Fermilab Today Tuesday, April 8, 2008
Furlough Information

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

Layoff Information

New information on Fermilab layoffs, including an up-to-date Q&A section, appears on the layoff Web pages.


Tuesday, April 8
3:30 p.m.
4 p.m.
Budker Seminar - Snake Pit
Speaker: D. McCarron, Illinois Institute of Technology
Title: Booster Injection Beam Dynamics

Wednesday, April 9
3:30 p.m.
4 p.m.
Fermilab Colloquium - One West
Speaker: N. Saoulidou, Fermilab
Title: Neutrino Physics at Fermilab

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


WeatherShowers 50°/39°

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Current Security Status

Secon Level 3

Wilson Hall Cafe
Tuesday, April 8
- Creamy turkey vegetable
- Chili dog
- Beef & vegetable lo mein
- Chicken cacciatore
- Italian panini w/provolone
- Assorted pizza slices
- Super burrito

Wilson Hall Cafe Menu

Chez Leon

Wednesday, April 9
- Moroccan game hens
- Couscous w/almonds & raisins
- Julienne of carrots
- Pear strudel

Thursday, April 10
- Closed

Chez Leon Menu
Call x4598 to make your reservation.


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Accelerator Division celebrates Tevatron records

CDF and DZero collaborators express gratitude to AD employees for their hard work, which led to the Tevatron's most recent luminosity record. Employees from the collaborations and the Accelerator Division celebrated the record at a party on April 3.

When Fermilab built the Tevatron in the 1980s, no one thought that the machine would perform at the levels that it does today.

The Tevatron operates at near optimum levels, more than 300 times the original luminosity design. The machine has reached two luminosity records within the last month and shows no signs of tapering off.

"That means that a lot of people have had a lot of great ideas over the years and have found great ways to implement them. It doesn't get better on its own," said Steve Holmes, associate director for accelerators.

AD employees celebrated the Tevatron's best performance last week with pizza, beer and pride in Kuhn Barn.

"These people work with an intensity that doesn't exist in many places. They take pride in what they can accomplish and a lot of pride in what they do," said AD head Roger Dixon.

Between March 24 and 30, the Tevatron reached a one week record integrated luminosity of 48 inverse picobarns, beating the record of 46.5 inverse picobarns set during the week of March 10.

Dixon hopes that 48 inverse picobarns becomes a new norm.

"What people never counted on was that we're still making improvements. If we can run routinely at 50 inverse picobarns and our projections say we should run at 41, we could do better than expected," Dixon said. "It is a very exiting time in physics, and this division likes being part of the excitement.

Dixon and other speakers praised AD teams who worked extra hours, even during holidays to keep the Tevatron running smoothly.

Fermilab Director Pier Oddone said that the Tevatron's continued success helps him make a case for running the machine for an additional two years.

"This is really quite a fantastic achievement; it is especially sweet because these are not great times for the lab right now. In times of adversity, you take the measure of a person. In times of adversity, this team has done fantastically," Oddone said.

-- Rhianna Wisniewski

Photo of the Day

Behind the scenes at Tom Skilling's storm seminar

VMS employees Fred Ullrich and Karen Seifrid control video and audio feed to One West from backstage in Ramsey Auditorium. An estimated 2,800 people attended two Saturday sessions of WGN meteorologist Tom Skilling's 28th Severe Storm and Tornado Seminar in Fermilab's Ramsey Auditorium and an overflow room.
Read more on the history of the seminar.

In the News

But it's just a small black hole

From New York Times Editorial, April 6, 2008

If you thought you didn't have enough to worry about, consider this catastrophe projected in a lawsuit filed recently in Hawaii: The plaintiffs warn that a huge particle accelerator on the Swiss-French border could create a ravenous black hole that could gobble up the entire Earth or produce strange new forms of matter that would destroy the world as we know it.

It is not clear that a federal court in Honolulu could do much about a project in Europe even if it wanted to. The plaintiffs are hoping to block American agencies from assisting work at the Large Hadron Collider.

Probing realms at the frontiers of high-energy physics, scientists hope experiments with the accelerator will detect a long-sought particle that may explain how elementary particles acquire mass. They also yearn for other startling insights, perhaps even by creating microscopic black holes, a mini-version of the massive energy-sucking holes believed to exist at the centers of galaxies.

