Fermilab Today Thursday, Dec. 18, 2008

Thursday, Dec. 18
1 p.m.
Physics and Detector Seminar - West Wing, WH-10NW
Speaker: Thomas Rizzo, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory
Title: SUSY Without Prejudice
1 p.m.
Special Particle Astrophysics Seminar - Curia II (NOTE DATE)
Speaker: Catherine Bailey, Case Western University
Title: Cryogenic Dark Matter Search - Present Results and Future Detectors
2:30 p.m.
Theoretical Physics Seminar - Curia II
Speaker: Neil Christensen, Michigan State University
Title: FeynRules
3:30 p.m.

Friday, Dec. 19
3:30 p.m.
4 p.m.
Joint Experimental-Theoretical Physics Seminar - One West
Speaker: Petar Maksimovic, Johns Hopkins University
Title: Recent CDF Measurements of B Hadron Lifetimes in Displaced Tracks-Triggered Samples

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


Wintry mix

Extended Forecast
Weather at Fermilab

Current Security Status

Secon Level 3

Wilson Hall Cafe

Thursday, Dec. 18
- Tomato Florentine
- *Pork BBQ sandwich
- Pasta primavera
- Smart cuisine: chicken marsala
- Smoked turkey melt
- Assorted sliced pizza
- SW Chicken salad w/roasted corn salsa

Wilson Hall Cafe menu

Chez Leon

Thursday, Dec. 18
- Spinach & strawberry salad
- Lobster tail
- Spaghetti squash w/ green onions
- Green bean almandine
- Crème de menthe mousse w/Christmas cookies

Wednesdsay, Dec. 24
- Closed

Chez Leon menu
Call x3524 to make your reservation.


Fermilab Today
Result of the Week
Safety Tip of the Week
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Winter storm advisory

To: All Fermilab Employees

From: Bruce Chrisman, chief operating officer

A winter storm is predicted to move across the Chicago area this afternoon and into Friday. The severe-weather system could bring a half inch of ice and potential power outages.

Please be careful as you walk to your car and drive home. Despite the weather, Fermilab will very likely remain open. If Fermilab closes, a note will be posted on the home page: http://www.fnal.gov/, and information will be submitted to local radio and television stations.

If you believe that it is unsafe for you to drive in to work, you may use accrued vacation or take unpaid leave. For more information, view Fermilab's Inclement Weather and Snow Policy.

The National Weather Service Web site, http://www.noaa.gov, is the best source for the latest weather information.

And remember, whatever the weather, please be careful.


Project X collaboration forms, experiment moves forward

The map indicates the provisional siting for Project X's initial configuration.

Project X, a Fermilab-hosted international accelerator facility, could break ground as soon as 2013.

Accelerator experts from around the world gathered at Fermilab last month to work toward establishing a formal collaboration and further plans for Fermilab's proposed proton accelerator.

At the meeting held Nov. 21-22, more than 133 attendees established a multi-institutional collaboration for the R&D phase of the project.

"Project X allows us to use the facility we have here and puts us at the leading-edge of world particle physics," said Fermilab Director Pier Oddone.

Steve Holmes, Fermilab's associate director for accelerators, believes that the collaboration can finish plans encompassing the project's scope, cost estimate, schedule and R&D work by mid-2009. This could lead to Critical Decision-0, the first in a series of Department of Energy goals that dictate the progression of a project, later in the year. Holmes, who is spearheading the project, would like the collaboration to aim for CD-2 approval in 2012, and construction starting in 2013.

"We see Fermilab as the sole remaining U.S. laboratory providing facilities in support of accelerator-based elementary particle physics. Project X would provide a forefront accelerator that could provide the community with world-leading capabilities for decades." Holmes said.

Collaborators from across the globe will work on the project, but Project X will be a U.S. project hosted at Fermilab.

"We benefit from the expertise of collaborators from Europe and Japan," said Paul Derwent, head of the Recycler department in Fermilab's Accelerator Division. "We have a lot of things in common in regard to the future of accelerator technlogy, including technical problems to solve. We can benefit from each other."

Read more

-- Rhianna Wisniewski


Georgia Karagiorgi wins Young Scientist Award

Georgia Karagiorgi

Georgia Karagiorgi, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology graduate student at Fermilab, won one of three Young Scientist Awards presented in November at the 18th triennial Particles and Nuclei International Conference in Eilat, Israel.

"It's wonderful knowing that the general particle physics community shares your excitement about your research and recognizes your work," Karagiorgi said in an e-mail.

The journal Nuclear Physics A named Karagiorgi winner of the best poster presentation. Winners of the Young Scientist Awards needed to be younger than 35 at the close of Dec. 31, 2008.

