Friday, Aug. 31, 2012

Have a safe day!

Friday, Aug. 31

3:30 p.m.

4 p.m.
Joint Experimental-Theoretical Physics Seminar - One West
Speaker: Warren Huelsnitz, Los Alamos National Laboratory
Title: New Results from MiniBooNE's Search for Short Baseline Neutrino Oscillations

Monday, Sept. 3
Labor Day holiday

Tuesday, Sept. 4

3:30 p.m.


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a weekly calendar with links to additional information.

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Wilson Hall Cafe

Friday, Aug. 31

- Breakfast: strawberry-stuffed French toast
- Philly steak and cheese
- Blazin' buffalo wings
- King ranch chicken casserole
- Smart cuisine: Tex-Mex turkey pot pie
- Honey mustard ham and Swiss panini
- Reuben pizza
- Chicken fajitas

Wilson Hall Cafe Menu
Chez Leon

Friday, Aug. 31

Wednesday, Sept. 5
- Northern Italian lasagna
- Caesar salad
- Fruits of the Forest pie

Chez Leon Menu
Call x3524 to make your reservation.


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From symmetry breaking

Summer school gives African students glimpse into lives in physics

Fermilab physicist Herman White teaches at the African School of Fundamental Physics and its Applications in Ghana. Photo: ASP2012

It's not every day a physics student ends up singing happy birthday to a classmate with a group of top scientists from around the globe.

But that was the atmosphere at the second annual African School of Fundamental Physics and its Applications, held in Kumasi, Ghana, this month. About 30 instructors and 50 students traveled from around Africa and the rest of the world to gather at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology for three and a half weeks of training in physics and computing. Twenty-three institutions from abroad, 11 African institutions and four government organizations provided support.

"It's an awesome feeling to get this close to such great scientists," said ASP2012 student and Ph.D. candidate Joseph Asare. "We would sit and chat with them at lunch. They are so down to earth."

The format of bringing together a mix of African and international instructors to teach students from around the continent is not new. Asare is from Ghana, but he attends the African University of Science and Technology, AUST, a pan-African graduate school in Abuja, Nigeria. Some of his professors are local, and others visit from countries outside of Africa such as England, Bulgaria, Japan and the United States.

What makes the biennial African School of Physics unique is that it gives students a survey of how they might build a variety of careers with their physics degrees by learning from instructors who have already done it. This year, students learned about applications of particle physics, analyzed data from the ATLAS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider and discussed building the technical infrastructure to do more science locally.

"The students wanted to do in-depth study," said ASP2012 professor and Fermilab physicist Herman White. At one point, students who wanted a primer on the theory of quantum chromodynamics convinced a professor to hold an extra session outside the regular class schedule.

Read more

Kathryn Jepsen

Photo of the Day

Breaking ground on Fermilab's physics playground exhibit

Spencer Pasero, Marge Bardeen and Susan Dahl of the Education Office break ground on a physics playground exhibit at Fermilab. In this exhibit, kids will be able to run like a proton (or an antiproton!) through a labyrinth that follows the Tevatron accelerator chain. Most of the funds for this exhibit come from the Fermilab Friends for Science Education. Photo: Reidar Hahn
In Brief

Upcoming changes to janitorial service

Fermilab receives janitorial and cleaning services across the laboratory from an outside vendor. To address budget reductions, members of FESS and BSS are currently working closely with the vendor to adjust janitorial services at Fermilab without adversely affecting operations.

Beginning Oct. 1, cleaning services will be adjusted in all laboratory locations except those currently receiving services from other sources, such as the Village residences. Generally, service will be reduced from five days per week to three days per week, but service to some low-occupancy areas are proposed for elimination. These changes are being reviewed with building management and will then be discussed with and monitored by laboratory management. Additional service adjustments may be needed after further assessment.

A new solicitation will be initiated in spring 2013, and laboratory management hopes to be able to restore services at some point as may be needed.

If you have further questions, please contact your building management.

Special Announcement

Exterior window washing at Wilson Hall - Sept. 4 - 7

Clorica Management workers will wash the exterior windows of Wilson Hall from Tuesday, Sept. 4 through Friday, Sept. 7. Employees should take care when walking outside of Wilson Hall during these work days.

In the News

251 years later: Who really discovered Venus' atmosphere?

From physics buzz blog, Aug. 28, 2012

Reproducibility forms one of the cornerstones of physics; independent scientists need to corroborate a finding before it's widely accepted in the scientific community.

