Thursday, June 14, 2012

Have a safe day!

Thursday, June 14
9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Project X Physics Study - One West
Plenary sessions
2 p.m.
Computing Techniques Seminar - FCC1W
Speaker: Rob Johnson, Cloudera
Title: HBASE
3:30 p.m.
4 p.m.
Accelerator Physics and Technology Seminar (NOTE LOCATION) - Curia II
Speaker: David Whittum, Varian Medical Systems
Title: Opportunities Beyond the State of the Art in Electron Accelerator Systems


Friday, June 15
8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Project X Physics Study - One West
Plenary sessions
3:30 p.m.
4 p.m.
Joint Experiment-Theoretical Physics Seminar - One West
Speaker: Stephen Holmes, Fermilab
Title: Project X: Accelerator Goals and Challenges

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a weekly calendar with links to additional information.

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Wilson Hall Cafe

Thursday, June 15
- Breakfast: Apple sticks
- Santa Fe black bean soup
- Steak tacos
- Santa Fe pork stew
- Chimichangas
- Baked ham and Swiss on a ciabatta roll
- Assorted sliced pizza
- Smart cuisine: crispy fried-chicken salad

Wilson Hall Cafe Menu

Chez Leon

Friday, June 15

Wednesday, June 20
- Pork satay w/ peanut sauce
- Asian noodles
- Sautéed pea pods
- Rice pudding

Chez Leon Menu
Call x3524 to make your reservation.


Fermilab Today

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Result of the Week

CMS Result

Physics in a Nutshell

Tip of the Week

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Nobel laureate David Gross discusses impact of particle physics

In a public lecture Tuesday night, Nobelist David Gross explained how particle physics can help us uncover the universe's longstanding mysteries. Photo: Joseph Piergrossi

David Gross, 2004 Nobel laureate in physics, took a large audience in Ramsey Auditorium on a wild ride Tuesday night, explaining connections between the Standard Model and the mystery of the origins of the universe in a nearly two-and-a-half hour presentation.

Gross's lecture focused on the role particle physics plays in our knowledge of the universe. He carefully explained each of the known particle families and used his explanation of the Standard Model to show concepts of symmetry breaking and the Higgs boson, supersymmetry, superspace, unification and the unanswered questions these concepts pose.

"We have an island of knowledge in a sea of ignorance," he said, referring to a cartoon showing stick figures surrounded by and pushing back on a black cloud representing the unknowns of the universe. He told the crowd the best questions in physics come from where the stick figures were pushing.

Gross also gave a rundown of evidence for major theories in physics, such as string theory, making a case for each based on what has been learned from Fermilab, CERN and other laboratories in the past half century.

At the end of the lecture, a young boy asked Gross a question about the role of dark energy in the universe.

"We'll know much more once you get out of graduate school," he assured the boy with a smile.

"As scientists, we have a responsibility to tell the public what we are doing," Gross said at a reception following the lecture in the Wilson Hall Atrium, "especially since all of this is just human curiosity."

—Joseph Piergrossi

Photos of the Day

URA Thesis and Tollestrup prizewinners

Fermilab's Alvin Tollestrup and URA Executive Chair Steve Beering and present scientist Bodhitha Jayatilaka with the Alvin Tollestrup Award for Outstanding Postdoctoral Research. Jayatilaka received the honor for his work at CDF on the most precise measurement yet of the W boson mass. Photo: Reidar Hahn
URA Executive Chair Steve Beering and Executive Director Marta Cehelsky present scientist Alexander Himmel, now at Duke University, with the URA Thesis Award. He received the award for his 2011 dissertation, written at Cal Tech, detailing a measurement of antineutrino oscillations at MINOS. Photo: Reidar Hahn
In Brief

Wilson Hall stairway construction update

Part of the cable barrier system prototype can be seen on the 14th floor of Wilson Hall. Photo: Joseph Piergrossi

The west stairway prototype installation on floors 13, 14 and 15 is essentially complete. The west stairway will be open from now until June 25, when construction is expected to resume. The full barrier system should be installed by mid-September. Work will then move to the east side stairs, which will be closed from mid-September until the end of December.

In the News

What have neutrinos done for you lately?

