Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Have a safe day!

Tuesday, April 8

11:30 a.m.
Special Seminar - Curia II
Speaker: Albert Stebbins, Fermilab
Title: B-Modes and the Early Universe

3:30 p.m.


4 p.m.
Joint Experimental-Theoretical Physics Seminar (NOTE DATE) - One West
Speaker: Jonathan Paley, Argonne National Laboratory
Title: Measurement of Charged Pion Production Yields Off the NuMI Target in the MIPP Experiment

Wednesday, April 9

3:30 p.m.


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Wilson Hall Cafe

Tuesday, April 8

- Breakfast: All-American breakfast
- Breakfast: bacon, egg and cheese bagel
- Grilled reuben sandwich
- Smart cuisine: portobello and peppers over soft polenta
- Beef stroganoff
- Grilled chicken Caesar jazz salad wrap
- Pork carnitas soft tacos
- Split pea with ham soup
- Chef's choice soup
- Assorted pizza by the slice

Wilson Hall Cafe menu

Chez Leon

Wednesday, April 9
- Bayou catfish with Creole sauce
- Island rice
- Sauteed green beans
- Chocolate pecan pie with bourbon cream

Friday, April 11
- Mixed greens with dried cranberries, walnuts and blue cheese
- Veal limone
- Escarole and Tuscan beans
- Mixed berry pie

Chez Leon menu
Call x3524 to make your reservation.


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Feynman celebration kicks off Saturday, April 12

Edward Tufte's exhibit "The Cognitive Art of Feynman Diagrams" will be on display in the Fermilab Art Gallery in Wilson Hall from April 12 to June 26. Photo courtesy of Edward Tufte

Beginning Saturday, April 12, Fermilab will host a celebration of Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman. A centerpiece of the celebration is a 10-week exhibit titled "The Cognitive Art of Feynman Diagrams" created by statistician, Yale professor and artist Edward Tufte. The exhibit will open at 6 p.m. in the Fermilab Art Gallery.

This will be followed by a lecture at 7 p.m. and a concert at 8 p.m. in Ramsey Auditorium. Tickets for the lecture and concert are $28, $14 for those 18 and under.

The concert will be given by Huun-Huur-Tu, a group of throat singers from the small country of Tuva. Using traditional instruments and drawing subtly on 20th-century composers, funky rhythms and the palette of electronica, Huun Huur Tu transforms ancient songs into complex acoustic compositions.

Ralph Leighton, author of the book "Tuva or Bust!" and personal friend of Feynman, will give the preconcert lecture at 7 p.m. He will discuss Feynman's years-long attempt to travel to the small country of Tuva and his insatiable curiosity about the world around him.

Another Leighton connection in the celebration is the Feynman van, which will be on display in front of Wilson Hall. Feynman used the Dodge Tradesman Maxivan, adorned with images of Feynman diagrams, to explore remote areas of the American West with his family. After Feynman's death in 1988, Leighton inherited the van and used it in 1993 to transport the Tuvan throat singers during their first tour of California.

Tufte's "Interplanetary Explorer," an Airstream trailer, will also be on display outside Wilson Hall for the duration of Tufte's exhibit. It and the Feynman van can be viewed from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week.

On Wednesday, April 16, from 5-7 p.m., a special artist reception for Edward Tufte will be held in the Fermilab Art Gallery. Tickets to this reception are free, but limited. Register for the reception.

View a summary of the Feynman celebration events.

Huun-Huur-Tu will perform at Ramsey Auditorium on Saturday, April 12, at 8 p.m. Photo courtesy of Huun-Huur-Tu
Photos of the Day

Fire and light

Lee Marek, lecturer and science demonstrator at the University of Illinois at Chicago, puts on a spectacular demonstration at Sunday's Wonders of Science show, which took place at Fermilab. Marek is a founding member of Wonders of Science and has presented at the show since 1977. Photos: Cindy Arnold
In the News

Best dark matter signal yet hints at heftier particles

From New Scientist, April 4, 2014

Things are looking brighter than ever for dark matter. A brilliant haze of gamma rays coming from the centre of the Milky Way is increasingly likely to be a sign of dark matter particles annihilating each other in space. Meanwhile, hints of the same signal coming from dwarf galaxies now strengthen the case.

