Friday, June 1, 2012

Have a safe day!

Friday, June 1
2 p.m.
Accelerator Controls Seminar - One West
Speaker: Carl Schumann, Fermilab
Title: Control System Application Development in C/C++
3:30 p.m.
4 p.m.
Joint Experiment-Theoretical Physics Seminar - One West
Speaker: Mike Kordosky, College of William and Mary
Title: Results from MINERvA

Monday, June 4
2:30 p.m.
Particle Astrophysics Seminar - One West
Speaker: Sonia El Hedri, Stanford University
Tite: Dark Matter in 3D
3:30 p.m.
4 p.m.
All Experimenters' Meeting - Curia II
Special Topics: Shutdown Work Status and Plans; Proton Beam Measurements in the Recycler; TeamCenter Update; COUPP-4 kg Running Again at SNOLAB

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Wilson Hall Cafe

Friday, June 1

- Breakfast: Chorizo burrito
- Smart cuisine: Italian vegetable soup
- Chicken fajita sandwich
- Southern fried chicken
- Smart cuisine: Mediterranean baked tilapia
- Eggplant Parmesan panini
- Assorted sliced pizza
- Assorted sub sandwiches

Wilson Hall Cafe Menu

Chez Leon

Friday, June 1
- Mixed greens w/ walnuts, cranberries & blue cheese
- Porcini crusted fillet w/ herb butter
- Whipped potatoes
- Broccoli
- Crème brûlée

Wednesday, June 6
- Sesame-chile chicken w/ watermelon salsa
- Orzo
- Citrus chiffon cake

Chez Leon Menu
Call x3524 to make your reservation.


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From symmetry breaking

Underground science lab dedicated deep in the Black Hills

Ana Davis displays Ray Davis's Nobel Prize in front of the LUX tank, which is exactly where Davis did his neutrino experiments. Photo: Roy Kaltschmidt

Wednesday, May 30, marked the official opening of the Davis Campus of the Sanford Underground Research Facility, 4,850 feet down in the former Homestake gold mine in Lead, South Dakota. To carry more than 60 VIPs from the state and the U.S. Department of Energy, scientists from a slew of universities and national laboratories, and local and national media required four trips in an open elevator cage, making the 10-minute descent to the nearly mile-deep lab. It was a trip back in time—and then abruptly forward again.

The Homestake mine opened in the 19th century, and much of the technology of its immense spinning hoists and its shafts framed with water-dripping wooden beams still smacks of the 1930s. But when the cage door rolls open, it takes a visitor only a few steps to reach a modern laboratory facility that could be anywhere.

The floors are steel grids and smooth painted concrete, the ceilings are acoustic tile or overhead conduits packaged in shiny foil, and the walls are ho-hum cinder block—except when they suddenly bulge into Gaudiesque undulating freeforms, the shotcrete natural rock face intruding into the laboratory space.

Deep underground is the only place to do the kind of leading-edge physics experiments that will be underway in these laboratories within the next weeks and months. LUX is a search for dark matter, and the MAJORANA DEMONSTRATOR is the first step in an exhaustive search to show that neutrinos are their own antiparticles, by observing something called neutrinoless double-beta decay. Both require the absolute minimum of background interference.

Read more

Photo of the Day

A snapper in the sun

A snapping turtle catches some rays near Wilson Hall. Photo: Martin Murphy
In the News

The 2012 transit of Venus

From Science@NASA, May 24, 2012

Editor's note: Next Tuesday at 5:04:25 p.m., Venus will pass across the face of the sun. When viewing the transit of Venus, be sure to wear special eclipse glasses or glasses with welder glass shade 12 or higher. You can obtain them from Airgas in Elgin, Cernan Space Center in River Grove or Weldstar in Aurora.

On June 5, 2012, Venus will pass across the face of the sun, producing a silhouette that no one alive today will likely see again.

Transits of Venus are very rare, coming in pairs separated by more than a hundred years. This June's transit, the bookend of a 2004-2012 pair, won't be repeated until the year 2117. Fortunately, the event is widely visible. Observers on seven continents, even a sliver of Antarctica, will be in position to see it.

