Fermilab Today Thursday, Sept. 16, 2010

Have a safe day!

Thursday, Sept. 16
2:30 p.m.
Theoretical Physics Seminar - Curia II
Speaker: Pyungwon Ko, Korea Institute for Advanced Study, Seoul
Title: CDM and EWSB from Strongly Interacting Hidden Sector
3:30 p.m.

Friday, Sept. 17
11 a.m.
Particle Astrophysics Seminar - Curia II (NOTE TIME & LOCATION)
Speaker: Peter Meszaros, Pennsylvania State University
Title: Gamma Ray Bursts: Recent Developments Based on Fermi and Swift Satellite Observations
3:30 p.m.
4 p.m.
Joint Experimental-Theoretical Physics Seminar - One West
Speaker: Andrew Haas, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory
Title: Looking for the Hidden and the Quirky at DZero

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

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Current Security Status

Secon Level 3

Wilson Hall Cafe

Thursday, Sept. 16
- Breakfast: apple sticks
- Santa Fe black bean soup
- Steak tacos
- Chicken Wellington
- Chimichangas
- Baked ham & Swiss on a ciabatta roll
- Assorted sliced pizza
- Smart cuisine: crispy fried chicken salad

Wilson Hall Cafe Menu

Chez Leon

Thursday, Sept. 16

Wednesday, Sept. 22
- Stuffed eggplant
- Marinated garden salad
- Luscious lemon poke cake

Chez Leon Menu
Call x3524 to make your reservation.


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In the News

Fermilab director measures long-term goals against search for Higgs boson

From The Beacon News, Sept. 15, 2010

BATAVIA -- For years, the physicists at Fermilab have been in search of the elusive Higgs boson, the particle that may explain why matter has mass. Lab Director Pier Oddone calls it a central question of physics, one he would love the chance to answer.

But not, he says, at the cost of the lab's future.

Even Oddone admits it's quite a dilemma. Fermilab's massive underground collider, the Tevatron, is scheduled to shut down in September 2011, having been surpassed in power by the Large Hadron Collider at CERN in Switzerland. So Fermilab is gearing up to pull the plug and turn its focus to other experiments, those involving neutrinos and muons. These experiments, Oddone says, are the way forward for the premier physics lab in the country.

But that means losing the chance to find the Higgs, popularly dubbed the "God particle." And that's a chance a group of senior physicists from around the world believe Fermilab should not pass up.

The group, called the Physics Advisory Committee, meets three times a year to advise the lab on pressing issues. The advisory committee was called into service for a special meeting on Aug. 27, where they were asked to consider the pros and cons of keeping the Tevatron running through 2013.

They were informed that doing so might delay the other important experiments at Fermilab and were told that the federal government might not fund the ongoing Tevatron work. Their recommendation was to keep looking for the Higgs, regardless, calling it the "most important issue in high-energy physics." Especially now, the report emphasizes, when the Large Hadron Collider is preparing to shut down for repairs.

Oddone can see several reasons to keep the Tevatron going. For one, the readings it produces are different than the ones coming out of the LHC, so the two machines together have a much better chance of locating the Higgs for certain. He knows it's not a race -- the LHC is by far the more powerful machine -- but in an ideal world, the readings from both colliders could be used to pinpoint the slippery particle.

Read more

Photo of the Day

Service Award - 10 years

Pictured above are employees who achieved 10 years of service last year (2009). They celebrated with a luncheon at Chez Leon last Monday. Front row from left: Doug Glenzinski, Rick Tesarek, Paul Ronning, Maria Martinez, William Frank, Paul Sedory, Ping Wang and Thomas Page. Second row from left: William Badgett, Thomas Shaddix, Louvie Nelson, Brian Slatton, Laura Stover, Leslie Peters, Scott Reeves and Kuldeep Sra.Third row from left: Randy Ortgiesen, Bill Dymond, Russ Alber, Brad Trygar, Ken Quinn, Deborah Harris, Patrick Karns and Bruce Chrisman.

Special Announcement

Indian Creek Road closed until 3 p.m. today and Friday

Indian Creek Road will be closed at MI-8 from 7 a.m. - 3 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 16, and Friday, Sept. 17. Access to MI-10 will be available via Kautz Road during these periods.