The European Center for Nuclear Research, which will operate the collider, has rightly pooh-poohed the dangers but is revisiting the safety issue in an effort to lay the concerns to rest. We draw comfort from the fact that similar concerns were raised nine years ago by one of the plaintiffs, a former radiation safety officer for the federal government, about a collider at Brookhaven National Laboratory on Long Island. His suit was dismissed. The accelerator was turned on. We're still here.

Read more

Director's Corner


Pier Oddone
Pier Oddone

In my Director's Corner a month ago I described the process to prepare for the reduction in force required by the funding cuts in the Omnibus Bill. We have maintained the timeline I described then, and we are on track to notify employees at the beginning of May. We do not have complete control of the schedule; DOE has to approve the restructuring plan. All of this is in process. In the meantime, to share all the information we can, we have established a Web site where we post Q&As related to the layoff.

This is a difficult time for our laboratory. The uncertainty is especially wearing for the many who worry about losing their jobs. From the outset I have received suggestions that we should hurry the process to remove the uncertainty that weighs on everyone. Careful analysis and fairness are essential, however, and they cannot and should not be done hurriedly for such a large layoff. Recent retirements and departures from positions that will be filled internally have reduced the number of involuntary layoffs to about 165 positions, down from approximately 200.

In about two weeks we will publish the details on how the actual notifications will be carried out so that all employees will understand the procedure and the reasons for it. More substantive than the procedure is the actual help we want to provide our colleagues who are laid off. We have contracted for an off-site support center that will be a "one-stop shop." It will provide assistance with benefits and the specialized experts and resources necessary to help those who will seek new employment. We are committed to invest the necessary resources to help everyone through this trial. We will post a description of how the support center will function and the resources that will be available in about a week.

Throughout this period, we and our partner laboratories, universities and scientific groups continue to inform the public, the administration and our elected representatives about the national importance of a vital future for particle physics and our laboratory.

Accelerator Update
April 4-7
- Three stores provided 49 hours and 46 minutes of luminosity
- TeV AZero kicker repaired
- Recycler vector signal analyzer problems
- TeV turbo pump swapped
- Pelletron chiller problems
- Booster chopper cable repaired

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


Energy 101 cancelled

Due to an injury, Cutler Cleveland canceled Friday evening's public lecture "Energy 101: 10 Things Everyone Should Know About Energy" at Fermilab. The Arts and Lecture Committee hopes to reschedule the lecture at a later date.

If you purchased tickets, you may hold on to them until we determine a new date, return them for credit for another lecture or arts series event or receive a refund. Please call our box office at (630) 840-ARTS (2787) to inform us of your intent. We will announce the new date of the lecture as soon as possible.

We apologize for this inconvenience.


Have a safe day!

FermiGrid 201, 202 offered
FermiGrid 201: Scripting and Running Grid Jobs
This introductory course is offered for individuals who work with or have an interest in grid computing.
Learn more and enroll

FermiGrid 202: Grid Storage Access
This class includes lab time.
Learn more and enroll.

Flexible Spending Accounts
To get reimbursed, you must submit 2007 Flexible Spending Account claims by April 30, 2008. Fax claims to Cigna at (570) 496-2945. Include a signed and dated claim form with your submission for reimbursement.

TIAA CREF retirement counseling
Chad Stein from TIAA CREF will conduct retirement counseling sessions at Fermilab on Wednesday, April 9, and Thursday, April 10. You may schedule an appointment by calling (800) 842-2005, 5602 or using the TIAA CREF Web site.

Computer programming course
"Fine Points of C++ Pointers: Dumb, Smart, and Smarter," the second course in the current series of "Selected Topics in Computer Programming," is offered on Thursday, April 10. Aimed at programmers with C++ experience, it will deal in depth with issues related to pointer manipulation in C++ programs. Attendees will learn best-practice techniques of resource management in modern standard C++, as well as related new techniques from the next C++ standard. Participants of the free course will receive TRAIN credit. Course registration is now open. Future courses will occur at two-week intervals.

Scottish Country Dance Tuesday
Scottish Country Dance will meet Tuesday, April 8, at Kuhn Barn on the Fermilab site. Instruction begins at 7:30 p.m., and newcomers are always welcome. Most dances are fully taught and walked through, and you do not need to come with a partner. For more information, call (630) 840-8194 or (630) 584-0825 or folkdance@fnal.gov.

Additional Activities

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