From ars technica, June 10, 2012

Don't call neutrinos elusive. Francis Halzen, who makes it his job to detect them, said that the particles' unusual properties, like their minuscule masses and tendency not to interact with matter, tend to make "elusive" one of the most common adjectives used to describe them. But in reality, they're all around us: each cubic centimeter of the Universe has hundreds of them, left over from the Big Bang. Every second, trillions of them flow through our bodies. In fact, there's probably as much matter in the form of neutrinos as there is visible matter. If we could just get a bit better at detecting them, they could tell us a lot about the Universe.

The World Science Festival hosted a discussion led by three people who have focused their careers on detecting neutrinos. Halzen helps run the new Ice Cube detector at the South Pole, while MIT's Janet Conrad works on the MiniBooNE detector, which picks up neutrinos made by the Fermilab accelerator chain. Conrad was joined by her fellow MITer, Joe Formaggio, who works on the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory, buried in a mine in Canada.

Read more

Result of the Week

Trying to explain the unexpected

Distribution of events versus reconstructed top-jet (mtj) invariant mass for the observed data and expected backgrounds in the signal region. Three signal hypotheses are shown.

CDF and DZero have both observed an unexpected asymmetry in the production of pairs of top and anti-top quarks in proton-antiproton collisions. More top quarks are produced in the direction that protons travel than in the antiproton direction (and more anti-tops are produced in the antiproton direction than in the proton direction). Particle physicists find this strange because it is a deviation from the expected symmetry. Such behavior is also not predicted by the Standard Model, and thus could be an indication of new physics.

Theorists have tried to explain the anomaly. One possible explanation would be a new, heavy particle that would alter the Standard Model prediction. Unfortunately, these models in general cause known measured production rates (cross sections) to deviate from their measured values.

More recently, theorists have made this new postulated particle an object that is not its own antiparticle. This gets around the conflict with measured processes and also yields a decay process that can be cleanly measured at both the Tevatron and the Large Hadron Collider.

The above-proposed model predicts the new heavy particle, called M, would be produced in association with a top quark. The M particle will then decay to an anti-top quark and a light quark. CDF physicists looked for a top-anti-top quark pair plus an additional light quark. This process is just like Standard Model top-anti-top pair production but with an additional quark in the event. This postulated new physics process, if real, would produce a bump in the mass distribution of the top-anti-top + quark mass (see Figure).

Using CDF's complete and final data analysis, the data are consistent with our understanding of the backgrounds (top-anti-top pair production, W+ jets, and other backgrounds) and no M particle is found. This allows us to set limits on searches for top quark plus jet resonances. We expect that further studies at the LHC will either extend these limits or perhaps find something new. In the meantime, the search for an explanation for the mysterious asymmetry continues.

Learn more

—edited by Andy Beretvas

These physicists were responsible for this analysis. First row from left: Jahred Adelman (Yale), Nate Goldschmidt (University of Florida). Second row: Daniel Whiteson and Kanishka Rao (University of California, Irvine).

Special Announcement

Power outage - June 15

On Friday, June 15, from 7 to 7:30 a.m. there will be a site-wide power outage to turn off power from the master substation and backfeed it from the Kautz Road substation. This is necessary to conduct maintenance on electrical switches and lines, paint poles and perform upgrades, all lasting for three to five months. This work will affect most of the Fermilab site except the Main Injector and the Village.

Please turn off your computers and small electrical devices in your offices before you leave work on Thursday afternoon to avoid power disruptions on Friday morning.

For more details, click here.


Latest Announcements

Power outage - June 15

English country dancing - June 17

Heartland Blood Drive - June 18

International Folk Dancing moves to Auditorium - today

New Perspectives is coming - today

Bike to Work Week challenge - June 9-15

University of Chicago Tuition Remission Program deadline - June 15

SharePoint end-user training - June 15

Scottish country dancing moves to Auditorium - June 19

Video series on six different world religions - starts June 19

DreamWeaver CS5: Intro class - June 19-20

DASTOW - June 20

Intermediate/advanced Python programming class - June 20-22

NALWO luncheon/tour at Cantigny - June 21

Fermilab prairie quadrat study - begins June 26

After-hours shuttle trial extended through June

Project Management Introduction class - July 23-27

Fermilab Management Practices Seminar - begins Oct. 4

Interpersonal communication skills training - Nov. 14

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

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Employee discount for Father's Day at

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Changarro restaurant offers 15 percent discount to employees

Atrium construction updates

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