Monday, Nov. 28, 2011

Have a safe day!

Monday, Nov. 28
3:30 p.m.
4 p.m.
All Experimenters' Meeting - Curia II

Tuesday, Nov. 29
3:30 p.m.

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

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Secon Level 3

Wilson Hall Cafe

Monday, Nov. 28

- Breakfast: Croissant sandwich
- Italian minestrone soup
- Patty melt
- Chicken cordon bleu
- Smart cuisine: Herbed pot roast
- Garden roast beef wrap
- Assorted sliced pizza
- Szechuan green bean w/ chicken
Wilson Hall Cafe Menu

Chez Leon

Wednesday, Nov. 30
- Chicken marsala
- Linguine
- Tiramisu

Friday, Dec. 2
- Mussels in white wine & thyme
- Filet w/ morel sauce
- Hasselback potatoes
- Green beans
- Chocolate cup w/ raspberry mousse

Chez Leon Menu
Call x3524 to make your reservation.


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Upgrades workshop envisions the future of CMS experiments

A sketch of the CMS detector. Image courtesy of the CMS collaboration.

On Oct. 30, scientists at CERN switched off the proton beams for the Large Hadron Collider. The completed 2011 run outdid all expectations, especially for luminosity, and provided the collider's four experiments with an unprecedented amount of data.

When the proton running resumes in 2012, the accelerator’s beam energy will continue at 3.5 TeV. CERN is on track to double the energy in 2015, with the luminosity expected to rise as well. For the CMS detector to keep up with this progress, upgrades are required. To develop plans for the detector upgrades, an international community of CMS physicists gathered earlier this month for their largest Fermilab workshop so far.

“The machine did better than anybody expected,” said Joel Butler, the operations program manager for US CMS. “This is a wonderful thing, but it also provides a challenge for us to get ready.”

Higher beam energy and luminosity at the LHC translates to a higher intensity of particles bombarding the CMS detector components. The accumulation of exposure to the particles results in a loss of efficiency for the inner-most detector instruments. This new level of scientific analysis is pushing the design limits of the current detector. Butting up against those limits puts pressure on scientists today to envision the physics for years to come and to invent the technology needed to get there.

Read more

Brad Hooker

Special Announcement

Last day to submit your nomination for director's volunteer award

Each year, more than 200 employees, users and contractors go above and beyond their everyday duties to further outreach and education at the laboratory.

These volunteers are role models and mentors for teachers and students, answer tough questions about Fermilab and its science, maintain Lederman Science Center exhibits, visit area classrooms and more.

Once a year at a reception, the laboratory recognizes the efforts of an especially dedicated volunteer. Please let the Education Office know when you're impressed by a colleague's contribution.

Nominate a Fermilab staff member, user or contractor candidate for the director's volunteer award. The Education Office will take nominations until Nov. 28. This year's reception will take place on Dec. 7.

Learn more

In the News

Cosmic antimatter excess confirmed

From ScienceNOW, Nov. 22, 2011

In 2008, the Italian satellite PAMELA picked up an unusual signal: a spike in antimatter particles whizzing through space. The discovery, controversial at the time, hinted that physicists might be coming close to detecting dark matter, an enigmatic substance thought to account for 85% of the matter in the universe. Now, new data from NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope confirm the spike. Alas, they also undermine its interpretation as a sign of dark energy.

Theorists generally believe that when two dark matter particles collide, they should annihilate each other to produce ordinary particles, such as an electron and its antimatter twin, a positron. Thanks to Einstein's iconic equivalence between energy and mass, E=mc2, each of those particles should emerge with an energy essentially equal to the mass of the original dark matter particle. So when the PAMELA team saw a spike in the ratio of positrons to the more abundant electrons over a particular slice of the energy spectrum, some physicists got excited. Perhaps PAMELA was seeing evidence of such annihilations.

Read more

ES&H Tip of the Week:

Whooping cough outbreaks lead to new vaccination rules

The respiratory system, as drawn by Theresa Knott.

Nearby McHenry County recently has tallied 121 cases of whooping cough. Scattered outbreaks throughout the country such as this have become a yearly occurrence, prompting an increased need to make sure your vaccinations are up to date.

The disease causes staccato coughing until the individual runs out of breath and must violently inhale more air, hence the “whoop” sound. It was once thought to be solely a scourge of the young. But recent studies show individuals need a booster shot at least once in adulthood.

The outbreaks, which include 9,000 children sickened in California in 2010, likely do not represent a new strain or vaccine failure, but are occuring because people are failing to get vaccinated.

Here at Fermilab, we have had a few confirmed cases, which were made all the more notable by a patient who suffered fractured ribs as a result of the violent coughing often linked to the illness. Fortunately, since the beginning of our vaccine adoption in 2008, we have administered hundreds of doses and are not aware of any new cases.

The CDC recommends that all adults receive a newly formulated tetanus-diphtheria and acellular-pertussis combination vaccination. Recently, the recommendation was updated to include the following groups:

  • those older than 65,
  • pregnant women and their families, which provides passive immunity to the infant and a protected environment (“cocooning”) as that immunity fades,
  • And those who in the past received the old Tetanus Diphtheria vaccination formula regardless of how recently it was received. Previously, you were to wait 10 years before getting the new formula, which adds the pertussis vaccination. Once you’ve had the new vaccine the 10 year interval with the old vaccine applies. So far, no further new formulation vaccine booster appears required.

The risk of exposure to the disease is high because an infected person is contagious for up to 21 days before and after exhibiting symptoms. Antibiotic treatment shortens this window. The disease spreads through expelled respiratory droplets. The CDC reports that pertussis affects an estimated 600,000 adults every year. Infectious disease experts estimate that there are likely many unconfirmed, milder cases taking the form of that “cough that just wouldn’t go away.”

If you’re a Fermilab employee looking for the added protection of the new vaccine, please contact the Medical Office.

—Brian Svazas, MD

Accelerator Update

Nov. 21-23

- Linac personnel changed solenoid power supply
- NuMI personnel accessed their absorber room and cleaned a water skid filter
- Muon personnel conducted studies
- MTA took beam

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


Latest Announcements

Lunch and Learn: Holiday Survival - Nov. 29

NALWO - Winter Holiday Tea - Dec. 5

Behavioral interviewing course - Dec. 7

Introduction to LabVIEW class - Dec. 7

Fermilab Arts Series: Second City's Dysfunctional Holiday Revue - Dec. 10

Excel Power user/Macros course - Dec. 14

Atrium work updates

Winter basketball league

Indoor soccer

Sam's Club announces membership offer for employees

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