Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2014

Have a safe day!

Wednesday, Aug. 13

9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Fermilab-CERN Hadron Collider Physics Summer Symposium

3:30 p.m.

4 p.m.
Fermilab Colloquium - One West
Speaker: Bogdan Dobrescu, Fermilab
Title: Hidden Interactions of Quarks

Thursday, Aug. 14

9 a.m.-5:20 p.m.
Fermilab-CERN Hadron Collider Physics Summer Symposium

10:30 a.m.
Research Techniques Seminar - Curia II
Speaker: Daniel Holck, Durham University
Title: CHOUGH, the Canary-Hosted Upgrade for High-Order Adaptive Optics

Theoretical Physics Seminar - Curia II
Speaker: Hojin Yoo, University of Wisconsin, Madison
Title: Nanoshots from the Crab Pulsar and Schwinger Sparks

3:30 p.m.

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

Wednesday, Aug. 13

- Breakfast: breakfast pizza
- Breakfast: ham, egg and cheese English muffin
- Gyros
- Smart cuisine: baked pork chops
- Chicken cacciatore
- California turkey wrap
- Chicken carbonara
- Three bean overland soup
- Texas-style chili
- Assorted calzones

Wilson Hall Cafe menu

Chez Leon

Wednesday, Aug. 13
- Baked southwest chicken with jack cheese and peppers
- Frijoles
- Mexican rice
- Apricot pecan tartlets

Friday, Aug. 15
- Wild mushroom tart
- Porcini-crusted filet
- Boursin creamed spinach
- Roasted new potatoes
- Double-caramel turtle cake

Chez Leon menu
Call x3524 to make your reservation.


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Fermilab hosts first C++ school for next generation of particle physicists

Students learn the ropes of C++ at last week's software school, hosted at Fermilab.

Colliding particle beams without the software know-how to interpret the collisions would be like conducting an archaeological dig without the tools to sift through the artifacts. Without a way to get to the data, you wouldn't know what you were looking at.

Eager to keep future particle physicists well-equipped and up to date on the field's chosen data analysis tools, Scientific Computing Division's Liz Sexton-Kennedy and Sudhir Malik, now physics professor at University of Puerto Rico Mayagyez, organized Fermilab's first C++ software school, which was held last week.

"C++ is the language of high-energy physics analysis and reconstruction," Malik said. "There was no organized effort to teach it, so we started this school."

Although software skills are crucial for simulating and interpreting particle physics data, physics graduate school programs don't formally venture into the more utilitarian skill sets. Thus scientists take it upon themselves to learn C++ outside the classroom, either on their own or through discussions with their peers. Usually this self-education is absorbed through examples, whether or not the examples are flawed, Sexton-Kennedy said.

The school aimed to set its students straight.

It also looked to increase the numbers of particle physicists fluent in C++, a skill that is useful beyond particle physics. Fields outside academia highly value such expertise — enough that particle physicists are being lured away to jobs in industry.

"We would lose people who were good at both physics and C++," Sexton-Kennedy said. "The few of us who stayed behind needed to teach the next generation."

The next generation appears to have been waiting for just such an opportunity: Within two weeks of the C++ school opening registration, 80 students signed up. It was so popular that the co-organizers had to start a wait list.

The software school students include undergraduates, graduate students and postdocs, all of whom work on Fermilab experiments.

"We get most of the ideas for how to use software for event reconstruction for the LBNE near-detector reference design from these sessions," said Xinchun Tian, a University of South Carolina postdoc working on the Long-Baseline Neutrino Experiment. "C++ is very useful for our research."

University of Wisconsin physics professor Matt Herndon led the sessions. He was assisted by 13 people: Notre Dame University physics professor Mike Hildreth and volunteers from the SCD Scientific Software Infrastructure Department.

Malik and Sexton-Kennedy plan to make the school material available online.

"People have to take these tools seriously, and in high-energy physics, the skills mushroom around C++ software," Malik said. "Students are learning C++ while growing up in the field."

