Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2012

Have a safe day!

Wednesday, Oct. 17

3:30 p.m.

4 p.m.
Fermilab Colloquium - One West
Speaker: Andreas Suter, Paul Scherrer Institut
Title: Muon Spin Rotation Spectroscopy - Utilizing Muons in Solid State Physics

Thursday, Oct. 18

2:30 p.m.
Theoretical Physics Seminar - Curia II
Speaker: Ahmed Ismail, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory
Title: A Higgs but No Sparticles Yet: What it Means for the (p)MSSM

3:30 p.m.


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Wilson Hall Cafe

Wednesday, Oct. 17

- Breakfast: crustless quiche casserole
- Hearty beef barley
- Chicken gyros
- Seafood Newburg
- Smart cuisine: baked penne with chicken and mushrooms
- Grilled veggie panini
- Assorted calzones
- Pork carnitas

Wilson Hall Cafe Menu

Chez Leon

Wednesday, Oct. 17
- Cheese ravioli with tomato basil sauce
- Caesar salad
- Peach Melba

Friday, Oct. 19

Chez Leon Menu
Call x3524 to make your reservation.


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Students benefit from Fermilab-Latin American collaboration

Students currently in MINERvA's Latin American collaboration come from Brazil, Chile, Mexico and Peru to study at Fermilab. From left: collaboration founder Jorge Morfin (Fermilab), Edgar Valencia, Aaron Higuera (both at U. Guanajato, Mexico), Gonzalo Diaz (PUCP, Lima, Peru), Leo Aliaga (College of William and Mary, Virginia, U.S.), Arturo Fiorentini, Kenyi Hurtado, David Martinez (all three at CBPF, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil). Photo: Jessica Orwig

Students in Latin America do not typically have access to facilities where they can practice experimental particle physics first-hand. However, Fermilab provides an opportunity for Latin American students to gain experience in experimental physics through the MINERvA experiment.

Former MINERvA co-spokesperson Jorge Morfin initiated the collaboration with Latin American institutions in 2005 when MINERvA was still in its early days of construction. Since then, nearly 30 Latin American physics students from five universities in four Latin American countries, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, and Peru, have come through the program.

Professors in the four Latin American countries, who are part of the MINERvA collaboration, send students to study and work at Fermilab. The students' contributions have helped the project as much as the opportunity has helped them work toward their master's and doctoral degrees in physics.

"MINERvA wouldn't be as successful as it is today without the help of these excellent students," Morfin said. "The students realize this is their chance to get hands-on experience and so they work extremely hard."

Currently, nine Latin American students from the collaboration are conducting research at Fermilab, which involves everything from the MINERvA detector's hardware to data analysis to theory.

"MINERvA's a very small experiment, so these students have gotten the rare opportunity to see a large part of what makes a physics analysis," said Debbie Harris, current MINERvA co-spokesperson. "They have to learn how to calibrate the detector, take the data and replace something if it breaks."

In addition to learning the science, the students also have to become fluent in English. In fact, Morfin holds weekly meetings where all the students get together and one or two present their scientific progress in English. Harris and Morfin agree that seeing the students grow more confident in their mastery of the physics and their English speaking skills so they can competently present their work is one of the most rewarding parts of the program.

A handful of students who have worked on MINERvA for their master's degrees have come back for another round to conduct research for their doctorates. One such student, Aaron Higuera from University of Guanajuato, Mexico, has been working with MINERvA since 2008.

"Fermilab is one of the world's leading laboratories in particle physics, and it is an amazing experience to be part of that," Higuera said. "I really enjoy studying neutrino physics and I hope to continue studying neutrinos in the future."

The program has been a great success in Latin America, Morfin said. He is now looking to expand opportunities to students in other countries. In fact, the program recently accepted its first student from Madagascar, Laza Rakotondravohitra, who arrived at Fermilab in August.

Jessica Orwig

University Profile

Southern Methodist University

Southern Methodist University

Dallas, Texas

Peruna the Pony

Red and blue

Early 1990s


Seven faculty, four research scientists, five postdocs, 10 students

We have a proton collider group currently working on top quark physics, Higgs boson studies and exotic physics on the ATLAS and DZero experiments. We contribute significantly to electronics readout and software for the ATLAS calorimeter and trigger systems, respectively. Our experimental group is also active in building the NOvA and SuperCDMS detectors for neutrino and dark matter physics. Theorists are very involved in studies of strong interactions and searches for new physics, including perturbative computations and factorization methods in quantum chromodynamics.

