Thursday, Aug. 9, 2012

Have a safe day!

Thursday, Aug. 9
2:30 p.m.
Theoretical Physics Seminar - Curia II
Speaker: Reinard Primulando, College of William and Mary
Title: Electroweak Multiplets for Dark Matter and the Higgs

3:30 p.m.


Friday, Aug. 10
3:30 p.m.

4 p.m.
Joint Experimental-Theoretical Physics Seminar (NOTE LOCATION) - Auditorium
Speaker: Mousumi Datta and Marco Verzocchi, Fermilab
Title: Review of Tevatron Summer 2012 Results (in conjunction with HCP Summer School)

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Thursday, Aug. 9

- Breakfast: apple sticks
- Santa Fe black bean soup
- Steak tacos
- Chicken Wellington
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- Baked ham and Swiss on a ciabatta roll
- Assorted sliced pizza
- Smart cuisine: crispy fried-chicken salad

Wilson Hall Cafe Menu

Chez Leon

Friday, Aug. 10
- Balsamic salad
- Porcini crusted fillet w/ tarragon butter
- Parmesan whipped potatoes
- Steamed broccoli
- Peach crepes w/ cajeta sauce

Wednesday, Aug. 15
- Spicy sausage- and cheese-stuffed portobello mushroom
- Spinach salad
- Strawberry mousse w/ cookies

Chez Leon Menu
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From Quantum Diaries

It's nus to me about those experiment names

Is that a ν or a v in NOvA?

When arriving at Fermilab, one of the first people I spoke to was a graduate student in the g-2 collaboration.

"What's it like working on Gee Two?" I asked.

"Gee MINUS Two, you mean," the grad student responded to me wearily, like he'd been through this before.

I hope he could forgive my confusion of a subtraction sign for a more commonplace hyphen, but it got me thinking, all these experiment names are a bit confusing to pronounce sometimes.

There are MicroBooNE and MiniBooNE, whose last two capitalized letters almost seem like a prompt to shout "NEH!" at their termini. There's the dark-matter experiment COUPP, where I think even those involved are unsure if those two p's are procedurally pronounced or not.

Even the spelling of the neutrino experiment NOvA, which seems fairly straightforward, presents some challenges. That lowercase v in the middle? It's not one: instead, it's a Greek letter masquerading as a Latin character, the lone actor on a stage full of Romans. The letter ν, Romanized nu and shaped like a v, is the symbol for neutrinos, hence its appearance in the name. So begins the confusion: is it NOvA or NO"nu"A?

To set the record straight, if you see a nu – also to be seen in MINERvA – just assume it's a v and carry on with your day.

But then comes Mu2e to further confuse the situation. It too contains a Greek letter – mu, which stands for muon – yet this time it's spelled out and Romanized. Perhaps it's because μ's shape is agonizingly close to that of the Latin u, and most people can't be bothered to tell the difference. So to prevent people from saying "You 2 e" and mistaking a sophisticated physics experiment for an outtake of Purple Rain, we may as well spell it out.

Also inconsistent is NuMI – there's that dastardly nu again, this time also Romanized – but I suppose those folks have the same reasoning as with Mu2e. They probably don't want people calling it "VEE EM EYE" or, worse, "vmee."

Read more

Joseph Piergrossi

The experiment name 'Mu2e' contains a Romanized Greek letter.
Photo of the Day

QuarkNet students at Fermilab

Students and teachers in the QuarkNet Summer Research for High School Students program smile for the camera. View the projects they worked on this summer. Photo: Marge Bardeen, Education Office
In the News

Award-winning technology provides a breakthrough in particle physics

From Argonne National Laboratory, Aug. 3, 2012

High-energy physics, it turns out, is a lot like life – it's all about the timing.

In order to identify the tiny subatomic particles that erupt from the atom-smashing experiments that occur in subterranean laboratories like the Large Hadron Collider near Geneva, Switzerland, scientists need detectors that have split-second reflexes.

The desire to distinguish different particles has spurred a dramatic improvement in the process by which scientists and engineers at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory make large-area microchannel plates – key components in improving the time resolution in particle detection. The new discovery earned a 2012 R&D 100 award, which recognized researchers at Argonne and two partner institutions with one of the "Oscars of Innovation."

Read more

Result of the Week

Single most precise measurement of the top quark mass

The figure shows the agreement between the data and a fit using the "signal + background" template.

Like competitors in the Olympics, we at CDF try to do our best for each measurement we make. Thus we now have a new measurement of the top quark mass that has replaced our old one as the single most precise measurement of the top quark mass. Earlier this year both the CDF and DZero collaborations measured the mass of the W boson to very high precision. The combination of the top quark and W measurements provides an indirect determination of the Higgs particle's mass. This indirect determination is consistent with the recently discovered Higgs-like particle at CERN and has been slightly improved by our new measurement.

When top quarks are created in Tevatron collisions, they almost immediately decay into a bottom quark and a W boson and are most often produced in pairs. The top quark is best measured when one W decays into a neutrino and a charged lepton (electron or muon) and the other top quark decays into a pair of jets (light quarks). This so-called lepton-plus-jets decay mode contains four jets of which two are bottom quark jets. Our reconstruction of the top mass relies heavily on our ability to measure jet energy. Scientists fine-tuned the energy measurement using an advanced mathematical algorithm specifically formulated to correct jet energies of the top pair events.

CDF physicists used the full Run II data set for this measurement. For each event, they reconstructed the top quark mass two different ways and reconstructed the W boson mass from a pair of jets. They used this W boson mass distribution as an additional calibration for the energy of jets in the CDF detector, thereby reducing the single largest source of systematic uncertainty.

Then they compared these three distributions, reconstructed from the data, to simulated samples. The simulated samples require that we understand not only the process we are measuring but also the backgrounds. The most important backgrounds are the production of W's + jets and multijets. Scientists produced simulated samples with different known values of the top quark mass. Finding the best match between the simulated samples and the data allows us to determine the top quark mass. This procedure is called the template method.

Using these strategies, we have made the world's most precise measurement of the top quark mass, 172.85 ± 1.11 GeV/c2. This result is consistent with the most recent Tevatron average of 173.18 ± 0.94 GeV/c2 and will significantly improve the final combination.

—edited by Andy Beretvas

These CDF physicists contributed to this data analysis. From left: Hyun Su Lee (Ewha Womans University, Seoul, Korea), Jian Tang (University of Chicago) and Fermilab Deputy Director Young-Kee Kim.

Road D closed - Aug. 6-9

Heartland Blood Drive - Aug. 13-14

Drawing to win palm tree - Aug. 15

University of Chicago Tuition Remission Program deadline - Aug. 17

Howard Levy & Chris Siebold - Aug. 18

URA Visiting Scholars Program deadline - Aug. 27

Scottish country dancing in Ramsey Auditorium - through Aug. 31

International Folk Dancing in Ramsey Auditorium - through August

Project Management Introduction class - Sept. 10-14

Fermilab Management Practices Seminar - begins Oct. 4

Interpersonal communication skills training - Nov. 14

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