Fermilab Today Monday, October 8, 2007

Monday, Oct. 8
2:30 p.m.
Particle Astrophysics Seminar - Curia II
Speaker: M. Kesden, University of Toronto
Title: Testing Dark Matter Forces with Tidal Streams
3:30 p.m.
4 p.m.
All Experimenters' Meeting - Curia II
Special Topics: LARP Magnet Progress; Status of PEANUT

Tuesday, Oct. 9
3:30 p.m.
4 p.m.
Accelerator Physics and Technology Seminar - One West
Speaker: L. Klamp Spentzouris, Illinois Institute of Technology
Title: Current Graduate Student Research in Accelerator Physics at IIT

Click here for NALCAL,
a weekly calendar with links to additional information.


WeatherChance of thunderstorms 82°/58°

Extended Forecast
Weather at Fermilab

Current Security Status

Secon Level 3

Wilson Hall Cafe
Monday, Oct. 8
- French quarter gumbo
- French dip w/horseradish cream sauce
- Smart cuisine Santa Fe pork stew
- Chicken adobo
- Spicy hot Greek wrap
- Assorted slice pizza
- Sweet 'n' sour chicken w/egg roll

Wilson Hall Cafe Menu

Chez Leon

Wednesday, Oct. 10
- Middle Eastern cornish hens
- Lentil rice
- Stuffed plum tomatoes
- Almond baklava

Thursday, Oct. 11

Chez Leon Menu
Call x4598 to make your reservation.


Fermilab Today
Result of the Week
Safety Tip of the Week
ILC NewsLine


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Brett Lavoy keeps the pressure on alternative fuel

Mechanic and CNG cylinder inspector Brett Lavoy examines the mass air flow sensor inside one of the laboratory's CNG vehicles.

Brett Lavoy has a high-pressure job - 3,600 pounds per square inch to be precise. Few mechanics in Illinois can say that.

Only about a dozen mechanics in Illinois, including Lavoy, hold certifications to inspect gas cylinders in alternative fuel vehicles that run on compressed natural gas.

That knowledge comes in handy because Fermilab has about 35 CNG-powered vehicles. Lavoy services all of them as well as helping Argonne National Laboratory with its CNG fleet.

The two U.S. Department of Energy laboratories are among at least 80 businesses in the state to use the alternative fuel vehicles. Environment-friendly vehicles release fewer smog-producing gases, like carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides, and less carbon dioxide.

Although compressed natural gas can be flammable, Lavoy said, it is less dangerous to work with than gasoline. Gasoline can leak and form puddles of liquid, but CNG escapes into the air and dissipates.

Lavoy loves a challenge so when head of Transportation Services George Davidson asked for a volunteer to complete training and become a certified CNG inspector, Lavoy embraced the opportunity. He completed his training last May.

Lavoy says that most inspections and repairs of CNG and non-CNG vehicles are routine and safe but recalls one alarming incident two winters ago. He reached inside an engine to find a faulty wire, and instead touched fur. It was a raccoon, huddled inside to stay warm.

"That's probably the closest I've ever been to danger," Lavoy said, thinking back on all of his years of working with CNG vehicles.

Over time, the laboratory plans to phase out CNG in favor of more efficient alternative-fuel vehicles.

As new alternative fuel options become available, Lavoy will take on the next clean energy challenge--and maybe even the next raccoon.

-- Haley Bridger

Letter to the Editor

To the Editor:

Sacha Kopp

I write in response to the recent Director's Corner by Barry Barish, "Fermilab and Project X," reprinted in the September 20 edition of Fermilab Today. I would like to thank Barish for his words of support for Project X, and particularly for his recognition of Fermilab's need to plan for a future that balances commitment to building the ILC and the responsibility for a strong U.S. accelerator-based physics program in the interval between the end of Tevatron operations and the start of the ILC.

Like Barish, many of us in the U.S. particle physics user community have noted with appreciation the efforts of Director Pier Oddone and the Steering Group to plan for Fermilab's future. Students in particular observe that there is a need for science to "come home to" after their time at the LHC. Many faculty would redirect their research efforts toward a strong Fermilab program. Physics is Fermilab's most precious asset, as attested by last year's impressive 115 PhD theses awarded using data from Fermilab experiments.

Read more.

--Sacha Kopp

Sacha Kopp is an associate professor at the University of Texas at Austin, a collaborator on the Fermilab MINOS experiment and the past chair of the Fermilab UEC.

