Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2015
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School's Day Out - Sept. 4

Bible exploration group starting new study called "Live Justly" - Sept. 8

Pilates registration due Sept. 8

September AEM meeting date change to Sept. 14

Fermilab Lecture Series: Visualizing the Future of Biomedicine - Sept. 18

Fermilab Arts Series: 10,000 Maniacs - Sept. 26

Workshop on Future Linear Colliders - register by Sept. 28

Fermilab Prairie Plant Survey

New line dancing class

Pine Street road closing

Fermilab Board Game Guild

Walk 2 Run on Thursdays

English country dancing at Kuhn Barn

Scottish country dancing moves to Kuhn Barn Tuesdays evenings after Labor Day

International folk dancing returns to Kuhn Barn Thursday evenings after Labor Day


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From symmetry

Combined results find Higgs still standard

The CMS and ATLAS experiments combined forces to more precisely measure properties of the Higgs boson. Image: ATLAS collaboration

The ATLAS and CMS experiments on the Large Hadron Collider were designed to be partners in discovery.

In 2012, both experiments reported evidence of a Higgs-like boson, the fundamental particle that gives mass to the other fundamental particles.

ATLAS reported the mass of this new boson to be in the mass region of 126 billion electronvolts, and CMS found it to be in the region of 125. In May 2015, the two experiments combined their measurements, refining the Higgs mass closer to 125.09 GeV.

Sticking with the philosophy that two experiments are better than one, scientists from the ATLAS and CMS collaborations presented combined measurements of other Higgs properties earlier today at the third annual Large Hadron Collider Physics Conference in St. Petersburg, Russia.

This particular analysis focused on the interaction of the Higgs boson with other particles, known as coupling strength. The combined measurements are more precise than each experiment could accomplish alone, and results establish that the Higgs mechanism grants mass to both the matter and force-carrying particles as predicted by the Standard Model of particle physics.

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Katie Elyce Jones


Sue Grommes retires after 36 years at the laboratory

Sue Grommes

Sue Grommes came to Fermilab in 1979, soon after Leon Lederman was named laboratory director. After 36 years and five directors, she retires. Her last day is Friday.

Grommes' first position at Fermilab was as a word processing specialist. One of her first assignments was to help prepare a proposal to build what was then called the Space Telescope (a project that eventually went to NASA: the Hubble Space Telescope). There was no word processing at Fermilab at the time, so Grommes was sent off site to learn to operate a free-standing word processing unit. She soon became a full-time employee and learned each word processing system as it was introduced at the laboratory.

"I can't believe, when I look back now at the papers, design reports and books, that I typed those very complicated scientific equations," she said. "I kept wanting to say, 'Buy a vowel!'"

Advances in word processing programs allowed Grommes to move on to other projects for the Directorate, where she worked as an administrative assistant. She served as gatekeeper for Directorate electronic requisitions, oversaw conference room scheduling and assisted with a large variety of special projects. For 10 years, she also assisted at the annual Physics Advisory Council meetings in Aspen, Colorado.

Grommes also took advantage of life outside Wilson Hall. She played in the summer and winter volleyball leagues, served on the History Committee and participated in the annual Farmers Picnics.

She feels proud to have played an important part in advancing Fermilab's mission.

"It was so rewarding to type papers for projects that would eventually become realities: Illinois Math and Science Academy, CDF, Energy Doubler, Friends of Fermilab, and whole books, such as typing into Cyber the entire 400 pages of the proceedings of the first Fermilab History Symposium, a volume that ended up becoming the first computer-printed book undertaken by Cambridge University Press," she said.

During retirement, she will continue to take care of her mother, volunteer for a Christian organization and pursue her interest in World War II by helping with an honor flight. She also plans to dust off her roller blades and bicycle.

"I have enjoyed so much working for all the different directors and my co-workers in the office, as well as working relationships with others all over the site," Grommes said.

From the Office of Communication

Save the date

Katie Yurkewicz

Katie Yurkewicz, assistant director for communications, wrote this column.

Fermilab is turning 50 … in 2017!

This may seem like a really early save-the-date for a birthday party, but when you're celebrating the birth of a 6,800-acre lab with 1,700 employees, 20 bison and the nation's largest particle accelerator complex, you need to start planning early.

Creating a brand-new national lab involves many steps, and lots of stops and starts. Many dates could (and in the past, have been!) celebrated as the lab's birthday. But after close consultation with Fermilab archivists Valerie Higgins and Adrienne Kolb, a suite of three milestones has been identified that will bracket a year of golden anniversary events.

On Dec. 7, 1966, the Weston site was selected as the site of the new National Accelerator Laboratory. The offices in Oak Brook — which served as the nerve center of Fermilab until offices were ready on site — were occupied for the first time on June 15, 1967. And on Nov. 21, 1967, President Johnson authorized the first funds for the construction of NAL.

A 50th anniversary advisory committee has been formed to explore the many people and groups that have a stake in the lab and that should be involved in the celebrations. The committee will also develop goals for the lab's anniversary and a prioritized set of activities and events. The group is surveying other labs and universities to see how they celebrated their major anniversaries. We are talking with employees, users, contractors, neighbors, and national and international partners about ways to engage and inform them through activities at Fermilab and elsewhere.

We need your help and ideas now so that we can prepare the best possible proposal for the lab's management team by the end of October.

If you have ideas about ways the lab could celebrate its 50th birthday or suggestions for people and groups that should be involved or engaged over the course of the birthday year, please contact me at x4112 or by email.

And mark your calendars — it's going to be a great birthday!

Photo of the Day

Prairie breeze

nature, prairie, grass, plants
Grass sways in the wind. Photo: Stephanie Timpone, PPD
Safety Update

ESH&Q weekly report, Aug. 31

This week's safety report, compiled by the Fermilab ESH&Q Section, contains one incident.

While an employee was using a hammer to secure a beaver trap, he looked up and missed the stake, striking his left hand. He received first-aid treatment.

See the full report.

In the News

Fermilab planning to study neutrinos to understand more about universe

From Kane County Chronicle, Aug. 31, 2015

BATAVIA — In 1995, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory's Tevatron particle accelerator discovered the top quark, giving scientists additional insight into how the universe formed.

Quarks are among the fundamental building blocks of matter in the universe. Despite the groundbreaking discoveries it made, the Tevatron shut down in 2011 after losing out on additional federal funds to continue its operation.

Even though the Tevatron no longer is in operation, Fermilab scientists are working to keep the laboratory on the cutting edge of scientific research.

"We have a lot of experiments that are already launched, because, of course, we had some idea the Tevatron was going to shut down someday. So we had some time to prepare for this," said Joseph Lykken, Fermilab's deputy director.

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