Friday, Feb. 28, 2014

Have a safe day!

Friday, Feb. 28

3:30 p.m.

4 p.m.
Joint Experimental-Theoretical Physics Seminar - One West
Speaker: Francis Halzen, University of Wisconsin
Title: IceCube and the Discovery of High-Energy Extraterrestrial Neutrino

Saturday, March 1

8 p.m.
Fermilab Arts Series - Auditorium
Alan Kelly Gang
Tickets: $23/$12

Monday, March 3

2 p.m.
Particle Astrophysics Seminar - Curia II
Speaker: Marcos Santander, University of Wisconsin - Madison
Title: The High-Energy Cosmic-Ray Sky as Seen by IceCube, IceTop and AMANDA

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. 28

- Breakfast: cherry-stuffed French toast
- Breakfast: Chorizo and egg burrito
- Beer-battered fish sandwich
- Smart cuisine: sweet and sour apricot chicken
- Poached salmon
- Turkey and cucumber salad wraps
- Big beef burrito
- Manhattan skyline clam chowder
- Texas-style chili
- Assorted pizza by the slice

Wilson Hall Cafe menu
Chez Leon

Friday, Feb. 28

Wednesday, Mar. 5
Menu unavailable

Chez Leon menu
Call x3524 to make your reservation.


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Fermilab's Teacher Resource Center helps STEM educators keep current

Fermilab's Teacher Resource Center serves educators of all kinds: teachers, scientists, librarians and professors. Photo: Reidar Hahn

Just a few steps away from Fermilab's iconic Wilson Hall, the one-room Teacher Resource Center provides educational materials for about 300 teachers each year.

"It may be small, but it's mighty," said Mike Knapp, eighth-grade science teacher at Marquardt Middle School in Glendale Heights, Ill. Knapp has used the TRC for decades.

Located at the Lederman Science Center, the TRC houses instructional materials for STEM classrooms ranging from pre-kindergarten all the way to professional development. The TRC's shelves are filled not only with curriculum materials from many publishers, but also trade books, biographies and works of fiction that can be incorporated into a contemporary STEM classroom. The TRC is also a hub for online educational materials. Center staff offer free individual or group consulting on specific topics, such as implementing the Next Generation Science Standards or lesson plan themes such as electricity and magnetism.

"It's a one-stop shop for anyone who's teaching science. I can't think of any other place where you can pull together curricula on so many different science topics," said Brian Skriba, teacher at Hermes Elementary School in Aurora, Ill., and a curriculum partner for Aurora University's John C. Dunham STEM Partnership School, which will open this fall.

The TRC staff also aims to link instructors with modern science in practice.

"We want teaching to reflect how science really works," said Susan Dahl, TRC education program leader and president of Fermilab Friends for Science Education. "Fermilab is the perfect place for educators to see how scientists and engineers work with current technology and how STEM disciplines and practices come together."

TRC users are not limited to K-12 instructors. Scientists who guest-lecture, librarians, university students and professors, as well as parents who want to supplement their children's education, use the TRC.

"We define 'educator' broadly," Dahl said.

Knapp started using the TRC after he participated in a Fermilab workshop in the late 1980s.

Since then, he's not only brought new science lessons to his eighth graders, but also introduced the TRC to other teachers. As an adjunct instructor of continuing education classes at National Louis University, Knapp brings other teachers to Fermilab so they, too, can take advantage of the TRC.

"I'm trying to make sure it's not the best-kept secret out there," Knapp said. "The TRC can really help educators with a tight budget and limited resources. Materials come and go, but helpful advice from the TRC staff is really what makes the center valuable to me. It's an educational mecca."

Amanda Solliday


Fermilab Arts Series presents Alan Kelly Gang - tomorrow in Ramsey Auditorium

The Alan Kelly Gang performs at Fermilab in Ramsey Auditorium on Saturday, March 1, at 8 p.m.

The Alan Kelly Gang has been taking audiences by storm, impressing music lovers and critics alike. Fronted by Ireland's piano accordion maestro and described by New York's Irish Voice as "in league with the best piano accordionists in the world," the band includes some of Ireland's finest musicians, all critically acclaimed masters of their own craft. The Alan Kelly Gang performs in Ramsey Auditorium on Saturday, March 1, at 8 p.m.

Alan Kelly, the driving force behind the Gang, has been a busy performer on the scene for 20-odd years, working with many different projects and musicians, some of his own motivation and some as musical collaborations with other top musician friends. Over his career so far he has amounted a vast wealth of experience that has helped lead him to his present-day status as one of Ireland's most accomplished musicians.

