Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014

Have a safe day!

Wednesday, Feb. 26

11 a.m.
Intensity Frontier Seminar (NOTE DATE) - WH8XO
Speaker: Juan Jose Gomez-Cadenas, University of Valencia
Title: Exploring the Majorana Landscape: the NEXT Generation

3:30 p.m.


Thursday, Feb. 27

11 a.m.
Academic Lecture Series - One West
Speaker: John Beacom, The Ohio State University
Title: Supernova Neutrinos

2:30 p.m.
Theoretical Physics Seminar - Curia II
Speaker: Elisabetta Furlan, Fermilab
Title: Higgs Rates and New Quarks

3:30 p.m.

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Wilson Hall Cafe

Wednesday, Feb. 26

- Breakfast: breakfast pizza
- Breakfast: ham, egg and cheese English muffin
- Gyro
- Smart cuisine: baked pork chops
- Chicken cacciatore
- California club
- Chicken carbonara
- Corn chowder
- Texas-style chili
- Assorted calzones

Wilson Hall Cafe menu

Chez Leon

Wednesday, Feb. 26
- Shrimp and sausage gumbo
- Mixed green salad
- Bread pudding

Friday, Feb. 28

Chez Leon menu
Call x3524 to make your reservation.


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An unsung hero of particle physics: GlideinWMS

GlideinWMS manages computing resources for researchers on the Open Science Grid. Image: Amanda Solliday

There's a computing program that works under the radar for many particle physics experiments, one that makes life easier for researchers dealing with large amounts of data.

First developed at Fermilab by Igor Sfiligoi, the Glidein Work Management System works much like an air traffic controller by organizing data that land at global computing centers.

"Our goal is to make the process as simple as possible for scientists," said Burt Holzman, head of CMS computing facilities at Fermilab and GlideinWMS project manager.

Scientists from all over the world send information about jobs — large packets of scientific analyses — through network connections to one of the four Glidein "factories." These factories are located at Fermilab, CERN, UC San Diego and Indiana University.

The system processes on the order of hundreds of millions of jobs each year. In a given day, upwards of 200,000 computing jobs from the CMS experiment at CERN pass through the Glidein system.

A GlideinWMS factory tracks down open space at grid sites, which are computing centers that can easily process and store big data. The Open Science Grid ties these centers together and gives scientists access to the computing resources they need. Hundreds of computing centers are connected globally through the system. The Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation jointly fund the Open Science Grid.

The Glidein system can ship large packets of data into the grid in seconds if slots at the computing centers are open. With its high-performance computing capability, resources can be distributed to different jobs in order to run more efficiently. That kind of efficiency is invaluable for experiments that process vast stores of data. The entire duration for a job is typically hours.

Without the factories, the system was "an unstable beast" and riddled with user or equipment errors, Holzman said. The factory system insulates researchers from system failures, which means experimenters don't need to worry about jobs crashing. If there is a problem, the factory quickly reroutes the job to a different open slot.

The Glidein software works with HTCondor, a resource management system developed at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The system uses HTCondor to makes nodes — resources at large computing clusters — appear local to the user. Related programs share bird-related names such as Parrot and Chirp, and Glidein follows this naming tradition. The user "glides in" like a bird to the Open Science Grid. Recently, the reach of the system expanded to include clouds such as the Amazon Elastic Compute Cluster and OpenStack.

Anyone who is on the Open Science Grid may use Glidein. Use of the software extends beyond particle physics to other disciplines such as structural biology and neurology.

The latest goal for the system is to build on its ability to send information to the cloud and take advantage of an even larger network of computing power.

