Thursday, May 10, 2012

Have a safe day!

Thursday, May 10
2:30 p.m.
Theoretical Physics Seminar - Curia II
Speaker: Walter Winter, University of Würzburg
Title: Neutrinos from Cosmic Accelerators, and the Multi-Messenger Connection
3:30 p.m.
4 p.m.
Accelerator Physics and Technology Seminar - 1 West
Speaker: Stuart Henderson, Fermilab
Title: Report from the OHEP Accelerator R&D Task Force

Friday, May 11
10:30 a.m.
Research Techniques Seminar - Curia II
Speaker: Massimo Cataldo Mazzillo, STMicroelectronics
Title: Highly Efficient Solid-State Optical Detectors for Healthcare Applications
2 p.m.
LHC Physics Center Topic of the Week Seminar - WH!!NE
Speaker: Antonio Boevia, University of Chicago
Title: New Ways of Searching for New Physics at the LHC
3:30 p.m.
4 p.m.
Joint Experiment-Theoretical Physics Seminar - One West
Speaker: Carlo Dallapiccola, University of Massachusetts
Title: Searches for Beyond the Standard Model Physics at ATLAS

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

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Wilson Hall Cafe

Thursday, May 10

- Breakfast: Apple sticks
- Southwestern chicken tortilla
- Philly style cheese steak
- *Garlic herb roasted pork
- Smart cuisine: Mardi Gras jambalaya
- *Southwestern turkey wrap
- Assorted sliced pizza
- *Marinated grilled chicken Caesar salads

*Carb-restricted alternative

Wilson Hall Cafe Menu

Chez Leon

Friday, May 11
Guest chef: David Cathey
- Field greens w/ Mississippi caviar
- Barbecue ribs (Dave's Secret Sauce)
- Baked potato
- Baked beans
- Fruit kabobs w/ cinnamon yogurt sauce

Wednesday, May 16
- Chopped shrimp Waldorf salad
- Strawberry cheesecake

Chez Leon Menu
Call x3524 to make your reservation.


Fermilab Today

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New Fermilab Today editor

Leah Hesla

A new editor has taken the helm of Fermilab's daily publication. Leah Hesla, who entered Fermilab's Office of Communication as an intern in 2010, succeeds Ashley WennersHerron as editor of Fermilab Today this week.

Hesla earned her undergraduate degree in physics at University of Texas at Austin and her graduate degree in science writing at Johns Hopkins University. She sees editing Fermilab Today as her way to indulge her love of writing and editing while remaining a part of the physics community.

"Having to write science stories is a perfect excuse for learning more physics," she said. "It's great that the folks here are willing to discuss what they do with the rest of the world."

Hesla has been contributing to Fermilab publications since summer 2010, when she began writing for Fermilab Today as an intern. In October 2010, she was promoted to the position of the Americas region editor for ILC NewsLine, the weekly e-newsletter chronicling developments in the design and organization of the proposed International Linear Collider.

WennersHerron, who edited Fermilab Today from July 2011 until now, will relocate to Switzerland later this month to serve at CERN as the U.S. LHC Communicator.

Though Hesla reads popular science writing, she especially enjoys reading science history and biography – seeing the larger picture and the individuals who shape it. She said she hopes she can highlight for the public the research and the people that make Fermilab unique.

"Fermilab has and continues to do great things for discovery science," Hesla said. "I hope the stories we write do right by it."

—Kathryn Grim


Retirement: Shirley Culhane

Congratulations to Shirley Culhane, an accounting associate for grants and contracts in Fermilab's Finance Section, on her retirement after more than 30 years at Fermilab. A celebration will take place in her honor from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the Users' Center on Friday, May 11. For more information, please contact Mary Jo Lyke at x8976.

Photo of the Day

Operator Marty Murphy serves as guest chef at Chez Leon

Marty Murphy, AD, served up an Italian meal accented with homemade touches at Chez Leon. Photo: Sarah Charley
In the News

Department of Energy funds to help start medical isotope plant in Janesville

From The Chicago Tribune, May 9, 2012

The Morgridge Institute for Research and the U.S. Department of Energy have reached a multimillion-dollar agreement to help open a medical isotope plant in Janesville -- a development that Morgridge's director says could spark a manufacturing cluster that could ultimately bring as many as 1,000 jobs to economically beleaguered Rock County.

Half of the funding for the $20.6 million cost-sharing agreement will be provided by the federal agency's National Nuclear Security Administration. The other half will come from the institute, the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Shine Medical Technologies.

The $85 million plant will create more than 150 permanent jobs, with the possibility of further employment growth, the nonprofit research institute said. Organizers said they expect production of the isotope to begin by 2015.

Read more

In the News

Supernovae can be casual sippers or violent rippers

From New Scientist Blog, May 9, 2012

There's more than one way to make a star explode. Astronomers have two competing explanations for how a certain kind of blast called a type Ia supernova happens - now it seems both can be right.

Type Ia supernovae are particularly useful explosions. They're known to all have the same brightness, so they can be used as "standard candles" to measure cosmic distances. That feature made them key players in the discovery of dark energy, the mysterious substance that is thought to be pushing the universe apart at an ever-accelerating rate. The discovery garnered three scientists the Nobel prize in physics last year.

We don't know much about how these supernovae form, though, which limits how well they can help us measure cosmic distances, and in turn how much we can learn about dark energy.

Read more

Result of the Week

Tools of the trade for Higgs boson searches

The three regions of background are present here: top-like events on the far left, Z+ jet-like events in the middle and Higgs-like events on the far right.

Higgs boson events are expected to be extremely rare at the Tevatron, so seeing evidence for the Higgs production requires keeping and analyzing every promising event. A team at CDF has worked to implement new tools aimed to do just that.

The CDF physicists searched for Higgs bosons produced along with Z bosons, in the so-called ZH channel. The selected Z bosons decay to two charged leptons, while the Higgs boson decay is expected to produce a pair of jets. This signature is shared by other processes that do not produce Higgs bosons, including Z+ jets and top quark pair events.

The ZH channel is efficient, since Higgs and Z decay products can be identified and measured with the detector, significantly reducing the background. The remaining background is still much larger than the expected ZH signal, and the challenge lies in separating the background events from the Higgs boson signal.

The separation is achieved by using a system of artificial neural networks - mathematical functions meant to mimic the human brain and its decision-making ability. The system is trained to decide whether an event looks like one containing a Higgs boson, or if it looks more like one of the other background processes. It does this by looking at the positions and energies of all the particles produced in the event. The results of this method can be seen in the plot above, used in the analysis to set limits on the amount of Higgs boson signal consistent with the observed data.

The CDF team observed a limit of 5.4 times the Standard Model predicted value for a Higgs boson mass of 120 GeV/c2. The expected value was 4.7 times this. These new tools of the trade for Higgs searches have had a big impact equivalent to increasing the number of expected Higgs events by roughly 50 percent.

The CDF Higgs team continues to squeeze out all the possible sensitivity to a Higgs boson signal, using the tools developed for this analysis.

Learn more

—Edited by Pasha Murat and Andy Beretvas

These physicists made major contributions to this analysis. Not shown: John Conway, UC Davis; Robin Erbacher, UC Davis, Rob Harr, Wayne State; and Paul Tipton, Yale.


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International folk dancing meets Thursday evenings in Kuhn Village barn

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