But sometimes the window of observation only lasts for several hours twice every hundred years or so. That makes reproducibility fairly difficult.

Earlier this summer, Venus passed in front of — or transited — the sun for the last time this century. While the astronomical event amazed viewers across the world, a group of physicists were re-creating an observation from over 250 years ago: the discovery of Venus' atmosphere. At the same time, they've stoked the fire in a debate over who first made this discovery.

Read more

In the News

A celebration 50 years in the making

From SLAC News Center, Aug. 28, 2012

In a two-day event commemorating the 50th anniversary of SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, about 1,000 employees, former employees and university, government and scientific leaders celebrated the lab's successes and looked ahead to the next great challenges.

Read more

CMS Result

Science in action

In 2011, CDF published a paper that showed an unexpected bump in the plot showing the mass of a hypothetical particle that decayed into two jets. This bump was seen only in events with a W boson and two or more jets. CMS conducted a similar search and the data (points) does not seem to agree with a prediction (yellow) based on the CDF data.

Every so often, the blogosphere and Twitterverse hear about a physics measurement and go a little crazy. This happened last year when the CDF collaboration reported a study of events in which a W boson and at least two jets were observed. If they assumed the two jets came from a single particle and plotted the mass distribution of that hypothetical particle, they observed more events with a mass of about 150 GeV than was predicted by the Standard Model. They observed the excess only in events with a W boson and two or more jets. If this observation was confirmed by other experiments, it could have heralded a significant discovery.

The DZero experiment subsequently studied their data and found no such excess. This could mean that there was no discovery to be made or it could mean that DZero missed seeing something truly interesting. In a case like this, it's good to have a third experiment weigh in to break the tie.

CMS studied their data, sifting out about 100,000 events in which a W boson and at least two jets were created. When a plot was made of the mass of a hypothetical particle that decayed into two jets, no excess was found and placed CMS firmly in the DZero camp.

One should be cautious in interpreting this new measurement, as the Tevatron beams collided protons and antiprotons, while the LHC collides pairs of protons. Still, the evidence disfavors reports of the CDF excess. In addition to this experimental result, several new theoretical models were created to account for the observed CDF bump and these models were definitively ruled out by CMS data.

—Don Lincoln

These analyzers contributed to this analysis.

In order for scientists to analyze CMS data, it must first be validated. Validation means verifying that all equipment is operating properly and that the subsequent reconstruction of the data is done successfully. This ensures that the recorded data has no known flaws. After validation, we can be certain that the bits and bytes that were recorded by the detector were successfully converted into physical objects (jets, muons, electrons, etc.) that subsequent analyzers can use to make measurements. Validation of CMS data is an enormous endeavor, involving physicists from all over the world. The people pictured here are some of the U.S. scientists who play a key role in this complex and crucial task.
Wellness Feature of the Month

September wellness offerings, fitness classes and discounts

Free wellness classes:

  • Kronos Weight Management class meets Thursdays, Sept. 6 to Nov. 9 (no class on Nov. 22) from noon to 1 p.m. in WH Curia II.

  • Tai Chi and Qigong for Balance meets Mondays, Sept. 17 to Nov. 26, from noon to 1 p.m. in Ramsey Auditorium.

  • Weekly Qi Gong, Mindfulness and Tai Chi Easy for Stress Reduction meets Wednesdays from 7 to 8 a.m. and Fridays from noon to 12:45 p.m. in Ramsey Auditorium.

Fitness class:

Kyuki-Do Martial Arts class meets Mondays and Wednesdays, Sept. 19 to Oct. 31, from 5 to 6 p.m. in the Fitness Center. $55/person.

Employee discounts:

  • BatteriesPlus
  • AMC and Regal movie tickets
  • Journey Cycle and BMX
  • Any Day tickets at Six Flags Great America

For more information, e-mail Jeanne Ecker in the Wellness Office at


Today's New Announcements

Road D closure - begins Sept. 4

Scottish country dancing in Ramsey Auditorium

International Folk Dancing in Ramsey Auditorium

Free Weight Management class - begins Sept. 6

Walk 2 Run - begins Sept. 6

Fermilab Arts & Lecture Series: Epigenetics - Sept. 7

Fermilab Arts & Lecture Series: Broadway's Next H!T Musical - Sept. 22

Word 2010 classes scheduled

Excel 2010 classes scheduled

Access 2010 classes scheduled

Additional professional development courses

Bowlers wanted for 2012/2013 season

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

Fermilab employee discounts

Atrium work updates

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