From symmetry

Explain it in 60 seconds: redshift

Redshift is the observed change in the color of light emitted by a star or other celestial object that is moving away from Earth.

Light, like sound, travels in waves that are stretched or compressed when the source or the observer is in motion. Imagine a passing train blowing its horn: You hear a high-pitched sound as it approaches and a low-pitched sound as it recedes. The approaching sound waves are compressed and the receding sound waves are stretched, causing you to hear different frequencies.

You experience a similar effect with light emitted by a moving object. The wavelength of light appears shorter for an approaching object and longer for a receding one. In the visible spectrum of light, the longest wavelengths are red, so the light from a receding source is said to be "redshifted."

In the 1990s, astronomers measuring the redshifts of distant, bright objects discovered that they are farther away than one would have expected from the expansion of the universe as influenced by gravity alone. Confirmed by more recent observations, the discovery means that the universe is expanding at an increasing rate. This accelerated expansion is thought to be caused by dark energy, the physical nature of which is one of the most compelling mysteries of modern science.

--Joe Bernstein, Argonne National Laboratory

See the original

Result of the Week

Quirky subatomic skid marks

We learn about particle physics collisions from the signal they leave in the detectors, just like we can learn about the passage of cars from the skid marks they leave on the road.

If you've ever passed by the scene of an automobile collision after the cars have been removed, you might have been surprised how much you could learn simply by looking at the skid marks. The black patterns on the pavement reveal a lot about an incident that you didn't actually see. The shapes of these marks depend on the type of vehicle and each vehicle's speed.

Particle physics experiments are actually pretty similar. We don't ever see the physical particles; rather we see the "skid marks" or tracks caused by the passage of particles through the detector. Different particles will leave a different skid marks in the detector.

Today's result of the week describes a particularly quirky study. Theorists have postulated the existence of a new type of particle called quirks. These particles are wholly theoretical and have nothing to do with the more familiar quarks. In this theory, it is possible for the quirks to be made in particle accelerators. Like most particles, they are produced in pairs, with one matter and one antimatter particle. This means the two quirks should carry opposite electrical charges. However theorists also predict that quirks have unusual properties, for instance a connection between them by a string of force that allows them to get relatively far away from one another, perhaps a tenth of a millimeter. This tiny distance is very large compared to more common subatomic distances, which are often much smaller than an atom. This theory also predicts that quirks could live a long time and travel perhaps several centimeters without decaying.

The hypothesized quirks' properties would result in a unique signature. They would travel together and leave a huge skid mark in the detector. This energy deposition would be much larger than that left by more familiar particles. This allows DZero scientists to make strong statements about the existence of quirks. Indeed, no evidence for their existence was found.

Some theories were invented to solve a particular mystery, like the Higgs boson was invented to answer the question of why fundamental particles have a mass. Quirk theory is not like that. Instead it is an idea that hasn't been ruled out by experimental data. It would be terrible if quirks were missed simply because nobody looked. Innovative studies like these are crucial to make certain that we've searched for all of nature's possible secrets.

-- Don Lincoln

These physicists have played a key role in developing tracking algorithms for DZero. This analysis would have been impossible without our excellent tracking system and algorithms.
These physicists searched through DZero data for signatures consistent with the theory of quirks. Evans and Luty are theorists who are guest collaborators.
Accelerator Update

Sept. 13-15

- Three stores provided ~35 hours of luminosity
- MiniBooNE accessed to check their horn
- TeV end-of-store and machine studies
- MI-30 VCB problems
- TRF3 required power amplifier change

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


Martial arts classes - Sept. 20

Artist Reception Friday, Sept. 17 from 5-7 p.m.

Fox Valley Robotics info meetings - Sept. 17 & 18

Silk and Thistle Scottish dancing resumes at the Barn Tuesdays

Toastmasters - today

Fermilab International Folk Dancing at the barn on Thursdays

Reduced parking behind Ramsey Auditorium - Sept. 7-17

Argentine Tango, Wednesdays through Sept. 29

Junior Prairie Rangers - Saturday, Sept. 18

Chicago Blackhawks pre-season discount tickets

Workshop on Accelerator-Driven Sub-Critical Systems & Thorium Utilization

Regal Movie Theater discount tickets available

Gizmo Guys - Fermilab Arts Series - Sept. 25

Family Science Time - Sept. 25

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