Thursday, Sept. 13, 2012

Have a safe day!

Thursday, Sept. 13

2:30 p.m.
Theoretical Physics Seminar - Curia II
Speaker: Randy Cotta, University of California, Irvine
Title: Bounding Dark Matter Interactions with Electroweak Gauge Bosons

3:30 p.m.


Friday, Sept. 14

3:30 p.m.

4 p.m.
Joint Experimental-Theoretical Physics Seminar - One West
Speaker: Peter Onyisi, University of Texas at Austin
Title: Recent W and Z Production and Decay Results from ATLAS

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Wilson Hall Cafe

Thursday, Sept. 13

- Breakfast: corned-beef hash and one egg
- Harvest moon vegetable soup
- Sloppy joe
- Smart cuisine: Baja chicken enchilada casserole
- Mediterranean-style ziti with asparagus
- Buffalo chicken-tender wrap
- Pizza puffs
- Grilled- or crispy-chicken Caesar salad

Wilson Hall Cafe Menu

Chez Leon

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

Wednesday, Sept. 19
- Chicken and artichoke calzone
- Salad
- Chocolate fondue

Chez Leon Menu
Call x3524 to make your reservation.


Fermilab Today

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From symmetry

Pushing boundaries

We're making the magazine more timely and customizable, while still offering the same dependable and clear coverage of particle physics.

Since our very first issue, symmetry has aimed to be at the forefront of science reporting, outreach and design. I think we've done quite well, and the results of a recent survey suggest that our readers agree. To keep things that way, we're making a few changes—not to the type or quality of our articles, but to how we deliver them.

As you know, we now publish almost exclusively online. This allows us to react more quickly, getting time-sensitive stories to you, and saves money in the process. It also allows us to do things we never could do in print. Have you seen our animation of how LHC data moves around the globe, our Standard Model silent film or our find-the-Higgs-boson contest?

This month, we've made additional improvements to how we share articles with you.

Read more

Kelen Tuttle


Still time to contribute the IRS maximum in the 403(b) plan

As an employee of Fermilab, you are eligible to participate in the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory Supplemental Retirement Plan, also known as the 403(b) plan. Employees may contribute to this plan on a pre-tax basis through payroll deductions. There is also an after-tax (Roth) contribution option in this plan.

Annually, the IRS sets a contribution maximum. For 2012, the IRS maximum pre-tax contribution is $17,000. Employees who are at least 50 years old can contribute an additional $5,500 annually. This additional contribution is also known as a catch-up contribution or 403(c) deferral.

You can review your year-to-date contribution information by checking your most recent paystub or through Employee Self Service. The Supplemental Retirement Plan does not require an annual re-enrollment. Once you enroll, your deduction will continue until you change it by completing a new Salary Reduction Agreement.

There is still time to maximize your contribution for 2012. To do so, complete the 2012 Salary Reduction Agreement.

Periodically, the IRS changes the annual pre-tax contribution limits for 403(b) plans. Once the 2013 IRS limitations are published, the Benefits Office will communicate the new limits to employees. Visit the Benefits Office website for more information about your employee benefits.

In the News

Local scientists edge closer to their field of dreams

From My Suburban Life, Sept. 12, 2012

Western suburbs — For people living in the western suburbs, catching a glimpse of the beginning of time is within an hour's drive.

Researchers at both Argonne National Laboratory near Darien and Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory near Batavia have worked for years on identifying an elusive subatomic particle. Finding it will help advance scientific knowledge of how the universe began.

Physicists worldwide took notice July 4 when officials at CERN (the European Organization for Nuclear Research) in Switzerland announced they found what they believe to be the Higgs boson. Researchers at Fermilab had detected a similar discovery two days prior when poring over data from experiments done there.

