Thursday, March. 22, 2012

Have a safe day!

Thursday, March 22
LHC Physics Center Topic of the Week Seminar - WH11 Sunrise
Speaker: Ricardo Vasquez Sierra, University of California, Davis
Title: 4th Generation Quark Searches in CMS
2:30 p.m.
Theoretical Physics Seminar - Curia II
Speaker: Heechang Na, Argonne National Laboratory
Title: Precise Calculations on Heavy Flavor Physics from Lattice QCD
3:30 p.m.
4 p.m.
Accelerator Physics and Technology Seminar - One West
Speaker: Charles Thangaraj, Fermilab
Title: Experimental Studies on Coherent Synchrotron Radiation at the A0-Photoinjector

Friday, March 23
1:30 p.m.
LHC Physics Center Topic of the Week Seminar - Sunrise WH11
Speaker: Ricardo Vasquez Sierra, University of California, Davis
Title: CMS Pixel Detector – Current Status and Upgrade
3:30 p.m.
4 p.m.
Joint Experiment-Theoretical Physics Seminar -
One West
Speaker: Karsten Heeger, University of Wisconsin
Title: Observation of Electron-Antineutrino Disappearance at Daya Bay

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a weekly calendar with links to additional information.

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Wilson Hall Cafe

Thursday, March 22

- Breakfast: Apple sticks
- Santa Fe black bean soup
- Steak tacos
- Chicken wellington
- Chimichangas
- Baked ham & swiss on a ciabatta roll
- Assorted sliced pizza
- Smart cuisine: Crispy fried chicken salad

Wilson Hall Cafe Menu

Chez Leon

Friday, March 23
- Mussels w/ white wine & thyme
- Veal saltimbocca
- Spinach fettuccini w/ cherry tomatoes
- Shortcakes w/ strawberries & gran marnier

Wednesday, March 28
- Creamy gruyere & shrimp pasta
- Cabbage & mixed green salad w/ tangy herb vinaigrette
- Baked apples w/ cream chantilly

Chez Leon Menu
Call x3524 to make your reservation.


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Mind over matter at NOνA

Scientists know that there are three types of neutrinos but they don't know which is the heaviest. Image courtesy of NOνA

Neutrinos may not be faster than light, but their curious shape-shifting properties might be the reason matter exists in the universe.

"Equal parts of matter and anti-matter should have been produced in the big bang and then annihilated each other, leaving just a sea of photons," said neutrino physicist David Schmitz, PPD. "But we exist, which means there must have been something that tipped the scale in favor of matter. Neutrinos might be the answer, and, to find out, we need to make extremely detailed measurements of the phenomenon of neutrino oscillations."

Several experiments at Fermilab are designed to scrutinize the curious properties of neutrinos. One is the NuMI Off-Axis νe Appearance Experiment, which will use advanced detection techniques to watch for neutrino shape shifting, or oscillations.

Neutrinos exist as three different types, or flavors: electron neutrino (νe), muon neutrino (νμ) and tau neutrino (ντ). Initially, scientists suspected these neutrinos were three autonomous particles—the little brothers of the electron, muon and tau respectively. But results revealed that neutrinos oscillate between the three different flavors.

At Fermilab, the Main Injector Oscillation Search (MINOS) has been studying how muon neutrinos change into other forms since 2005. Along with other experiments elsewhere, it has found that they change primarily into tau neutrinos with a small fraction changing into electron neutrinos. The NOνA experiment will continue these measurements with much more precision.

The NOνA project was conceived ten years ago at Fermilab and has evolved into a collaboration among 152 scientists from 25 institutions. It uses the same principles as the MINOS experiment but takes the science to the next level.

"Like MINOS, NOνA uses the NuMI beam to generate neutrinos and then a near and far detector to observe their properties," said Paul Derwent, the NOνA associate project manager. "The difference is that the NOνA experiment is more sensitive and optimized to look at the neutrinos that are most likely to undergo the muon neutrino to electron neutrino oscillation."

