Friday, Feb. 14, 2014

Have a safe day!

Friday, Feb. 14

3:30 p.m.

4 p.m.
Joint Experimental-Theoretical Physics Seminar - One West
Speaker: Oliver Gutsche, Fermilab
Title: Recent Top Pair Asymmetry Measurements at CMS

Sunday, Feb. 16

2:30 p.m.
Gallery Chamber Series - WH2XO
Cavatina Duo
Tickets: $17

Monday, Feb. 17

2:30 p.m.
Particle Astrophysics Seminar - Curia II
Speaker: Cullen Blake, University of Pennsylvania
Title: Detecting Small Planets Orbiting Small Stars

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


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Wilson Hall Cafe

Friday, Feb. 14

- Breakfast: blueberry-stuffed French toast
- Breakfast: Chorizo and egg burrito
- Roast beef Manhattan
- Smart cuisine: white fish florentine
- Valentine's Day steak and shrimp
- Baked ham and Swiss ciabatta
- Sweet and sour chicken
- Clam chowder
- Texas-style chili
- Assorted pizza by the slice

Wilson Hall Cafe menu
Chez Leon

Friday, Feb. 14
- Potato, bacon and gruyere souffle
- Surf and turf (steak and lobster)
- Mushroom risotto
- Chocolate fondue

Wednesday, Feb. 19
- Cheese fondue
- Marinated vegetables
- Gingered pear crisp

Chez Leon menu
Call x3524 to make your reservation.


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Vladimir Shiltsev elected president of RASA

Vladimir Shiltsev

Vladimir Shiltsev, head of Fermilab's Accelerator Physics Center, was recently elected president of the Russian-speaking Academic Scientists Association.

The roughly 400-member association has two branches, one in the United States (called the Russian-American Scientists Association) and one in Europe, as well as members in Asia. Its objectives are to consolidate the Russian scientific diaspora, advance the career development and qualifications of its members and provide opportunities for social and cultural exchanges.

Shiltsev will serve a two-year term as president.

From symmetry

#FollowFriday: Physicists to follow on Twitter

Want more insight into the world of particle physics? In this series, symmetry recommends scientists to follow on Twitter.

Sometimes a physics fan wants to know more than just the science headlines. Luckily, there's another way to plug in to the particle physics community: Twitter. A number of scientists have taken to the social media site to share perspectives on new research and insights into their day-to-day lives.

In four installments of #FollowFriday — a series that highlights social-media savvy scientists — symmetry introduces you to 16 interesting and engaging physicists you can find on Twitter. A quick Q&A with each of them gives you an idea of what they're all about.

Read the four installments of #FollowFriday:

#FollowFriday I: Frank Close, Katherine J. Mack, Toyoko Orimoto, Matthew Strassler

#FollowFriday II: Michael Krämer; Kerstin Perez, John Preskill, Tara Shears

#FollowFriday III: John Butterworth, Hakeem M. Oluseyi, Lisa Randall, Seth Zenz

#FollowFriday IV: Kyle Cranmer, John Asher Johnson, Elena Long, Richard Ruiz

Sarah Charley

Photo of the Day

On a clear night

The moon hovers over Wilson Hall on a clear, winter night last month. Venus is visible over the treetops. Photo: Marty Murphy, AD
In the News

Neutrino success: UMN lab receives first particles from Chicago lab

From Pioneer Press, Feb. 13, 2014

Scientists at the University of Minnesota's remote underground laboratory near Lake Kabetogama in northern Minnesota say they have received their first-ever long distance neutrinos beamed from the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory near Chicago.

It's the world's longest-distance neutrino experiment — with two huge particle detectors placed 500 miles apart and scientists trying to explore the properties of an intense beam of ghostly particles called neutrinos.

The lab, about 30 miles southeast of International Falls, has been in the works for a decade. The building is valued at $40 million, with the receiver costing upwards of $180 million.

"It's nice to get it up and running and see that it works," Alec Habig, University of Minnesota Duluth physicist working on the project, said Wednesday.

The first neutrinos were spotted with just 2 of the detector's 14 units in place, Habig noted. When all 14 units are installed by the end of 2014, the neutrino detector will be even more sensitive.

