Monday, Sept. 10, 2012

Have a safe day!

Monday, Sept. 10


3:30 p.m.

4 p.m.
All Experimenters' Meeting - Curia II
Special Topics: Shutdown Work Status and Plans; Proton Improvement Plan; DES Installation Status; MicroBooNE Status

Tuesday, Sept. 11

3:30 p.m.


Click here for NALCAL,
a weekly calendar with links to additional information.

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Take Five

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Current Security Status

Secon Level 3

Current Flag Status

Flags at full-staff

Wilson Hall Cafe

Monday, Sept. 10

- Breakfast: blueberry pancakes
- Loaded baked potato
- Monte Cristo sandwich
- Pecan-crusted chicken breast
- Smart cuisine: pork piccata
- Oven-roasted vegetable wrap
- Felipe's Mexican pizza by the slice
- Shrimp and crab scampi

Wilson Hall Cafe Menu

Chez Leon

Wednesday, Sept. 12
- Stuffed fillet of sole with lemon butter sauce
- Steamed green beans
- Lemon tart with coconut crust

Friday, Sept. 14
- Potato, bacon and cheese soufflé
- Lobster tail with champagne butter sauce
- Spaghetti squash
- Snowpeas
- Strawberry crepes

Chez Leon Menu
Call x3524 to make your reservation.


Fermilab Today

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Tip of the Week

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From symmetry

The Dark Energy Camera opens its eyes

A long-awaited device that will help unravel one of the universe's most compelling mysteries gets ready to see first light.

On a hot June Illinois afternoon, a celebratory atmosphere prevails at Kuhn Barn, a holdover from Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory's agricultural past and also a popular cookout spot.

Doctoral student Guillermo Moroni works the grill, proudly serving lamb chops and hamburgers to his scientific collaborators—other postdocs, technicians, scientists and graduate students. The smell of roasted corn floats across picnic tables littered with cakes, pies and brownies.

The gathering is more than a simple celebration of the start of summer; it marks a tipping point. The Dark Energy Camera, the first device specifically designed to search for dark energy, is on the brink of completion. Project manager Brenna Flaugher—who organized the cookout—and her colleagues are about to see the project they've been preparing for the past eight years transition from dream to reality.

This fall, scientists will fire up DECam, as it's affectionately known, on a mountaintop in Chile and see their hard work pay off.

"It's going to be very exciting for all of us to open the shutter for the first time," Flaugher says. "Who knows what we'll see?"

What they hope to see are signs of the invisible, mysterious force that seems to pull the universe apart—a force that has never been directly observed.

Physicists have known about cosmic expansion since the 1920s, when Edwin Hubble found that the light spectrum of distant objects was shifted to higher wavelengths in a phenomenon called redshift. But dark energy has been on their minds only since 1998, when two independent studies of type 1a supernovae revealed the bright, exploding stars to be fainter than expected, hinting that the expansion of the universe is speeding up. Scientists previously thought that, under Einstein's Theory of General Relativity, the expansion of the universe would slow as time went on due to the pull of gravity. The 1998 finding suggested otherwise.

It seems that about 5 billion years ago, the universe started expanding at an accelerating pace. Before that, gravity had been the dominant force in the universe, but then something else took over, relentlessly pushing parts of the cosmos away from one another. Theorists postulate that if we really understand how gravity works, then some unforeseen, invisible force—a dark energy—must be responsible.

"The universe was matter-dominated when it was slowing down," Flaugher says. "And then this slowing down stopped—and now we're in a dark-energy dominated universe because the expansion is winning over the gravitational pull of everything."

Read more

Joseph Piergrossi

Photo of the Day

Pine Street prairie

Marty Murphy, AD, took this photo of Fermilab's expansive prairie on Sept. 4. The photo was taken from Pine Street, facing west.
Special Announcement

Road D closed Sept. 11

Part of Fermilab's Road D will be closed on Tuesday, Sept. 11, from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. The segment that will be closed runs between Road A-1 and Road B.

Detour signage will be posted.

