Monday, May 14, 2012

Have a safe day!

Monday, May 14
2:30 p.m.
Particle Astrophysics Seminar - One West
Speaker: Tommaso Treu, University of California, Santa Barbara
Title: Measuring Dark Energy and Dark Matter with Strong Gravitational Lensing
3:30 p.m.
LHC Physics Center Topic of the Week Seminar - Sunrise
Speaker: Sanjay Padhi, University of California, San Diego
Title: Probing New Physics Using Same Sign Dileptons
3:30 p.m.
5 p.m.
Budker Seminar - Users' Center
Speaker: Denise Ford, Northwestern University
Title: First Principles Materials Science Investigations of Niobium Superconducting Radio-Frequency Cavities

Tuesday, May 15
3:30 p.m.
4 p.m.
Accelerator Physics and Technology Seminar - One West
Speaker: He Zhang, Michigan State University
Title: The Fast Multipole Algorithm in the Differential Algebra Framework to Calculate the 3D Self-Field Between Charged Particles

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a weekly calendar with links to additional information.

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Wilson Hall Cafe

Monday, May 14

- Breakfast: Croissant sandwich
- French Quarter gumbo soup
- French dip w/ horseradish cream sauce
- Santa Fe pork stew
- Smart cuisine: Country baked chicken
- Popcorn shrimp wrap
- Assorted sliced pizza
- Sweet and sour chicken w/ egg roll

Wilson Hall Cafe Menu

Chez Leon

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

Friday, May 18

Chez Leon Menu
Call x3524 to make your reservation.


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Special Announcement

Tevatron Symposium - June 11

A symposium celebrating the Tevatron program's lasting impacts on science, technology and society will take place in Ramsey Auditorium on Monday, June 11. All Fermilab employees and users are invited to attend. The symposium, which begins at 1 p.m., will feature a keynote address by Harvard physicist Lisa Randall as well as presentations on the history and achievements of the Tevatron accelerator and experiments, the Tevatron's legacy in particle physics, technology, and at the LHC, and the future of Fermilab. A reception will follow at 6 p.m. in the Wilson Hall atrium. Please visit the symposium website for more information and to register for free for the event.

Special Announcement

Physics for Everyone - May 16

From 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 16, Fermilab scientist Lance Cooley will give a talk titled, "Superconducting radio-frequency cavities: Powering the next generation of accelerators," as a part of the Physics for Everyone lecture series. The talk, which will take place in Ramsey Auditorium, will include time for questions and answers.


Recycling helium and argon for future experiments

This portable compressor allows PPD to store recycled gas for future experiments. Photo: John Voirin, PPD

Recycling is important at Fermilab. We reuse at every opportunity in order to push science further while keeping costs down.

A recent and successful example of our scientific recycling is the fluid preservation for MINERvA. The neutrino experiment is used to examine neutrino interactions, the study of which could lead to an understanding of why there is an imbalance of matter and antimatter in the universe.

MINERvA's detector uses a cryogenic target filled with more than 2,200 liters of liquid helium. The NuMI beam provides neutrinos, which strike the helium target. Scientists then study the way the neutrinos interact with the helium nuclei.

Helium is a non-renewable resource, and it is becoming more expensive.

Last fall the PPD Detector Development & Operations Installation crew installed the cryostat and filled it with liquid helium. The target ran uninterrupted for over six months. When the run ended, scientists needed to empty the target to fill it with a new liquid for the next step of the experiment.

"Helium can be vented to the atmosphere safely," said Jim Kilmer, associate head of PPD Detector Development and Operations. "But I thought venting would be wasteful."

Kilmer procured a portable, high-pressure compressor from the railhead storage area at the north end of Fermilab. The compressor was built in 1995 to recover helium from a different experiment, where it ran over a year. Pat Healy, a senior technical aide from DZero operations, rebuilt the compressor system completely.

After rebuilding and setting the compressor up at the MINOS service building, Bob Sanders of PPD Mechanical Engineering recovered nearly all of the helium. It was converted from its liquid form to a gas, and was then pumped into two tube trailers for storage. The Accelerator Division will use this helium in their daily operations. The value of the recycled gas is about $20,000.

The compressor was also used to recover argon from the Liquid Argon Purity Demonstration. The LAPD successfully purified liquid argon and achieved long electron lifetimes in a non-evacuated, industrial tank.

