Friday, Dec. 6, 2013

Have a safe day!

Friday, Dec. 6

2 p.m.
Joint Experimental-Theoretical Physics Seminar (NOTE TIME) - One West
Speaker: Hang Yin, Fermilab
Title: Probing Partons with W Asymmetries at DZero


4:30 p.m.
Labwide Party - Wilson Hall atrium

8 p.m.
Fermilab Lecture Series - Auditorium
Speaker: James Kakalios, University of Minnesota
Title: The Physics of Superheroes
Tickets: $7

Monday, Dec. 9

2:30 p.m.
Particle Astrophysics Seminar - WH6W
Speaker: Joseph Lazio, California Institute of Technology
Title: Rediscovering the Radio Transient Sky

3:30 p.m.

4 p.m.
All Experimenters' Meeting (NOTE LOCATION) - One West

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

Ongoing and upcoming conferences at Fermilab


Take Five


Extended forecast
Weather at Fermilab

Current Security Status

Secon Level 3

Current Flag Status

Flags at half staff

Wilson Hall Cafe

Friday, Dec. 6

- Breakfast: cherry-stuffed French toast
- Breakfast: chorizo and egg burrito
- Breakfast burger
- Seafood linguine
- Barbecue pork spareribs
- Turkey and cucumber salad wraps
- Chipotle rice bowl with chicken or beef
- Manhattan skyline clam chowder
- Texas-style chili

Wilson Hall Cafe menu
Chez Leon

Friday, Dec. 6
- Mussels in white wine and thyme
- Medallions of beef
- Sour cream and chive mashed potatoes
- Haricots verts
- Chocolate pots de crème

Wednesday, Dec. 11
- Stuffed cabbage
- Mashed potatoes
- German chocolate cake

Chez Leon menu
Call x3524 to make your reservation.


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Special Announcement

Labwide party - today in Wilson Hall atrium

Enjoy food, beverages and good company this evening in Wilson Hall. Photo: Reidar Hahn

Celebrate the restart of Fermilab's accelerator complex with your colleagues. Join the labwide party today from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. in Wilson Hall.

Physics in a Nutshell

You are made of force fields

A karate expert can perform feats that most of us can't. A swift kick can break a board. But how does that work on the atomic level?

Read the complete article on force fields.

After a quick glance over his shoulder to locate the target and a deft, cat-like pivot on his left foot, the sensei swings his right heel into the boards, breaking them cleanly in half. The students are impressed by the black belt's technical skill. With a single strike, he has shown his impressive mastery of matter.

We all know what matter is. It's you. It's the chair you're sitting in. It's the Earth you're living on and the air you're breathing. But what is it really? You and the chair seem pretty solid; you don't fall through it like a skydiver falls through air. So how does that all work?

As a little kid, you were told that there were three states of matter: solid, liquid and gas. The reason you could move through air was that it wasn't very dense and the molecules could move freely — there was plenty of space between them. In contrast, the molecules in solids were all nestled together. You probably even saw pictures in your textbook like the one on the bottom of the figure below, with all the atoms in solids touching one another and no space between them. These were nice and comforting images. They're also very misleading.

Atoms consist of mostly empty space. In fact, the fraction of the atom that is occupied is a mere 0.0000000001 percent of the atom. The rest is utterly devoid of matter, but filled with an electromagnetic force field that holds atoms and molecules together.

So how does this work?

Read more

Don Lincoln

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

In introductory textbooks, solid matter is shown as a bunch of spherical atoms packed in an orderly way, with no space between them. But just how accurate is that picture?
Photo of the Day

Women at work on the Dark Energy Survey

For about one week last month, an all-women trio made up the Dark Energy Survey observing team at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile. They were, from left: Elizabeth Buckley-Geer of Fermilab, Marisa March from the University of Pennsylvania and Yuan-Yuan Zhang from the University of Michigan. Members of the DES collaboration take turns traveling to CTIO to take part in the observing shifts, which can last between four and eight nights, and occasionally longer. Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Buckley-Geer, SCD
From symmetry

10 journals to go open-access in 2014

As part of the SCOAP3 publishing initiative, 10 journals in high-energy physics will offer unrestricted access to their peer-reviewed articles, starting Jan. 1. Photo: Maximilien Brice, CERN

At the start of the new year, about 60 percent of the scientific articles in the field of high-energy physics will become freely available online as part of the largest-scale global open-access initiative ever built.

Thanks to a CERN-based publishing initiative called the Sponsoring Consortium for Open Access Publishing in Particle Physics, or SCOAP3, articles from 10 peer-reviewed journals will be available online; authors will retain their copyrights; and new licenses will enable wide reuse of content.

Before SCOAP3, peer-reviewed articles published in these scientific journals were available to scientists only through certain university libraries, which paid for the privilege of providing them. These articles were generally unavailable to the wider public — though websites like Cornell University's provided the public access to preprints, versions of the articles completed before peer review.

