Thursday, Jan. 13, 2011

Have a safe day!

Thursday, Jan. 13
2:30 p.m.
Theoretical Physics Seminar - Curia II
Speaker: Ethan Neil, Fermilab
Title: Approaching the Conformal Window on the Lattice
3:30 p.m.

Friday, Jan. 14
2 p.m.
Computing Techniques Seminar - FCC1
Speaker: Sebastien Goasguen, Clemson University
Title: Inter-Cloud Computing
3:30 p.m.
4 p.m.
Joint Experimental-Theoretical Physics Seminar - One West
Speaker: Friedrich Dydak, CERN
Title: New Results from HARP-CDP and the "LSND anomaly"
8 p.m.
Fermilab Lecture Series - Auditorium
Tickets: $7
Speaker: Dr. D. James Surmeier, Northwestern University
Title: How the Brain Controls Our Choices, and What Can Go Wrong

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

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Secon Level 3

Wilson Hall Cafe

Thursday, Jan. 13

- Breakfast: Chorizo burrito
- Southwestern chicken tortilla
- Philly-style cheese steak
- *Garlic herb roasted pork
- Mardi Gras jambalaya
- *Southwestern turkey wrap
- Assorted sliced pizza
- *Marinated grilled chicken Caesar salads

*carb-restricted alternative

Wilson Hall Cafe Menu

Chez Leon

Friday, Jan. 14

- Closed

Wednesday, Jan. 19
- Crepes w/black forest ham & gruyere
- Green salad
- Cold lime soufflé

Chez Leon Menu
Call x3524 to make your reservation.


Fermilab Today

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Relaunch of scientific computing publication

A screen capture of The Digital Scientist, a scientific distributed computing publication that relaunched Wednesday.

Scientists who use distributed computing to support their research have a new online destination: The Digital Scientist.

The online publication, which launched yesterday, is the new incarnation of International Science Grid This Week. The Digital Scientist will continue iSGTW’s tradition of publishing weekly articles about distributed computing and the science it supports. But the new website can do a lot more.

“We wanted standard web features such as comments and ratings,” said Miriam Boon, The Digital Scientist’s US editor and Fermilab employee. “We also wanted enhanced features that readers will use to build an online digitial-science community.”

Now readers can use the site to submit and revise job ads, announcements and calendar items, create user profiles, bookmark favorite stories and create blog posts. Top profiles, blogs and posts can get promoted to the front page. A future release will include group profiles for universities, laboratories and collaborations, relationships linking readers and groups such as colleague, advisor, and employee, and a wiki where readers can collaborate to create learning resources for researchers new to scientific computing.

“The publication, just like the worlds of science and distributed computing, have come a long way since the National Science Foundation and DOE decided to launch Science Grid This Week in 2005,” said Katie Yurkewicz, the publication’s founding editor.

Yurkewicz, who is now the director of Fermilab’s Office of Communication, added, “We’re very excited to see what the The Digital Scientist team -- and its community of readers -- will accomplish with this fantastic new website.”

Visit The Digital Scientist website.

--The Digital Scientist staff


Lecture on how the brain makes choices Friday

Life is full of decisions. Whether we are deciding what to have for lunch or where to take the family on vacation, our brains make thousands of choices every day.

In a lecture on Friday, Jan. 14, James Surmier will give an overview of how the brain makes decisions, highlighting a small group of brain cells that release the chemical dopamine.

The lecture titled “How the Brain Controls our Choices, and What Can Go Wrong” will cover how the loss of certain neurons results in Parkinson’s disease and new strategies for slowing or stopping the decline of brain cells with aging.

The lecture takes place in the Ramsey Auditorium at 8 p.m. and tickets cost $7.

Surmeier is the Director of the Morris K. Udall Parkinson’s Disease Research Center of Excellence and Chair of the department of Physiology at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University.

His research program focuses on mechanisms underlying neural activity in the basal ganglia (a group of brain cells normally associated with motor control and cognitive functions) and how these mechanisms are affected by diseases like Parkinson’s.

Surmeier received his Ph.D in Physiology and Biophysics, training with leaders in the field of neurophysiology and has published in journals such as Science, Nature, Nature Neuroscience, and the Journal of Neuroscience.

Visit the Fermilab Lecture Series website for more information. Ticket information is available online.

-- Cynthia Horwitz

In Brief

URA Thesis Award submissions now accepted

Fermilab and the Universities Research Association invite submissions for the fourteenth annual URA Thesis award competition. The award recognizes the most outstanding thesis based on work on an experiment located at Fermilab or carried out together with Fermilab scientists.

Nominations must be submitted to Steve Brice by March 1 and should include two letters supporting the merits of the thesis being nominated. For work carried out together with Fermilab scientists, one of the letters should come from one of those scientists.

