Monday, Feb. 7, 2011

Monday, Feb. 7
2:30 p.m.
Particle Astrophysics Seminar - One West
Speaker: Yi-Zen Chu, Arizona State University
Title: Don't Shake That Solenoid Too Hard:  Particle Production from Aharonov-Bohm/The N-Body Problem in General Relativity from Perturbative QFT
3:30 p.m.
4 p.m.
All Experimenters' Meeting - Curia II
Special Topics: Hand-Held X-ray Fluorescence Materials Analyzer; Accelerator Studies in the Tevatron

Tuesday, Feb. 8
3:30 p.m.

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

Upcoming conferences


Take Five


Weather Chance of snow

Extended Forecast
Weather at Fermilab

Current Security Status

Secon Level 3

Wilson Hall Cafe

Monday, Feb. 7
- Breakfast: Croissant sandwich
- Potato leek soup
- Monte cristo
- *Roasted chicken
- Alfredo tortellini
- Chicken-ranch wrapper
- Assorted sliced pizza
- Szechuan style pork lo mein

*carb-restricted alternative

Wilson Hall Cafe Menu

Chez Leon

Wednesday, Feb. 9
- Baby-back ribs
- Baked potato
- Tangy BBQ beans
- Sherbet with cookies

Friday, Feb. 11
Valentine's Day dinner

Guest Chef: Joe Walding
Special Time: 6 p.m.
- Moules marinière
- Marinated lamb chops with honey and coriander
- Winter vegetable tagine
- Blueberry and pear frangipane with thyme ice cream

Chez Leon Menu
Call x3524 to make your reservation.


Fermilab Today

Director's Corner

Result of the Week

Safety Tip of the Week

CMS Result of the Month

User University Profiles

ILC NewsLine


Fermilab Today
is online at:

Send comments and suggestions to:

Visit the Fermilab
home page

Unsubscribe from Fermilab Today

From symmetry breaking

Particle physicist lends skills to planet hunt

Artist's illustration of Kepler spacecraft. Photo: NASA/ Kepler Mission/ Wendy Stenzel.

You don’t normally think of high-energy particle physicists working with NASA to find planets that humans could live on. Working on the Large Hadron Collider or dark-energy-seeking telescopes, yeah, but, planet hunting? Not so much.

Yet, Jason Steffen, an astrophysicist at Fermilab, is a long-time member of the Kepler Space Telescope Mission and its only practicing high-energy particle physicist. He has helped make possible the mission’s discoveries announced Wednesday of a six-planet solar system 2,000 light years away, the first Earth-size planet candidate, and the first such candidate that potentially could support human life.

It’s one small step for Steffen and his Kepler collaborators and one giant step for dreamers everywhere.

“In one generation we have gone from extraterrestrial planets being a mainstay of science fiction, to the present, where Kepler has helped turn science fiction into today’s reality,” says NASA administrator Charles Bolden upon announcing the data release.

The Kepler spacecraft-mounted telescope, 11 million miles from Earth, scans the sky to find, for the first time, distant life-sustaining planets the size of Earth. Telescopes can’t directly spot planets smaller than Jupiter, but Kepler uses starlight to indirectly see smaller planets. Planets that could potentially sustain life fall into a Goldilocks-like “habitable zone,” orbiting the perfect distance from a star like our sun so as to not be too hot or too cold. Often these planets’ orbits cross close in front of a star, or “transit,” making them visible through the blinking out of the stars’ light. By measuring the brightness change of a star as a planet passes in front of it, as well as the time between these transits, scientists can tell the planet’s size, orbit, and estimated temperature.

But the closeness to the star that allows Kepler to “see” the planet also often makes it too hot for life. The more distant planets outside Kepler’s view hold a greater chance of being just right to sustain life. Kepler has difficulty spotting these planets because of orbit cycles that are longer than the time frame of the released data or because they do not transit stars.

Read More

In the News

Kovar reflects on state of high energy physics, and the road ahead

From APS Physics, February, 2011

In December, Dennis Kovar retired as the Associate Director of Science for High Energy Physics in the Department of Energy, a position he assumed in October, 2007. He took the time to talk to APS News, reflecting on twenty years of work in the Department of Energy and the future of high energy physics.

Q: How would you describe your role in the Office of High Energy Physics in the Department of Energy?

