Friday, Jan. 9, 2015

Have a safe day!

Friday, Jan. 9

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

4 p.m.
Joint Experimental-Theoretical Physics Seminar - One West
Speaker: Trung Le, Rutgers University
Title: Antineutrino Production of Neutral Pions in MINERvA

Monday, Jan. 12

2 p.m.
Particle Astrophysics Seminar - Curia II
Speaker: Myoungwon Jeon, University of Texas at Austin
Title: Formulation of the First Galaxies under Stellar Feedback

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, Jan. 9

- Breakfast: French bistro breakfast
- Breakfast: chorizo and egg burrito
- Smoky Mountain chicken breast sandwich
- White fish florentine
- Vegetarian eggplant lasagna
- Cuban panino
- Breakfast-for-lunch omelet bar
- New England clam chowder
- Texas-style chili
- Assorted pizza by the slice

Wilson Hall Cafe menu

Chez Leon

Friday, Jan. 9

Wednesday, Jan. 14
- Chicken marsala with linguine
- Mixed green salad
- Tiramisu

Chez Leon menu
Call x3524 to make your reservation.


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Albert Stebbins receives 2014 Scientific Medal of the Institute of Astrophysics of Paris

Albert Stebbins

Fermilab scientist Albert Stebbins was recently awarded the 2014 Scientific Medal of the Institute of Astrophysics of Paris.

Each year, the IAP organizes an international symposium on a current topic in astrophysics, cosmology or gravitational physics. The IAP medal was created in 1985 by Jean Audouze, the founder of the IAP symposia. It honors astronomers who distinguish themselves in a subject discussed during the IAP symposia.


Fermilab Arts and Lecture Series celebrates 40 years, volunteers play central role

Folk singer Sheila McKenzie performs at Ramsey Auditorium on Dec. 6, 1974, in an early Fermilab Arts and Lecture Series performance. Photo: Fermilab

This year the Fermilab Arts and Lecture Series celebrates 40 years of presenting events to the Fermilab and local communities. Over the years, the program has offered speakers as diverse as Stephen Hawking and Stephen J. Gould and performers as varied as Philip Glass and the South African a cappella singing group Ladysmith Black Mambazo.

Currently, the series offers on average one event a month, eight to 10 lectures per year and chamber music performances in the art gallery. A performing arts program manager, box office manager and technical director devote part-time work to the program, and an all-volunteer Auditorium Committee and other volunteers play a major role, as they have for 40 years.

Janet MacKay-Galbraith, the performing arts program manager for the past 24 years, says support for the program began with Fermilab's first director Robert Wilson, who wanted Fermilab life to blend the arts and sciences.

"He saw the arts as a way to create an open door to the Fox Valley community and beyond, but he also wanted that university feeling for the scientists, where they could explore other intellectual endeavors," MacKay-Galbraith said.

Fermilab physicist Arthur Roberts and his wife Janice, both graduates of the Manhattan School of Music, also led in establishment of the arts program, says Patricia MacLachlan, an Auditorium Committee member for nearly 40 years.

"In the early years, it was very helpful in creating good will to the surrounding community," MacLachlan said.

MacKay-Galbraith attributes the program's longevity to the volunteers.

"The committee is involved in programming and ushering. They're often the people who load in sets and provide dinner for the artists," she said. "They are a hands-on group of people that do what staff would do in any other performing arts facility."

2015 will be an exciting year for the Fermilab Arts and Lecture Series, according to MacKay-Galbraith. Scheduled performances include the African acrobat group Cirque Zuma Zuma, the Official Blues Brothers Revue and the Turtle Island Quartet with Nellie McKay. Autism authority Temple Grandin and Fermilab's own Dan Hooper, talking about dark matter, will be among the lecture series speakers.

Both MacKay-Galbraith and MacLachlan see the Arts and Lecture Series as continuing to offer an important service.

"Just as a knowledge of the natural world is intellectually and emotionally enriching, the arts are too," MacLachlan said.