In the News

Catcher of elusive neutrinos takes shape at Fermilab

From New Scientist, Sept. 7, 2012

Huge plastic blocks were being set in place this week to help catch some of the most elusive, mysterious particles known.

The NuMI Off-Axis Neutrino Appearance experiment (NOvA) neutrino detector in Ash River, Minnesota, is set to start taking data in 2013. The experiment will study the properties of neutrinos, near-massless elementary particles that are notoriously hard to study because they can slip through hundreds of kilometres of rock like ghosts through a wall.

The particles come in three "flavours" - electron, muon, and tau - but they can shapeshift between them as they travel. NOvA will help determine which neutrino flavour is the heaviest, and will provide data to help figure out why there is more matter than antimatter in the universe.

Read more

Tip of the Week:

Avoiding the flu

The Fermilab Medical Office will offer flu vaccinations this fall. Photo: Reidar Hahn

The influenza virus, often referred to as the flu, can take you out of action for about three to five days with unpleasant symptoms such as coughing, fever and fatigue. If you have other health issues, it can even land you in the hospital.

Flu spreads on respiratory droplets and most effectively through the air but can also be transmitted via "high-touch" objects such as doorknobs, phones and tabletops. Hand-spread viruses find homes in the nose, mouth or eye mucosal surfaces (the wet area surrounding these areas). Co-workers can limit airborne spread of the flu by having the courtesy to cough into a tissue or the crook of the elbow. Frequent hand washing also helps.

Another effective means to prevent the spread of flu is boosting your immunity to it through vaccination. Here, timing is important as you may wish to have immunity in time for the holidays, when indoor crowding usually goes up, as well as for "prime time," which in recent years is around March. If you receive your vaccination in the next few weeks, immunity should last through spring. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported a double peak last season in March and again around May (scroll to the last slide to see the double blip). Locally, we in the Medical Office observed flu-like illness into June.

This year our full vaccine stock has arrived in advance of our flu vaccine campaign. Accordingly, we will offer the vaccine on three days to anyone interested regardless of risk category. We will be administering the Sanofli adult seasonal flu vaccine.

The Center for Disease Control recommends the availability of a dose four times the normal strength for those who are 65 years or older because of the decreased likelihood of an immune response with single-strength vaccine. We will administer the single-strength dose only. So far, CDC confirms higher antibody levels in the high-dose vaccine recipients. CDC cannot yet determine if those higher levels translate to better clinical protection. It plans to weigh in on this around the 2014-2015 season.

Our vaccine goes into the shoulder muscle. There is also a preparation intended for injection just under the skin that we considered but did not select. The intranasal preparation requires a more thorough candidate screening (it contains a live attenuated virus) and may be obtained elsewhere at your doctor's recommendation.

General vaccination sign-up is for Oct. 2 and 4 in Wilson Hall. A third date has been arranged on Oct. 11 in the Technical Division lunch room. You can sign up for the vaccination here. Details about vaccination sign-up are also available on the Medical Office and the ES&H webpages.

With some prevention effort you can avoid the flu.

Brian Svazas, M.D., M.P.H.

From ES&H

Accelerate to a Healthy Lifestyle program continues

Participate in the Accelerate to a Healthy Lifestyle program and log your workout minutes.

ES&H's three-month, 30-minutes-of-exercise, three-days-a-week exercise program, which runs through Oct. 31, is in full swing with more than 90 participants.

Those already participating should continue logging their workout minutes via the ES&H webpage. To those not yet participating: It is never too late! You can join any time.

All participants can retroactively log their minutes prior to Oct. 31. Stop by WH7E monthly to collect your participation award. Whatever you do to incorporate exercise into your life, either here and away from the laboratory, is worth logging. For more information, please visit the ES&H webpage, where you can join and enter those minutes. Here's to keeping our employees motivated to live a healthy lifestyle.


International Folk Dancing returns to Kuhn Village Barn - Sept. 13

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

NALWO and Playgroup SciTech Museum visit - Oct. 6

Road D closure - through mid-October

Scottish country dancing returns to Kuhn Village Barn

Martial Arts classes

Walk 2 Run

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

Professional development courses

Atrium work updates