Leah Hesla

About 80 students signed up for the C++ software school at Fermilab. Photo: Cindy Arnold
Photos of the Day

American lotus

American lotus across from the D4 service building on Main Ring Road were in full bloom last week. Photo: Patrick Sheahan, AD
In the News

Six new telescopes that will change the way we see space

From Mother Nature Network, Aug. 2, 2014

Our view from Earth has always been pretty good, aside from clouds and glare. It was transformed by telescopes in the 1600s, though, and has improved wildly ever since. From X-ray telescopes to the atmosphere-bypassing Hubble Space Telescope, it's hard to even believe what we can see now.

And despite all they've done, telescopes are just getting started. Astronomy is on the verge of another Hubble-like disruption, thanks to a new breed of mega-telescopes that use huge mirrors, adaptive optics and other tricks to peer deeper into the sky — and further back in time — than ever before. These billion-dollar projects have been in the works for years, creating hulks like Hawaii's dryly named Thirty Meter Telescope or the James Webb Space Telescope, Hubble's highly anticipated successor.

Read more


Thank you to the entire FermiWorks crew

Kay Van Vreede

Kay Van Vreede, head of the Workforce Development and Resources Section, wrote this column.

Getting a new online workforce system up and running is an enormous job. But thanks to the efforts of 72 people in the Core Computing Division and WDRS' Human Resources Department, we've successfully implemented FermiWorks, bringing our human resources processes into the modern era.

Bringing FermiWorks to Fermilab wasn't just about learning new software. Establishing the new system required complex data integrations and robust data. The effort was worth it: It is the first time in the history of the lab that everyone with a Fermilab badge is in one system.

The FermiWorks group, pictured below, put in a huge amount of extra time to make things happen. They displayed great flexibility and problem solving abilities, overcoming any obstacles they encountered. Their dedication to the task concluded in a job well done.

Many other people at the lab also helped with end-users testing, participated in training and served on the front lines of working with the new system. A very big thank you goes to all of them.

Kudos to all 72 staff members, including those not pictured here, for launching FermiWorks earlier this year. Photo: Cindy Arnold

CHIPS deploys first prototype detector module

Physicist Jenny Thomas of University College London inspects the CHIPS-M module just before it is lowered into a former mine pit located in the NuMI neutrino beam in northern Minnesota. Photo: Jerry Meier, University of Minnesota

On Aug. 1, the CHIPS collaboration deployed its first prototype detector module 60 meters underwater in a former iron mine in northern Minnesota. The detector is positioned in Fermilab's NuMI beamline.

The goal of CHIPS, which stands for Cherenkov Detector in mine Pits, is to develop low-cost methods to detect neutrinos, fundamental particles that experience only weak interactions with ordinary matter. The CHIPS collaboration expects to significantly lower per ton costs by purifying existing water in an existing mine pit in an existing neutrino beam.

CHIPS commenced with the submission of an R&D proposal to the Fermilab Physics Advisory Committee in 2013 and is one of a number of neutrino detector R&D projects currently being conducted by the U.S. and European particle physics communities.

The CHIPS-M detector, as it's called, is designed to operate through the Minnesota winter and will likely collect data for about a year, informing designs for much larger detectors using the CHIPS concept.

Marvin Marshak, University of Minnesota

Safety Update

ESH&Q weekly report, Aug. 12

This week's safety report, compiled by the Fermilab ESH&Q Section, contains no incidents.

Find the full report here.

In the News

To clean up oil spills, magnetize the oil first

From Popular Science, Aug. 7, 2014

By day Arden Warner is a physicist at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, working on the next generation of particle accelerators. After hours, he has been devising a non-toxic way to clean up oil spills.

It began in 2010. Warner and his wife were troubled by what they were hearing and seeing in the news about the BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. Like many others around the country at the time, they wondered if the clean-up process could be improved technologically.

Read more


Today's New Announcements

Zumba Toning and Zumba Fitness registration

Fermilab Lecture Series presents The Science of Speed - Aug. 15

Deadline for the UChicago tuition remission program - Aug. 18

Call for applications: URA Visiting Scholars Program - apply by Aug. 25

Walk 2 Run offers two time slots in August

International folk dancing Thursday evenings at Ramsey through August

Scottish country dancing Tuesday evenings at Ramsey through August

English country dancing at Kuhn Barn

Fermilab Tango Club

Outdoor soccer