A: The job of our office is to identify the scientific opportunities for the field, to put together a strategic plan, and then to try to implement that plan in a way that maintains a leadership role for the United States in particle physics and ensures that we are at the scientific frontiers. We have to have the research capabilities–both research facilities and a research community–to play that leadership role.

A very important part is identifying the scientific opportunities and priorities. We do that by getting guidance from the scientific community. Our primary guidance comes from the HEPAP (High Energy Physics Advisory Panel). In areas of overlap in astrophysics and astronomy, there is the Astronomy and Astrophysics Advisory Committee (AAAC), also a federal advisory committee, of which DOE and NSF and NASA are sponsors. HEPAP is jointly chartered by DOE and NSF. DOE works very closely with NSF in order to generate a combined program that will make the US a leader in this field.

Q: What can you point to as your biggest accomplishment so far at the Office of High Energy Physics?

A: Before I came into this office, the strategic plan for the US in this field had been to implement a next generation lepton collider, the ILC (International Linear Collider), as rapidly as possible. About the time I came in, it became clear that the planned LHC program at CERN was slipping; it was important to see what was found at the LHC in order to establish what the parameters of this next generation lepton collider should be. Secondly, when the cost of ILC had been more carefully estimated, it turned out to be quite a bit more expensive.

Read more

ES&H Tip of the Week:

The right stuff in dealing with the white stuff

Be careful to avoid injuries when dealing with snow.

Snow is beautiful but we don’t want it to linger on our sidewalks and driveways. Removing it can challenge our hearts and backs.

People often try to clear snow shortly after waking when their body chemicals make their hearts prone to attacks. Heavy exertion from shoveling increases blood pressure and cold temperatures cause the body to divert blood flow from the limbs to the torso. These factors create a perfect storm of hazards for your heart.

Here’s what you can do to help reduce your risk:

  • shovel at least an hour after waking,
  • ease into the activity slowly, and
  • take breaks. While it’s tempting to finish it all at once, remember that you can’t shovel from the hospital gurney.
  • Make sure you are well hydrated to cut down on clotting risks,
  • and keep yourself warm with clothing layers, which prevent blood from leaving the limbs.

The spine, particularly the very dynamic discs between the vertebrae, are also at risk when snow shoveling. A fibrous band of meshwork surrounds a liquid center within our discs. The pressure on the discs is least when we preserve the set of curves in the back (that’s what the lumbar supports in cars and chairs fosters). Unfortunately, we tend to go to a flattened or reverse curve in our back when we lift with a snow shovel. Twisting the spine to toss the snow introduces additional stress to the outer fibers of our discs.

To avoid disc problems while shoveling:

  • push the snow as much as practical,
  • keep the load close to your body,
  • scoop while pretending to look up to keep the spine’s natural curve,
  • stretch before you shovel,
  • consider using a snow shovel with a curved handle that lets you load and unload snow with less of a lift distance and,
  • face where you want to throw the snow. Twisting is a bad idea when lifting.
  • Use anti-stick spray or automotive wax on the shovel to prevent heavy clumping with wet, sticky snow.

Hopefully, following these tips will keep you upright as we deal with the late winter white.

-- Brian Svazas M.D.

Accelerator Update

February 2-4

- Two stores provided ~33.5 hours of luminosity
- Kautz Road substation tripped off
- Multiple power problems due to the snow storm
- Pbar off due to critical device problem
- Many kicker problems in MI and Recycler
- Stash lost due to Kautz Road substation trip, which halted beam to many other areas
- Store 8467 aborted during end-of-store study
- NuMI off due to power supply VCB problem
- Operations restored beam everywhere by the end of the Friday midnight shift, except to NuMI

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


Latest Announcements

Embedded Design with LabVIEW FPGA and CompactRIO class - Feb. 25

Toastmasters - Feb. 17

NALWO - Piano Concert at noon - Feb. 21

NALWO - Mardi Gras Potluck - Mar. 3

NALWO - Arts & Crafts - Show & Tell - Mar. 15

Free stress relief massages for employees - Feb. 11

Lunch and Learn about Acid Reflux

Card stampers meet - Feb. 8

March 4 deadline for The University of Chicago Tuition Remission Program

View UEC tax presentation for users online

School's Day Out - Feb. 21 and 25

English country dancing in Oak Park - Feb. 8

Kyuki-Do Martial Arts classes - Feb. 14

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

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

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

Security, Privacy, Legal  |  Use of Cookies