Monday, Jan. 31, 2011

Monday, Jan. 31
2:30 p.m.
Particle Astrophysics Seminar - One West
Speaker: Charles Shapiro, Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation, U.K.
Title: Connecting Probes of Dark Energy and Modified Gravity
3:30 p.m.
4 p.m.
All Experimenters' Meeting - Curia II
Special Topic: 11 T Magnet Development Effort with CERN; JASMIN December Activation Experiments (T-972/993)

Tuesday, Feb. 1
12:30 p.m.
Special Seminar
Speaker: To Be Announced, KPMG, LLP
Title: The Unexpected Tax Obligations of Foreign Nationals Visiting the U.S.
3:30 p.m.

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a weekly calendar with links to additional information.

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Weather Chance of snow

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Secon Level 3

Wilson Hall Cafe

Monday, Jan. 31
- Breakfast: Croissant sandwich
- Spicy beef and rice soup
- Canadian beef reuben
- Kielbasa and sauerkraut
- Meat lasagna
- Chicken oriental wrap with pineapple
- Assorted sliced pizza
- *Pacific rim rice bowl

*carb-restricted alternative

Wilson Hall Cafe Menu

Chez Leon

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

Friday, Feb. 4

- Closed

Chez Leon Menu
Call x3524 to make your reservation.


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From SLAC Today

CDMS workshop focuses on dark matter detector

Dedicated collaboration members continue their work on the Kavli patio during a break. Photo: Lori Ann White

More than 50 members of the Super Cryogenic Dark Matter Search collaboration came to SLAC for two days last week to discuss the nuts and bolts of dark matter detection. The goals of the workshop were to close in on an initial design for the dark matter detectors for SuperCDMS-SNOLAB—the version of the experiment to be installed in the SNOLAB underground laboratory near Sudbury, Canada—and to determine what roadblocks may still stand in their way.

"We're trying to get together all the people who are thinking about this to come up with a baseline design," explained Richard Partridge, a SLAC scientist and event co-organizer. "A lot of details go into making one of these work."

That's not surprising, considering what the detectors are trying to detect. The SuperCDMS collaboration aims to find WIMPs—weakly interacting massive particles. WIMPs are one candidate for dark matter, the elusive substance that shapes galaxies through its gravitational effects, but otherwise seems to pass through the dust and gas that makes up the visible universe without leaving a sign.

However, "weakly interacting" doesn't mean "non-interacting." Scientists believe that particles of dark matter occasionally run head-on into atoms of normal matter, but the normal matter is generally so busy interacting with other atoms that it barely feels the collision. This leads to the most essential requirement to make the dark matter detector work: cold. Prior iterations of the CDMS experiment depended on super-cooled disks of germanium to capture the vibrations caused by a single particle of dark matter slamming into an atom of germanium frozen in place by the extreme cold.

"It's particularly challenging working at 50 milli-kelvins," Partridge admitted. "We have to get the detectors so cold and the crystals so quiet that we can cleanly detect that something extraordinary has set the crystal lattice in motion."

SuperCDMS will follow this same approach, but super-size it. The previous CDMS experiment, CDMS II, used 19 germanium disks weighing 0.25 kilograms each; SuperCDMS-Soudan, set to start taking data this summer, will use 15 germanium disks weighing 0.6 kilograms each. In contrast, SuperCDMS-SNOLAB will use about 80 germanium disks containing a kilogram and a half of germanium in each. The experiment will also move deeper underground—from its current 2400 feet under the Earth's surface at the Soudan Underground Laboratory in Minnesota to about 6800 feet below the surface at SNOLAB, in Ontario. The greater depth will better shield the SuperCDMS detectors from cosmic rays which constantly strike the earth. The weakly interacting dark matter is expected to penetrate the 6800 feet of rock between SNOLAB and the surface as though the earth were made of mere gossamer.

"Seven towers, with 12 detectors per tower," Partridge said. "That's the current design—but it may be different by Saturday," when the workshop ended, he joked.

The SLAC CDMS team has already created a prototype germanium detector and is eager to test it. "SLAC is responsible for the payload package" of detectors, Partridge said. "This is the heart of the experiment."

-Lori Ann White

See more from SLAC Today

In Brief

Submissions now accepted for URA Thesis Award

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 conducted at Fermilab in collaboration with university or Fermilab scientists.

Nominations must be submitted to Steve Brice by March 1, 2011 and should include two letters supporting the merits of the thesis being nominated. At least one letter should be from a member of the thesis committee of the Ph.D.-granting institution. For work carried out in collaboration with Fermilab scientists, at least 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 in 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.

ES&H Tip of the Week:
Computer Security

Targeted training for targeted phishing

Recent phishing incidents lead to new training requirements for some employees.

Recently, in a single week, four employees gave their passwords out to other people. Two gave up their username and password to a phishing e-mail; two transmitted passwords in clear text due to misconfigured systems, including a smartphone that failed to encrypt the e-mail login.

These mistakes cost time and money. It costs the laboratory an estimated $2,000 in man-hours each time a password gets revealed to phishers and is misused. In many cases, the necessary computing cleanup also forces staff to take time away from their regular work supporting the scientific mission of the laboratory and IT services.

In an effort to reduce time spent responding to password slip ups in the near future, we will require additional training for individuals who experience an incident due to a phishing e-mail.

When users give up their passwords to a phishing e-mail they will receive an automated e-mail message, describing the required training targeted to improve their skills at identifying phishing. This training will be offered through the same system used for all laboratory safety and computer training, called ESHTRK. Anyone who did not receive the e-mail can also take this training as a refresher course.

The training is an interactive online course offered by an outside vendor, and it walks the user through a variety of sample phishing e-mails. The training teaches you how to identify various threats. The goal is to make sure that all employees and users have the skills to ensure they NEVER reveal any of their passwords to anyone for any reason, whether it’s in e-mail, on the phone or in person. If you do inadvertently give up your password, notify the Service Desk immediately and tell them what happened so that they can help you reset your password and notify Computer Security.

-- Mark Leininger

Accelerator Update

January 26-28

- Four stores provided ~28 hours of luminosity
- Store 8447 quenched due to a separator spark
- Store 8454 quenched due to kicker pre-fire
- MTest beamline vacuum problems resolved
- The accelerator complex suffered some downtime due to a network storm

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


Latest Announcements

Toastmaster - Feb. 3

Rapid Hardware Prototyping and Industrial Control Application Development with LabVIEW FPGA, Compact RIO, and FlexRIO by National Instruments course - Feb. 25

Introduction to LabVIEW course Feb. 25

Scrappers Club meets Feb. 1

On-site Housing for summer 2011 - requests deadline - Mar. 7

Fermilab blood drive - Feb. 14 and 15

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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