Amanda Solliday

Photo of the Day

Final NOvA far-detector block goes up in Minnesota

On Tuesday, Feb. 25, a crew in Ash River, Minn., installed the last of the NOvA far detector's 28 blocks. View this video to learn more about the installation of the NOvA detector. Photo: William Miller, NOvA installation manager, University of Minnesota
In the News

To catch a solar neutrino, search at night

From Physics Today, February 2014

A neutrino is created or detected in one of three flavor states named after the electron, muon, and tau particles. But those are not the stationary states of well-defined mass. As a result, an electron neutrino leaving the Sun and headed toward Earth, for example, could change flavor on the way and avoid notice by electron-neutrino detectors. That phenomenon — vacuum neutrino oscillation — has been confirmed in numerous experiments and was a key to understanding one of the great mysteries of 20th-century physics: Why do we observe so many fewer solar electron neutrinos than we expect based on reliable models of neutrino production in the Sun's core? But vacuum neutrino oscillation alone is not enough to solve the solar-neutrino problem.

Read more

From the Particle Physics Division

Getting ready to run NOvA

Mike Lindgren

Mike Lindgren, head of the Particle Physics Division, wrote this column.

At the end of the summer of 2012, I spent two weeks in northern Minnesota working with people from the University of Minnesota, Argonne National Laboratory and PPD who were busy building the first of 28 sections of the NOvA far detector. Yesterday saw the installation of the last of those sections. In the past 18 months, everyone involved has accomplished an incredible amount of work, safely and on schedule.

The Minnesota crew have been filling the detector with 50,000 gallons of liquid scintillator every week, and 26 of the 500-ton sections are now filled. On the Fermilab home front, members of the NOvA project have placed underground the smaller near detector, assembled in the CDF building. It is now comfortably situated in its new abode near the MINOS and MINERvA detectors and is ready to be filled and instrumented.

Much of the far detector is already reading out data, and scientists even recently saw their first neutrinos from Fermilab. The crew installing electronics and photodetectors is working rapidly to complete the remaining sections. As they progress, more of the detector comes alive. As it does, the quality of the project team's work becomes evident, with each newly instrumented section adding data to the others almost immediately. The project will wrap up the construction and commissioning of both near and far detectors this year, leaving us with a powerful new tool for neutrino science.

In the meantime, NOvA is turning its focus to excellent operations.

Planning for the experiment run began a long time ago. PPD has been working with the experimental collaboration for years to commission the prototype detector on the surface and to iron out the inevitable kinks one finds when starting to run such a massive detector. The operations crew in Ash River, Minn., is in place, and Fermilab operations teams are looking forward to running and maintaining the near detector, as well as making repairs to the far detector as needed.

Another mark of progress that will soon be apparent to Wilson Hall's visitors is a new control room on the atrium level. Once it is complete, members of Fermilab's neutrino and muon experiments will be able to run their detector operations in this new facility. Until then, NOvA members will continue monitoring shifts in the current 12th-floor neutrino control room.

With the accelerator running capably and the computing needs well-handled, PPD is looking forward to working with the collaboration to successfully complete the NOvA project. The exciting part will come when the experiment is running. Then we can extract outstanding physics for the rest of the decade.

The graphic shows the status of the NOvA installation as of Feb. 24. The last of the NOvA far detector's 28 blocks was installed on Tuesday, Feb. 25. Image: NOvA Collaboration
Safety Update

ESH&Q weekly report, Feb. 25

This week's safety report, compiled by the Fermilab ESH&Q Section, contains three incidents.

An employee slipped on snow and ice, falling on her back. This is a report-only case.

An employee accidentally struck his head against a cable tray. No medical treatment was necessary.

An employee strained his left knee after slipping on ice and twisting his leg.

Find the full report here.


Today's New Announcements

Urban coyote meeting - Feb. 27

Lunch and Learn: BCBS, Prime Therapeutics online tools - today

FermiPoint doctor-is-in booth in atrium - today through Feb. 28

Zumba Toning registration due Feb. 27

Society of Philosophy Club meets Feb. 27

School's Day Out - Feb. 28

Butts & Guts registration due Feb. 28

Direct from Ireland: Alan Kelly Gang - Fermilab Arts Series - March 1

Deadline for on-site summer housing requests - March 3

Interaction Management course - March 6, 13 and 20

Rembrandt Chamber Players - Gallery Chamber Series - March 9

Performance Review course: March 26 or 27

Martial arts

International folk dancing meets Thursday evenings at Kuhn Barn

Scottish country dancing meets Tuesday evenings at Kuhn Barn