Monday, April 14, 2014

Have a safe day!

Monday, April 14


3:30 p.m.

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

Tuesday, April 15

11 a.m.
Academic Lecture Series - One West
Speaker: Dave Gaskell, Jefferson Lab
Title: The EMC Effect: Exploring the Structure of Nucleons in Nuclei

2:30 p.m.
Theoretical Physics Seminar (NOTE DATE) - Curia II
Speaker: David McKeen, University of Washington
Title: Particle Physics Implications of 30-GeV Dark Matter Annihilating to b Quarks

3 p.m.
LHC Physics Center Topic of the Week Seminar - WH11NE
Speaker: Kaustubh Agashe, University of Maryland
Title: Using Energy-Peaks to Measure Particle (New and Old) Masses

3:30 p.m.

4 p.m.
Accelerator Physics and Technology Seminar - One West
Speaker: Alexey Burov, Fermilab
Title: Impedance, Its Friends and the Police

Click here for NALCAL,
a weekly calendar with links to additional information.

Ongoing and upcoming conferences at Fermilab


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Flags at full staff

Wilson Hall Cafe

Monday, April 14

- Breakfast: pancake sandwich
- Breakfast: sausage, egg and cheese croissant
- Philly chicken sandwich
- Smart cuisine: rosemary chicken breast
- Corned beef and cabbage
- Spicy buffalo chicken wrap
- Szechuan-style green beans with chicken
- Vegetarian white bean and Tuscan kale soup
- Texas-style chili
- Assorted pizza by the slice

Wilson Hall Cafe menu

Chez Leon

Wednesday, April 16
- Pork satay with peanut sauce
- Jasmine rice
- Peapods
- Pineapple upside-down cake

Friday, April 18

Chez Leon menu
Call x3524 to make your reservation.


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From symmetry

Tufte's Feynman sculptures come to Fermilab

Edward Tufte, celebrated statistician and master of informational graphics, transforms physics notations into works of art. Photo courtesy of Edward Tufte

If you ask a physicist how particles interact and you have a drawing surface handy, the explanation will likely come in the form of a series of lines, arrows, squiggles and loops.

These drawings, called Feynman diagrams, help organize a calculation. They represent the mathematical formulas of how particles interact, beginning to end, and also the rate at which the interaction happens.

A new exhibit at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory examines the beauty and simplicity of this shorthand.

"For all of us, experimentalists and theorists alike, the way we think about things really is embedded in Feynman diagrams," says Chris Quigg, a Fermilab theoretical physicist. "They're wonderful shorthand for getting to the essence of what's going on."

"The Cognitive Art of Feynman Diagrams" by Edward Tufte celebrates the work of Richard Feynman, the Nobel Prize-winning physicist who developed the eponymous diagrams. Tufte is a Yale professor, statistician and artist who has written four books on analytical design. In his search for the effective data visualizations, Tufte was inspired by Feynman's book QED: The Strange Theory of Light and Matter.

"Feynman diagrams are among the most important and best information visualizations ever made," Tufte says. "They replace some hairy math, visualize nature at extremely small scales and have direct empirical relevance."

The exhibit also gives a new perspective of physics to non-physicists, says Georgia Schwender, Fermilab's visual art coordinator.

Someone unfamiliar with the concept of quantum uncertainty might, for example, appreciate its visual representation in the piece "All Possible Photons" (pictured above). It depicts in Feynman diagrams the 120 possible outcomes of a meeting of six discrete units of light.

The steel wire sculptures are mounted inches from a wall and illuminated with light sources of varying qualities to create a three-dimensional appearance. The piece is composed of both the sculptures and the shadows they create. Tufte debuted a similar exhibit in New York City in 2012.

The 120 diagrams Tufte used are derived from an academic paper published 20 years ago titled "One Loop Multiphoton Helicity Amplitudes" by Greg Mahlon, who began the project as a doctoral student at Cornell University. Mahlon, who published the paper while he was a postdoc at Fermilab and now works as an associate professor of physics at the Mont Alto Campus of the Pennsylvania State University, appreciates Tufte's aesthetic interpretation.

"I think it's a brilliant idea to create sculptures that play with how light and matter interact by using diagrams that depict how light and matter interact," Mahlon says.

The immaterial shadows cast by the steel sculptures truly reflect the action at the subatomic scale, Quigg says.

