Wednesday, Feb. 29, 2012

Have a safe day!

Wednesday, Feb. 29
3:30 p.m.
4 p.m.
Fermilab Colloquium -
One West
Speaker: Hod Lipson, Cornell University
Title: Machine Science: Distilling Natural Laws from Experimental Data, from Particle Physics to Computational Biology

Thursday, March 1
2:30 p.m.
Theoretical Physics Seminar - Curia II
Speaker: Jeff Fortin, University of California, San Diego
Title: Scale Without Conformal Invariance
3:30 p.m.
4 p.m.
Joint Experiment-Theoretical Physics Seminar -
One West
Speaker: Jan Stark, LPSC, Grenoble
Title: W Mass Measurement at D0 with 5 fb-1 of Data

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

Upcoming conferences


Take Five

Weather Mostly sunny

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Current Security Status

Secon Level 3

Wilson Hall Cafe

Wednesday, Feb. 29

- Breakfast: English muffin sandwich
- Smart cuisine: Cajun style lentil soup
- Cajun chicken ranch
- Caribbean jerk pork chops
- Chicken parmesan
- Smoked turkey panini pesto mayo
- Assorted sliced pizza
- Chicken alfredo fettuccine

Wilson Hall Cafe Menu

Chez Leon

Wednesday, Feb. 29
- Braised beef w/ rosemary-mushroom sauce
- Whipped potatoes
- Broccoli
- Espresso-walnut cake

Friday, March 2

Chez Leon Menu
Call x3524 to make your reservation.


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Now accepting applications for theoretical physics fellowships

Fellow Chiu-Tien Yu, from the University of Wisconsin, takes a break from analyzing a theoretical physics problem to smile for the camera. Photo: Sarah Charley

Fermilab is currently accepting applications for the 2012-2013 fellowships in Theoretical Physics program. The program is open to PhD candidates attending school in the United States.

"This program gives physics PhD candidates the opportunity to work alongside researchers and post docs at Fermilab," said Andreas Kronfeld, chair of the selection committee. "It is designed so that a student's experience here will enrich their graduate studies."

The Fermilab Fellowship in Theoretical Physics is sponsored by the Department of Energy and grants accepted students a one-year competitive stipend and allowances for travel and tuition.

"The most qualified applicants will have research projects aligned with Fermilab's research," Kronfeld said. "The ideal graduate student will be in their second to last year or last year of PhD research."

Previous recipients of the fellowship have found that their experience at Fermilab has opened doors for them and broadened their perspective on research.

"At Wisconsin, I primarily work only with my advisor, but at Fermilab, I work with a variety of people and I get to see different perspectives," Fellow Chiu-Tien Yu, from the University of Wisconsin, said. "This experience has shown me that there are a lot of ways to do research, and I have made a lot of connections."

Read more

Sarah Charley

In Brief

From Fermilab's EAP: Free tax preparation software

Fermilab's Employee Assistance Program is offering free tax preparation software through TaxACT, available through the Employee Resources Systems website. Please log in with the username "Fermilab" and the password "eap". Please contact the EAP if you have any questions.
In the News

Quest for quirky quantum particles may have struck gold

From Nature, Feb. 28, 2012

Evidence for elusive Majorana fermions raises possibilities for quantum computers.

Getting into nanoscience pioneer Leo Kouwenhoven's talk at the American Physical Society's March meeting in Boston, Massachusetts, today was like trying to board a subway train at rush hour. The buzz in the corridor was that Kouwenhoven's group, based at the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, might have beaten several competing teams in solid-state physics — and the community of high-energy physicists — to a long-sought goal, the detection of Majorana fermions, mysterious quantum-mechanical particles that may have applications in quantum computing.

Kouwenhoven didn't disappoint. "Have we seen Majorana fermions? I'd say it's a cautious yes," he concluded at the end of a data-heavy presentation.

Quantum particles come in two types, fermions and bosons. Whereas bosons can be their own antiparticles, which means that they can annihilate each other in a flash of energy, fermions generally have distinct antiparticles; for example, an electron's antiparticle is the positively charged positron. But in 1937, Italian physicist Ettore Majorana adapted equations that Englishman Paul Dirac had used to describe the behaviour of fermions and bosons to predict the existence of a type of fermion that was its own antiparticle. Over decades, particle physicists have looked for Majorana fermions in nature, and after 2008, condensed-matter physicists began to think of ways in which they could be formed from the collective behaviour of electrons in solid-state materials, specifically, on surfaces placed in contact with superconductors or in one-dimensional wires.

Read more

From the Scientific Computing Division

Scientific computing: Getting the most out of Fermilab's data

Rob Roser

Rob Roser, head of the Scientific Computing Division, wrote this column.

We are constantly reminded what a precious commodity data is. Particle physicists have an insatiable thirst for it. It's the currency in which discoveries are made. When we are looking for rare sightings, more data buys probability. And in our current era of highly-constrained budgets, we need to make the most out of the data that we have.

Computing has always been important in particle physics, but now there's a premium to get the most out of every collision. Scientists have developed many advanced analysis techniques such as neural networks, boosted decision trees and the like as a way to maximize the usage of all the available information in every collision.

It is with that background that the newly formed Scientific Computing Division must perform. Our mission is two fold: to be stewards of the state of the art techniques for the field and to utilize computing tools and techniques to maximize our scientific output. Scientists, engineers and computing professionals are working on a variety of issues including improved physics simulations, accelerator modeling, lattice QCD calculations, design and construction of DAQ systems and operating experiments.

The members of the Scientific Computing Division are committed to properly completing the Tevatron program and supporting the on-going programs in the three frontiers. As Fermilab transitions from an era dominated by its collider experiments to a period with many types of experiments and projects, both on and off site, we need to create tools sufficiently flexible to meet the diverse needs of these different efforts.

I invite people to communicate with me regarding what aspects of scientific computing they feel should be emphasized in the coming years. As our experimental program diversifies, the emphasis on scientific computing becomes more acute.

Safety Update

ES&H weekly report, Feb. 28

This week's safety report, compiled by the Fermilab ES&H section, contains one incident. An employee pinched his finger while working with a snowplow. He needed medical treatment, making this case is recordable.

Find the full report here.

Latest Announcements

CERN book give-away

Fermilab Garden Club spring meeting - Mar. 14

URA Visiting Scholars Program deadline - today

No on-site prescription safety eyewear - today

Butts & Guts - Mar. 1

Walk 2 Run - Mar. 1 - May 3

Free ACU demo "Understanding Credit Reports" - Mar. 1

The University of Chicago Tuition Remission Program deadline -
March 2

Gallery Series present Arianna String Quartet - Mar. 4

NALWO Luncheon - Mar. 8

Word 2010: Intro Mar. 6

Excel 2010: Intro. - Mar. 8

Fermilab Arts Series presents Eileen Ivers & Immigrant Soul - Mar. 10

Access 2010: Intro. - Mar. 14

Fermilab Lecture Series presents "The Intensity Frontier" - Mar. 23

FRA scholarship applications due Apr. 1

Python Programming class - April 16-18

Deadline approaching for summer 2012 on-site housing requests

Martial arts classes

Fermilab Management Practices courses are now available for registration

"5 Treasures" Qigong for stress relief

International folk dancing Thursday evenings in Kuhn Barn

Scottish country dancing Tuesday evenings in Kuhn Village Barn

Open badminton at the gym

Winter basketball league

Indoor soccer

Atrium construction updates

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