Fermilab Today Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Furlough Information

New furlough information, including an up-to-date Q&A section, appears on the furlough Web pages daily.


Wednesday, Jan. 30
11:30 a.m.
Brown Bag Traffic Safety Seminar - Curia II
Speakers: D. Williams and J. Bartman, IDOT
Title: Safe Winter Driving; Distracted Driving
3:30 p.m.
4 p.m.
Fermilab Colloquium - One West
Speaker: S. Goldberg, Argonne National Laboratory
Title: The Federal Budget Process - Lessons That Can Be Learned

Thursday, Jan. 31
2 p.m.
Computing Division Seminar - FCC1
Speaker: D. Yocum, Fermilab
Title: The FermiGrid High Availability System
2:30 p.m.
Theoretical Physics Seminar - WH-3NW (NOTE LOCATION)
Speaker: J. Bailey, Fermilab
Title: Light-Quark Baryon Spectroscopy with Staggered Fermions
3:30 p.m.

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



Sunny 12°/10°

Extended Forecast
Weather at Fermilab

Current Security Status

Secon Level 3

Wilson Hall Cafe
Wednesday, Jan. 30
- Vegetable beef
- Fish & chips
- Smart cuisine: grilled salmon
- Country fried steak w/pepper gravy
- Beef & cheddar panini w/sauteed onions
- Assorted slice pizza
- Cavatappi pasta w/Italian sausage & tomato ragu

Wilson Hall Cafe Menu

Chez Leon

Wednesday, Jan. 30
- Chicken curry
- Steamed jasmine rice
- Sautéed vegetables
- Coconut flan

Thursday, Jan. 31
- Closed

Chez Leon Menu
Call x4598 to make your reservation.


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India's RRCAT director tours U.S. laboratories

Vinod Sahni, director of Raja Ramanna Center for Advanced Technology

Vinod Sahni, the director of India's Raja Ramanna Center for Advanced Technology, spent the greater part of December visiting U.S. laboratories. Tour stops included Brookhaven, SLAC and Fermilab, where he had the opportunity to discuss such activities as superconducting radiofrequency technology and Project X.

RRCAT, a multi-program laboratory located outside Indore, India, is currently commissioning a 2.5 GeV synchrotron light source, INDUS II. Physicists at RRCAT collaborate on the LHC at CERN, building corrector magnets and other machine components.

Sahni explained that during the last three to five years, SCRF technology has become increasingly important to India. RRCAT already has funnelled $35 million into its developing program. "The Rupee goes far in India. The construction costs are lower there," Sahni said.

Sahni came to Fermilab in December, joining the two RRCAT engineers who had been working at the laboratory for three months. Two technical staff members from Indian laboratories will continue to have a presence at Fermilab to collaborate on SCRF technology. "We will have 15 to 20 scientists working on SCRF at RRCAT," he said. "We have already built some of the tooling, and we want to develop ways to build SCRF components for lower cost."

India's interest in SCRF presented an opportunity for Sahni to discuss collaborating on Project X with Fermilab Director Pier Oddone. "We have similar interests for building a proton accelerator in India," he said.

-- Elizabeth Clements

Budget News Update

R&D: Essential Foundation for U.S. Competitiveness In a Global Economy

From AIP FYI, Jan. 25, 2008

A new report by the National Science Board states its major conclusion in unambiguous language: "U.S. industry and the Federal Government are the primary pillars of financial support for the U.S. research and development enterprise. The National Science Board (Board) observes with concern the indicators of stagnation, and even decline in some discipline areas, in support for U.S. R&D, and especially basic research, by these two essential patrons and participants."

In conjunction with last week's release of "Science and Engineering Indicators 2008," a policy-neutral, largely statistical report, the National Science Board issued a companion document concluding with three major policy recommendations. This six-page companion piece, "Research and Development: Essential Foundation for U.S. Competitiveness in a Global Economy" reinforces the message of other reports published in the last few years, such as the National Academies' "Rising Above the Gathering Storm" report. Steven C. Beering is the chairman of the National Science Board; Louis J. Lanzerotti is the chairman of the committee responsible for the report (who is also a member and Chair Designee of the AIP Governing Board.)

Read more

In the News

Smash! The Search for 'Sparticles'

From Space.com, Jan. 28, 2008

Squarks, photinos, selectrons, neutralinos. These are just a few types of supersymmetric particles, a special brand of particle that may be created when the world's most powerful atom smasher goes online this spring.

The Large Hadron Collider at a particle physics lab called the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Geneva, Switzerland, will very likely change our understanding of the universe forever. The 17-mile-long underground particle accelerator will send protons flying around its circular track until they smash into each other going faster than 99 percent of the speed of light. When the particles impact, they will unleash energies similar to those in the universe shortly after the Big Bang, the theoretical beginning of time.

