Thursday, Nov. 14, 2013

Have a safe day!

Thursday, Nov. 14

11 a.m.
Intensity Frontier Seminar - WH8XO
Speaker: Patricia Vahle, College of William and Mary
Title: Long-Baseline Experiments in the NuMI Beamline

2:30 p.m.
Theoretical Physics Seminar - Curia II
Speaker: Tilman Plehn, University of Heidelberg
Title: Some Thoughts About Higgs Measurements

3:30 p.m.

Friday, Nov. 15

9 a.m.-noon
Special Research Techniques Workshop - Curia II

3:30 p.m.

4 p.m.
Joint Experimental-Theoretical Physics Seminar - One West
Speaker: Michelangelo Mangano, CERN
Title: SM Physics at the LHC: Relevance and Prospects

8 p.m.
Fermilab Lecture Series - Auditorium
Physics Slam
Tickets: $7

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Wilson Hall Cafe

Thursday, Nov. 14

- Breakfast: Canadian bacon, egg and cheese Texas toast
- Breakfast: corned-beef hash and eggs
- Carolina pulled-pork sandwich
- Mediterranean-style ziti with asparagus
- Shepherd's pie
- Buffalo chicken tender wrap
- Grilled- or crispy-chicken Caesar salad
- White-chicken chili
- Chef's choice soup

Wilson Hall Cafe menu

Chez Leon

Friday, Nov. 15
- Spinach and strawberry salad
- Grilled mahi mahi with roasted red-pepper sauce and cilantro pesto
- Green rice
- Sugar snap peas
- Coconut cake

Wednesday, Nov. 20
- Rouladen
- Buttered egg noodles
- Dilled baby carrots
- Apple walnut cake with spiced cream

Chez Leon menu
Call x3524 to make your reservation.


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Innovators to be honored in 2013 Fermilab Inventor Recognition Awards

The Fermilab Inventor Recognition Awards ceremony takes place on Monday, Nov. 18, at 1:30 p.m. in Ramsey Auditorium.

In a special lecture and awards ceremony next week, Fermilab Director Nigel Lockyer will formally recognize 50 lab employees for their technological innovations over the past 10-plus years. These employees are responsible for a variety of patents and record-of-invention submissions that have contributed to important advancements in technology between 2000 and 2012. The ceremony will take place on Monday, Nov. 18, at 1:30 p.m. in Ramsey Auditorium.

The 2013 Fermilab Inventor Recognition Awards, historically an annual event to honor pioneers of technology employed at the lab, will be the first of its kind since 2000. Cherri Schmidt, head of Fermilab's recently formed Office of Partnerships and Technology Transfer, said the awards symbolize the lab's rekindled interest in technology transfer.

"We are going to put a stake in the ground and say invention and innovation are important," Schmidt said. "It is an opportunity for us to thank those scientists and engineers who have invested their time, energy and creativity in this."

The types of innovations to be recognized include an blown-air-assisted data transmission cable and a method for incorporating inorganic powders into extruded plastic scintillator.

Schmidt explained the event is part of an initiative to improve the way patents and licenses are managed at the lab and to develop more relationships with private industry. This sentiment is one being echoed in Washington, she said, as illustrated by several new bills in Congress that encourage laboratory-industry partnerships.

"It is important that we leverage our investments in the laboratories and get more technology into the private sector," she said, adding that doing so is one way to increase revenue and fund other experiments at the lab. "Patenting is important, just as publishing papers is."

Eric Fossum, professor of engineering and faculty coordinator for Dartmouth's Ph.D. Innovation Program, will give a talk following the awards ceremony. Fossum is probably best known for inventing the CMOS camera, the basis for almost every camera in every cell phone and tablet in the world.

"He is an example of what inventors can do with their ideas," Schmidt said.

The lab encourages all employees to submit records of invention for their ideas, Schmidt said, so the resultant patents can then be marketed toward applications in the private sector.

"Invention and innovation are a part of Fermilab's future," Director Lockyer said. "We want to encourage people to develop those inventions that could eventually become commercial successes."

Fermilab Today will feature recipients of the 2013 Fermilab Inventor Recognition Awards in a future issue.

