Friday, Nov. 15, 2013

Have a safe day!

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

Monday, Nov. 18

2:30 p.m.
Particle Astrophysics Seminar - WH6W
Speaker: Joaquin Vieira, Caltech
Title: The South Pole Telescope and the Millimeter Sky

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


Take Five

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Wilson Hall Cafe

Friday, Nov. 15

- Breakfast: French bistro breakfast
- Breakfast: chorizo and egg burrito
- Beer-battered fish sandwich
- Smart cuisine: teriyaki pork stir fry
- Vegetarian eggplant lasagna
- Cuban panino
- Breakfast-for-lunch omelet bar
- Tomato basil bisque
- Texas-style chili

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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Cooldown of Cryomodule 2 marks major achievement in Fermilab SRF program

Cryomodule 2 was successfully cooled to 2 Kelvin on Nov. 12. Photo: Reidar Hahn

On Tuesday, Nov. 12, the Accelerator Division successfully cooled down Cryomodule 2, the first ILC-type cryomodule in which all component cavities were processed and tested in the United States, to a temperature of 2 Kelvin.

The cooldown is a major step in the laboratory's program on superconducting radio-frequency technology, known as SRF. Nearly all proposed large-scale particle accelerators are based on SRF, and the technology has promising applications in industry, medicine and other fields of science.

Now that CM2 is ultracold, the Accelerator Division SRF team at Fermilab can power it up and begin testing. Once testing is complete, CM2 will form an important element of Fermilab's proposed Advanced Superconducting Test Accelerator and could be the technology of choice for upgrades to the Fermilab accelerator complex.

CM2 contains eight so-called cavities, which look like giant metal strings of pearls, through which the particle beam travels. The higher the cavity's gradient, the more energy the particle beam gains in a given distance. The Technical Division SRF team contributed a great deal to cavity R&D, processing and testing cavities as well as assembling the cryomodule.

CM2 is the first cryomodule built in the United States to achieve the ambitious operating gradients required by the proposed International Linear Collider, which Japan might build. The ILC gradient goal, 31.5 megavolts per meter on average, pushes the current state of the art in SRF technology. Each of CM2's eight cavities has exceeded that goal in tests of both bare and fully dressed cavities. The goal of the CM2 test is to validate that the high gradient can be maintained once the cavities are fully integrated into a cryomodule.

This latest CM2 milestone is the culmination of months of effort by the entire SRF team at Fermilab. Numerous individuals and groups were involved in the cryomodule's assembly, transport, installation and cooldown, as well as its many associated subsystems.

"This was a significant effort that required great attention to detail and close collaboration among many groups within the lab, as well as from our collaborating partners at other laboratories," said NML Project Engineer Jerry Leibfritz. "The safe and successful execution of this work is a testament to the dedication of all those involved."

Over the next several weeks, the SRF team will carry out cavity conditioning and characterization to prepare for the full-power testing of CM2.

In Brief

Pipeline work on Batavia Road

An underground petroleum pipeline located east of the Batavia Road entrance to Fermilab is currently being excavated and repaired. Work should be completed within a month. Until then, the pipeline company will use the area for parking and staging vehicles and equipment.

The work should not cause any long-term traffic disruption, but you occasionally may be delayed when equipment is being moved onto or across Batavia Road. Please exercise caution when driving in this area.

In the News

The science of art

From Kane County Chronicle, Nov. 14, 2013

BATAVIA – Fermilab's Wilson Hall gets its name from the late Robert R. Wilson, an American physicist most notably known for creating the National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia in the '60s. A lesser known fact about Wilson is that he also dabbled in the arts, leaving his aesthetic stamp on the area through sculpture and architecture.

In an upcoming Fermilab Art Gallery exhibition, the Fermilab Photography Club will present a 53-piece display of images showcasing Wilson's creative imprint on the area, as well as the beauty of the laboratory grounds.

Read more

In the News

High-energy neutrinos herald a new dawn of particle astronomy

From Scientific American, Nov. 6, 2013

The starry glow of the night sky brings news from the distant edges of the cosmos, as light fills astronomers' telescopes with the bizarre and wondrous processes in the universe. But light cannot tell the whole story — often it reveals only an object's superficial glow. To better understand the cores of powerful astrophysical objects, scientists are studying individual particles that can tell a firsthand tale of the extreme events that launch them outward at tremendous speed. A promising new frontier has just opened up that should bolster those investigations.

Read more

Physics in a Nutshell

The well-balanced Higgs

While possible, this rock formation is not likely to arise in nature.

In conversations among physicists, sometimes you'll hear someone say, "This theory fits all the observed data, but it's too fine-tuned." When I first heard that, it struck me as unscientific because any hypothesis that does not contradict experimental measurement is, in principle, a possibility. "Fine tuning" refers to extreme cancellations in a proposed explanation for something. For instance, a river might be lukewarm because it is the confluence of a boiling geyser and an ice slurry, but this leaves unanswered the question of why there was exactly enough boiling water to balance the ice. Near-exact cancellations are possible, but unlikely.

While we cannot reject possible theories just because they sound unlikely, a finely tuned theory is probably incomplete and should be investigated further. As another example, consider a car that breaks down in every possible way at the same time: The head gasket blows, the engine seizes up, and windshield wiper fluid squirts everywhere. One could say that each of these components has a 10-year lifespan and that it is a coincidence that they all broke at the same instant. However, there might be a deeper explanation that links them — perhaps the head gasket caused a coolant leak that caused the engine to overheat and seize, which boiled the windshield wiper fluid and made it spray. The first explanation isn't exactly wrong, but it is missing an important insight. In the same way, a finely tuned theory like the Standard Model of particle physics isn't exactly wrong, but it is probably incomplete.

The Standard Model is finely tuned in several ways, but the most significant is the fact that it does not explain why gravity is so much weaker than the other forces. Here's a more technical statement of the problem: Why is the Higgs mass (now known to be 125 GeV) about 100 quintillion times less than the characteristic energy scale of quantum gravity? When physicists tried to predict the Higgs mass mathematically, they found that the largest terms in the equation are due to ultra-high energy effects, the regime of quantum gravity. Since we know very little about quantum gravity, the equation could not be solved and the Higgs mass could not be predicted. However, it is highly suspicious that some combination of these unknown yet ultra-high energy terms result in something that is known to be 100 quintillion times smaller.

Many potential explanations have been proposed, but nothing is yet proven. One long-time favorite is supersymmetry, in which normal particles and supersymmetric particles contribute to the Higgs mass with opposite sign, resulting in a near-perfect cancellation naturally. Much like the mystery of the car breakdown, the coincidence could be explained by revealing an underlying connection, if only we can discover what that connection is.

Jim Pivarski

Photo of the Day

Near to the ground

A ground cherry plant by the bike path succumbs to fall. Photo: Sarah Witman, DO

Today's New Announcements

Volunteer Opportunity - Community Outreach to Feed Children - Dec. 5

Abri Credit Union - Rake in the Savings

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

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