Rich Blaustein

Photo of the Day

House on the winter prairie

A solitary Fermilab Village house on the snow-covered prairie makes for a picturesque scene. Photo: Rich Blaustein, OC
In the News

Plasma wakefield acceleration shows promise

From Physics Today, January 2015

In their quest to test the standard model and search for new physics beyond it, particle physicists have sought ever larger and more powerful facilities for accelerating and colliding charged particles. Conventionally, accelerators rely on metal plates and resonators to generate electric fields and RF waves. The magnitude of those fields is limited to tens of megavolts per meter, so to accelerate particles to 125 GeV (the energy of the Higgs boson) or more requires a path of many kilometers. Protons and heavier particles can be accelerated in circles, but electrons and positrons must be accelerated in straight lines, lest they lose all their energy to synchrotron radiation. The 3-km linear accelerator at SLAC is currently the world's longest; reaching the high energies relevant to particle physics with a conventional electron accelerator would require a much larger, costlier facility.

Read more

Frontier Science Result: MINERvA

Who let the pions out (of the nucleus)?

This plot shows what a neutral pion looks like in the MINERvA detector when produced with a muon. Colors correspond to energy deposited in each triangular scintillator bar.

Para una versión en español, haga clic aquĆ­. Para a versão em português, clique aqui.

Neutrinos are odd particles: They rarely interact in matter and can change character back and forth over time in a process called oscillation. When neutrinos do interact with matter, however, they do so in ways that are similar to how other high-energy particles produced by Fermilab accelerators interact: by making still more particles. So even though neutrinos themselves contain no quarks, they are still able to produce pions, quark-antiquark pairs that can be either charged or neutral. At today's Joint Experimental-Theoretical Physics Seminar, MINERvA will release its new result on how neutral pions are produced in a beam of antineutrinos from Fermilab's NuMI beamline.

A previous MINERvA result described how charged, rather than neutral, pions are made from neutrinos. At least "on paper," that result is similar to today's new result. Both of these interactions are predicted to happen and even to have similar probabilities.

However, they leave very different footprints in detectors and so present different challenges. In fact the neutral pion's footprint is a worry for oscillation experiments because it can look like something it's not. So oscillation experiments need good measurements of how many neutral pions are made in neutrino and antineutrino beams.

Measuring both charged- and neutral-pion production at similar neutrino energies also helps us better understand the nucleus with which a neutrino interacts, since the two different kinds of pions see the nucleus differently as they exit it. Before the research that led to today's result, though, only a few dozen neutral pion-antineutrino events have ever been seen in a single experiment.

Neutral pions are harder to see than charged pions because they decay very rapidly and must be detected through their decay products — two neutral photons, which interact on average about a foot away from where the neutral pion decayed in the first place. For today's result, the neutral pion is produced at the same time as a muon, which is a heavier version of an electron.

This new measurement adds more than 400 new events to the world's collection for this novel interaction and tells us much more about how neutrinos and pions are both affected by the nucleus.

There has been a lot of interest in pion production because the best theories are unable to describe previous MiniBooNE measurements of charged pions. Although the best calculation was also unable to reproduce the MINERvA charged-pion data, it failed in a different way, extending the controversy. Experimenters don't stop, though. They just keep trying to find another way to measure what's happening inside the nucleus until they understand it. Now MINERvA's new result, which sees better agreement between the best calculation and the prediction (see figure below), paints a new picture of the nucleus.

Steve Dytman, University of Pittsburgh

This plot shows the cross section (likelihood per proton or neutron) of a neutral pion and an antimuon being made from an antineutrino as a function of the pion momentum. The two different models represent turning on and off the effects of the nucleus where the neutrino interacted. The effects of the nucleus were clearly "turned on" in the data. The inner error bars are statistical and the outer error bars are the total uncertainties.
Trung Le of Rutgers University will present MINERvA's latest results at today's wine and cheese seminar at 4 p.m. in One West.

Today's New Announcements

Muscle Toning registration due Jan. 15

Scottish country dancing Tuesday evenings at Kuhn Barn

Free health screenings for active employees - sign up now

Fermilab Arts Series presents Chicago Harp Quartet - Jan. 11

Barn dance - Jan. 11

Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion) end of life Jan. 12

Goal setting in FermiWorks on Jan. 13

Lecture Series: Revealing the Nature of Dark Matter - Jan. 16

Register for ELBNF collaboration meeting - Jan. 22-23

Writing for Results: Email and More - Feb. 27

2015 FRA scholarship applications accepted until April 1

GSA updates mileage rate to 57.5 cents for 2015

OS X 10.10 Yosemite certified for use

2015 float holiday

Charitable donations through payroll deduction

The Take Five challenge and poster winter 2014/2015

Scottish country dancing Tuesdays through December and into January

Indoor soccer

Fox Valley Fitness offers employee discount

Find new classified ads on Fermilab Today.