Friday, Oct. 24, 2014

Have a safe day!

Friday, Oct. 24

9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
NuSTEC Training in Neutrino-Nucleus Scattering Physics - One West

3:30 p.m.
Director's Coffee Break - WH2XO

4 p.m.
Joint Experimental-Theoretical Physics Seminar and Fermilab Colloquium - One West
Speaker: Graham Farmelo, University of Cambridge and Northeastern University
Title: Dirac - The Theorist's Theorist

8 p.m.
Fermilab Lecture Series - Auditorium
Speaker: Henry Petroski, Duke University
Title: Success and Failure in Engineering: A Paradoxical Relationship
Tickets: $7

Sunday, Oct. 26

9:30 a.m.-4 p.m.
NuSTEC Training in Neutrino-Nucleus Scattering Physics - One West

Monday, Oct. 27

9:30 a.m.-4:45 p.m.
NuSTEC Training in Neutrino-Nucleus Scattering Physics - One West

2 p.m.
Particle Astrophysics Seminar - Curia II
Speaker: Philipp Mertsch, KIPAC and Stanford University
Title: Cosmic Ray Anisotropies and Nearby Sources

3:30 p.m.
Director's Coffee Break - WH2XO

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

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Wilson Hall Cafe

Friday, Oct. 24

- Breakfast: blueberry-stuffed French toast
- Breakfast: chorizo and egg burrito
- Beer-braised bratwurst
- Roasted salmon caponata
- Liver and onions
- Baked ham and cheese ciabatta
- Boneless wing bar
- Wisconsin beer and cheese soup
- Texas-style chili
- Assorted pizza by the slice

Wilson Hall Cafe menu

Chez Leon

Friday, Oct. 24
- Potato, bacon and gruyere souffle
- Medallions of beef with wild mushroom sauce
- Parsnip puree
- Sauteed Brussels sprouts
- Pear tart

Wednesday, Oct. 29
- Rouladen
- Spaetzle
- Dill baby carrots
- Baked apples

Chez Leon menu
Call x3524 to make your reservation.


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From symmetry

Costumes to make zombie Einstein proud

These physics-themed Halloween costume ideas are sure to entertain—and maybe even educate. Terrifying, we know. Image: Sandbox Studio with Corinne Mucha

So you haven't picked a Halloween costume, and the big night is fast approaching. If you're looking for something a little funny, a little nerdy and sure to impress fellow physics fans, look no further. We've got you covered.

1. Dark energy
This is an active costume, perfect for the party-goer who plans to consume a large quantity of sugar. Suit up in all black or camouflage, then spend your evening squeezing between people and pushing them apart.

Congratulations! You're dark energy: a mysterious force causing the accelerating expansion of the universe, intriguing in the lab and perplexing on the dance floor.

2. Cosmic inflation Theory says that a fraction of a second after the big bang, the universe grew exponentially, expanding so that tiny fluctuations were stretched into the seeds of entire galaxies.

But good luck getting that costume through the door.

Instead, take a simple yellow life vest and draw the cosmos on it: stars, planets, asteroids, whatever you fancy. When friends pull on the emergency tab, the universe will grow.

Read more

Lauren Biron

Photo of the Day

By the dark of the moon

Fermilab user Jesus Orduna took this photo of yesterday's partial solar eclipse. Photo: Jesus Orduna, Brown University
In Brief

Seed funding opportunity for Fermilab researchers to work with colleagues in France

The FACCTS (France And Chicago Collaborating in The Sciences) program is designed to enhance science in Chicago by providing seed funding in support of new and developing projects that 1) promote meaningful intellectual and scientific exchange between Chicago researchers and research teams in France and 2) show promise of leading to fruitful and sustainable collaboration.

Up to $15,000 is available in 2015 for Fermilab researchers.

The deadline for the notice of intent is Nov. 26, 2014, and the deadline for the proposal is Dec. 1, 2014. Decisions will be announced in early February 2015.

For more information or to apply, see this flier on the seed funding opportunity or visit the FACCTS website. You may also contact Dan Bertsche.

In Brief

Performance goal setting for employees now in FermiWorks

Goal setting, the first step in the performance management process as reflected in this graphic, will begin in FermiWorks on Oct. 27, when all employees will receive a notification from FermiWorks to "Set Content: 2015 - Employee/Supervisor Goal Setting."

Goal setting discussions between employees and managers should be under way. This year, rather than using the paper-based process used in prior years, all employees will document their goals in FermiWorks to reflect the period from July 1, 2014, through June 30, 2015. Managers are required to approve these goals by Dec. 1.

To assist employees with the goal setting process, HR will facilitate workshops at the Training Center. (Enroll in TRAIN). Please visit the TRAIN website for workshop dates and times.

Employees will be able to enter their goals into FermiWorks during the sessions, so come prepared with goals you previously discussed with your direct manager, together with any other (project) manager you do work for. HR partners will be on hand to cover best practices for goal setting and to answer process-related questions. For those unable to attend a workshop, instructions for entering performance goals in FermiWorks will soon be available on the FermiWorks website.