Karagiorgi, a former Columbia University graduate student, has been working on the electron antineutrino appearance analysis at MiniBooNE at Fermilab since 2007. She has been working in the field of neutrino oscillations since the beginning of her graduate studies in 2005. She presented her first results on Dec. 11 at a Joint Experimental-Theoretical Physics Seminar at Fermilab.

-- Kathryn Grim

In the News

Measuring the mysterious 'dark' force

From New York Times,
Dec. 16, 2008

Measurements of the lack of growth of galaxy clusters over the last five billion years put astronomers one step closer, they say, toward narrowing the possible explanations of dark energy, the mysterious force that is speeding up the universe.

Physicists denote the virulence of dark energy by a number called w, the equation of state. From the stifling of cluster growth, Dr. Alexey Vikhlinin's multinational team derived a value of w of about minus 1.14, plus or minus 0.21. That is within shooting range of the magic value for the cosmological constant of minus 1.

Read more

Fermilab Result of the Week

On top of Zs CDF gains

Top figure: A neural network distribution is used to extract the top pair production cross section for one of the analyses. The signal peaks on the right whereas the background peaks on the left. Bottom figure: This figure shows the distribution of the number of jets in the analysis that involve b-jet identification.

By making judicious use of Z bosons, scientists at CDF are able to dramatically reduce the uncertainty of the top quark pair production cross section. By comparing the number of identified top quarks to the number of identified Z bosons, CDF scientists have effectively increased the data sample from 2.8 inverse femtobarns to 10 inverse femtobarns. Thus, the measured top cross section is now known at the same level of accuracy as the theoretically calculated one.

The Z cross section is very well known both experimentally and theoretically, so it provides an excellent standard when compared to any other cross section.

How does the ratio, or the comparison of Z bosons to quarks, achieve such remarkable results? By using the ratio, CDF physicists can all but cancel out the uncertainty from the luminosity measurement. Scientists measuring the number of particle collisions, or luminosity, always have a degree of uncertainty associated with this measurement. In this case, that amount of uncertainty is the highest source of uncertainty relating to the individual cross section measurements. The uncertainty due to the luminosity does not decrease as scientists accumulate more statistics. Rather, this uncertainty is dominated by the theoretical knowledge of the total rate of proton-antiproton collisions and by the intrinsic uncertainty of the detectors used to measure it.

Physicists applied this comparison technique to two separate top cross section measurements. One analysis requires the identification of b-quarks from the top decay. A second analysis relies on the observed particle properties of the events. The second analysis has the advantage of including more signal events; over 1,000 reconstructed top quark pair candidates. However, the trade off is that the backgrounds that mimic a top signal are also larger. To deal with these large backgrounds, scientists use an artificial neural network. This acts like a human brain, examining many elements simultaneously. In both of the analyses, the CDF scientists saw the total uncertainties decrease by over 10 percent.

With the Tevatron performing so well, studying top quark pair production is truly becoming precision physics. Analysis tricks such as these ratios are key to further scrutiny of Standard Model physics, in search of signs of something unexpected!

More information on these analyses can be found here or here.

Andrew Ivanov, Will Johnson, Alison Lister and Tom Schwarz, UC Davis; Kevin Lannon, University of Notre Dame. Not pictured: Robin Erbacher and John Conway,UC Davis; Richard Hughes and Brian Winer, Ohio State University.


Air conditioning shutdown

The air conditioning system for Wilson Hall from the crossovers through the north side will be shut down from 6 p.m. to midnight today and Friday to service the system. Please plan large meetings accordingly.

Accelerator Update

Dec. 15-17
- Three stores provided ~31.75 hours of luminosity
- Booster kicker work continues
- T988 ends their run
- Store 6647 lost - B1 quench

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


Have a safe day!

Science Chicago hosts Mythbusters

NALWO - A Russian Style New Year

Holiday Pay Dates

Weekly Time Sheets are due Dec. 18

International Folk Dancing Holiday Party Dec. 18

Monthly Leave Sheets due Dec. 19

Shop early - Lederman Science Center store open until Dec. 20

Barn Dance Dec. 21

Holiday Closing

Weekly Time Sheets are due Dec. 22

SciTech winter camps, Dec. 22-23 and 29-30

Find carpool partners with PACE

Python Programming - Jan. 6 - 8

Outlook 2007 New Features classes scheduled Jan. 15 and Feb. 3

Intermediate / Advanced Python Programming - Jan. 27 - 29

IRS Final 403(b) Regulations

Fermilab Blood Drive Dec. 16, 17

The University of Chicago Tuition Remission Program deadline Dec. 17

Submit an announcement

Additional Activities

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