Monday, Dec. 16, 2013

Have a safe day!

Monday, Dec. 16

2:30 p.m.
Particle Astrophysics Seminar (NOTE LOCATION) - WH7XO
Speaker: Juan Collar, University of Chicago
Title: News from the Low-Mass WIMP Front

3:30 p.m.

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

Tuesday, Dec. 17

11 a.m.
Academic Lecture Series - One West
Speaker: Jodi Cooley, Southern Methodist University
Title: Direct Dark Matter Detection Experiments 1

2:30 p.m.
Theoretical Physics Seminar (NOTE DATE AND LOCATION) - WH3NE
Speaker: Terrance Figy, University of Manchester
Title: Electroweak Higgs Boson Production in Association of Three Jets (A.K.A. VBF + 1 Jet) at NLO QCD

3:30 p.m.


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Secon Level 3

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Flags at full staff

Wilson Hall Cafe

Monday, Dec. 16

- Breakfast: oatmeal raisin pancakes
- Breakfast: sausage, egg and cheese croissant
- Fermi burger
- Smart cuisine: country baked chicken
- Veal parmesan
- Classic club sandwich
- Mandarin orange pecan chicken salad
- Chicken and sausage gumbo
- Texas-style chili
- Assorted pizza by the slice

Wilson Hall Cafe menu

Chez Leon

Wednesday, Dec. 18
- Salmon Wellington
- Parmesan orzo
- Lemon berry Napoleon

Friday, Dec. 20
- Spinach and pomegranate salad
- Lobster tail with champagne butter sauce
- Spaghetti squash with scallions
- Grilled asparagus
- Raspberry mousse with assortment of Christmas cookies

Chez Leon menu
Call x3524 to make your reservation.


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MINOS+ adds to the book on neutrinos

A new phase of the MINOS experiment, called MINOS+, will take scientists into new neutrino terrain. Photo: Peter Ginter

Fermilab's MINOS neutrino experiment entered a new stage this year, marked by a new name: MINOS+.

Using a higher-energy and higher-power neutrino beam than its predecessor, the experiment's second stage explores new territory in neutrino interactions. It also coaxes many times the number of interactions from neutrinos as they pass through the MINOS detector than could the original setup. With MINOS+, scientists hope to uncover new behavior not visible in MINOS' first phase, which lasted from 2005 to 2012.

Since 2001, when scientists first confirmed the phenomenon of neutrino oscillation, researchers have been studying precisely how neutrinos change from one of their three types into another. A neutrino of one type at point A may have transformed into another type by the time it reaches point B. The way a neutrino oscillates depends on the ratio of the distance it travels to its energy — or L/E (L over E) in physicist parlance.

In MINOS+, while the distance the neutrinos travel is the same as it was for MINOS — 734 kilometers — the neutrino energy is significantly higher. This takes scientists' search for a better understanding of neutrinos into a new L/E region, one where fewer neutrinos "disappear" by the time they reach the detector, having oscillated into a neutrino flavor the detector can't easily see.

At the same time, the increased energy and more powerful beam causes the neutrinos to interact more often in the MINOS detector, reducing measurement uncertainties and providing even more opportunities to catch neutrinos doing something out of the ordinary.

Thus in the new L/E region, scientists can both paint a high-definition picture of neutrino oscillations and look for physics that departs from the standard expectation.

To date, MINOS provides the best measurement of a key property of neutrino oscillation, the difference in the square of the masses between two of the three mass states. MINOS+ will continue to beat on the precision of this measurement. Neutrino masses themselves — parameters of standard neutrino oscillations — are too small to measure by conventional means.

Scientists will also look for one or more hypothesized sterile neutrinos, as well as any effects that depart from the Standard Model of particle physics. They may even be able to spot hints of extra dimensions.

With the more intense neutrino beam delivered by Fermilab's revamped accelerator complex, scientists will fill in gaps in the book on neutrinos with more precise details on this subtle and puzzling particle.

Leah Hesla


Bill Mumper departs Fermilab Friday, Dec. 20

Bill Mumper

Bill Mumper, technical supervisor in the Technical Division Test and Instrumentation Department, is retiring. His last working day at Fermilab is Dec. 20.

Mumper joined Fermilab in 1978. As technical supervisor, he helped test superconducting magnets in vertical and horizontal test stands for experiments at the Tevatron and the LHC. He also helped test prototype magnets for various experiments.

Mumper has "a long honey-do list" for life after Fermilab. One of his projects is to plant a large vegetable garden of tomatoes and many types of peppers for him and his significant other to enjoy.

