Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Have a safe day!

Wednesday, June 27
3:30 p.m.
4 p.m.
Fermilab Colloquium - One West
Speaker: Samuel Kounaves, Tufts University
Title: The Mars Phoenix Mission: Simple Findings – Global Implications

Thursday, June 28
2:30 p.m.
Theoretical Physics Seminar - Curia II
Speaker: Takemichi Okui, Florida State University
Title: Gyroscopic Inflation
3:30 p.m.


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Wilson Hall Cafe

Wednesday, June 27

- Breakfast: English muffin sandwich
- Smart cuisine: Chicken noodle soup
- Steak sandwich
- Smart cuisine: Maple dijon salmon
- Smart cuisine: Mongolian beef
- California club
- Assorted sliced pizza
- Chicken pesto pasta

Wilson Hall Cafe Menu

Chez Leon

Wednesday, June 27
- Spring-roll salad w/ red-curry shrimp
- Lemon Napoleon

Friday, June 29
- Warm fennel salad
- Lobster tail w/ lemon butter sauce
- Spaghetti squash w/ scallions
- Grilled asparagus
- Blueberry tartlets w/ lime curd

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Call x3524 to make your reservation.


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The next generation of superconducting magnets

Left: Brookhaven National Laboratory developed a stand-alone ReBCO magnetic coil with a world-record-setting peak field of 16 Tesla. Photo: BNL. Right: The National High Magnetic Field Laboratory developed a 4.4-T ReBCO coil that generated a total peak field of 35.4 T when tested in the 31-T 20-megawatt resistive magnet of the NHMFL, setting a world record for a superconducting coil and demonstrating that magnets can be fabricated to withstand high fields. Photo: NHMFL.

One of the best-known technological advances to come out of the Tevatron program was the development of superconducting magnets using niobium titanium wire. Their manufacture later spurred widespread production of the technology for use outside particle physics, for example in magnetic resonance imaging machines.

Now researchers are working to make another leap in technology using a new class of magnets based on high-temperature superconductors. HTS magnets could enable magnetic fields with twice the strength of their more conventional niobium-based counterparts. The extraordinarily high fields of which they are capable – 30 to 40 Tesla or more – are crucial for focusing the particle beam for another collider, the proposed muon collider.

Last month, scientists and members of industry gathered to review the status of high-field magnet development for the muon collider at a workshop hosted by the U.S. Muon Accelerator Program.

"The high-energy physics community has historically been the most consistent driver of superconducting wire," said National High Magnetic Field Laboratory scientist David Larbalestier. "Everyone has benefited from that. MAP is now providing a driver for high-energy physics."

Though HTS magnets can operate in far higher fields than can conventional superconductors, they are also made of complex, brittle materials. The challenge is to make one that can survive the high fields and forces without destroying itself.

"If some little spot on the magnet stops being superconducting, it could get hotter and hotter until it breaks off, melts off or does something horrible," said Brookhaven National Laboratory's Bob Palmer. Detecting a quench, or the loss of superconductivity, in this type of conductor is challenging.

"A key element of the MAP R&D program will be to develop the necessary quench protection techniques to ensure that we can safely and reliably operate HTS-based magnets in an accelerator environment," said MAP Director Mark Palmer.

MAP researchers are investigating two high-temperature superconductor materials. The first, called ReBCO, is a high-strength conductor available in tape form, which can be used for winding high-field focusing solenoid coils. The second material, BSCCO, can be fabricated into multi-filament, isotropic round wire, which is readily formed into cables suitable for use in a wide range of magnet designs. Both conductors have an important role to play in high-field magnet development.

In the current muon collider design, the focusing magnet would be composed of several superconductors using an inner HTS coil and outer conventional niobium-based coil.

Designing high-field magnets for the muon collider's physics program is new territory, but the essential problem is not. Others have coped with potentially stress-inducing amounts of energies for magnets with different requirements. Both Larbalestier's group at NHMFL and a group at Brookhaven National Laboratory, led by scientist Ramesh Gupta, have built magnets that set world records for magnetic field strength. They are optimistic about the muon collider's magnetic prospects.

