Friday, Aug. 21, 2015
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Pine Street road closing - Aug. 23

English country dancing at Kuhn Barn - Aug. 23

Commercializing Innovation: office hours at IARC - Aug. 24

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Fermilab employee art show - submission deadline Sept. 1

Fermilab golf outing - Sept. 11

September AEM meeting date change to Sept. 14

Python Programming Basics is scheduled for Oct. 14-16

Python Programming Advanced - Dec. 9-11

Fermilab Prairie Plant Survey

Fermi Singers invite all visiting students and staff

Outdoor soccer

Scottish country dancing meets Tuesday evenings in Ramsey Auditorium

International folk dancing Thursday evenings in Ramsey Auditorium

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From symmetry

Q&A with Marcelle Soares-Santos

Scientist Marcelle Soares-Santos talks about Brazil, neutron stars and a love of discovery. Photo: Reidar Hahn

Marcelle Soares-Santos has been exploring the cosmos since she was an undergraduate at the Federal University of Espirito Santo in southeast Brazil. She received her PhD from the University of São Paulo and is currently an astrophysicist on the Dark Energy Survey based at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory outside Chicago.

Soares-Santos has worked at Fermilab for only five years, but she has already made a significant impact: In 2014, she was bestowed the Alvin Tollestrup Award for postdoctoral research. Now she is embarking on a new study to measure gravitational waves from neutron star collisions.

S: You recently attended the LISHEP conference, a high-energy physics conference held annually in Brazil. This year it was held in the region of Manaus, near your childhood home. What was it like to grow up there?
MS: Manaus is very different from the region that I think most foreigners know, Rio or São Paulo, but it's very beautiful, very interesting. When I was four, my father worked for a mining company, and they found a huge reserve of iron ore in the middle of the Amazon forest. All over Brazil, people got offers from that company to get some extra benefits, which was very good for us because one of the benefits was a chance to go a good school there.

S: When did you get interested in physics?
MS: That was very early on, when I was a little kid. I didn't know that it was physics I wanted to do, but I knew I wanted to do science. I tend to say that I lacked any other talents. I could not play any sport, I wasn't good in the arts. But math and science, that was something I was good at.

These days I look back and feel that, had I known what I know today, I might not have had this confidence, because I understand now how lots of people are not encouraged to view physics as a topic they can handle. But back then I had a little bit of blind faith in the school system.

Read more

Leah Hesla

Video of the Day

The Escaramujo Project

Fermilab scientist Federico Izraelevitch of the The Escaramujo Project will take cosmic ray detector kits to various Latin American institutions. The goal is to encourage physicists to learn more about the components used in massive physics projects and join international collaborations seeking the secrets of the universe. View the three-minute video. Video: Fermilab
Photo of the Day

Bright spots

Yellow flowers provide a sunny counterpoint to a cloudy ceiling. Photo: Patrick Sheahan, AD
In the News

Possible new particle hints that universe may not be left-handed

From New Scientist, Aug. 19, 2015

Physics may be shifting to the right. Tantalising signals at CERN's Large Hadron Collider near Geneva, Switzerland, hint at a new particle that could end 50 years of thinking that nature discriminates between left and right-handed particles.

Read more

Frontier Science Result: CMS

LHC Run II: first analysis

If the individuals of a marching band can represent the large number of physics measurements that will come out of the LHC, one measurement must be first. Today's result is the drum major of LHC Run II physics measurements.

It was Lao-Tzu who said, "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." While this proverb from the Tao Te Ching is universally true, it has an especially apropos meaning for scientists working at the LHC. Our journey isn't always a physical one, but rather travels into intellectual realms never before investigated. We look to understand the behavior of matter at the highest energies ever achieved and to explore the conditions of the universe a tenth of a trillionth of a second after it began.

Our one-step-at-a-time approach served us well using the data recorded from 2010–12 (what scientists called LHC Run I), in which the Higgs boson was discovered, vast swaths of ideas for new theories were ruled out and the most energetic collisions ever achieved were characterized. This was an enormous success, leading to about 1,000 separate publications from the four big LHC experiments. During this period, scientists thoroughly explored the behavior of matter at collision energies of 7 and then 8 trillion electronvolts.

After two years downtime, the LHC resumed operations in 2015 (which we are calling Run II) and is now delivering beams of protons that collide at even higher energies, specifically 13 trillion electronvolts. There is no way to know what we will discover, as this is truly intellectual terra incognito.

As it happens, not all collisions occur with equal probability. Glancing collisions can occur a billion times more often than, for example, ones in which Higgs bosons are made. This allows scientists to quickly study certain data while waiting for enough data to accumulate for the rarer collisions. In addition, in the rarer collisions, two of the protons' constituents collide energetically, but the remainder experience only glancing interactions. Thus understanding the physics of glancing collisions is important even for events in which the discovery potential is much higher.

On July 21, CMS submitted for publication the first physics paper using the Run II data. The analysis studied the most common collisions to characterize both the number and direction of charged particles created in the collisions. Even in these gentlest of collisions, more than 20 charged particles are created on average. Further, it is always possible when exploring a new energy regime that surprises might arise, so the researchers compared their measurement to those taken at lower collision energies and observed no real surprises.

The real message is the LHC publication juggernaut has pounced on Run II data with a vengeance. This paper is the first, but it won't be the last.

Don Lincoln

These U.S. CMS scientists made important contributions to this analysis.
In Brief

Pine Street road closure - Sunday

Click to enlarge view of Pine Street road closure.

On Sunday, Aug. 23, Pine Street inbound and outbound lanes from Kirk Road to Road A2 will be closed from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. to perform two culvert repairs.

The Wilson Road entrance will be used for entry and exit during this time. See above map.