In the News

Cosmic neutrinos named Physics World 2013 Breakthrough of the Year

From Physics World, Dec. 13, 2013

In seeking to make sense of night skies, astronomers have always had to rely on electromagnetic radiation — from visible and infrared light to X-rays and gamma rays. The team behind the Physics World Breakthrough of the Year has, however, ushered in an era of "neutrino astronomy", whereby particles — not radiation — are the tools of the trade.

The researchers did this by building a colossal detector deep under the ice at the South Pole. Despite the many challenges of doing science in such a remote and inhospitable environment, the IceCube South Pole Neutrino Observatory has spotted extremely high-energy neutrinos that originate from far beyond the solar system.

Read more

In the News

A link between wormholes and quantum entanglement

From Science, Dec. 2, 2013

This advance is so meta. Theoretical physicists have forged a connection between the concept of entanglement — itself a mysterious quantum mechanical connection between two widely separated particles — and that of a wormhole — a hypothetical connection between black holes that serves as a shortcut through space. The insight could help physicists reconcile quantum mechanics and Einstein's general theory of relativity, perhaps the grandest goal in theoretical physics. But some experts argue that the connection is merely a mathematical analogy.

Read more

Tip of the Week: Cybersecurity

Using obsolete software

Once computer software reaches the end of its life, the software vendor can no longer supply updates and patches, subjecting your computer to security risks. Be sure your software isn't obsolete, and keep an eye out for upgrade information from the Computing Sector. Photo: debs-eye

Has this ever happened to you? You have some computer software, either an operating system or an application, that has been working reliably for you for many years. Suddenly you receive a notice that the version of the software you are using is no longer supported and that you need to update to a more modern version. You follow instructions and successfully install the updated software. But then all sorts of things start going wrong: Previously working applications break, and the new look and feel is completely irritating. You resolve never to update working systems again.

Unfortunately, not performing timely updates can have even worse consequences, and it's against laboratory policy. Fermilab continues to support old software as long as vendors continue to supply security patches for any bugs that are found. But when software versions reach end of life, the vendors will stop supplying fixes, and this creates a serious problem.

Bugs constantly turn up in virtually all software, and many of these bugs represent security risks if left unpatched. The bugs often allow unauthorized users to run their own code on your system. Bugs in software versions still under vendor support are fixed promptly, preventing infections, but bugs in obsolete software remain unfixed and subject to exploitation.

Dates for software reaching end-of-life status are normally announced well in advance. This allows IT support staff to thoroughly evaluate the new versions before scheduling software updates. Every attempt is made to ensure that necessary applications will continue to run on the updated systems.

This is particularly relevant now because several widely used software systems are reaching end of life quite soon. These include:

  • Windows XP (as well as Office 2003): Target end of use at Fermilab is Feb. 14; end of life is on April 8. Users should upgrade to Windows 7.
  • Mac OS: OS 10.6 (Snow Leopard) is already out of support, and target end of use is Feb 14. Users should upgrade to OS 10.7 or 10.8 (Lion or Mountain Lion).
  • Java version 6 is already out of support.

Watch for and please pay attention to email from your Computing Sector business analyst regarding updating these software programs. Business analysts for your division, section or center have instructions for handling upgrades or replacing obsolete systems. Please cooperate when you are asked to upgrade your systems. Despite the potential inconvenience, it is too dangerous to allow obsolete software to remain visible on the Fermilab network after end-of-life dates.

Irwin Gaines

In Brief

Final P5 meeting this week, town hall meeting today

Brookhaven National Laboratory hosts the third and final public Particle Physics Project Prioritization Panel (P5) meeting from Dec. 15-18. The P5 town hall meeting takes place today.

The workshop will be webcast.

Photos of the Day

Spirit of the holidays: Fermilab employees volunteer packing meals for children

More than 60 Fermilab employees and their family and friends spent their free time on the evening of Dec. 5 volunteering in Aurora to help the charity Feed My Starving Children. Volunteers packed 11,664 meals that will feed 32 children for a year. The Diversity Committee's Helping Hands team planned the volunteer and community outreach event in order to give back to the global community and to commemorate Universal Human Rights Month, which December is designated. Photos courtesy of Teri Dykhuis

New employee - December

Justin Bower, BSS, started at Fermilab in December.

Fermilab welcomes him to the laboratory.


Today's New Announcements

Correction: Wilson Street entrance closed for construction

Windows application updates - Dec. 17

Dreamweaver class offered in February

Free abs classes - today and Dec. 18

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

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

CDF/BZero berm stair walkway closed

Cashier's Office closed during holidays

Box office moves to the mezzanine

International folk dancing meets Thursday evenings in Kuhn Barn

Abri Credit Union – rake in the savings