Habig is a member of the NOvA collaboration, a group of 208 scientists from 38 institutions in the United States, Brazil, the Czech Republic, Greece, India, Russia and the United Kingdom. Habig is the convener of the "exotics" analysis working group with the Ash River project. His group analyzes the data to look for information that is out of the ordinary.

Read more

In the News

Ghostly neutrinos caught shape-shifting in the night

From New Scientist, Feb. 11, 2014

Ghostly particles are more active in the dark. For the first time, a neutrino detector has shown that the particles change form as they pass through Earth. And since neutrinos from the sun inevitably pass through Earth from the sunlit side, it's night-time when the detector observes the effect.

Neutrinos are nearly massless and notoriously shifty, scarcely interacting with most other matter. They come in three flavours — electron, muon and tau — and can flip between them without warning, an effect called neutrino oscillation.

Read more

Frontier Science Result: CMS

Is it single?

Finding top quarks in pairs is easy, while finding single top quarks is much tricker. In today's column, CMS announces the discovery of a single top quark that was created in a very challenging way.

Almost all scientists hope to find something that causes us to rewrite the textbooks, but there is also a class of discoveries a little less groundbreaking but still important and intellectually satisfying. In particle physics, these are predictions of the Standard Model that have not yet been confirmed.

When the LHC turned on, the first order of business was to rediscover the Standard Model — first to find jets, then W and Z bosons and eventually the heaviest known particle: top quarks. You may recall that top quarks were first discovered at the Tevatron in 1995 and studied over the next decade and a half. With higher energies and brighter beams, finding top quarks is now pretty easy. In fact, the LHC has been called a top factory.

Top quarks are generally produced in pairs, with one top quark and one top antiquark. This is how the particle was first observed. However the Standard Model also predicted that via the weak nuclear force, single top quarks could be produced. This phenomenon was discovered at the Tevatron and then confirmed by the LHC.

There are a couple of ways to make single top quarks, but one predicted way had not been observed by any experiment. This is the production of a single top quark with a W boson. One way to make this combination is to create a bottom quark with a ridiculously large mass, which then decays into a top quark and a W boson. In classical physics, creating a temporarily heavy bottom quark is a silly idea, but in quantum mechanics, it's quite sensible as long as the bottom quark doesn't exist for very long.

The fact that this process had not been seen meant that the first group to see it would get the bragging rights that go along with being able to publish any paper whose title starts with "Observation of ..." Naturally, both CMS and ATLAS started looking for this predicted process.

Using data taken in 2011, both ATLAS and CMS found evidence for this kind of top quark production, with ATLAS making the first announcement. In particle physics lingo, "Evidence for ..." means that it looks like something was found, but you can't be 100 percent sure. More data was needed.

(According to particle physics culture, "evidence" means scientists saw something at the three-sigma level, or that what they saw could have happened by accident about one time in 740. "Observation" is equivalent to discovery. It means scientists saw something at the five-sigma level, or that what they observed could happen by accident one time in 3.5 million. This video helps clarify the jargon.)

Recently, the CMS experiment submitted a paper for publication that announced the observation of collisions in which a single top quark and a W boson were made. A new discovery has now been added to the list of CMS' accomplishments.

Don Lincoln

These US CMS scientists contributed to this analysis.
These physicists contribute to building and supporting Web-based monitoring tools for CMS operations. Using these tools, the data is monitored in real time, allowing scientists to correct problems immediately.

Family Science Days in Chicago - Feb. 15-16

Barn dance - Feb. 16

School's Day Out - Feb. 17

Garden Club spring meeting - Feb. 20

URA Visiting Scholars Program deadline - Feb. 24

Interaction Management course: March 5, 12 and 19

Performance Review course: March 26 or 27

Interpersonal Communication Skills - Apr. 16

Summer 2014 on-site housing requests now accepted

All-hands meeting video and slides online

Fermi Singers invites new members

Society of Philosophy Club

Martial arts

International folk dancing meets Thursday evenings at Kuhn Barn

Scottish country dancing meets Tuesday evenings at Kuhn Barn

Indoor soccer

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