Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Have a safe day!

Tuesday, April 22

11 a.m.
Academic Lecture Series - One West
Speaker: Gabriel Perdue, Fermilab
Title: Neutrino-Nucleus Interactions

3:30 p.m.

4 p.m.
Accelerator Physics and Technology Seminar - One West
Speaker: Ki Shin, Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Title: Study of SNS Front-End RF Structures (RFQ and MEBT)

Wednesday, April 23

3:30 p.m.

4 p.m.
Fermilab Colloquium - One West
Speaker: Greg Engel, University of Chicago
Title: Probing Design Principles of Energy Transfer in Photosynthetic and Biomimetic Systems

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Wilson Hall Cafe

Tuesday, April 22

- Breakfast: All-American breakfast
- Breakfast: bacon, egg and cheese bagel
- Chicken fajita sandwich
- Smart cuisine: Mediterranean baked tilapia
- Brazilian beef stew with rice
- Rachel melt
- Chicken BLT ranch salad
- Beef and rice soup
- Chef's choice soup
- Assorted pizza by the slice

Wilson Hall Cafe menu

Chez Leon

Wednesday, April 23
- Grilled teriyaki shrimp kebobs
- Couscous
- Sugar snap peas
- Coconut flan

Friday, April 25
- Mandarin orange and red onion salad
- Grilled mahi mahi with avocado and tomatillo salsa
- Thai rice pilaf
- Grilled asparagus
- Coconut cake

Chez Leon menu
Call x3524 to make your reservation.


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From symmetry

Is the universe balanced on a pinhead?

New precise measurements of the mass of the top quark bring back the question: Is our universe inherently unstable? Photo courtesy of Colin Harris, Flickr

Scientists have known the mass of the heaviest fundamental particle, the top quark, since 1995.

But recent, more precise measurements of this mass have revived an old question: Why is it so huge?

No one is sure, but it might be a sign that our universe is inherently unstable. Or it might be a sign that some factor we don't yet understand is keeping us in balance.

The top quark's mass comes from its interaction with the Higgs field, which is responsible for the delicate balance of mass that allows matter to exist in its solid, stable form.

"The top quark is the heaviest known particle and talks the most to the Higgs field," says Fermilab theoretical physicist Joe Lykken.

Because the top quark is deeply intertwined with the Higgs field, physicists use it as a probe to examine its properties, such as its stability under different circumstances.

But when scientist plug the measured mass of the top quark into their equations based on everything they know about the Standard Model of particle physics, something very odd happens.

"When we run the Standard Model equations up to high energies, there is a region where the Higgs field shouldn't be there," says CMS experimental physicist and Rice University professor Karl Ecklund. "There, the vacuum, which is normally filled with the Higgs field, could have a negative energy."

If this prediction is correct, the Higgs field is precariously balanced only in its current state and could at any moment topple into another, more stable one.

Read more

Sarah Charley

In Brief

Information session on new Laboratory Directed R&D initiative - tomorrow at 2 p.m.

Fermilab has instituted a Laboratory Directed Research and Development program to support employee-initiated proposals that are novel and cutting edge and that explore the forefront of science and technology.

One-page preliminary proposals for LDRD are due May 9, and full proposals will be due May 23.

The program will enhance the laboratory's ability to carry out its own mission, as well as that of DOE, in areas that are outside our current programs and projects but that are well-aligned with the strategic goals of the laboratory.

William Wester, LDRD coordinator, will present an information session in Curia II on Wednesday, April 23, from 2-3 p.m. A repeat of the information session will be given in One East the following Tuesday, April 29, from noon-1 p.m.

All are invited to attend and learn more about this new initiative at the lab. Contact William Wester at x2113 with questions.

Photos of the Day

Reception for "The Cognitive Art of Feynman Diagrams"

Artist and visualization master Edward Tufte talks to attendees at the reception for his art exhibit "The Cognitive Art of Feynman Diagrams," which can be viewed in the Fermilab Art Gallery. Photo: Reidar Hahn
Those interested in Tufte's work and philosophy on information visualization can visit his website or check out any of his books on the subject, available in the Fermilab library. Photo: Reidar Hahn
Fermilab's Chris Quigg explains the connection between quantum electrodynamics and Feynman diagrams in a brief talk on the exhibit. Photo: Reidar Hahn
In the News

Supersymmetry and the crisis in physics

From Scientific American, May 2014

Editor's note: Fermilab scientist Joe Lykken co-authored this article.