Sarah Witman

In the News

Electron appears spherical, squashing hopes for new physics theories

From Scientific American, Nov. 11, 2013

Scientists are unanimous that their current theory of physics is incomplete. Yet every effort to expose a deeper theory has so far disappointed. Now the most sensitive test yet of the shape of an electron — a property that could expose underlying "new physics" — has failed to find hints of anything novel. The finding rules out a number of favored ideas for extending physics, including some versions of a popular idea called supersymmetry.

Read more

In the News

Finding the Higgs leads to more puzzles

From The New York Times, Nov. 4, 2013

Near the end of "The Tempest," in what has been taken as Shakespeare's farewell speech, the sorcerer Prospero breaks his staff and declares, "Our revels now are ended." And he goes on:

"These our actors, as I foretold you, were all spirits and are melted into air, into thin air: and ... leave not a rack behind."

The latest word from physics is that something like that ending may be in store for the universe. In this case, the role of Prospero is played by the Higgs field, an invisible ocean of energy that permeates space, confers mass on elementary particles and gives elementary forces their distinct features and strengths.

Read more

Frontier Science Result: DZero

Z boson lends a hand to measure the W boson mass

By using the well-known Z boson as a standard candle to calibrate the detector response, scientists can measure the W boson mass to very high precision. The plot in this figure shows just how well the Z boson data (points) agree with the simulation (line) for the Z boson mass, even in the tricky 'tails' of the distribution, which are sensitive to many subtle detector effects.

Disponible en español

Last year, both CDF and DZero released their latest measurements of the W boson mass, a parameter of fundamental importance in testing the Standard Model of particle interactions. A previous column in this series discussed the motivation for this measurement and the significance of the results. Now the DZero collaboration has released more details of how they performed their measurement, highlighting exactly how meticulous each stage of the analysis has to be in order to achieve impressive precision exceeding one part in 3,000.

The standard way to measure a particle's mass is to add up the contributions from all the decay products. However, for this analysis, the W boson decays into an electron and a neutrino. The neutrino passes unobserved through the detector, and so an unknown amount of energy is lost, preventing the direct extraction of the W mass. Instead, various properties of the event are compared to detailed simulations under different W mass hypotheses, allowing the W mass to be precisely inferred despite the missing neutrino.

The biggest challenge in this method is developing a simulation that can model the response of the detector with the required detail. Helpfully, the W boson has a partner, the Z boson, which often decays into a pair of electrons, and no missing neutrino. The Z mass is known to very high precision (one part in 50,000) and can therefore be used to develop and test the details of the simulation using the data itself.

In particular, the measured energy of an electron differs from the true energy because of losses incurred as the particle passes through the detector material and because the detector itself collects only a sample of the total energy. These effects need to be incorporated into the simulation, and the Z decays provide a "standard candle" with which to calibrate the simulation. Using the data like this also ensures that any residual detector effects not completely modeled by the simulation will largely cancel out, since they affect the W and Z boson masses in the same way.

This method of using Z bosons is so powerful that the final precision on the W mass measurement is just as limited by the Z boson sample size as it is by the number of W bosons detected. The good news is that the analysis currently uses only around half of the available data, so not only will the statistical precision improve as more W bosons are added, but the increased Z sample will also reduce the uncertainty. The next (final) updates of the W mass measurement from CDF and DZero will be the world's best for many years to come, cementing the legacy of the Tevatron experiments in this field.

Mark Williams

These physicists all made major contributions to this publication.
Photo of the Day

Copper and gold

A lonely leaf displays a subtle chromatic asymmetry. Photo: Dennis Loppnow, FESS

Winter Coat Exchange selection - today

Artist reception for Fermilab Photography Club exhibit - Nov. 20

University of Chicago Tuition Remission program deadline - Nov. 21

Argonne-Fermilab-UChicago event: Clean Energy 2030 - Dec. 4

LabVIEW seminars offered Dec. 5

Labwide party - Dec. 6

Local "administrator" accounts to be disabled

Cisco AnyConnect client upgrade

Springer e-books available sitewide

Take 5 and win a prize

Scottish country dancing returns to Kuhn Barn Tuesday evenings

International folk dancing returns to Kuhn Barn Thursday evenings