Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2012

Have a safe day!

Tuesday, Jan. 17
2:30 p.m.
Particle Astrophysics Seminar - One West
Speaker: Kyle Barbary, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Title: The Progenitors of Type Ia Supernovae from Their Rates
3:30 p.m.

Wednesday, Jan. 18
1 p.m.
Research Techniques Seminar - Curia II
Speaker: David Nygren, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Title: "Next" and Simultaneous Searches for 0n bb Decay and WIMP Dark Matter at the Ton-Scale with a Xenon Gas Electroluminescent TPC
3:30 p.m.
4 p.m.
Fermilab Colloquium - One West
Speaker: Eric Toone, U.S. Department of Energy
Title: The Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy: A New Paradigm in Transformational Energy Research

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

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Wilson Hall Cafe

Tuesday, Jan. 17

- Breakfast: Bagel sandwich
- Chicken & rice soup
- Italian sausage w/ peppers & onions
- Smart cuisine: Beef stroganoff
- Smart cuisine: Chicken Tetrazzini
- Peppered beef
- Assorted calzones
- Nachos supreme

Wilson Hall Cafe Menu

Chez Leon

Wednesday, Jan. 18
- Chicken satay
- Jasmine rice
- Snow peas
- Coconut cake

Friday, Jan. 20

Chez Leon Menu
Call x3524 to make your reservation.


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Photo of the Day

Jan. 13: UK-USA workshop

From Jan. 12 through Jan. 14, representatives from the particle physics communities in the United States and the United Kingdom gathered at Fermilab to attend the "Proton Accelerators for Science and Innovation Workshop." The goal of the workshop was to provide a solid foundation of cooperation and collaboration concerning the multiple possibilities of R&D, as well as applications, of accelerator technologies. More information can be found here. Photo: Reidar Hahn

Fermilab hosts CMS data analysis school

Martijn Mulders, a CMS physicist, facilitates classes during hands-on exercises. Photo: Brad Hooker

With the 2012 run for the Large Hadron Collider two months away, a new wave of scientists will be ready to analyze the flood of data from CMS.

From Jan. 10 through Jan. 14, Fermilab hosted the CMS Data Analysis School, an intensive workshop that gives the newest members of the collaboration a crash course on the experiment. Previously known as the "EJTERM" workshop, Fermilab's LHC Physics Center co-coordinators, Rick Cavanaugh and Ian Shipsey, decided to rename the school to emphasize its primary focus: the hands-on analysis of real data and the opportunity to search for new physics.

"We put these students in a competitive environment and they love it," Shipsey said on the day before the students presented their work. "Many won't sleep tonight in order to finish things up and get good results for tomorrow."

The school teaches students how to spot a small detail in the big picture, much like how scientists look for new physics, Shipsey said.

Professors looking to polish analysis techniques worked alongside graduate students eager to apply their two months of preparatory work to the intensive collaborative exercises. Without the accelerated preparation and school, it would take an attendee as many as two years to gain this level of experience. The overwhelming success of this school has led to a new program in Italy later this month and another being planned for Asia.

"The sun never sets on CMS," said Sudhir Malik, a Fermilab physicist chairing the workshop. "Students have a fun time and learn as well. And word is being spread."

Venkatesh Veeraraghavan, a graduate student at Florida State University, was one of 127 attendees who participated in exercises at the school. He appreciated the opportunity to get comfortable with the actual software tools used in CMS analysis.

"It was a good introduction to the basics required for any large analysis of this experiment," he said.

More than 60 CMS senior scientists and software experts taught all of the classes, giving graduate students like Brendan Diamond, also at FSU, the opportunity to meet key people on the collaboration.

"We can get a lot more done with the personal interactions rather than the lectures," he said. "We're getting a jumpstart on our own analysis, rather than slogging through textbooks and wikis to understand this."

Brad Hooker

In the News

Copper collisions create much strangeness

From PhysicsWorld.com, Jan. 13, 2012.

