Fermilab Today Monday, June 16, 2008
Layoff Information

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

Furlough Information

Information on the furloughs at Fermilab, which stopped May 31, 2008, is available on the furlough Web pages.


Monday, June 16
2:30 p.m.
Particle Astrophysics Seminar - Curia II
Speaker: K. Martens, University of Utah
Title: Cosmic Rays in Utah: From HiRes to Telescope Array
3:30 p.m.
4 p.m.
All Experimenters' Meeting - Curia II
Special Topic: Dark Energy Survey
Special Topic: Antiproton Production Target

Tuesday, June 17
12 p.m.
Summer Lecture Seminar - Curia II (NOTE LOCATION)
Speaker: H. Prosper, Florida State University
Title: The Standard Model and Beyond
3:30 p.m.
4 p.m.
Accelerator Physics and Technology Seminar - One West
Speaker: A. Hahn, Fermilab
Title: Statistical Data Analysis (Part I)

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


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Wilson Hall Cafe

Monday, June 16
- French Quarter gumbo
- French dip w/horseradish cream sauce
- Smart cuisine: Santa Fe pork stew
- Smart cuisine: honey mustard chicken
- Spicy hot Greek wrap
- Assorted slice pizza
- Sweet n' sour chicken w/egg roll

Wilson Hall Cafe Menu

Chez Leon

Wednesday, June 18
- Assortment of quiches
- Salad of field greens with raspberry vinaigrette
- Apple walnut cake w/ cream Chantilly

Thursday, June 19
- Melon & prosciutto
- Grilled duck breast w/ zinfandel fig sauce
- Wild rice w/ pecans and currants
- Sautéed green beans
- Lemon napoleons

Chez Leon Menu
Call x4598 to make your reservation.


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Lessons learned: CDF and DZero share tips with CMS

Attendees from the U.S. CMS Run Plan Workshop

Automate systems in the control room. Keep detector documentation updated. Use access time wisely.

CDF and DZero experimenters shared recommendations such as these with CMS collaboration members at last month's U.S. CMS Run Plan Workshop.

CDF's Camille Ginsburg and DZero's Bill Lee recalled both the successes and the pitfalls during the detectors' commissioning periods many years ago. Advice from experienced veterans came highly regarded for an experiment like CMS, currently going through its own cumbersome commissioning phase at the LHC.

Ginsburg recalled the commissioning of CDF's silicon system as one of the most difficult tasks due to its complexity, proximity to the beam and last-minute installation into the full detector. Because of CMS' own complicated silicon system, it may face similar challenges. "If we had to do it again, a stand-alone test would have been better," Ginsburg said.

Ginsburg also stressed the importance of keeping detector documentation updated. "Detector expertise vanishes quickly once you move from construction to operation," she said. "You really want to document things before they drift away."

To help make the best use of the shift crew's time, both experiments recommended installing cameras in the collision hall. During operations, shift crews have very few opportunities to access the detector. Cameras allow shifters, not to mention visitors, to see specific components during a run.

In the DZero control room, audible alerts have served well for getting the attention of shift crews, particularly in the middle of the night. Only use the audible alarms for critical alerts, Lee warned. "If it makes too much noise, people will just turn down the volume," he said.

Looking for opportunities to automate systems in the control room also will help crews make the most out of their shifts and decrease potential mistakes. "Use time wisely," said Lee. "Even when a system is broken, take a special run to gain information on other parts of the detector."

-- Elizabeth Clements

Read tomorrow's Fermilab Today for another lessons learned article.

In the News

The price isn't right

From nature, June 13, 2008

ITER will cost more to build than previously thought. Now is the time to be honest about how much.

Quoting a price for a major new scientific instrument is notoriously tricky. Researchers have to estimate costs for equipment that has never been built, forecast expenditures years in advance, allow for unknown contingencies, and win approval from sceptical politicians who always want the project to cost less.

So it is not a complete surprise that a recently finished design review of ITER, a major fusion experiment to be built in Cadarache, France, is forecasting a delay of 1-3 years in its completion date and a roughly 25-30% increase in its euro dollar5-billion (US$7.8-billion) construction cost (see page 829).