The SMU group was initiated to support the Superconducting Super Collider and has been active in LHC physics since the mid-1990s. We lead the world in fast opto-electronics development for detector readout and have strong efforts in top quark and Higgs physics. We have strong support from our university, including a new high-performance computer cluster.


View all university profiles.

In the News

Planet with four suns discovered by volunteers

From BBC News, Oct. 15, 2012

Astronomers have found a planet whose skies are illuminated by four different suns - the first known of its type.

The distant world orbits one pair of stars which have a second stellar pair revolving around them.

The discovery was made by volunteers using the website along with a team from UK and US institutes; follow-up observations were made with the Keck Observatory.

Read more

From the Technical Division

Sharp minds at work

Lance Cooley

Lance Cooley, head of the Superconducting Materials Department, wrote this column.

A central mission of the Superconducting Materials Department in the Technical Division is the exploration of new materials and new processes that could have an impact on the design, engineering and construction of accelerator components. Although Fermilab is not a dedicated materials science laboratory, the laboratory relies on advances in materials to build the RF cavities, magnets and other accelerator tools needed to conduct research at the Energy and Intensity Frontiers as well as to make contributions to other fields.

Two of Fermilab's Peoples Fellows reside in our department, Alex Romanenko and Tengming Shen. Both have won DOE Early Career Research Awards, and their research programs are off to fantastic starts, thanks to their sharp minds and creativity and to networks of worldwide collaborators seeded by the Technical Division.

Romanenko focuses on subtle aspects of niobium metal that limit the performance of superconducting RF cavities. His work could result in a significant reduction in the cost of cryogenic refrigeration for high-power linear accelerators as well as in gains in the manufacturing and processing yield for high-gradient cavities. Through a series of innovative measurements, he has proven that the current methods for treating cavities still leave behind hydrogen impurities just under the metal's polished surface. Left unaltered, tiny hydride precipitates will form and change the metal's structure and properties, negatively affecting the cavities' performance. By understanding where the trace hydrogen is located and how it arrived there, Alex has begun teaching the community what preventive actions should be useful to take.

Shen focuses on superconducting wires and cables that can operate in ultrahigh magnetic fields, far above the limit of niobium-based compounds used for superconducting magnets today. He researches whether one of the high-temperature superconducting materials, called Bi-2212, could become the basis of a technology to produce magnetic fields in excess of 30 Tesla. He is collaborating with universities and wire vendors to improve wire raw material and fabrication and with magnet engineers to implement special processes that greatly improve the properties. His work paves the way for much stronger magnets that could cool muon particle beams or steer particles around a future high-energy circular collider.

A key ingredient to the success of these young investigator programs is their collaborations with external laboratories and universities. They exchange samples, compare measurements made with different instruments and discuss different points of view. These efforts reveal aspects of superconducting material never appreciated before by the accelerator science community. Without these connections, the important discoveries that are in motion now might not have taken hold. The success of our rising stars punctuates how effective these collaborations are.

Photo of the Day

A spot of autumn, a hint of winter

Tom Nicol, TD, took this close-up photo of fallen leaves off Road B.
Safety Update

ES&H weekly report, Oct. 16

This week's safety report, compiled by the Fermilab ES&H section, contains five incidents.

An employee tripped and fell in the parking lot. She received first-aid treatment.

A subcontract employee was struck in the arm by a saw, resulting in a laceration. Sutures make this case recordable (FY12).

Another subcontract employee was struck on the elbow by the handle of a hammer, resulting in a contusion. He received first-aid treatment (FY12).

An employee was stung by a bee. He received first-aid treatment.

An employee has a confirmed standard threshold shift in his left ear. This case is pending claim and still under investigation.

Find the full report here.

Today's New Announcements

Network outage; several services affected - Oct. 18

Farewell symposium for Bruce Chrisman - Oct. 26

State-of-the-laboratory meetings - Oct. 26

SciTech presents Masters of Lightning - Nov. 3

CSADay 2012 training opportunities - Nov. 6

Behind the Scenes at Fermilab: Fire Dept. and Security - today at noon

Argentine tango classes - begin today

NALWO Playgroup Halloween party - Oct. 26

In the Footsteps of Django - Oct. 27

Prescription safety eyewear notice

Applications being accepted for Wilson Fellowship

Abri Credit Union - money just got cheaper

Winter volleyball begins soon

Accelerate to a Healthy Lifestyle update

Mac users: upcoming changes to VPN client software

Professional development courses

Atrium work updates