"We draw straight lines representing electrons, but our minds see each line with the frothiness of quantum theory's uncertainties and probabilities," he says.

Read more

Amanda Solliday

In the News

Interferometry tips the scales on antimatter

From Physics World, April 7, 2014

A new technique for measuring how antimatter falls under gravity has been proposed by researchers in the US. The team says that its device — based on cooling atoms of antimatter and making them interfere — could also help to test Einstein's equivalence principle with antihydrogen — something that could have far-reaching consequences for cosmology. Finding even the smallest of differences between the behaviour of matter and antimatter could shine a light on why there is more matter than antimatter in the universe today, as well as help us to better understand the nature of the dark universe. Up or down?

Read more

In the News

LHC spots particle that may be new form of matter

From New Scientist, April 10, 2014

A long-sought fugitive has been caught at the world's largest particle accelerator. Experiments at the Large Hadron Collider confirm that a provocative particle called Z(4430) actually exists — and it may be the strongest evidence yet for a new form of matter called a tetraquark.

Quarks are subatomic particles that are the fundamental building blocks of matter. They are known to exist either in groups of two, forming short-lived mesons, or in threes, forming the protons and neutrons that make up atomic nuclei. Researchers have suspected for decades that quarks might also bind together in quartets, forming tetraquarks, but they have not been able to do the complicated quantum calculations necessary to test the idea.

Read more

Tip of the Week: Quality Assurance

Only the best: high-quality software at Fermilab

The Software Quality Assurance program applies to all applications used at the laboratory.

We all have certain expectations for how particular pieces of software should perform. At Fermilab, we develop and use highly sophisticated software to meet the needs of our scientific programs. We also use commercial applications that have been customized or configured to meet specific operational needs. Regardless of the application, it's important that the laboratory's software meets or exceeds the requirements or expectations for its intended use.

Quality software has always been a priority. Our current effort, to help ensure that the software we develop and use meets performance requirements and specifications, involves a team of individuals from across the lab who developed the Fermilab Software Quality Assurance program.

As part of a larger quality initiative within DOE, the Fermilab SQA program applies to all software applications used at Fermilab. Individuals responsible for specific applications are assessing and implementing software quality assurance using a graded approach based on the analysis of potential risks, should the software not perform as intended. Evaluating each software application against potential consequences allows for the implementation of quality control measures at appropriate levels.

The Fermilab SQA implementation follows a three-step process. The first step is to identify and inventory the software applications used throughout the lab. Second, once the inventory is complete, the appropriate QA level (high, moderate or low) for each application is determined based on criteria defined in the SQA program document. Finally, existing controls are evaluated and new controls are implemented as needed to provide the appropriate level of quality assurance. Quality control measures are also defined in the SQA program document.

Implementation of the SQA program is currently under way, with various organizations inventorying and grading their applications. They are also determining which controls are in place and which will need to be established. Program implementation will continue over the next year, with an initial focus on the most critical applications, which are those that meet the high-level QA criteria.

Additional information on the Fermilab SQA program, including FAQs, can be found on the SQA SharePoint site. Questions on the program or approach should be directed to the SQA team.

Bill Boroski and Julie Marsh, Computing Sector, and Kathy Zappia, ESH&Q

Photo of the Day

What a day for a sunbath

Turtles sunbathe in the small pond by Site 38. Photo: Sue Quarto, FESS
In Brief

On-site volunteer cleanup - Thursday at lunchtime

Help keep Fermilab's site clean. Join the Third Thursday Lunchtime Cleanup crew to clean areas of the site on Thursday, April 17, from 11:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. A hot dog lunch and refreshments will follow. Cleanup gear will be provided.

If you plan to volunteer, please RSVP to Jeannette Olah via email or at x3303. You may also contact her with questions.

Volunteers should plan to meet at the east ground-floor entrance of Wilson Hall at 11:45 a.m. sharp for transportation to the cleanup site.


Today's New Announcements

Fitness Center Open House - April 15

Earth Week Fair - April 24

Budker Seminar - today

Interpersonal Communication Skills course - April 16

Edward Tufte artist reception - April 16

On sale now: Fermilab Natural Areas hats and shirts

Active For Life Multilab Challenge

A Smart Cuisine purchase earns you 10 bonus points

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

Indoor soccer