Read more

—Sarah Charley

In the News

Atom smasher hits highest energy levels yet

From, March 20, 2012

With faster collisions, physicists boost chances of creating a rare particle like Higgs Boson

The world's largest particle accelerator has ramped up particles to higher energies than ever before, scientists announced Monday.

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is a 17-mile-long (27 kilometer) underground ring near Geneva, Switzerland, where protons are sped up to near the speed of light and then slammed into each other. The faster the particles go, the more energy they have.

In recent tests, LHC achieved energies of 4 teraelectron volts (TeV), a significant improvement over its current record of 3.5 TeV. Ultimately the machine, the most powerful of its kind, is designed to accelerate particles to 7 TeV, though to reach those energies, scientists are planning to shut down LHC for a refurbishment in late 2012.

Read more

In the News

Editorial: Fermilab work adds to scientific advances

March 20, 2012

In searching for their needle, the haystack got a tad smaller.

Physicists announced a few weeks ago they've narrowed the field where they expect to discover the Higgs boson. Studying data from experiments conducted at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory near Batavia, they confirmed results under review at the Large Hadron Collider near Geneva, Switzerland.

The Higgs boson is a subatomic particle that has yet to be identified. It's discovery would answer some fundamental questions about the Standard Model of particle physics, and scientists have been seeking it for several decades.

Research conducted at Fermilab over the years has been crucial in isolating the area where the Higgs boson is believed to exist. Even though Fermilab's renowned particle accelerator, the Tevatron, was shut down last year, experiments continue to be carried out at the facility.

Read more

Result of the Week

W boson mass measurement limits Higgs hiding space

Improving the precision of the W boson mass measurement allows physicists to tighten the indirect constraints on the mass of the Higgs boson.

As the race to discover or exclude the Higgs boson nears the finish line, a new precision measurement of the W boson's mass tightens the constraints on where the Higgs boson could be found. The Standard Model does not predict the mass of the W boson or the Higgs boson, but it does predict a specific relationship between those masses and the values of other experimental observables. This relationship can be used to indirectly constrain the mass of the Higgs boson. The precision measurements of the top quark and W boson masses are the most influential inputs to this constraint from the Tevatron.

Measuring the W boson mass to less than three parts in 10,000 requires a thorough understanding of the DZero detector. This analysis exclusively uses events where the W boson decayed into an electron and a neutrino. The identification and measurement of each of those decay products relies heavily on DZero's calorimeter. The analysis team based the calorimeter energy response on a similar signal that doesn't include neutrinos - the decay of a Z boson to two electrons. Then they carefully accounted for the impact of multiple proton-antiproton interactions during the same beam crossing and other effects that might influence the precision of the measurement.

Combining this new DZero measurement with the latest result from CDF improves the indirect Higgs boson mass constraints, which are based on precision measurements of related Standard Model observables. The new indirect constraints favor a Higgs boson mass of 94 GeV/c2 but allow for a range of compatible masses. The constraints leave less than a one in 20 chance that the mass is higher than 152 GeV/c2. The allowed range is compatible with the excess seen in the Tevatron Higgs boson search between 115 GeV/c2 and 135 GeV/c2. This W boson mass measurement uses just over half of the full Run II data set and will improve when the remaining data is included. The final measurement will become a legacy result of the Tevatron and play an important role in precision tests of the Standard Model for years to come.

—Mike Cooke

These physicists made major contributions to this analysis.

The missing transverse energy group (top row) and electron identification group (bottom row) refine and certify the definitions of neutrino and electron candidates, respectively, for the DZero collaboration. Their efforts help all analyses that use electrons and neutrinos, including the analysis above.

Accelerator Update

March 19-21

- Muon Ring personnel used the antiproton target to create muons
- SeaQuest personnel continued to commission their beam line

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


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