The seven international partners in ITER (the United States, the European Union, Russia, China, Japan, India and South Korea) will no doubt be displeased by the news. They reached a final agreement to go ahead with ITER in 2006 based on a partially incomplete 2001 design, and may well suspect that the scientists were deliberately quoting an over-optimistic price in order to sell the project.

Whatever truth there might be in that allegation, the fusion community was making its estimate under less than ideal circumstances. ITER had been something of a political football since 1985, when it began life as part of the cold war détente. The collapse of the Soviet Union began a decade of political limbo for the project. Scientists had to radically downsize it at the end of the 1990s to appease the budget concerns of skittish member states.

Read more

From the WDRS

Update on layoffs

Kay Van Vreede, the head of the Workforce Development and Resources Section, wrote this week's column. This column, which would ordinarily run on Wednesday, appears today because of its timely content.

Kay Van Vreede

Last week we began the process of voluntary layoffs here at the laboratory.

Of the 750 employees who received packages with information about the Voluntary Self Select Option Program (VSSOP), 34 employees so far have elected to participate. People have been attending the workshops on benefits, TIAA CREF retirement savings and career transitions designed to help employees make their decisions.

Questions have been pouring in and we have provided answers. Among the most frequently asked questions: "If I didn't receive a package am I safe from involuntary layoff?" That question is not quite as easy to answer as it appears. For most people, no package means no layoff. However, there are 199 employees who were not eligible to receive packages because they do not meet the eligibility criteria: they have been employed for less than one year; they are term employees; they are retired guest scientists; they work part-time less than fifty percent of the time; or they are exempt because of their long-term disability status. Also, union employees were not included in the VSSOP offer. These employees are not necessarily "safe" from involuntary termination. Finally, we are still verifying that everyone who should have received a package did receive one. IF YOU DID RECEIVE YOUR PACKAGE, PLEASE SEND A RETURN RECEIPT OR SEND AN E-MAIL.

Photo of the Day

41-year anniversary

Fermilab marked 41 years of existence Saturday. Pictured are the first offices of the National Accelerator Laboratory in the Oak Brook Executive Office Plaza, 1301 W. 22nd Street, Oak Brook, IL 60521.

Accelerator Update

June 11-13
- Three stores provided ~43 hours and 47 minutes of luminosity
- New old-style target installed in Pbar
- DZero interaction point changed
- New Meson MTest experiment (T979) begins
- Rising temperatures begin causing problems

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


Career decision-making seminar available June 18
For those eligible for the voluntary layoff program, please consider attending a Career Decision Making seminar conducted by the career transition firm Lee Hecht Harrison. Register for sessions at 1 p.m. today or at 8:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. on June 18. Questions? Send e-mail to wdrs_voluntary@fnal.gov.

Blood drive June 24, 25
Heartland Blood Centers will conduct a Fermilab Blood Drive on June 24 and 25 from 8:30 a.m to 2 p.m. in the Wilson Hall Ground Floor NE Training Room. Schedule appointments online or call Diana at x3771 or Margie at x5680. More information. The last blood drive collected 83 units. Many thanks to all who donated.

Special discount on SciTech
Science Adventure summer camps

The SciTech hands-on Children's Museum in Aurora offers all Fermilab employees discounts on its Science Adventure summer camps, honoring the long-standing relationship between the two organizations. The week-long camps begin on June 23 and run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. with before and after care available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fermilab employees only pay from $174 to $199 and the before and after care is free. Visit the SciTech Web site to register. (Do not use the Web site to sign up for before and after care. SciTech will call you to confirm whether you want this service.) To receive your discount enter the code FERMI2008 on checkout.

Fermilab pool opening
Members of Fermilab's Directorate are working with a pool committee to open the Fermilab pool this summer. The committee members hope to have the pool open by the end of June. Additional details will be published in Fermilab Today and in an e-mail sent to the Fermilab users.

Additional Activities

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