Thursday, Jan. 27, 2011

Have a safe day!

Thursday, Jan. 27
2:30 p.m.
Theoretical Physics Seminar - Curia II
Speaker: Stafania Gori, University of Chicago
Title: FCNCs in Two Higgs Doublet Models
3:30 p.m.

Friday, Jan. 28
3:30 p.m.
4 p.m.
Joint Experimental-Theoretical Physics Seminar - One West
Speaker: Edward Wegner, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Title: Observation and Studies of Jet Quenching using Dijet Momentum Imbalance in 2.76 TeV PbPb Collisions at CMS

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a weekly calendar with links to additional information.

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Wilson Hall Cafe

Thursday, Jan. 27

- Breakfast: Apple sticks
- Minnesota wild rice with chicken
- Tuna melt on nine-grain bread
- *Italian meatloaf
- Chicken casserole
- Buffalo crispy chicken wrap
- Assorted sliced pizza
- Mandarin chicken

*carb-restricted alternative

Wilson Hall Cafe Menu

Chez Leon

Friday, Jan. 28

- Closed

Wednesday, Feb. 2
- Gingered flank steak
- Sake glazed vegetable
- Rice pudding

Chez Leon Menu
Call x3524 to make your reservation.


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Fermilab welcomes Bardeen fellow to SRF design team

Mohamed Hassan, the 2010 John Bardeen Engineering Fellow Photo: Mohamed Hassan

Mohamed Hassan loves electronic devices, a passion that makes the 2010 John Bardeen fellow an asset to the laboratory. Hassan was selected for the John Bardeen Engineering Fellowship last year and joined the Technical Division in December to research and develop superconducting radio frequency technology.

Hassan and his colleagues are using SRF technology to lay the groundwork for Project X, the proposed high-intensity proton accelerator project.

Engineering has always been an interest for Hassan, who loved playing with Erector Set toys as a child. As a university student at Ain Shams University in Cairo, Egypt, he developed a passion for studying electromagnetism, the force that causes interaction between electricity and charged particles.

“Electromagnetism is more than just a career for me,” Hassan said. “I find it very exciting to dig into its mathematics and to sense its physics.”

Hassan came to the US to work towards his Ph.D. in electrical engineering at the University of Tennessee. He became interested in particle accelerators in 2008 after attending a microwave linear accelerator course in the US particle accelerator school.

The Bardeen fellowship attracted Hassan because of its application process. Bardeen fellows are not initially assigned to a division, which allows them to fit their skills to an engineering field that inspires them.

Hassan’s love of electromagnetism and the opportunity to contribute to SRF and Project X technologies at a ground-floor level led Hassan to choose the SRF collaboration.

Mark Champion, who heads the SRF Development Department, said Hassan is a welcome addition. Hassan is helping to design accelerator cavities for Project X. One challenging issue with the design of these niobium cavities is their sensitivity to microphonics, mechanical vibrations of the SRF cavity that cause a change in the cavity’s resonant frequency. These frequency changes complicate the control of the electromagnetic fields within the cavity.

To address microphonics, the team has traditionally performed the electromagnetic and mechanical calculations of cavity design separately, drawing from both sets of calculations to arrive at a suitable design. Hassan is investigating the possibility of performing these calculations using a single code, which will significantly speed up the new cavity design process.

As Hassan settles in, the Bardeen Fellowship Committee continues its search for the next fellowship recipient. Applications may be submitted by Feb. 1. For more information, go to the Bardeen fellowship website.

-- Cynthia Horwitz

Photo of the Day

New employees - Dec. 20

Matt Slabaugh, AD: Dana Wehman, AD; Mohamed Hassan, TD; Corinne Vendetta, PPD. Photo: Cindy Arnold

In the News

Weak gravitational lensing and weak arguments

From Guardian, Jan. 22, 2011

Bending of light by dark matter is a vital observational tool in cosmology. So if you are going to use cosmology to accuse financial institutions of a "blind faith in maths", you might at least google it first.