Read more
In the News

European particle physics refreshes long-term strategy

From, Sept. 12, 2012

Krakow, 12 September 2012. Some 500 particle physicists meeting in Krakow this week have been debating the long-term future of their field at the CERN Council Open Symposium on the European Strategy for Particle Physics. This symposium comes at a turning point for the field, following hot on the heels of the announcement in July by CERN experiments ATLAS and CMS of the discovery of a new particle consistent with the long-sought Higgs boson: a discovery that sets the direction for future particle physics research. Although the LHC results have dominated the headlines, other areas, such as neutrino physics, have also seen important advances over recent years.

The symposium marks the first update of a strategy initially put in place in 2006 with a view to coordinating particle physics research in Europe, as well as Europe's participation in projects hosted in other regions. A CERN Council nominated strategy group will distil input from the symposium into a draft strategy update to be discussed by the CERN Council in March 2013. The final version will then be presented to the Council in Brussels in May 2013, at a meeting timed to coincide with a ministerial-level meeting of the European Competitiveness Council.

Read more
Result of the Week

Searching for an elusive particle using an elusive signature

The x-axis, which goes from zero to one, shows that a Higgs signal has a peak at a value of 0.85. The backgrounds peak at a value of 0.2.

The Higgs boson has been a very elusive particle: It has escaped observation for more than 48 years since theorists postulated its existence in 1964. The particle observed at the LHC with a mass of about 125 GeV/c2 is most likely the long-sought Standard Model Higgs boson. Scientists need to conduct more studies to verify that.

In contrast with the LHC experiments, those at the Tevatron are particularly sensitive to the decay into a pair of bottom quarks, which is the most likely decay scenario for a Higgs boson with a mass close to 125 GeV/c2. The CDF data set contains about one event involving the Higgs boson for every 10 billion background events. Clearly CDF physicists need to significantly reduce the sample in order to proceed.

A first step is to look at a subset of the Higgs events, particularly one that has a much smaller background. This subset consists of events where the Higgs boson is produced together with a W or Z boson. An interesting and challenging way to look at these events is to analyze W and Z bosons whose decay products are not directly identified in the detector – though the two bottom quark jets are often detected, other decay products are not. And though these decay products are not observed directly, the W or Z particles are inferred from a large transverse energy imbalance in the event.

Using specific event selection requirements and a carefully designed procedure illustrated in the top figure, the CDF team rejects a large portion of the largest background, jet production from QCD. This latter step is crucial in making this analysis the second-most sensitive at the Tevatron. (To learn about the most sensitive analysis, see this result of another Higgs search.)

The techniques developed for this analysis are at the forefront of small-signal data analysis and are now commonly used at the LHC. The CDF group responsible for this analysis worked very carefully in developing these tools and in ensuring that all backgrounds were estimated properly.

The second figure shows both the expected and observed 95 percent confidence limits for a Higgs particle being produced in association with a W or Z particle. While the excess of events observed in the data is not significant enough to claim a discovery, it suggests that the particle observed at the LHC is very much like the Standard Model Higgs boson.

Learn more

—edited by Andy Beretvas

Observed and expected 95 percent confidence level upper limits on (Z or W) + Higgs cross section times the branching ratio for Higgs → bb divided by the Standard Model prediction, as a function of the Higgs mass.
These CDF physicist contributed to this data analysis.
Top row from left: Daniela Bortoletto (Purdue), Oscar Gonzales (Madrid, Spain), Ben Kilminster (Fermilab)
Second row from left: Mike Kirby (Fermilab), Kyle Knoepfel (Fermilab), Qiu Guang Liu (Purdue)
Bottom row from left: Fabrizio Margaroli (Rome, Italy), Karolos Potamianos (Purdue/LBNL), Homer Wolfe (The Ohio State University)

Today's New Announcements

Weekly Qigong, balance and lower-body strength class - begins Sept. 17

International Folk Dancing returns to Kuhn Village Barn - today

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

Fermilab Friends for Science Education and grants from Chase Community Giving

Change in Users' Office hours

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

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