Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2014

Have a safe day!

Tuesday, Oct. 28

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

3:30 p.m.
Director's Coffee Break - 2nd Flr X-Over


Wednesday, Oct. 29

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

3 p.m.
LHC Physics Center Topic of the Week Seminar - WH11NE
Speaker: Andreas Jung, Fermilab
Title: Recent Top Quark Results at the Tevatron

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


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Wilson Hall Cafe

Tuesday, Oct. 28

- Breakfast: All-American breakfast
- Breakfast: bacon, egg and cheese bagel
- Grown-up grilled cheese
- Herbed pot roast
- Chicken vesuvio
- Gourmet chicken salad croissant
- Classic cobb salad
- Chef's choice soup
- Green pork chili
- Assorted pizza by the slice

Wilson Hall Cafe menu

Chez Leon

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

Friday, Oct. 31

Chez Leon menu
Call x3524 to make your reservation.


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From symmetry

Explain it in 60 seconds: Cosmic inflation

Cosmic inflation refers to a period of rapid, accelerated expansion that scientists think took place about 14 billion years ago. Image: Sandbox Studio

Cosmic inflation refers to a period of rapid, accelerated expansion that scientists think took place about 14 billion years ago.

Our universe has likely never grown as quickly as it did during that period. Faster than the blink of an eye, the whole universe expanded so that an area the size of an atom was suddenly the size of a grapefruit.

Scientists think this expansion was driven by the potential energy of the inflaton field, a new field that turned on just after the big bang.

Support for the theory of cosmic inflation comes from the Cosmic Microwave Background, or CMB, a pattern of light released when the early universe first cooled enough for particles to travel freely through it.

Although nearly uniform, the CMB contains ripples. Scientists think these were caused by tiny quantum fluctuations that were amplified to huge scales by cosmic inflation.

Scientists study cosmic inflation through experiments at telescopes, such as the Planck satellite and BICEP2 at the South Pole. These experiments measure elements of the CMB, looking for the footprints of inflation.

When inflation ended, the expansion of our universe began to slow down. But then another influence took over, pushing it back to an accelerating rate. This influence is thought to be dark energy.

Rhianna Wisniewski

Read similar explanations in the symmetry archive.

Photos of the Day

Autumnal beauty

The fall foliage at Fermilab brightens a gray day. Photo: Ruben Carcagno, TD
Swan Lake doubles the autumn colors surrounding it. Photo: Ruben Carcagno, TD
In the News

Dwarf galaxies dim hope of dark matter

From Quanta Magazine, Oct. 25, 2014

Once again, a shadow of a signal that scientists hoped would amplify into conclusive evidence of dark matter has instead flatlined, repeating a maddening refrain in the search for the invisible, omnipresent particles.

The Fermi Large Area Telescope (LAT) failed to detect the glow of gamma rays emitted by annihilating dark matter in miniature "dwarf" galaxies that orbit the Milky Way, scientists reported Friday at a meeting in Nagoya, Japan. The hint of such a glow showed up in a Fermi analysis last year, but the statistical bump disappeared as more data accumulated.

Read more

In the News

Who really found the Higgs boson

From Nautilus, Oct. 23, 2014

To those who say that there is no room for genius in modern science because everything has been discovered, Fabiola Gianotti has a sharp reply. "No, not at all," says the former spokesperson of the ATLAS Experiment, the largest particle detector at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. "Until the fourth of July, 2012 we had no proof that nature allows for elementary scalar fields. So there is a lot of space for genius."

She is referring to the discovery of the Higgs boson two years ago — potentially one of the most important advances in physics in the past half century. It is a manifestation of the eponymous field that permeates all of space, and completes the standard model of physics: a sort of baseline description for the existence and behavior of essentially everything there is.

By any standards, it is an epochal, genius achievement.

What is less clear is who, exactly, the genius is.

Read more

Director's Corner

Mu2e moves ahead

Fermilab Director
Nigel Lockyer

In continued alignment with goals laid out in the P5 report, we're making progress on our newest muon experiment, Mu2e. A four-day DOE Critical Decision 2/3b review of the experiment concluded Friday. The review went extremely well and validated the design, technical progress, and the cost and schedule of the project. The reviewers praised the depth and breadth of our staff's excellent technical work and preparation. Official sign-off for CD-2/3b is expected in the next several months, followed by construction on the Mu2e building in early 2015. Construction on the transport solenoid modules should begin in the spring. The experiment received CD-0 approval in 2009 and CD-1 approval in 2012 and is slated to start up in 2020.

Named for the muon-to-electron conversion that researchers hope to observe, Mu2e is a crucial stepping stone on our journey beyond the Standard Model and in the hunt for new physics. It will be 10,000 times more sensitive than the previous attempts to observe that transition.

Experimenters will use a series of superconducting magnets to separate muons from other particles, guiding them to a stopping target. After the muons have been captured by aluminum nuclei, a very small number are expected to transform into only an electron rather than the typical decay into an electron and two neutrinos. It's a change so rare, theorists liken it to finding a penny with a scratch on Lincoln's head hidden in a stack of pristine pennies so tall that the stack stretches from the Earth to Mars and back again 130 times.

The experiment will provide insight into how and why particles within one family change into others. It might also help narrow down theories about how the universe works and provide insight into data coming out of the LHC. Discovery of the muon-to-electron conversion would hint at undiscovered particles or forces and potentially illuminate a grand unification theory — not bad for a 75-foot-long experiment.

Many months of hard work preceded last week's review. Thank you to all who were involved in helping to move this important experiment forward.

Video of the Day

Quantum foam

One theory of empty space is that it isn't empty at all — it's a seething and bubbling cauldron of matter and antimatter particles springing into existence before disappearing back into nothingness. Scientists call this complicated state of affairs quantum foam. U.S. CMS Education and Outreach Coordinator Don Lincoln discusses this idea and sketches some of the experiments that have convinced scientists that this mind-bending prediction is actually true. View the video. Video: Fermilab

Today's New Announcements

International folk dance Halloween party at Kuhn Barn - Oct. 30

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

Laboratory Directed R&D information sessions - Oct. 28

Scottish country dance Halloween Party at Kuhn Barn - Oct. 28

Muscle Toning by Bod Squad - register by Oct. 28

Revamped Linux User Group meets Oct. 29

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

Managing Conflict - Nov. 5 (morning only)

English country dancing - Nov. 9

Computer Security Awareness Day 2014 - Nov. 11

Access 2010: Advanced - Nov. 12

Wilson Fellowship accepting applications through Nov. 14

UChicago 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

English country dancing at Kuhn Barn

Indoor soccer

Hollywood Palms Employee Appreciation Day