Colliding pairs of copper ions produce significantly more strange quarks per nucleon than pairs of much larger gold atoms. That is the surprising discovery of physicists working on the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) at the Brookhaven National Laboratory in the US. The finding gives further backing to the core–corona model of such high-energy collisions and could shed further light on the quark–gluon plasma – a state of matter though to have been present in the very early universe.

Quarks are normally bound-up by gluons in particles such as protons and it takes a high-energy collision to create a glimpse of free quarks. If large nuclei such as gold or lead are smashed together at high enough energies, the result is expected to be a soup of free quarks and gluons called a quark–gluon plasma. In addition to boosting our understanding of the strong force that binds quarks together, a quark–gluon plasma is thought to provide a microscopic picture of the very early universe.

When heavy nuclei are collided at RHIC, they generate a fireball that dissipates much of its energy by creating new particles. Some of these particles contain strange quarks – the lightest of the exotic quarks – and a relatively large number of strange quarks produced in a collision can imply the presence of a quark–gluon plasma. This is because an unconfined quark in a plasma behaves as if it is lighter than a quark confined in a nucleon, and this effective reduction in mass means that generating strange quarks does not take as much energy. For this reason, those hunting quark–gluon plasmas pay close attention to the number of strange quarks that crop up in particle collisions – the number should be larger than expected if the plasma is produced.

Read more

Director's Corner

Proton Accelerators for Science and Innovation

John Womersly, CEO of the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), and Fermilab Director Pier Oddone signed a letter of intent outlining the goals of the collaboration over the next five years. Photo: Reidar Hahn

Last week we hosted the US-UK Workshop on Proton Accelerators for Science and Innovation. The workshop brought together scientists from the United States and the United Kingdom who are working on high-intensity proton accelerators across a variety of fronts. The meeting included not only the developers of high-intensity accelerators but also the experimental users and those involved in the applications of such accelerators beyond particle physics. At the end of the conference, John Womersly, CEO of the UK's Science and Technology Facilities Council, and I signed a letter of intent specifying the joint goals and activities of our collaboration for the next five years. We plan to have another workshop in about a year to review progress and explore additional areas of collaboration.

Our collaboration with scientists from the United Kingdom in the area of high-intensity proton accelerators is already well established. We have a common interest in muon accelerators, both in connection with neutrino factories and muon colliders. Both of these future projects require multi-megawatt beams of protons to produce the secondary muons that are accelerated. We collaborate on the International Muon Ionization Cooling Experiment at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory. MICE is the first muon cooling experiment and an essential step in the road to neutrino factories and muon colliders. We also collaborate on the International Scoping Study for neutrino factories.

In our current neutrino program we are very appreciative of this collaboration and U.K. expertise in the difficult mechanical design of high-power targets, in particular for the MINOS, NOvA and LBNE experiments. The design of these targets is quite challenging as the rapid deposition of energy creates shock waves that can destroy them.The Project X experimental program also depends on having appropriate megawatt-class targets relatively close to experimental set-ups.

One of the primary interests in applications outside of particle physics is the development of intense proton accelerators that could be used for the transmutation of waste or even the generation of electrical power in subcritical nuclear reactors. The accelerators necessary for such subcritical reactors could not have been built just a decade ago, but the advent of reliable superconducting linacs changed that. Several programs abroad are developing such accelerators coupled to reactors. While the United States has no explicit program on accelerator-driven subcritical systems, the technologies that we are developing for other applications, such as Project X, place us in a good position should the United States decide to develop such systems.

Overall, the workshop was very productive and the areas of potential collaboration seemed to multiply through the meeting. Each one of the five working groups is preparing a brief summary of the potential areas of collaboration as well as a specific and focused plan for the next year.

Accelerator Update

Jan. 11-13

- FTBF experiment T-922 began taking beam
- Muon rings personnel conducted studies
- Main Injector kicker problems resolved
Read the Current Accelerator Update
Read the Early Bird Report
View the Tevatron Luminosity Charts


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