The URA Thesis Award Committee will select the winners. The committee members will judge each thesis on clarity of presentation, originality and physics content. To qualify, the thesis must have been submitted as partial fulfillment of the Ph.D. requirements in the 2010 calendar year, be written in English and it must have been submitted in electronic form to the Fermilab Publications Office in accordance with Fermilab policy.

For further details consult the URA Thesis Award website.

In the News

Quest for dark energy grows brighter with special camera

From, Jan. 12, 2011

A special camera on a South American telescope aims to search for elusive dark energy, a force that may be pulling the universe apart at the seams.

The so-called Dark Energy Survey, using a 570-megapixel Dark Energy Camera that will be mounted on the 4-meter (158-inch) telescope at the National Science Foundation's Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile, is set to begin later this year.

The camera's enhanced sensitivity will allow astronomers to peer at distant galaxies for signs of dark energy, a theorized force that could explain why the universe is speeding up in its expansion. Though dark energy has not been directly detected, scientists think it exists based on observations of how galaxies are speeding away from each other.

Scientists reported on the new survey today (Jan. 11) at the 217th meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Seattle.

"The camera is now undergoing final tests on a specially built telescope simulator at Fermilab," said Brenna Flaugher, Dark Energy Camera project manager at the Fermilab research facility in Batavia, Ill.

Read more

Result of the Week

The W boson’s heavy cousin

The W’ boson is a hypothetical, much more massive, cousin of the W boson. This article describes a new search for it.

In the late 1960s, theorists were able to mathematically show that the electromagnetic and weak nuclear forces were actually two facets of a single common force, now called the electroweak force. This new theory postulated two new particles called the W and Z bosons. The theory was vindicated in 1983 with the discovery of both of them by the UA1 experiment at CERN.

In the intervening years, scientists discovered quarks. Quarks are located at the center of atoms. Nestled inside protons and neutrons, two specific kinds of quarks (called up and down) are primary building blocks of the universe.

However, scientists also discovered that, in addition to the ubiquitous up and down quarks; other types of quarks exist that are carbon copies of the common ones. The charm quark is very similar to the up quark, except heavier. The top quark, discovered at Fermilab in 1995, is also similar to the up quark but even heavier still. (The down quark also has two cousins, the strange quark and the bottom quark.)

Given that duplicates (scientists call them “generations”) of the quarks exist; it is natural to wonder if there are heavier cousins of the W & Z bosons. While wholly hypothetical, these particles have names: the Z’ and W’ (pronounced W-prime and Z-prime) bosons. In a popular scenario, these particles are essentially identical to their lighter relatives (although there have been alternate proposals).

DZero scientists recently searched for the W’ boson. In order to maximize the chances of finding this theoretical particle, they looked for the specific decay mode in which the W’ boson decayed into a top/bottom and quark/antiquark pair.

Unfortunately, the data didn’t support the hypothesis of the existence of the W’, but the measurement did increase the range of excluded possible W’ boson mass by about 15 percent. This increase is a significant advance in our understanding of the universe.

-- Don Lincoln

These physicists from Brown University were responsible for this analysis.

A successful particle experiment only analyzes a tiny fraction of the total number of collisions in the detector. Picking which collisions to record is one of the most important responsibilities on the experiment and these physicists are responsible for getting it right.
Accelerator Update

Jan. 10-12

- Three stores provided ~44.75 hours of luminosity
- MI-60 upper bend power supply repaired
- Short down times caused by Linac power supply trips and Buncher trips

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


Latest Announcements

Lunch and Learn about antioxidants today

Meet The UEC Coffee Break - Jan. 14

Toastmasters - Jan. 20

Barn dance - Jan. 16

Donate children's winter gear through Jan. 12

Fermilab Lecture Series - "How The Brain Controls our Choices, and What Can Go Wrong" - Jan. 14

Jennifer Gunn (Flutist with CSO), and Fareed Haque (Guitar) in concert Jan. 23

Lecture Series - "Electrochemical Energy Storage for Transportation: Opportunities and Challenges in an Evolving Lithium Economy"

Apply now for URA Visiting Scholars awards program deadline Feb. 18

Floating holiday - Kronos Timecard

Planning & Scheduling with Primavera P6 class Jan. 25 - 17

Project Management Introduction class - Feb. 14, 16 & 18

Social security tax change

Traffic Safety Seminar - Jan. 20

Chez Leon dinner Friday, Jan. 21

GSA announced 2011 standard mileage reimbursement rate

Accelerate to a Healthy Lifestyle wrap up

Project Management Introduction class - Feb. 14, 16 & 18

Reminder: Weight Watchers at Work

FRA Scholarship 2011

Open basketball at the gym

Disney On Ice presents "Toy Story 3" Feb. 2-13

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