Fermilab Today Friday, April 16, 2010

Have a safe day!

Friday, April 16
4 p.m.
Joint Experimental-Theoretical Physics Seminar
Speaker: Kathryn Shaffer, University of Chicago
Title: Results on Secondary Anisotropies from the South Pole Telescope

Saturday, April 17
8 p.m.
Fermilab Arts Series - Ramsey Auditorium
Performer: Four Bitchin' Babes: Hormonal Imbalance Tour
Tickets: $28/$14

Monday, April 19
11 p.m.
Particle Astrophysics Seminar - One West
Speaker: Kumiko Kotera, University of Chicago
Title: Ultrahigh Energy Cosmic Rays, Neutrinos and Gamma Rays: A Multi-Messenger Approach to Astroparticle Physics
3:30 p.m.
4 p.m.
All Experimenters' Meeting - Curia II
Special Topics: New INSPIRE Database; T-992: SLHC Sensors at MTest

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Wilson Hall Cafe

Friday, April 16
- Chorizo burrito
- Italian vegetable soup
- Teriyaki chicken
- Southern fried chicken
- Mediterranean baked tilapia
- Eggplant parmesan panini
- Assorted slice pizza
- Assorted sub sandwich

Wilson Hall Cafe menu

Chez Leon

Wednesday, April 21
- Thai chicken sauté
- Macaroon shortcake w/roasted pineapple

Thursday, April 15
- Closed

Chez Leon menu
Call x3524 to make your reservation.


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Dark matter: Can you hear me now?

COUPP collaborators install a 60 kg bubble chamber for testing in the DZero building at Fermilab in September 2009.

Pockets of dark matter litter roughly 25 percent of the universe like patches of static you hit while surfing the radio dial: definitely there but of unclear origin.

Through a process of elimination, Chicagoland Observatory for Underground Particle Physics collaborators say they have found a way to use sound to tune in dark matter passing through an underground bubble chamber and tune out imposter particles. This acoustic discrimination works if that dark matter consists of Weakly Interacting Massive Particles, or WIMPs, one of the leading theoretical candidates for this mysterious gravitational subatomic material.

Based on the theories of the makeup of WIMPs and data about how particles with similar masses and no electric charge behave, physicists can estimate the type of bubble and vibration noise that a WIMP would generate when striking the nucleus of a liquid particle in a detector.

Unfortunately, in COUPP's bubble chamber, that simulated WIMP bubble looks much like the bubble caused by common alpha particles such as radon. These unstable particles decay, emitting an alpha particle and a secondary particle that collide and cause a recoil like a battleship firing a large shell. Differentiating between these two particle interactions had researchers stymied until they learned to listen, not look.

Collaborators from Fermilab, University of Chicago and Indiana University at South Bend, targeted this last remaining particle that could mimic the nuclear recoil of a WIMP dark matter particle by listening to the sound vibrations its recoil causes. Program the detector to rule out that sound, collaborators decided, and any other recoil sound would likely signal the arrival of a dark matter particle.

This past winter that realization literally caused the jaw of COUPP collaborator Mike Crisler to drop when during a simple R&D test to get rid of radon noise in a 4kg bubble chamber showed that simulated WIMPS and alpha particles make distinctive noises.

"This is really one of the more stunning moments I have had at Fermilab," Crisler said. "And I have been here for 30 years."

Read more

-- Tona Kunz

Special Announcement

Attend the 2010 Women in Science Symposium Saturday

The Women in Science Symposium 2010: Building an Identity will discuss the shortage of women in science and the issues that contribute to it from 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. on Saturday, April 17 on the Chicago Campus of Northwestern University.

During this day-long event, learn more about the state of women in science and why more women aren't pursuing careers in the scientific workforce. Also, discuss what changes are taking place and need to take place to successfully reshape the scientific workforce landscape so that it includes more women.

Fermilab will cover the registration fee for any Fermilab employees who want to attend. View the symposium agenda Web page to learn more about the event. Use the Fermilab code "FNALWIS" when you register.

In the News

Roman ingots to shield particle detector

From Nature News, April 15, 2010

Lead from ancient shipwreck will line Italian neutrino experiment.