In the last issue of Times Higher Education, Chris Ormell argues that mathematics is taught in way which is disconnected from reality, and that this played a major role in the financial crash.

The author may have a point, though it's not clear from the article whether he thinks more mathematical knowledge in the City would have helped or made things worse. Fatally for his credibility however, he then moves on to cosmology as a key example in his argument that there is a dangerous "blind faith" in mathematics.

Central to his example is that we assume light travels in straight lines in empty space. Then that we assume that the dark matter in space is absolutely uniformly distributed and so doesn't bend the light either.

The first accusation is fair. In general relativity mass bends light; hence the pivotal observation by Eddington of the apparent displacement of stars close to the Sun. But in the absence of mass, light travels in straight lines. However, this isn't exactly a "blind faith", it is simply the best theory we have, which explains and predicts a lot of experimental data and lots of astronomical observations.

Read more

Result of the Week

Fitting another piece of the Higgs puzzle

The search for the Higgs boson is like a jigsaw puzzle. Just as no single piece reveals the whole picture, no single analysis will find the Higgs boson. Without all pieces, the picture is incomplete.

In the 1960s, a bevy of physicists pieced together our current understanding of the electromagnetic and weak forces. The first task was to show how those forces were two facets of an underlying single force, called the electroweak force. The second task they accomplished showed how the two forces could look so different to us, given their common origin. Physicists call this second task electroweak symmetry breaking, which is just a fancy term for showing why the weak and electromagnetic forces are different.

Many people contributed to the most popular theory of electroweak symmetry breaking, called the Higgs field. It is important to remember that, no matter how popular the idea has become, it is still just a theory until it is confirmed by experiment. At its core, physicists believe that the Higgs field is an energy field that permeates the cosmos, interacting with particles and giving them their mass. We think that the dizzying range of masses seen in fundamental subatomic particles stems from the degree to which they interact directly with the Higgs field: the heavy top quark interacts a lot, while the massless photon doesn’t interact at all. If the Higgs hypothesis is correct, than it predicts a particle called the Higgs boson.

Finding the Higgs boson is extremely difficult and no single analysis or Tevatron experiment will provide the smoking gun. Ultimately, physicists must combine dozens of analyses, each searching for a different decay chain to have a shot at the prize: observation of the Higgs boson.

Today’s result comes from a search for a Higgs boson decaying into two W bosons. One of the W bosons decayed into a charged lepton (electron or muon) and its associated neutrino, while the other W boson decayed into a pair of quarks. This is the first paper on this difficult signature. Like all analyses, this study could not find the Higgs boson by itself, but it added another piece to the puzzle. Slowly, but surely, the pieces lock into place.

- Don Lincoln

These researchers performed this difficult analysis.
The most interesting collisions are often very rare. In order to select collisions that have the potential to include interesting physical phenomena, DZero uses three levels of custom electronic systems. These physicists are responsible for the final system, which can make the most complex decisions.
Accelerator Update

Jan. 24-26

- Four stores provided ~44.75 hours of luminosity
- MTest experiment T-978 off due to beamline vacuum problems
- NuMI LCW expansion tank repaired
- Linac switched from the I- Source to the H- Source
- ARF1 and MRF5 work completed

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


Latest Announcements

Fermilab Blood Drive Feb. 14 and 15

SunFlower, CNAS & ProCard application systems will be unavailable on Saturday, Jan. 29

Exchange outage this Saturday, Jan. 29

English country dance demonstration Sunday afternoon Jan. 30

Floating holiday - Kronos timecard

GSA announced 2011 standard mileage reimbursement rate

Accelerate to a Healthy Lifestyle wrap up

Tax presentation for foreign visitors and employees Feb. 1

Lecture Series - Electrochemical Energy Storage for Transportation: Opportunities and Challenges in an Evolving Lithium Economy - Feb. 4

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

FRA Scholarship 2011

Argentine Tango Classes through Feb. 23

Open basketball at the gym

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

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

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

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