Read more

Kathryn Jepsen

In the News

Eric D. Isaacs appointed provost of University of Chicago

From UChicago News, Dec. 5, 2013

Eric D. Isaacs, an accomplished physicist, a national advocate for basic research and director of Argonne National Laboratory, will be the next provost of the University of Chicago.

Read more

Frontier Science Result: Holometer

Approaching the final frontier

Scientists on the Holometer experiment measure tiny differences in the path lengths of two bright beams of light to measure a hypothesized "holographic noise" in the universe. Here, the glowing beam spots appear on a monitor in the Holometer experimental area. Photo: Robert Lanza, University of Chicago

Last month the Holometer, Fermilab experiment E-990, reached its design luminosity, building up more than 1 kilowatt of infrared laser power stored in a 40-meter-long Michelson interferometer. This light intensity corresponds to more than 1022 (ten billion trillion) photons per second hitting the interferometer optics. It also allows scientists to measure the optics' positions to a resolution 1,000 times smaller than the size of a proton.

With this device, physicists hope to discover a new, exotic source of noise: "holographic noise," which causes a fundamental and unavoidable jitter in the positions of all objects. The new noise, which would limit the ultimate precision of measurements of any type, is believed to originate from a newly postulated law of nature that constrains the maximum information storage capacity of space-time.

Starting with a 1-watt commercial laser beam, researchers achieve the power build-up to 1 kilowatt by recycling the laser's photons, or particles of light, reflecting used photons back into the interferometer and in effect using each photon 1,000 times before discarding it. The resulting recycled light beam hits the optics with the intensity equivalent of 200,000 laser pointers, causing them to glow brightly (see photograph above) due to scattered light.

When the optics shake due to ground noise, or perhaps due to holographic noise, the motion creates a difference in the path lengths of the two "arms" of the L-shaped interferometer. When the light traveling in the two arms is combined at a common point (at a device called a beam splitter), the changes in the path lengths result in a detectable flickering of the combined beam. The motion of the optics can then be inferred from the flickering.

The Holometer collaboration recently commissioned the devices for measuring this flickering. The high-speed, low-noise detection electronics have demonstrated sensitivity to the extremely subtle holographic noise signal at power levels 100 times lower than typical electronic noise. A characteristic feature of the predicted signal is that its frequency spectrum extends up to megahertz radio frequencies. By focusing on this high-frequency band, the experiment can easily avoid the dominant lower frequency seismic and acoustic noise backgrounds. In fact, the only background noise sources observed so far by the detection system are broadcasts from local AM radio stations, which can be easily identified (using the latest boom box technology) and rejected.

The Holometer team is now addressing the final challenge of shielding the detectors from stray scattered light and is gearing up to begin the holographic noise hunt in earnest. Full speed ahead!

Aaron Chou

The Holometer collaboration. Front row, from left: Steve Meyer (U. Chicago), Bobby Lanza (U.Chicago), Lee McCuller (U. Chicago), Brittany Kamai (Vanderbilt U.), Ray Tomlin (Fermilab). Back row, from left: Craig Hogan (Fermilab), Rai Weiss (MIT), Dick Gustafson (U. Michigan), Hank Glass (Fermilab), Jonathan Richardson (U. Chicago), Aaron Chou (Fermilab), Chris Stoughton (Fermilab), Ohkyung Kwon (U.Chicago). Photo: Reidar Hahn
Video of the Day

New NOvA video available

A new, 7-minute video showcases the construction of the NOvA far detector in northern Minnesota. Produced by Fermilab's Visual Media Services group, the video highlights the contributions from students, technicians, industry and the collaborating institutions to the creation of the largest neutrino experiment in the United States. The NOvA crew has installed 25 of the 28 blocks that make up the far detector (see graphic below), and the construction will be completed in 2014. The first few blocks of the detector are already taking data. View the video. Graphic and video: Fermilab

Today's New Announcements

Wilson Hall cafeteria to close at 2 p.m. today

Cashier's Office closed during holidays

Labwide party - today

LabVIEW seminars offered today

Users Office moves to Mezzanine today

Barn Dance - Dec. 8

NALWO winter coffee - Dec. 9

Certified Administrative Professional Study Group reg. deadline - Dec. 10

Fermilab Family Holiday Party - Dec. 11

Wilson Hall Super Science Stocking Stuffer Sale - Dec. 11-12

Fermilab Arts Series: Jingle Babes: Four Bitchin' Babes - Dec. 14

Scottish country dancing Tuesday evenings in Kuhn Barn - until Dec. 17

Revised submission date for the Take Five 2013 Challenge - Dec. 18

Wilson Street entrance closed

Strength Training by Bod Squad

International folk dancing meets Thursday evenings in Kuhn Barn

Box office moves to the mezzanine

Abri Credit Union – rake in the savings

Find new classified ads on Fermilab Today.