"If we can make this magnet, it would be a major breakthrough in technology," Gupta said. "It would even be useful beyond accelerator science."

Leah Hesla

University Profile

University of Wisconsin

University of Wisconsin

Madison, Wisconsin

Bucky Badger


CMS, CDF. Also participates in ATLAS (CERN), BaBar (SLAC), Daya Bay (IHEP, Beijing) and IceCube (Antarctica)

Four faculty, four scientists, two postdocs, four support staff, seven graduate students

Early 1970s

The University of Wisconsin experimental particle physics group focuses on searches for the Higgs boson within and beyond the Standard Model. The group also focuses on new exotic particles, forces and symmetries while backing them up with detailed measurements of the Standard Model parameters. Close collaboration between the phenomenology and string theory groups is the strength of the theoretical program.

Wisconsin has a broad program covering all aspects of particle physics: detector building, trigger electronics, software and computing, physics analysis, phenomenology and formal theory.


View all university profiles.

from symmetry

Through a muon's eyes

Quarks do it, neutrinos do muons do it?

In the 1930s, scientists thought they had matter figured out. Matter was atoms; atoms were protons, neutrons and electrons; and that was that.

Then they discovered the muon—a surprisingly heavy cousin of the electron with no apparent purpose other than to baffle scientists. The muon was so unexpected that, regarding its discovery, Nobel laureate Isidor Isaac Rabi famously quipped, "Who ordered that?"

Seventy-five years later, much of the mystery surrounding the muon has dissipated. Scientists have pinned down its mass to eight decimal places, know its half-life to the picosecond and have even found ways to manipulate it for use in science and industry. And yet many scientists believe that there is more to the muon than meets the eye.

"The muon will have the last laugh," says Mark Lancaster, a professor at the University College London who focuses on muon research. "There's still a lot we don't know about fundamental interactions and the subatomic world, and we think that the muon might have the answers."

Out of the 16 particles in the Standard Model, the muon is becoming the focus of research for more and more physicists, who seek both to understand its unique properties and to use it as a probe of the rest of the subatomic world.

"Muons are special," says Chris Polly, a Fermilab physicist involved in muon research. "They are light enough to be produced copiously, yet heavy enough that we can use them experimentally to uniquely probe the accuracy of the Standard Model."

Muons could help answer some of the big questions of particle physics: Why are there so many particles? Are there hidden symmetries? Are there other, undiscovered subatomic forces?

An international effort to explore rare subatomic processes using intense beams from particle accelerators has spawned opportunities to study the muon. Experiments at institutions including Fermilab, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Paul Scherrer Institute in Switzerland and the Japanese Proton Accelerator Research Complex will bring the scientific community closer to understanding not only the properties of the muon, but also the subatomic fabric of the universe.

Read more

Sarah Charley

Photo of the Day

A reflective perspective

A heron reflects at one of Fermilab's ponds. Photo: Alex Waller, AD
Safety Update

ES&H weekly report, June 26

This week's safety report, compiled by the Fermilab ES&H section, contains no incidents.

Find the full report here.
In the News

Exoplanets in neighboring orbits have radically different sizes, masses

From ars technica, June 24, 2012

The Solar System is clearly divided: rocky terrestrial planets close in to the Sun, gaseous Jovian planets farther out, icy Kuiper Belt objects more distant still. However, exoplanetary systems—planets orbiting other stars—commonly violate those divisions. A whole class of exoplanets known as "hot Jupiters" are large planets with orbits smaller than Mercury's, indicating that planet formation may not follow the same rules in all cases.

As described by Joshua A. Carter et al. in Science, a newly discovered system known as Kepler-36 is even stranger. The star hosts two planets with radically different densities in very similar orbits. One planet is roughly 4.5 times more massive than Earth, indicating it is probably a rocky "super Earth," while the second planet is about eight times more massive than Earth and roughly Neptune-sized, meaning it is likely gaseous.

Read more

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