The PPD crew used the compressor to recover the argon once it was converted into gas. They recovered 7,600 pounds of gas, compressing them into two tube trailers. The argon gas has a value of $7,000, said Richard Schmitt, Process Engineer for the PPD Mechanical Engineering Department.

The recovered gas will be used in the Super Cryogenic Dark Matter Search detector. We plan to use the compressor for scientifically recycling gases for other experiments in the future.

—John Voirin, Group Leader, PPD Experiment Installation

In the News

A new accelerator to study steps on the path to fusion

From Berkeley Lab News Center,
May 8, 2012

Berkeley Lab scientists and engineers announce completion of a machine tailor-made to examine a special approach to fusion power

The just-completed NDCX-II, the second generation Neutralized Drift Compression Experiment at the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), is an unusual special-purpose particle accelerator built by DOE's Heavy Ion Fusion Science Virtual National Laboratory (HIFS VNL), whose member institutions are Berkeley Lab, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory.

NDCX-II is a compact machine designed to produce a high-quality, dense beam that can rapidly deliver a powerful punch to a solid target. Research with NDCX-II will make advances in the acceleration, compression, and focusing of intense ion beams that can inform and guide the design of major components for heavy-ion fusion energy production.

Read more

ES&H Tip of the Week:

MRSA: scary news item is controllable with prevention

To keep MRSA away, keep surfaces clean and wash your hands with an alcohol-based gel. Image: CDC

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (or MRSA, pronounced "mersa") was once solely a threat to patients in medical facilities. Now, however, it is increasingly also a community-acquired infection. Sometimes dubbed a "superbug," this bacterium resists a number of antibiotics and, for reasons that are not entirely clear, can become deep-seated in otherwise healthy individuals. Fortunately, the spread of infection can be curbed by some simple techniques.

The impact of MRSA on the population is steadily increasing. A study based on Cook County health center activity documented a four-fold rise in cases over a seven-year period. The current estimated annual case rate for that population is 253 infections per 100,000 individuals. Once a certain number of MRSA infections spreads beyond the original site, the cost of the infection grows in terms of antibiotic cost and recovery time. MRSA is an infection you definitely want to avoid.

A MRSA infection on skin can usually be identified as a blister or cluster of blisters progressing to a boil, or deep bag of infection. Some individuals can later develop pneumonia or other deep-seated complications.

In all outbreaks, new cases were prevented by thorough cleaning of shared surfaces. Though MRSA is a tough bug in terms of antibiotic resistance, the bacterium still needs a medium (so it can lie in wait) and a route of entry.

An estimated 20 percent of people in the United States could harbor this bacterium, typically in the nose, without any outward signs. Where there are shared surfaces and the potential for skin breakdown, the risk of spread to others exists.

Conditions that favor the transmission of MRSA are the five Cs: crowding, contact (skin to skin), compromised skin, contaminated surfaces or items and cleanliness, or rather, lack thereof.

There have been case reports of spread in locker rooms, wrestling mats, gym equipment and even synthetic turf. Hand-washing with an alcohol-based gel is one proven method for limiting the spread of MRSA.

Fermilab's recreation center furnishes a hospital-grade cleaner for patrons. Instructed to clean equipment after each use, most users choose to clean equipment beforehand as well. More extensive general area cleaning occurs twice a week.

A bit of prevention in keeping broken skin from contacting contaminated surfaces goes a long way in curbing the spread of MRSA.

The CDC offers further information on MRSA.

Dr. Brian Svazas

In Brief

11th Argonne-Uchicago-Fermilab collaboration meeting

The 11th Argonne-UChicago-Fermilab collaboration meeting takes place tomorrow, May 15, from 1 to 8 p.m. at Argonne National Laboratory. The agenda is available online.

More than 70 scientists from the three institutions will share ideas about future projects and the institutions' strategic plans. The meetings, started in 2006 by Fermilab and Argonne, initially focused on accelerator R&D. This time detector R&D is the primary focus. Recent meetings involved radio-frequency superconductors and detector and computing efforts. A series of research grants provided by the University of Chicago has led to joint projects in other research areas as well.

If you plan to attend, please contact Mary-Ellyn McCollum at


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Scottish country dancing meets Tuesday evenings in Kuhn Village Barn

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2012 standard mileage reimbursement rate offers Mother's Day discount

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International folk dancing meets Thursday evenings in Kuhn Village barn

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