At dawn on a summer morning in 2012, we were on our third round of espresso when the video link connected our office at the California Institute of Technology to the CERN laboratory near Geneva. On the monitor we saw our colleagues on the Razor team, one of many groups of physicists analyzing data from the CMS experiment at CERN's Large Hadron Collider (LHC). Razor was created to search for exotic collisions that would provide the first evidence of supersymmetry, a 45-year-old theory of matter that would supplant the standard understanding of particle physics, solving deep problems in physics and explaining the nature of the universe's mysterious dark matter. After decades of searching, no experimental evidence for supersymmetry has been found.

Read more (subscription required)

From the Associate Laboratory Director for Operations Support

Powering the future

Randy Ortgiesen

Most people, including myself, often take for granted that electricity will be available every time we flip a switch to turn on a light, make a pot of coffee or power up thousands of components to operate Fermilab's accelerators and detectors.

The complex production and delivery of electricity begins with the spinning of a generator, which can be powered from many different fuel sources. This creates the movement of electrons by stepping up and down the voltages for transportation and distribution, which is enhanced by protective relaying and circuitry.

When electricity is suddenly taken away, we certainly begin to appreciate it more. At home, we may scramble for a flashlight. Here at Fermilab, a team must undertake many activities to mitigate the adverse impacts of an unplanned shutdown of Fermilab's scientific complex. The more reliable our electricity, the less vulnerable we are and the less likely we will have unplanned outages.

I am thrilled to report that through the efforts of many individuals at Fermilab, the Fermi Site Office, the Office of High Energy Physics and the Office of Science's Laboratory Infrastructure program, we have received full funding to replace the Master Substation, perhaps the most critical element of the site's electrical infrastructure.

The Master Substation served the laboratory well for 44 years, and all of the site's electrical power passed through it for 28 years (the Kautz Road Substation was constructed in 1998 to serve the newly constructed Main Injector accelerator complex). It provided all the electrical power for the Tevatron and its glorious past and continues to provide power to all areas of the site, except the Main Injector accelerator complex. While it is an important part of Fermilab's electrical infrastructure, it also represents the laboratory's largest operational vulnerability because of its age. Despite a robust maintenance program, the equipment is outdated and, in many cases, obsolete. This has been the condition for the past several years and has been monitored closely, with backup plans developed where possible.

The replacement of the Master Substation will eliminate the laboratory's largest single operational vulnerability, restore a high level of reliability and help position the laboratory for a promising future. Stay tuned to hear and see more about this over the coming months.

Construction Update

MC-1 Building experimental hall complete

Beneficial occupancy of the MC-1 Building experimental hall was granted on April 10. Photo: Cindy Arnold

The MC-1 Building project met another major milestone by achieving beneficial occupancy of its experimental hall on April 10. This allows Fermilab employees and subcontractors to work in the hall while the rest of the building is being completed. The lab took beneficial occupancy of the refrigeration room in January, and the remainder of the building will be complete next month.

Subcontractors for the Accelerator Division Cryogenics Department have already started installing the final section of cryo piping that connects the refrigeration room equipment to the AZero compressor building. Once this work is complete, the Muon g-2 project will start installing the bottom yoke steel of the storage ring.

The Muon g-2 ring, currently stored outside the Meson Detector Building, will make its final move to its permanent home in the lower level of the experimental hall later this summer.

Russ Alber

In the News

IMSA students work on projects with local labs, universities

From The Courier-News, April 20, 2014

AURORA — Since the beginning of the school year, 17-year-old Vikram Anjur has spent his Wednesdays not in a classroom at the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy but doing experiments at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia.

Read more


Zumba Fitness Open House - today

Zumba Toning registration due today

Pre-retirement planning Lunch and Learn - April 23 and May 7

Earth Week Fair - April 24

Zumba Fitness registration due April 24

Fermilab Lecture Series: Nigel Lockyer gives talk on April 25

Three-on-three basketball tourney - starts May 1

Change in tax practice may affect some visitors

Fermilab Time and Labor URLs changing

On sale now: Fermilab Natural Areas hats and shirts

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