"This is the most compelling signal we've had for dark matter particles — ever," says Dan Hooper at the Fermi National Laboratory in Batavia, Illinois.

Hooper and his colleagues have been studying this signal since 2009, steadily building the case that dark matter is the cause. In the latest work, the team say the particle must be heavier than they first thought, bringing it in line with some of the simplest theories of dark matter. But there is a twist: a heavier particle would be in conflict with whiffs of the elusive substance from experiments trying to directly detect the particles.

Read more

From the Chief Operating Officer

Making progress, more to come

Vicky White

In January I wrote about my first three months in the job of COO. The next three months were just as eventful and have seen progress on many fronts, as well as a few bad days with operational or safety issues that could have been avoided with better planning and work processes.

We began updating the laboratory's Contractor Assurance System and started up a Policy Board. We also formulated a new single-page lab agenda, published internally in draft, though changes may come after the P5 panel delivers its report in May.

The Employee Advisory Group has been active and well organized. They provided four recommendations to management, with more to come soon. They will soon post the recommendations and their status on their website.

Paul Mantsch of the Technical Division led a working group of experienced project managers to combine the results of numerous reviews into a single set of recommended actions to improve project management at Fermilab. Eight additional working groups are active and looking into: time and effort reporting policies and practices; cost optimization; setting and communicating priorities; critical skills planning; scientific appointments; Wilson Hall space planning; a laboratory-directed R&D program; and issues management. The list of these short-term working groups and their statuses can be found here. In the next three months we are looking forward to important recommendations and results from all of these working groups.

I'm excited about the new FermiWorks system, which will go live in the summer and will let us support and maintain information on all employees, users, visitors and contractors in a single place. We will be able to do normal HR business (such as personnel requisitions, hires, promotions, performance reviews, salary increases and career planning) electronically using a modern system. I hope that we will be able to start one new project to modernize our business systems. This will be decided in April by the Information Systems Portfolio Management team.

Spring is in the air now, finally, and with it the sense of renewal and forward progress. I will continue to push forward to make improvements until the end of my tenure in the COO position. Let me know what you think — you can post to my blog.

Editor's note: Access to internal work documents and to Vicky White's blog are restricted to employees, users, visitors and contractors with a Fermilab Services computing account.

From symmetry

Expanding universe measured with precision

The Sloan Digital Sky Survey has made the most precise measurement of the expansion rate of the universe over a period of time, an important step toward understanding dark energy. Image: Zosia Rostomian, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and Andreu Font-Ribera, BOSS Lyman-alpha team, Berkeley Lab

Astronomers on the Sloan Digital Sky Survey announced today they have determined the rate at which the universe was expanding at a quarter of its present age with an unprecedented precision of 2 percent. This is the best measurement yet of the universe's expansion rate at any epoch in the last 13 billion years.

Scientists presented the measurement at the April 2014 meeting of the American Physical Society in Savannah, Georgia.

Astronomers on the Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey, or BOSS, the largest component of the third Sloan Digital Sky Survey, made the new measurement by studying 140,000 bright extragalactic objects called quasars. In a technique they pioneered, they used the quasars to map the distribution of intergalactic hydrogen gas, which gave them insight into the expansion rate of the universe.

Read more

Kathryn Jepsen


Today's New Announcements

Indoor soccer

A Smart Cuisine purchase earns you 10 bonus points

Book Fair - today and tomorrow

LabVIEW seminars scheduled on April 10

Strength Training registration due April 11

Interpersonal Communication Skills course - April 16

Edward Tufte artist reception - April 16

Tour guides for Illini Alumni event - May 3

West bike rack area closed

On sale now: Fermilab Natural Areas hats and shirts

Abri Credit Union gives away two $1,000 scholarships

Active For Life Multilab Challenge

Walk 2 Run

2014 Fermilab Golf League season is upon us

Wednesday Walkers

Scottish country dancing meets Tuesday evenings at Kuhn Barn

International folk dancing meets Thursday evenings at Kuhn Barn