In the News

Shedding light on a cosmic mystery

From SLAC, Oct. 4, 2007

A SLAC astrophysicist and his collaborators may have finally solved the long-standing conundrum about the origin of cosmic rays. These streams of subatomic particles-mostly protons-continuously careen through our galaxy, bombarding Earth's atmosphere with tremendous energies. Since their discovery in 1912, researchers have marveled at how ordinary particles could attain such extraordinary energies, but despite intense experimental and theoretical efforts, these questions have eluded definitive answers.

The predominant theory has posited that cosmic rays are accelerated in the supersonic shocks surrounding supernova remnants. According to this hypothesis, turbulent magnetic fields force the particles to ricochet wildly across the shockfront, gaining energy with every crossing until eventually releasing into the cosmos at relativistic speeds. Until now, however, most evidence for this conjecture was circumstantial, relying on theory and logic rather than direct observation.

Read More

Safety Tip of the Week

Solar glare: A bright menace

Drivers need to be especially careful around sunrise and sunset.

Glare from the sun is one of the most overlooked dangers of daytime driving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, thousands of people are injured each year due to this hazard, some fatally.

Driving dangers gain intensity on the days shortly before and after the official start of spring on March 20 and the start of autumn on Sept. 21. At those times, the sun rises and sets at an angle most likely to blind motorists. This presents a danger for Fermilab commuters who enter and exit the property from the east and west. If you commute in an easterly direction in the morning or a westerly direction in the evening, you face solar glare. An hour after sunrise and an hour before sunset, glare presents the greatest danger for drivers. Currently, these peak danger times fall during common commuting times: 7:54 a.m. and 5:22 p.m.

To deal with the adverse effects of solar glare, follow these suggestions.

  • Clean your windshield. Dust particles, streaks, and smudges get magnified when illuminated by bright sunlight, so all you see is the dirt.
  • Wear sunglasses. Use glasses with lenses that are polarized and have UV protection.
  • Turn on your headlights. This will improve the odds that oncoming drivers will see you as they're driving toward the sun.
  • Slow down. If necessary, drop below the posted speed limit.
  • Take an alternate route. Use north-south streets until you find an east-west road with lots of trees or taller buildings to block the glare.

Safety Tip of the Week Archive

Accelerator Update
Sept. 28 - Oct. 5
- LINAC is up an running.
- Booster may take beam this weekend.
- Tevatron: Found and repaired many vacuum leaks.
- NuMI: Installation of dehumidifier system continues and repair of Horn 2 took place this weekend.

Read the Current Accelerator Update
Read the Early Bird Report
View the Tevatron Luminosity Charts


Have a safe day!

Wanted: Graduate students and Postdocs for ALCPG07
Are you a graduate student or postdoc who would like free food and a T-shirt? Volunteer to be a scientific secretary at the ALCPG/GDE meeting at Fermilab on Oct. 22-26. For details contact Andreas Kronfeld.

Eleven digit dialing begins
The new (331) area code overlay for the (630) area went into effect Sunday, October 7. Hopefully you've had the opportunity to review and, if necessary, reprogram your phones, fax machines, modems and other miscellaneous dialing equipment with new 11-digit dialing sequences as required by the newly implemented (331) area code. Calls to a 7-digit telephone number within the (630) area will no longer be completed. For more information or assistance, contact the Telecommunications Office at x5411 or at telecom@fnal.gov.

RSVP for Amy Lee Segami lecture
In celebration of Illinois Arts Week, the Fermilab Art Gallery will host a public lecture by Amy Lee Segami from 1 to 2 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 12, in One West. The lecture will explore the "Probability of Certainty in Creative Problem Solving Technique" along with a demonstration of Suminagashi. A one-hour tour of Fermilab will follow the lecture. The event is free and open to the public. Please RSVP before Oct. 10 by contacting Georgia Schwender.

Register for S/CII training
Technical personnel and managers can sign up for suspect/counterfeit items identification training. Training is scheduled to take place Oct. 16-18 at Argonne National Laboratory. You may register until Oct. 9 at the Fermilab Professional Development Web site.

Health and Wellness Fair Oct. 11
Fermilab's Employee Health and Wellness Fair will take place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 11.

Sexual harassment training Oct. 9, 10
The Office of Professional & Organization Development offers sexual harassment training for FNAL employees on Oct. 9. Training for managers and supervisors is on Oct. 10. Training only will be offered once this fall. It is intended to raise awareness of issues surrounding workplace sexual harassment discrimination. Employees can find more information and enroll online here. Supervisors or managers can enroll here.

Scottish Country Dancing Tuesday
Scottish Country Dancing will meet Tuesday, Oct. 9, at Kuhn Barn on the Fermilab site. Instruction begins at 7:30 p.m. Newcomers are always welcome. Most dances are fully taught and walked through. You do not need to come with a partner. For more information, call (630) 584-0825 or (630) 840-8194 or folkdance@fnal.gov.

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