Scientists don't know exactly what to expect from the LHC, but they anticipate its energetic collisions will create exotic particles that physicists have so far only dreamed of.

Many researchers are hoping to see supersymmetric particles, called sparticles for short. Sparticles are predicted by supersymmetry theory, which posits that for every particle we know of, there is a sister particle that we have not yet discovered. For example, the superpartner to the electron is the selectron, the partner to the quark is the squark and the partner to the photon is the photino.

..."The most popular supersymmetric theories predict the existence of a stable supersymmetric particle, the neutralino," said Enrico Lunghi, a theoretical physicist at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Chicago. "This is an excellent candidate for dark matter. The problem is that we haven't seen any. It's another good reason for hoping to find supersymmetry at the LHC."...

Read more

From the Finance Section

Coping with the furlough

Today's column is written by Cindy Conger, chief financial officer and head of the Finance Section.

Cindy Conger

As we get ready to adapt to the difficult period of rolling furloughs that begins in February, many employees have contacted the Payroll Department to inquire about the effect of various furlough scenarios on their paychecks. Since Payroll cannot answer every employee's questions individually, I'd like to offer these suggestions for estimating the furlough-related deductions from your paycheck and possible options to mitigate the effects of the furlough.

The laboratory will compute furlough deductions from a full-time monthly employee's wage based on his or her annual salary divided by 2,080 hours. This is a national payroll standard used regardless of the actual number of scheduled work hours in the year. For a full-time weekly employee, the laboratory will use the standard hourly wage of the employee. In both cases, we calculate the deduction from your gross pay by multiplying your hourly rate by the number of furlough hours reported in a pay period.

The reduction in your paycheck (net pay) will actually be less than the deduction from your gross pay due to lower tax withholdings. On average, federal, state, FICA and Medicare withholdings take approximately 26 percent out of your gross pay, leaving you with approximately 74 percent of every dollar earned. You can estimate the furlough deduction from your net pay by multiplying the furlough deduction from your gross pay by 0.74. The actual deduction from your paycheck depends on your actual withholdings rate.

To increase your net pay during the furlough period, you can decrease your tax withholdings by increasing the number of federal and state tax exemptions. The IRS offers a withholding calculator to help determine the proper number of exemptions to claim. To change your exemptions, please use the W-4 forms available in the Payroll Department (WH4E) or change your exemptions online via the Fermilab Employee Self Service.

If you make 403(b) supplemental retirement contributions, you also can increase your net pay during the furlough period by decreasing or suspending your 403(b) contributions. To make this change, please fill out this form and submit it to the Benefits Office (WH15W). Once the furlough ends, use the same form to restore your 403(b) contributions. Remember that 403(b) deductions occur before taxes; your net pay increase will be less than the change in your 403(b) contributions.

For more answers to frequently asked questions about the furlough, please visit the furlough Web pages.

Safety Update

ES&H weekly report, Jan. 29

This week's safety report, compiled by the Fermilab ES&H section, provides an update on a Dec. 22 accident in which a subcontractor fell on ice. The accident counts as a DART case (Days Away, Restricted or Transferred) since the subcontractor lost days of work. Fermilab now has two DART cases and four recordable cases for the fiscal year. The full report is here.

Safety report archive


Have a safe day!

Brown Bag Traffic Safety Seminar today
Illinois Department of Transportation representatives Dianne Williams and John Bartman will give presentations on safe winter driving and distracted driving at a Brown Bag Lunch today, Jan. 30, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. in Curia II. Prizes will be raffled.

Financial counseling available
Need financial advice? For financial counseling or advice, employees can call on the resources of the Employee Assistance Program. Call the EAP 24/7 at 1-800-843-1327, and tell them you're from Fermilab. Or get directly in touch with employee assistance counselor Brian Malinowski at 1-847-625-3532 or bmalinowski@vmceap.com. Access furlough information here.

Intermediate Word course Feb. 21
Learn how to create customized lists, tables, charts, graphics and personalized Word 2003 efficiency tools at an Intermediate Word 2003 course on Feb. 21. Learn more and enroll

Brown Bag Seminar on weight loss
Sheron Brown, MD, will present a Brown Bag Seminar Friday, Feb. 1, from noon to 1 p.m. in Curia II entitled 'Easy Strategies for Weight Loss."

Recreation class registration due Friday
Registration for the Muscle Toning Class must be submitted Friday for the Feb. 5-28 class. The class costs $36 per person. You must be a current member of the gym to register.

Registration for Yoga must be submitted by Friday for the Feb. 5 to March 25 class. $80 per person.

Additional Activities

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