Thursday, Nov. 13, 2014

Have a safe day!

Thursday, Nov. 13

2 p.m.
Neutrino Seminar (NOTE TIME) - WH8XO
Speaker: Luis Alvarez Ruso, University of Valencia
Title: Photon Emission in NC Interactions with Nucleons and Nuclei

2:30 p.m.
Theoretical Physics Seminar - Curia II
Speaker: Matthew Baumgart, Carnegie Mellon University
Title: On the Annihilation of WIMPs

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

Friday, Nov. 14

10 a.m.
Particle Astrophysics Seminar (NOTE DATE, TIME, LOCATION) - WH2NW
Speaker: Yannis Semertzidis, IBS and KAIST
Title: The Axion Search Plan at the Center for Axion and Precision Physics in Korea

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

4 p.m.
Joint Experimental-Theoretical Physics Seminar and Fermilab Colloquium - One West
Speaker: Breese Quinn, University of Mississippi
Title: DZero Precision Measurements of Electroweak Bosons from Birth to Death

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Wilson Hall Cafe

Thursday, Nov. 13

- Breakfast: Canadian bacon, egg and cheese Texas toast
- Breakfast: corned beef hash and eggs
- Grilled chicken quesadilla
- Chicken vincenza with pasta
- Sweet and sour beef brisket
- Italian antipasto panino
- Italian pasta bar
- White chicken chili
- Chef's choice soup
- Assorted pizza by the slice

Wilson Hall Cafe menu

Chez Leon

Friday, Nov. 14

Wednesday, Nov. 19
- Broiled tilapia with coconut curry sauce
- Crunch Asian salad
- Almond cake

Chez Leon menu
Call x3524 to make your reservation.


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From symmetry

The November Revolution

Forty years ago this week, two different research groups announced the discovery of the same new particle and redefined how physicists view the universe.

On November 11, 1974, members of the Cornell high-energy physics group could have spent the lulls during their lunch meeting chatting about the aftermath of Nixon's resignation or the upcoming Big Red hockey season.

But on that particular Monday, the most sensational topic was physics-related. One of the researchers in the audience stood up to report that two labs on opposite sides of the country were about to announce the same thing: the discovery of a new particle that heralded the birth of the Standard Model of particle physics.

"Nobody at the meeting knew what the hell it was," says physicist Kenneth Lane of Boston University, a former postdoctoral researcher at Cornell. Lane, among others, would spend the next few years describing the theory and consequences of this new particle.

It isn't often that a discovery comes along that forces everyone to reevaluate the way the world works. It's even rarer for two groups to make such a discovery at the same time, using different methods.

One announcement would come from a research group led by MIT physicist Sam Ting at Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York. The other was to come from a team headed by physicist Burton Richter at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, then called the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, in California. Word traveled fast.

"We started getting all sorts of inquiries and congratulations before we even finished writing the paper," Richter says. "Somebody told a friend, and then a friend told another friend."

Ting called the new particle the J particle. Richter called it psi. It became known as J/psi, the discovery that sparked the November Revolution.

Read more

Amanda Solliday

Photo of the Day

Sweeping skies

Visitor Alan Amati captured this beautiful Fermilab scene on camera. Photo: Alan Amati

African Guitar Summit to play at Ramsey Auditorium Saturday at 8 p.m.

African Guitar Summit, blending musical styles from multiple African cultures, will be at Fermilab on Saturday.

The Fermilab Arts Series welcomes African Guitar Summit, who will be performing on Saturday, Nov. 15, at 8 p.m. in Ramsey Auditorium.

The Canada-based ensemble features six members — five guitarists and vocalists and one percussionist — with African origins, each an expert in his individual style and together creating musical magic. The collective mixes each musician’s distinct cultural background and language, united in an evening of singing and storytelling.

African Guitar Summit features members Alpha YaYa Diallo from Guinea, Kofi Ackah from Ghana, Professor Adam Solomon from Kenya, Mighty Popo from Burundi-Rwanda, and Donne Roberts and Madagascar Slim from Madagascar. Dialo and Slim have been decorated for their musical accomplishments individually as Juno Award winners, and together the band won the 2005 Juno Award for World Music Album of the year for their debut album "African Guitar Summit." Their second album — "African Guitar Summit II" — earned a nomination for the same award in 2007.

The performance kicks off African Guitar Summit’s first U.S. tour, making it a truly rare experience for attendees.

Tickets are $28; purchase one ticket at this price and get a second one free. Tickets are $14 for those 18 and under. Tickets can be purchased online until noon on Friday, Nov. 14, or through the box office at 630-840-2787.

In the News

Multiverse collisions may dot the sky

From Quanta Magazine, Nov. 10, 2014

Like many of her colleagues, Hiranya Peiris, a cosmologist at University College London, once largely dismissed the notion that our universe might be only one of many in a vast multiverse. It was scientifically intriguing, she thought, but also fundamentally untestable. She preferred to focus her research on more concrete questions, like how galaxies evolve.

Then one summer at the Aspen Center for Physics, Peiris found herself chatting with the Perimeter Institute's Matt Johnson, who mentioned his interest in developing tools to study the idea. He suggested that they collaborate.

