Monday, Aug. 29, 2011

Have a safe day!

Monday, Aug. 29
9 a.m. to 8:45 p.m.
SUSY 2011 Conference
3:30 p.m.
4 p.m.
All Experimenters' Meeting - Curia II
Special Topics: NOvA Near Detector on the Surface (NDOS); Low-Energy Collider Run Request

Tuesday, Aug. 30
3:30 p.m.

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

Upcoming conferences


Take Five

Weather Mostly sunny

Extended Forecast
Weather at Fermilab

Current Security Status

Secon Level 3

Wilson Hall Cafe

Monday, Aug. 29

- Breakfast: Croissant sandwich
- French Quarter gumbo soup
- French dip w/ horseradish cream sauce
- Santa Fe pork stew
- Smart cuisine: Country-baked chicken
- Popcorn shrimp wrap
- Assorted sliced pizza
- Sweet and sour chicken w/ egg roll

Wilson Hall Cafe Menu

Chez Leon

Wednesday, Aug. 31
- Pork satay w/ peanut sauce
- Jasmine rice
- Pea pods
- Coconut cake

Chez Leon Menu
Call x3524 to make your reservation.


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From symmetry breaking

Particle accelerators help develop cancer fighting drug

The protein crystallographic structure of the new anti-cancer drug is the green honeycomb structure. Image courtesy of Plexxikon Inc.

Light sources are the ultimate app for particle physics. Researchers around the world use the powerful x-ray beams that light sources create for materials science, protein structure analysis, historical research, pharmaceutical research and drug development and the list keeps going. Argonne National Laboratory published the following story on Aug. 25 about contributions that the Advanced Photon Source made to developing a new drug to treat skin cancer. For more examples about the applications of particle physics, visit Accelerators for America’s Future.

Powerful X-ray technology developed at the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science’s (DOE-SC’s) national laboratories, including the Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratory, has enabled the discovery of a groundbreaking new drug treatment for malignant melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. The drug, Zelboraf (vemurafenib), received Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval on Aug. 17.

Read more

Photo of the Day

New employees - Aug. 22

From left: Felix Yu, PPD, and Tara Turner, WDRS. Photo: Cindy Arnold
From Quantum Diaries

Airplanes and algorithms

Almost everyone has been there: You rush to the airport only to stand in line and watch your plane board at what feels like a snail’s pace. Yet few people take the time to come up with a better solution and even fewer see their idea tested.

Frustration and luck helped Fermilab astrophysicist Jason Steffen accomplish both.

In 2008, after a particularly blood-boiling wait in an airport, the frequent flier decided to put his skills developing algorithms to track potentially habitable planets and dark matter particles to use developing a computer model to virtually load passengers. After testing several loading patterns, Steffen determined that loading in groups spaced two or three rows apart makes the process four to 10 times more efficient. The improvement in boarding time depends on the size of the airplane. Spacing out passengers was key to allowing simultaneous depositing of luggage in over-head bins.

Read more

—Tona Kunz

In the News

Work on science facility to begin by December

From The Hindustan Times, Aug. 26, 2011

Work on the India-based Neutrino Observatory (INO) at the Bodhi West Hills Reserved Forest in Tamil Nadu will begin by December. “We have applied to the Tamil Nadu government for land acquisition. We are told the file has reached the chief minister’s table,” Naba Mondal, INO spokesperson from the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, said on Thursday.

Once the clearance comes through, pre-project activities such as fencing the area, widening the road and making provisions for water supply will commence. The observatory will study atmospheric neutrinos produced by cosmic rays in the earth’s atmosphere.

Read more

ES&H Tip of the Week:

Be sharp about sharps

Soon you will see these poster appearing near waste receptacles.

We rarely consider the fate of what we throw in trash cans. But we should, because there are environmental consequences and, the often even less considered, effects on those who collect the items for disposal.

During the years, I’ve treated numerous facility maintenance workers who received punctures in the hands or legs while collecting trash. Sometimes the punctures come from a shard of glass, which is painful but not generally a cause for sustained worry. But if that puncture is from a used needle or razor blade, concern increases dramatically.

In the case of a penetrating wound from a blood-tinged object the added concern is of disease transmission. Without knowing who used the object and what their medical history is, it is difficult to know whether to worry or not. That leaves workers unsure of how far to take preventive measures such as vaccinations and medications. A medical professional can follow the rule of thumb and monitor the injured individual for infection for up to one year, but that doesn’t always restore peace of mind for those stuck by objects with clouded histories.

Of course, it’s better to prevent injuries than worry about their consequences after the fact. That’s why coming soon to a Fermilab trash receptacle near you will be a sign to remind us all to put a little thought into what we put in the can.

Let’s all be attentive so we can prevent another’s pain and worry.

—Dr. Brian Svazas


Death: Clarence Winders

Clarence Winders

Former Fermilab employee Clarence Winders, 78, died on Aug. 21. He started work in 1971, as a member of the Roads and Grounds crew. He retired in 1994, as a senior grounds keeper. His family held a private ceremony. His full obituary is available here.

Accelerator Update

Aug. 24-26

- Two stores provided ~25.75 hours of luminosity
- Booster used access to repair two RF stations
- Two Tevatron 3x3 study stores quenched and were aborted
- MiniBooNE horn charging power supply problem delayed beam

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


Latest Announcements

Butts & Guts - Sept. 8

What’s new in Mathematica 8? - Aug. 31

An introduction to Mathematica for engineers - Aug. 31

"Is the Bible Reliable?" lunch-time video series - Sept. 6

Zumba Fitness coming to Fermilab - Sept. 7 through Oct. 26

Bohr and Heisenberg at Elgin Arts Theatre - Sept. 16-25

Athletic leagues: Outdoor soccer tuesdays and thursdays

Bowlers wanted 2011/2012 bowling season

Fermilab photography club

Open Badminton

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