The four-piece band is a combination of accordion, fiddle, flute, guitar and vocals. With many years behind them developing and refining their distinctive, pulsey sound, the Alan Kelly Gang create music that weaves in and out of the traditional, contemporary and world music genres.

Tickets are $23, $12 for those ages 18 and under. For more information or to make reservations, visit the Fermilab Arts Series Web page or call 630-840-2787.

Photo of the Day

Steel and sky

The stainless steel tiles of the Mobius Strip reflect light from above. Steve Krave, TD
In the News

Coming soon: heroes of the Higgs

From The New York Times, Feb. 24, 2014

Physicists get to discover a new particle once in a generation, if they are lucky.

In 2006, it occurred to David Kaplan, a physics professor at Johns Hopkins, that his generation's time was at hand. Scientists and engineers at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, were putting the finishing touches on the Large Hadron Collider, the largest science machine ever built, with the aim of finding the Higgs particle, allegedly responsible for the masses of other particles in the universe.

Read more

Frontier Science Result: CMS

Next-to-next-to-leading order

Now that a new landscape has been opened up by the LHC, it's time to survey every inch of it with precision measurements.

In the early months of the LHC, many of the studies performed were searches for striking phenomena: event patterns that could not be anything other than new physics. Before we had this window on the microscopic universe, all sorts of proposed new laws of nature were theoretically possible — they would have had negligible effects on low-energy experiments but would have been dramatically revealed in high-energy collisions. In its first two years, the LHC struck down hundreds of hypotheses such as these. In its third and fourth, it discovered and started measuring the properties of the long-sought Higgs boson, one prediction that turned out to be true.

While all of these activities are still going on, the tide is shifting toward thorough surveys of the new landscape. New laws of nature are probably still waiting to be discovered, which is to say that we probably don't know everything there is to know just yet. But they might be subtle, lurking in the 10th decimal place. By measuring a wide variety of known processes with ever-increasing precision, scientists are casting a wide net. The surveyors might find what the conquerors missed.

One such analysis is the measurement of the production of a W boson accompanied by two b quarks. As with all experiments, there is a story behind it: Previous measurements of a W boson and at least one b quark disagreed with the theoretical calculations, especially in cases where multiple b quarks overlapped in the detector, masquerading as a single b quark. By requiring events with two distinct b quarks, this new analysis can help to resolve the issue. The discrepancy is probably not new physics, but an uncertainty in the structure of the proton at its smallest scales.

CMS scientists recently published a high-precision analysis of the W-b-b signature. What they found is consistent with the theoretical prediction, and that narrows the range of possible reasons for the previous discrepancy. In fact, it is sensitive to "next-to-next-to-leading order," two levels of refinement deeper than the basic calculation. The new results are already providing important feedback to the theoretical community, helping them to stamp out uncertainties in the computer simulations that are used to make predictions. It will likely have a subtle effect on scientific studies for years to come, the way that accurate maps improved upon the first crude sketches of the new world.

Jim Pivarski

The physicists pictured above performed a precision measurement of the production rate of W bosons accompanied by two b quarks.
Kevin Burkett was recently named acting head of the CMS Center. The CMS Center oversees Fermilab's activities in the CMS experiment at the LHC.
In Brief

Now accepting entries for Fermilab Summer Lecture Series photo contest

See the background image on the right? Think you can do better? Enter the Fermilab Summer Lecture Series photo contest.

The organization that brings you the yearly Fermilab Summer Lecture Series wants your artistic input.

Entries are now being accepted for the Summer Lecture Series photo contest. The winning photo will be featured as the background of the lecture series poster, which will be displayed throughout the Fermilab campus.

Entries should convey the themes of Fermilab and summer. Entrants should also keep in mind that the photo will appear underneath text (see above image). Anyone may participate. Visit the photo contest Web page for more details.

The prize is a print of your photo and a pound of artisan coffee, compliments of the Fermilab Photo Club.

The entry deadline is Friday, March 21, at noon. Submit your entry to


Today's New Announcements

URA Thesis Award competition deadline - March 20

FermiPoint doctor-is-in booth in atrium - today

School's Day Out - today

Butts & Guts registration due today

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

English country dancing at Kuhn Village Barn - March 2

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

Society of Philosophy Club meets March 13

Photography contest - through March 21

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

Find new classified ads on Fermilab Today.