Friday, Jan. 10, 2014

Have a safe day!

Friday, Jan. 10

3:30 p.m.

4 p.m.
Joint Experimental-Theoretical Physics Seminar - One West
Speaker: Gerald Gabrielse, Harvard University
Title: Order of Magnitude Smaller Limit on the EDM of the Electron

Monday, Jan. 13


3:30 p.m.

4 p.m.
All Experimenters' Meeting - Curia II

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a weekly calendar with links to additional information.

Ongoing and upcoming conferences at Fermilab


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Wilson Hall Cafe

Friday, Jan. 10

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

Wilson Hall Cafe menu
Chez Leon

Friday, Jan. 10
- Mixed greens with pears, pecan and balsamic vinaigrette
- Blue-cheese salad
- Stuffed filet of sole with crab meat
- Wilted spinach with lemon and pine nuts
- Carrot cake

Wednesday, Jan. 15
- Fish tacos with lime crema
- Pinto salad
- Coconut flan

Chez Leon menu
Call x3524 to make your reservation.


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From symmetry

Former CMS deputy takes reins of experiment

Tiziano Camporesi became head of the CMS experiment this month as UC Santa Barbara physicist Joe Incandela's term came to a close. Photo: Sarah Charley

At the beginning of the month, physicist Joe Incandela, who led the CMS experiment during the discovery of the Higgs boson, handed the reins to his former deputy, CERN physicist Tiziano Camporesi.

For the next two years, Camporesi will oversee all aspects of CMS — one of the two general-purpose experiments at the Large Hadron Collider — from resource management to implementing detector upgrades to planning for the future.

"There will be a lot of challenges in the future," Camporesi says. "We are preparing for the next run of the LHC in 2015 to continue to search for new physics. In parallel, we also need to develop the technology to upgrade CMS so we can exploit the High Luminosity LHC [an upgrade to the LHC planned for around 2020] to its full potential."

The CMS collaboration, one of the largest in the world, consists of more than 3000 participating members from 145 institutions. So leading it — in the position titled "spokesperson" — is a big job, says Incandela, who will now return to his teaching position at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

"The overall health of the experiment is ultimately your responsibility as spokesperson," Incandela says. "It's your responsibility to look at the big picture and make sure the experiment is headed in the right direction."

Besides setting the direction of the collaboration, Camporesi will also be tasked with maintaining the morale and spirit of the collaboration as it moves into an exploratory phase of research and development.

"Doing research and development is always a fun time for physicists," Camporesi says, "but it is challenging to decide which project we want to move forward with."

Read more

Sarah Charley

Photos of the Day

Skiing in the Batavia Alps

Fermilab employees occasionally make their way up into the Batavia Alps for some recreational downhill skiing. Bob Peterson, WDRS, took a break the other day to catch some air under his skis. Photo: Dave Hoppert, WDRS
Peterson arrives at the bottom of a legendarily steep slope exhilarated from the high-velocity descent. Photo: Dave Hoppert, WDRS
In the News

New cosmic distance measurement points the way to elusive dark energy

From Scientific American, Jan. 8, 2014

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — More galaxies are separated by about 490 million light-years than by any other large distance, astronomers have found in the most precise measurement yet of this key cosmic length scale. Using this scale, researchers calculated astronomical distances with a record low level of 1 percent uncertainty in a measurement that helps clarify what is behind the unexplained dark energy causing the universe's expansion to accelerate.

Read more

In the News

Huge cosmic voids could probe dark energy

From New Scientist, Jan. 8, 2014

Nothing to see here? Despite being vast expanses of nothingness, gigantic voids in the universe could lead us to a new theory of gravity — one that may give a clue to the nature of dark energy.

Thought to be a mysterious force pushing the universe apart, dark energy was dreamed up to explain the discovery that the expansion of the universe is accelerating. The leading model holds that space-time has an inherent amount of dark energy for any given volume and that this does not change over time — this is called a cosmological constant.

But because there is no reason why dark energy should take any specific form, some physicists find this model frustrating and so try alternative theories. "When we say dark energy, most people use it as a general label for whatever it is that we need to stick in to make things work," says Martin Sahlén of the University of Oxford.

Read more

Physics in a Nutshell


This graphic of strings and the Superman emblem was chosen to introduce today's topic: superstrings. The kitten is there just to get your attention.

Read the full article on superstrings.

One of the oldest scientific questions in history is "What are the ultimate building blocks of the universe?" Today's article talks about a cool idea called "superstrings," tiny subatomic strings that play a cosmic and subatomic symphony. Superstrings are a possible answer to the ancient question surrounding the identity of the universe's smallest components. Understanding this answer requires some historical context.

The first recorded debate on the subject was written down about 2,500 years ago in Greece, with a philosopher named Democritus making the most accurate guess when he postulated discrete units he called atomos. The question was left to the realm of the philosophers for millennia until the 1700s, when modern chemistry began to shed light on the topic using empirical techniques. With the identification of the atoms of the chemical elements, central features of Democritus' model were validated.

Over the next two-plus centuries, scientists proposed and discovered increasingly smaller components that make up our universe. They discovered the familiar proton, neutron and electron that make up atoms. Then they learned that the proton and neutron contained even smaller components called quarks. They also discovered that the two types of quarks that make up protons and neutrons, called the up and down quarks, weren't the only quarks out there.

Today we know the building blocks of matter can be classified into two types called quarks and leptons, each of which consists of six examples. The six quarks are called up, down, charm, strange, top and bottom. The six leptons are called electron, electron neutrino, muon, muon neutrino, tau and tau neutrino. With so many fundamental particles, a new organizing principle is needed to make sense of what was understood to be the universe's building blocks.

So what the heck is the story with these particles of the Standard Model, the modern-day atomos of Democritus? What role do they play in our understanding of the subatomic world?

Well, we don't know the answer to that in detail. We do know of patterns. Up, charm and top quarks all have the same electrical charge but rather different masses, with up being the lightest and top the heaviest. Down, strange and bottom also have identical electric charge and increasing mass. The electron, muon and tau lepton exhibit the same behavior. Naturally, when we see recurring patterns like this, we go looking for an explanation. One such explanation is superstrings.

Unlike what we've seen before, with each particle being composed of an even smaller one, superstrings break the pattern. Superstring theory postulates that the ultimate building block of matter consists of tiny, tiny "strings" that vibrate. Strings that vibrate the least are the quarks and leptons with the smallest mass, while the heavier particles have more energetic vibrations. Employing a musical metaphor, it's as if the electron might be a B-flat, while the bottom quark might be an F-sharp above that.

Read more

Don Lincoln


Today's New Announcements

Free introductory yoga classes Feb. 3, 6

Abri Credit Union member appreciation

2014 standard mileage reimbursement rate

English country dancing rescheduled to Jan. 11

Barn Dance - Jan. 12

Budker Seminar - free pizza and beverages - Jan. 13

Supersmart Super Computers - Pete Beckman, Argonne - Jan. 17

Dirty Dozen Brass Band - Fermilab Arts Series - Jan. 25

Chicago Brass Quintet - Fermilab Gallery Chamber Series - Jan. 26

Earned Value Management course offered Jan. 28, 29

Dreamweaver class offered in February

2014 BCBS PPO & PPO Premium plan ID cards

Float holiday - 2014

ASM handbooks are online sitewide

Wanted: Are you an AJAS fellow?

Free weekly Tai Chi Easy, Integral Tai Chi/Qigong classes

English country dancing at Kuhn Barn

Scottish country dancing meets Tuesday evenings at Kuhn Barn

International folk dancing meets Thursday evenings at Kuhn Barn

Indoor soccer

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