Fermilab Today Thursday, Sept. 30, 2010

Have a safe day!

Thursday, Sept. 30
2:30 p.m.
Theoretical Physics Seminar - Curia II
Speaker: Basudeb Dasgupta, The Ohio State University
Title: Two Easy Pieces: Self-Interacting Neutrinos and the MSW Resonance for Photons
3:30 p.m.
4 p.m.
Accelerator Physics and Technology Seminar - One West
Speaker: Sang-ho Kim, Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Title: Design and Operating Experience with the SNS Superconducting Linac

Friday, Oct. 1
3:30 p.m.
4 p.m.
Joint Experimental-Theoretical Physics Seminar - One West
Speaker: Luciano Ristori, Pisa/Fermilab
Title: Measurement of the CP Asymmetry in the Decay D0 → π π

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Wilson Hall Cafe

Thursday, Sept. 30
- Breakfast: Apple sticks
- Tomato florentine
- BBQ pork sandwich
- Smart cuisine: Kielbasa & sauerkraut
- Smart cuisine: Chicken marsala
- Smoked turkey melt
- Assorted sliced pizza

Wilson Hall Cafe Menu

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Thursday, Sept. 30

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Georges Charpak, detector pioneer, dies at 86

Georges Charpak
Image courtesy of The Nobel Foundation

Nobel laureate Georges Charpak, a pioneer in the art and science of particle detection, died on Sept. 28.

"Charpak was a legend in our field," said Fermilab Director Pier Oddone. "It would be hard to find an experimentalist today who has not used one of Charpak's inventions."

Born in Poland in 1924, Charpak moved to Paris at the age of 7. He joined the French resistance during World War II, was arrested and imprisoned by the Vichy government and sent to the Nazi concentration camp at Dachau, where he remained until the camp was liberated in 1945. Charpak become a French citizen in 1946. He attended the elite French engineering school, the École des Mines, and joined the CERN staff in 1959.

Charpak developed a host of particle detectors used throughout experimental particle physics. In 1968, he invented and developed the first multiwire proportional chamber, for which he won the Nobel Prize in 1992, the last time a single person has won the Nobel Prize in physics.

The multiwire chamber differed from earlier detectors in the speed with which it could record particle tracks from a collision-millions per second, rather than one or two per second for bubble chambers. The speed of the multiwire chamber and its successor technologies, along with their extraordinary precision, led to a revolution in particle physics and to the discovery of particles such as the J/psi and the W and Z bosons, which also earned Nobel prizes for their discoverers. The technology that Charpak pioneered also finds applications in medicine and industry.

Fermilab physicist and fellow Nobelist Leon Lederman served as Fermilab director during the time Charpak participated in experiments at Fermilab.

"Fermilab physicists are saddened by Charpak's passing," said Lederman. "His contributions to high-energy physics were greatly appreciated by the community."

-- Judy Jackson and Kathryn Grim

Charpak devoloped the wire chamber design that CDF used for its central tracking chamber.

Photos of the Day

Employees learn about healthy options at annual fair

AD employee Bruce Worthel advertises his mixed martial arts class, Kyuki-Do, at Fermilab's annual Health and Wellness Fair on Sept. 23. Image courtesy of PPD's Leticia Shaddix.

A local chiropractic group offered free chair massages and consultations at the annual Health and Wellness Fair. Image courtesy of PPD's Leticia Shaddix.

A Fermilab employee peruses information offered by DuPage County Health Department staff members. Image courtesy of PPD's Leticia Shaddix.

Special Announcement

Help preserve and restore the prairie at harvest event Oct. 2

This year's first prairie harvest will take place on Saturday, Oct. 2. Fermilab employees are welcome to help collect seeds for re-planting, which is a step in preserving and restoring the prairie. A picnic lunch will be provided. Attendees should wear field clothing - long pants and long sleeves and closed-toed shoes - and gloves. Bring hand clippers and paper bags if possible. The harvest will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on site.

Learn more

From iSGTW

New ISO standard for special mathematical functions

A new standard for mathematical special functions in C++ has been published by the International Organization for Standardization, or ISO. The functions included in the standard are frequently used in applications of high-energy physics and other mathematical, scientific, and engineering disciplines.

“Vendors will slowly choose to incorporate these functions in libraries they produce,” said Walter Brown, the project editor for the standard. In fact, this has already begun to happen, according to Brown, who is based at Fermilab in the United States. Vendor adoption is desirable to ensure code portability.

Read more

Result of the Week

The top quark's elusive cousin

DZero was able to exclude a much larger region of possible supersymmetric parameters than earlier analyses. The red region is a mix of DZero and CDF results with a smaller amount of data. The black line shows the ruled-out region from this new analysis, with the yellow region stemming solely from this result.

Supersymmetry is a word you often hear when people talk about the future of particle physics. But just what is it? People often think of it as the next new theory, but it's not. It is a principle that is incorporated into a theory.

To understand the difference between a principle and a theory, let’s consider an analogy. You might have a charitable principle, such as “it is important to help the less fortunate.” Just how you execute this guiding principle is the theory. For instance, Bill Gates and Mother Teresa have both spent a significant portion of their lives to help others (principle), although they have chosen very different methods in how they executed their charity (theory). They had a common motivation, but a different approach.

Similarly, there are many theories that incorporate the principle of supersymmetry. A theory is supersymmetric if you can take the relevant equation and swap all the fermion and boson terms and the equation looks unchanged. (Fermilab Today readers will recall that fermions and bosons are distinguished by each particle's amount of subatomic spin.) A consequence of this property is that theories incorporating the principle of supersymmetry predict that for each familiar particle of the Standard Model, there is a corresponding cousin particle with different subatomic spin. Physicists have not yet observed these cousin particles.

Although we don’t know if supersymmetry is something that really applies to our universe, supersymmetric theories are popular. They can provide answers to why the Higgs boson mass is relatively light and are also a possible source for dark matter.

Today’s result involves a search for the stop particle, which is the top quark's cousin. If physicists observed this, it would show that supersymmetry is a real thing and not just a neat idea. DZero physicists did not observe any evidence for the existence of the stop particle. However, this analysis resulted in ruling out a much larger range of some important parameters. You can see the significant search area improvement when you compare this result to earlier results here or here.

-- Don Lincoln

These Rice University researchers performed this interesting analysis.

These researchers have played a central role in identifying muons in DZero data. This functionality was critical for the success of this analysis.
Accelerator Update

Sept. 27-29

- Three stores provided ~39 hours of luminosity
- Recycler kicker prefire
- TeV high order power supply worked on
- Controls will reboot time line generator

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


Latest Announcements

Scrappers scrapbooking open house

Dances of France at International Folk Dancing - today

Accelerate to a Healthy Lifestyle program

Indian Creek road closed 7 a.m.-3:30 p.m. through Oct. 1

Americans with Disabilities Act update - Oct. 4

Mental Health seminar, Part I - Oct. 5

Autism Awareness seminar - Oct. 6

Argentine Tango, Wednesdays through Oct. 6

Toastmasters - Oct. 7

Looking for league bowlers

School's Out Day Camp - Oct. 11

Fibromyalgia Awareness seminar - Oct. 11

Mental Health Awareness Part II - Oct. 12

Down Syndrome Awareness seminar - Oct. 13

Access 2007: Intro class - Oct. 13

Excel 2007: Intro class - Oct. 20

Excel 2007: New Features class - Oct. 20

Fright Fest discount tickets at Six Flags

Silk and Thistle Scottish dancing resumes at the Barn Tuesdays

Regal Movie Theater discount tickets available

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