Performance goals should be SMART (specific, measurable, action-oriented, realistic and time-oriented), as detailed in the Quick Guide to Goal Setting. In addition, goals can be updated and adjusted in FermiWorks throughout the year as priorities or responsibilities change. Please contact your HR partner with any questions on goal setting.

In the News

Tabletop experiment could detect gravitational waves

From Physics World, Oct. 17, 2014

A coin-sized detector might observe gravitational waves before the giant LIGO interferometers, according to two Australian physicists who have built the device. The detector is designed to register very high frequency gravitational waves via the exceptionally weak vibrations they would induce. Other scientists caution that the astrophysical objects thought to emit such radiation may do so very weakly or might not actually exist.

Read more

Frontier Science Result: DarkSide-50

Report from the DarkSide

This schematic of the DarkSide-50 apparatus shows the various layers that shield the detector.

Nobody knows what dark matter, the invisible stuff that holds galaxies together, is made of, and many experiments, using many different technologies, are trying to discover it. The DarkSide-50 experiment, a U.S., Italy, France, Russia, Poland, China and Ukraine collaboration, is a search for one form suggested for dark matter, massive particles that interact weakly with ordinary matter (WIMPs).

Our experiment looks for WIMP interactions in a vat of 50 kilograms (110 pounds) of argon. We chose argon because its chemistry makes it a particularly powerful and sensitive detector material. At room temperature, argon is a gas (it is about 1 percent of the atmosphere); cooled to minus 270 degrees Fahrenheit, it becomes a transparent liquid with a density similar to water. When something happens in the liquid — a radioactive decay produces a neutron, a photon or an electron, or a WIMP hits an argon nucleus — the argon produces a flash of light and a number of free electrons. Light sensors called photomultipliers pick up the flash of light, converting it into an electric signal. The free electrons are pulled to the region of argon gas above the liquid, where they generate a second light signal, seen by the same photomultipliers.

The challenge in WIMP searches is identifying and removing all the "background" signals in the detector — signals from mundane sources — so that any surviving signals would be from dark matter. Backgrounds come from cosmic rays, which could produce neutrons that enter the detector and hit an argon nucleus, and from radioactivity of the material of the apparatus itself. For the latter, the combination of flashes tells us where the event occurred and allow us to identify and reject events from radioactivity on the surface of the detector.

The figure above shows other measures DarkSide uses to reject backgrounds. The cryostat that holds the argon is suspended inside a 13-foot-diameter steel sphere filled with scintillator oil designed to detect neutrons. The sphere sits inside a water tank, 33 feet high and 36 feet across, that detects muons and stops photons, and the whole apparatus sits in a hall as big as a cathedral at the Italian Gran Sasso National Laboratory under the Apennine mountains, east of Rome. The mountains stop most of the cosmic rays, and the water tank and scintillator oil sphere prevent anything (except dark matter particles and neutrinos) from getting into the argon without being spotted.

The experiment has just finished its first data-taking, a two-month run using atmospheric argon, which is slightly radioactive itself from cosmic-ray interactions. (The experiment will soon switch to low-radioactivity argon that comes from underground.) This modest data set has given us the third most sensitive limit on dark matter at high mass (around 100 times the proton mass). More significantly, the background from the argon radioactivity provides a powerful test of the experiment's capability to identify and reject signals from photons and electrons. The control of this background is very encouraging for longer exposures with the low-radioactivity argon and for the argon technology in general.

Stephen Pordes

This scatter-plot shows two quantities for all the events recorded in this DarkSide-50 run. The x-axis is the energy of the event — the brightness of the first light flash. The y-axis is essentially the inverse of the duration of the flash (in time) — shorter pulses equate with larger values. The big splash of color is from the radioactivity of the argon itself. A single WIMP-like signal would give a blue square in the top shaded region.

Lecture Series: Success and Failure in Engineering - today

Main site ICW flush today

Ask Me About FermiWorks booth in atrium - Oct. 27-29

Laboratory Directed R&D information sessions - Oct. 28

Halloween party for Fermilab families in Kuhn Barn - Oct. 29

Muscle Toning by Bod Squad - register by Oct. 28

Excel 2010: Intermediate - Oct. 29

Managing Conflict - Nov. 5 (morning only)

Access 2010: Advanced - Nov. 12

Wilson Fellowship accepting applications through Nov. 14

University of Chicago Tuition Remission Program deadline - Nov. 24

Excel 2010: Advanced - Dec. 3

NALWO Playgroup meets Wednesdays at Users Center

OSX 10.10 Yosemite not yet certified

Pace Batavia Call-n-Ride service to Fermilab

International folk dancing Thursday evenings at Kuhn Barn

Scottish country dancing Tuesday evenings at Kuhn Barn

English country dancing at Kuhn Barn

Indoor soccer

Hollywood Palms Employee Appreciation Day

Find new classified ads on Fermilab Today.