Monday, July 16, 2012

Have a safe day!

Monday, July 16
2 p.m.
LHC Physics Center Topic of the Week Seminar - Sunrise, WH11NE Speaker: Daniel Elvira
Title: SUSY Searches II: Elements of a Data Analysis and Their Integration in a Search Result


3:30 p.m.


Tuesday, July 17
Research Techniques Seminar - Curia II
Speaker: Dirk Wiedner, University of Heidelberg
Title: A Novel Experiment Searching for the Lepton Flavor Decay mu → eee

Undergraduate Lecture Series - One West
Speaker: Don Lincoln, Fermilab
Title: The Energy Frontier

3:30 p.m.


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Wilson Hall Cafe

Monday, July 16

- Breakfast: Croissant sandwich
- Italian minestrone soup
- Patty melt
- Chicken cordon bleu
- Smart cuisine: herbed pot roast
- Garden roast beef wrap
- Assorted sliced pizza
- Smart cuisine: Szechuan green beans w/ chicken

Wilson Hall Cafe Menu

Chez Leon

Wednesday, July 18
- Chicken luncheon salad
- Sorbet

Friday, July 20

Chez Leon Menu
Call x3524 to make your reservation.


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Students help MicroBooNE clean up for its big debut

High school physics teacher Daniel Gutierrez and Fermilab physicist Jennifer Raaf inspect a beam composed of G10 polymer, which will provide part of the structural support for the future MicroBooNE time projection chamber. Photo: Reidar Hahn

The interior of Fermilab’s Lab F, located near the geodesic dome, looks like a massive construction site. Strewn across the lab are boxes containing metal parts and beams composed of G10 polymer, the same material from which circuit boards are made. In a closed cleaning area at one end of the building, postdoctoral fellow Thomas Strauss is cleaning domed steel caps.

These are all parts of the time projection chamber of the MicroBooNE experiment. Fermilab physicist Jennifer Raaf, one of the managers for MicroBooNE assembly, describes the TPC as the “guts” of the project, and plenty of people are helping her build it. Postdocs like Strauss, graduate students and undergraduates from collaborating universities are cleaning and testing all of the parts for the TPC’s eventual construction in a clean area in the DZero building. The TPC, which will eventually be housed in the Liquid Argon Test Facility, will measure neutrino impacts on argon atoms by detecting their remnants, mainly electrons, muons and pions. It needs to be as clean possible before it is placed into a cryostat and submerged in liquid argon. Metal dust or grease smudges could interfere with the TPC’s ability to detect electrons and muons. That’s where the summer students come in.

“We’ve been receiving TPC parts from industry for the past month or so,” Raaf said. “The summer students are helping to scrub everything well at Lab F.”

Christie Chiu and Kathleen Tatem, undergraduates from MIT and Columbia University respectively, expressed enthusiasm for being able to work on MicroBooNE. In addition to cleaning parts, they have been testing electronics and coding software for, among other things, a new light collection system.

“This is new technology that will have lasting impacts on other experiments,” Chiu said. “It’ll be felt decades into the future.”

Daniel Gutierrez, a high school physics teacher from Puerto Rico, is also lending a hand. He is a participant in Fermilab’s TRAC program, which allows teachers to experience the life of a particle physicist over the summer by shadowing one. In turn, the teacher can help increase student interest in science.

“I’ll put together a set of photographs for them to get more interested,” Gutierrez said. “And I’ll have a class with some demonstrations related to the data MicroBooNE takes.”

Raaf said she hopes to have the structural frame of the TPC fully constructed by the end of summer and the cryostat electronics installed on the TPC when they arrive next spring. After researchers build the TPC in the clean area at DZero, they will test it, seal it inside the cryostat and lower the whole thing underground into the Liquid Argon Test Facility by late 2013.

Joseph Piergrossi

In the News

Why the Higgs boson matters

From The New York Times, July 14, 2012

The July 4 announcement that the "Higgs boson" had been discovered at the CERN laboratory in Geneva made news around the world. Why all the fuss? New discoveries of elementary particles have been made from time to time without attracting all this attention. It is often said that this particle provides the crucial clue to how all the other elementary particles get their masses. True enough, but this takes some explanation.

We have a well-tested theory of elementary particles and the forces that they exert on each other, known as the Standard Model. A central feature of the Standard Model is a symmetry between two of these forces: the electromagnetic force, and the less familiar weak nuclear force, which provides the first step in the chain of reactions that gives the sun its energy.