Read more

In the News

Physicists crank up current in new type of accelerator

From Science, Nov. 7, 2014

A kilometers-long particle accelerator may epitomize big science, but a team of physicists has taken a key step toward doing the same job with a much smaller machine. The team has amped up the current in an experimental type of accelerator — known as a plasma wakefield accelerator — and shown that it can efficiently produce an intense beam of electrons accelerated to a precisely defined energy. Many challenges remain, but some physicists hope that someday such a scheme might be used to make much smaller particle colliders.

"It's certainly an important step," says Gerald Dugan, an accelerator physicist and professor emeritus at Cornell University who was not involved in the work. "At the same time there's a long way to go" to developing a practical technology.

Read more

In the News

Dark matter black holes could be destroying stars at the Milky Way's center

From Scientific American, Nov. 10, 2014

Dark matter may have turned spinning stars into black holes near the center of our galaxy, researchers say. There, scientists expected to see plenty of the dense, rotating stars called pulsars, which are fairly common throughout the Milky Way. Despite numerous searches, however, only one has been found, giving rise to the so-called "missing pulsar problem." A possible explanation, according to a new study, is that dark matter has built up inside these stars, causing the pulsars to collapse into black holes. (These black holes would be smaller than the supermassive black hole that is thought to lurk at the very heart of the galaxy.)

Read more

Frontier Science Result: DZero

Sharing the momentum

This plot shows the probabilities of finding up and down quarks with different fractions of a proton’s momentum. The vertical axis is arbitrary and different for the two curves.

Disponible en español

The parts inside of a proton are called, in a not terribly imaginative terminology, partons. The partons that we tend to think of first and foremost are quarks — two up quarks and a down quark in each proton — but there are other kinds of partons as well.

Each parton in a moving proton carries some momentum, which is a fraction of the total momentum of the proton. Because the partons interact with each other constantly, the momentum of a parton keeps changing. So at any particular time, there is some probability that the down quark is carrying, say, half the momentum of the proton, and later it might be a quarter of the total momentum. The fraction is called x. When the down quark is carrying half the momentum of the proton, it has an x of 0.5. These probabilities are key ingredients in calculating what happens in a hadron collider and can only be deduced from experiment.

The figure shows plots of the probabilities of finding up or down quarks at particular values of x. The vertical scale is a little arbitrary, but that won't matter for us. Notice how the curve for down quarks, in blue, peaks at the left, at low values of x. That means that at any instant, the down quark tends to have a relatively small fraction of the proton's momentum. The up quark curve, in red, has a ledge, a sort of bump in the generally downward slope at x around 0.2 or so. That means that the chances of an up quark having more momentum than a down quark are really pretty good.

When a proton with a higher-momentum up quark hits an antiproton with a lower-momentum down antiquark, then these two partons can form a W+ boson, and that W+ boson is headed in the direction of the higher momentum. In a collision of an up antiquark and a down quark, a W- boson can be created that tends to travel in the antiproton direction. Things get a little more complicated when a W+ boson decays to a positron or a W- decays to electrons, but the positron and electron directions still carry information about the x-values of the colliding quarks.

So the curves in the figure can be measured — or measured better — by looking at events in the Tevatron where a W+ or W- is produced and decays into a positron or electron and measuring the difference, or asymmetry, in the final electron and positron directions.

DZero has measured the asymmetry in electron and positron directions relative to the direction of the proton's motion when it collides with antiprotons in the Tevatron. The result is the most precise measurement of this asymmetry to date and provides important information about the momentum of the partons of protons. That information is critical in predicting what happens in all sorts of collisions involving protons, such as those at neutrino and LHC experiments.

Leo Bellantoni

Hang Yin of Fermilab is the primary analyst for the DZero measurement of the W boson production charge asymmetry.
Eight French institutions have contributed to all phases of the DZero Run II program, from calorimeter electronics, calibrations, heavy flavor ID and Monte Carlo simulations to the top quark and W boson mass measurements, Higgs studies, and searches for new phenomena. The people pictured above led their respective institutional groups into the Run II collaboration.
In Brief

Veterans Day celebration

Veterans filled Kuhn Barn on Tuesday to commemorate the day. Photo: Joseph Morgan Sr., FS
The Color Guard from East Aurora High School perform a ceremony meant to represent the protection of the flag. Photo: Joseph Morgan Sr., FS
Red, white and blue cupcakes were a crowd pleaser at the Veterans Day luncheon. Photo: Joseph Morgan Sr., FS

Military veterans met at Kuhn Barn for a Veterans Day celebration on Tuesday, Nov. 11. U.S. Army Sergeant Andrew Gottlieb was guest speaker. Attendees celebrated with food and fellowship.

Fermilab Director Nigel Lockyer, General Counsel Gary Leonard and OCSR Head Randy Ortgiesen addressed the attendees, and Julie Kurnat of the Technical Division showed her artwork.


Today's New Announcements

Lunch and Learn Seminar - Social Security and Retirement - Nov. 19

Scottish country dancing Tuesday evenings at Kuhn Barn

International folk dancing Thursday evenings at Kuhn Barn (except Thanksgiving)

Indoor soccer

Wilson Hall southwest stair work - temporary access restriction - today

Wilson Fellowship accepting applications through Nov. 14

UChicago Tuition Remission Program deadline - Nov. 24

Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing - Dec. 1-5 (afternoon)

Performance Goal Setting courses - enroll in TRAIN

Ramsey Auditorium horseshoe road closure

NALWO Playgroup meets Wednesdays at 5:15 at Users Center

Yoga Thursdays

Broomball open league

Hollywood Palms Employee Appreciation Day