The nearly 7-hour transit begins at 3:09 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time (22:09 UT) on June 5. The timing favors observers in the mid-Pacific where the sun is high overhead during the crossing. In the USA, the transit will be at its best around sunset. That's good, too. Creative photographers will have a field day imaging the swollen red sun "punctured" by the circular disk of Venus.

Read more

In the News

Two new surprises for three-body physics

From, May 30, 2012

Physicists in the US have calculated that a new class of three-body bound states should exist for atoms that experience long-range interactions – even though the interactions themselves are too weak to bind pairs of the same atoms. Such states have previously been seen in bosonic atoms affected by short-range interactions, but the team says that this latest phenomenon is very different, particularly because it can also occur for fermions. Although the researchers have not yet seen the new states, these could be revealed in experiments on ultracold atomic gases.

The idea that three atoms can form a loosely bound quantum state – even if any two of the atoms on their own cannot bind together – was first predicted by the Russian physicist Vitaly Efimov in the early 1970s.

Read more

Physics in a Nutshell

Why high energy?

The energy frontier allows physicists to pursue the highest-energy phenomena accessible by modern techniques.

Fermilab is a high-energy physics laboratory. Did you ever wonder just exactly why high energy is something that physicists like? What is it about high energy that makes it attractive?

There are at least three reasons why energy matters. The first involves Einstein's famous equation E = mc2. Simply put, it says that energy and mass are equal, up to the c2 term, which is really nothing more than a conversion factor used much like how you would convert inches to feet. Thus having high energy means you can make high-mass particles. The high energy that was available at the Tevatron and the even higher energy available at the LHC means that researchers have the ability to make high-mass particles.

A second reason to use high-energy beams stems from the world of quantum mechanics. All light and matter have a wavelength. Wavelength and energy have an inverse relationship: the higher the energy, the shorter the wavelength. A shorter wavelength is nice because it acts as a more precise probe, allowing us to see smaller things. In order to see whether quarks, which are already pretty small, have something inside them will require even shorter wavelengths. Given that there is circumstantial evidence that quarks are not the final story in mankind's long quest to find the smallest building blocks of matter, there is a strong motivation to make higher-energy beams as a way to find the next layer in the quantum onion.

The third reason to make very high-energy beams is that high-energy collisions result in the hottest possible temperatures. An LHC collision can generate temperatures that are 100,000 times hotter than the center of the Sun, heating matter to temperatures last common in the universe 14 billion years ago, a scant trillionth of a second after the Big Bang. Higher-energy collisions allow us to peer further and further back in time, approaching the moment of creation itself.

If we learn more about heavier and smaller particles, we will learn more about how the universe came into existence and will better understand the building blocks of the matter that make up everything we've ever seen. These ageless questions have bothered mankind for millennia. More energy brings us closer to the answer.

Don Lincoln

Click here to read the expanded column on the Energy Frontier.

Latest Announcements

After-hours shuttle trial extended through June

Ecology bus tour - today

ES&H & Computing Sector websites, CVS/Redmine/Subversion, CRL outage - June 2

Fermilab Family Outdoor Fair - June 10

Swim lessons for adults, youth & preschoolers - register by June 11

Tevatron symposium - June 11

Fermilab Users' Meeting - June 12-13

New Perspectives is coming - June 14

International Folk Dancing moves to Auditorium - June 14

University of Chicago Tuition Remission Program deadline - June 15

Adult water aerobics - begins June 18

DreamWeaver CS5: Intro class - June 19-20

DASTOW - June 20

Intermediate/advanced Python programming class - June 20-22

Fermilab prairie quadrat study - begins June 26

Fermilab Management Practices Seminar - begins Oct. 4

Interpersonal communication skills training - Nov. 14

Garden Club plots available

10,000 Steps iPod Shuffle winner

Outdoor soccer - Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6 p.m.

Pool memberships available

Join Walk 10,000 Steps-A-Day

Scottish country dancing meets Tuesday evenings in Kuhn Village Barn

Six Flags Great America discounts

Employee offer at Pockets

Dragon II restaurant employee discount

Changarro restaurant offers 15 percent discount to employees

Atrium construction updates

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