wang NMR in Livermore, Calif., and was overseen by MAP participants at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, with support from Fermilab and other collaboration members. Other U.S.-supplied components are in the process of being tested, and the MAP collaboration is anxiously awaiting the first data that will be taken in 2015.

The first MICE spectrometer solenoid magnet arrives at Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Didcot, UK. Photo courtesy of Rutherford Appleton Laboratory
Photo of the Day

Color transformation

These power switches, located near Master Substation, are part of the electric system that allows operators to isolate Master Substation for maintenance while running the site on power from Kautz Road Substation. Photo: Jamieson Olsen, PPD
Safety Update

ESH&Q weekly report, Oct. 22

This week's safety report, compiled by the Fermilab ESH&Q Section, contains two incidents.

An employee poked her right index finger with a pencil tip while removing pencils from a box. A foreign object was removed and first aid was applied.

An employee slipped, but did not fall, on some stairs and bumped the back of his ankle. This is a report-only case.

Find the full report here.

In the News

Science program adopts new standards to fight lagging student performance

From Chicago Tribune, Oct. 14, 2013

Lisle, Illinois — Where better to learn about animals than at the zoo? Where better to learn about nature than at a forest preserve? Where better to learn about physics than at the site of a large particle accelerator?

To make elementary and middle school teachers better teachers of science while utilizing the resources of the local scientific community, Benedictine University partners with Brookfield Zoo, Fermilab, the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County, Morton Arboretum and the Golden Apple Foundation to offer a Master of Science (M.S.) in Science Content and Process.

Students in the program learn inquiry-based teaching concepts at Benedictine University and study science content at the educational sites of the partner organizations. Students take courses in zoology at Brookfield Zoo, botany at Morton Arboretum, physics and astronomy at Fermilab and ecology and environmental science at various forest preserve sites.

Read more


Today's New Announcements

Microsoft Office e-book available

Zumba Toning - starts Oct. 24

Fermilab Family Halloween Party - Oct. 25

English country Halloween dance with live music at Kuhn Barn - Oct. 27

Deadline for Wilson Fellowship application - Nov. 1

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

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

Stars of Dance Chicago - Fermilab Arts Series - Nov. 9

Physics Slam 2013 - Fermilab Arts & Lecture Series - Nov. 15

Lepton flavor violation course in lecture series

Donate winter wear for Fermilab Coat Exchange

New wireless guest network service now available

Money just got cheaper

Accelerate to a Healthy Lifestyle

Scottish country dancing returns to Kuhn Barn Tuesday evenings

International folk dancing returns to Kuhn Barn Thursday evenings

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey discounts