Around four tonnes of ancient Roman lead was yesterday transferred from a museum on the Italian island of Sardinia to the country's national particle physics laboratory at Gran Sasso on the mainland. Once destined to become water pipes, coins or ammunition for Roman soldiers' slingshots, the metal will instead form part of a cutting-edge experiment to nail down the mass of neutrinos.

The 120 lead ingots, each weighing about 33 kilograms, come from a larger load recovered 20 years ago from a Roman shipwreck, the remains of a vessel that sank between 80 B.C. and 50 B.C. off the coast of Sardinia. As a testimony to the extent of ancient Rome's manufacturing and trading capacities, the ingots are of great value to archaeologists, who have been preserving and studying them at the National Archaeological Museum in Cagliari, southern Sardinia. What makes the ingots equally valuable to physicists is the fact that over the past 2,000 years their lead has almost completely lost its natural radioactivity. It is therefore the perfect material with which to shield the CUORE (Cryogenic Underground Observatory for Rare Events) detector, which Italy's National Institute of Nuclear Physics (INFN) is building at the Gran Sasso laboratory.

Read more

Recovery Act

New beamlines mean business for contractors

Construction workers make progress on the New Muon Laboratory expansion project.

At Fermilab, the Recovery Act is continuing to create jobs for locals, and is helping the laboratory build the infrastructure required to keep the United States at the forefront in the global race for scientific prowess.

This week at the New Muon Lab digging began for a tunnel to house the laboratory's new superconducting radio-frequency test accelerator, which will be the first of its kind.

Like a herd of dinosaurs in a feeding frenzy, huge pieces of equipment circled the north side of the building, moving earth and crushing concrete.

"All this work was done today," said Kyle DeHenau, one of general contractors Barton Malow's on-site supervisors for the NML Expansion Project, raising his voice over the din. "By tomorrow you'll see a big hole in the ground."

Fermilab awarded the Michigan-based firm the $2.8 million contract to complete the 230-foot beam tunnel and two additional buildings. DeHenau said the construction project should be finished by the end of October and will use about 20 local subcontractors.

Wearing a hard hat emblazoned with golden eagles, Bill Neri, owner of Neri Contractors and Excavators of Lake in the Hills, Ill., was directing the fleet of monster diggers and smashers on site. With a handshake worthy of Thor, Neri said that in today's economy, the work was welcome.

"Any kind of earthwork for new construction is good for us," Neri said. "When we're in full swing, the project will have created eight jobs for us."

Fermilab Project Director Jerry Leibfritz said the expansion is key to continuing SRF research at the laboratory for proposed next-generation linear accelerators.

"It gives us the full capability to run tests for future accelerators like Project X and other future projects," he said. "It allows this new facility to become the world-class facility we want it to be. If we hadn't expanded, it would have compromised the science."

-- Andrea Mustain


Heartland Blood Center needs blood types A-, B+ and B-. Reserves are very low

Ask HR - 15th floor comes to Site 38 conference room - Tuesday, April 20

Barn Dance - April 18

National Lab Day 2010

Weight Watchers open house - April 21

Free staff appreciation massage - today

Thursday Phillips Park golf league

Celebrate National Humor Month

Undergraduate summer interns

Fermilab blood drive - April 19-20

The Recipe Exchange potluck lunch - today

AutoCAD Intermediate classes - June 22 - 24

AutoCAD Fundamentals class - June 6 - 8

FORE! The 2010 golf season is about to hit you

SciTech summer camps start June 14

Butts & Guts class - sign up now

Blackberry Oaks Monday night golf league

Employee discount at Batavia Rosati's

Country House discount for Fermilab employees

Harlem Globetrotters special ticket price - today

Qi Gong, Mindfulness and Tai Chi easy for stress reduction

Argentine Tango through April 28 - student discount available

Calling all softball players

Fermilab Management Practices seminar classes - April

Job Descriptions and Employment class - April 21

Behavioral Interviewing class - April 28

ANSYS Mechanical Application classes - in May

Interaction Management class - May 5, 12, & 19

Performance Review class - May 26

Fermilab Functions class - June 2, 8, & 10

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