The symmetry means that the particles carrying these forces enter into the equations of the theory in essentially the same way. You could interchange the photon, the particle of light that carries the electromagnetic force, with some combination of the W and Z particles that carry the weak nuclear force, and the equations would be unchanged.

Read more

In the News

New European space telescope to sniff out dark matter

From The Christian Science Monitor, July 11, 2012

When the European Space Agency's Euclid spacecraft launches in 2019, it will kick off an ambitious mission to map more than 70 million galaxies with a single goal: shining a light on the invisible dark matter and dark energy binding the universe together.

Named for the ancient Greek mathematician, Euclid will peer into space in the visible and near- infrared spectrum in search of signs of dark matter and its counterpart, dark energy. Both are challenging because they cannot be measured directly. Instead, astronomers measure the phenomena by their gravitational influence on visible matter, such as stars and galaxies.

Read more

ES&H Tip of the Week:

Construction season safety - drive carefully and watch out for those yellowjackets

Driving while using your cell phone on Fermilab grounds is a traffic violation. Be safe - don't let yourself be distracted while driving.

Building construction is prevalent at the laboratory this summer, and it can pose a danger for those on the road.

It is particularly important to slow down and pay close attention while driving. Motorists, bikers and pedestrians must pay attention to warning signs, detour signs and flaggers. Dangers still exist in work zones even if workers are not present.

Personnel may not drive any motor vehicle on the Fermilab site while using a cell phone. This is a Fermilab moving traffic violation, and you can be cited by Fermilab Security if found in violation of the policy.

Remember these tips for work zone safety:

  • Slow down.
  • Observe posted construction zone speed limits.
  • Don't follow too closely.
  • Be patient.
  • Turn on headlights.

For more information, visit the traffic safety webpage.

With construction season comes bees, wasps, ticks and mosquitoes. Over the past few weeks, the number of insect bites and stings at the laboratory has risen.

More people are stung by yellowjackets than by any other type of bee or wasp. They are notoriously aggressive and, unlike bees, they don't lose their stinger. They can sting numerous times and can also bite. They also take food from trash containers and picnickers.

Reduce your risk of a close encounter with most insects by following these tips:

  • Drink from closeable containers, and close them when not drinking.
  • Avoid being outside at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Wear long-sleeved clothing and insect repellent containing DEET if you must be outside, especially in wooded areas.
  • If you're concerned about chemical exposure, spray a light layer of insect repellent on clothing rather than on skin.
  • Pour out any standing and stagnant water that has collected and keep gutters free of leaves and debris so water will run off properly.
  • Keep pet water dishes filled with fresh water.
  • Use unscented sunscreen and other personal care products.
  • Be careful while picnicking and around trash containers.

If you need help with pest control, please contact Roads & Grounds at x3303. The department can provide advice and schedule a visit with the laboratory's pest control contractor, who comes to Fermilab every Monday.

J.B. Dawson

Video of the Day

Vote in TED2013 talent search

At his recent audition for TED2013, Fermilab's Don Lincoln, USCMS Education and Outreach Coordinator, discusses the re-creation of the conditions of the early universe in particle physics experiments. Video: TED

Fermilab scientist and USCMS Education and Outreach Coordinator Don Lincoln auditioned for TED2013 last month. In a talk titled, "The birth of the universe, recreated," he discussed the ability of particle accelerators to recreate the conditions of the universe immediately after the Big Bang.

The viewer feedback phase of the TED talent search has begun. View Lincoln's audition, rate it and share it. Leave a positive comment. Your high rating and good word could give Don the opportunity to speak in depth about research at the Energy Frontier at the TED2013 conference.


Latest Announcements

On-site housing request deadline for fall 2012 and spring 2013 - today

Screening of "The Atom Smashers," a documentary on Fermilab - today

Budker Seminar - today

EAP Webinar "Do I Have Enough? Saving for Retirement" - July 17

NALWO tour and luncheon - July 19

Artist reception - July 20

Collider New Play Project - July 21

Collecting school supplies - through July 27

Volunteers invited to Fermilab prairie quadrat study - July 28

ANSYS courses offered in July and August

Howard Levy & Chris Siebold - August 18

Project Management Introduction class - Sept. 10-14

Fermilab Management Practices Seminar - begins Oct. 4

Interpersonal communication skills training - Nov. 14

10,000 Steps A Day participation winner

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

Fermilab employee discounts

Atrium work updates