Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2012

Have a safe day!

Tuesday, Oct. 23

3 p.m.
LHC Physics Center Topic of the Week Seminar - WH11NE
Speaker: Ted Liu, Fermilab
Title: Overview of Trigger in HEP: The View from Physics

3:30 p.m.


Wednesday, Oct. 24

2 p.m.
LHC Physics Center Topic of the Week Seminar - WH11NE
Speaker: Ted Liu, Fermilab
Title: Trigger Challenges at High-Luminosity LHC: The View from Technology

3:30 p.m.

4 p.m.
Fermilab Colloquium - One West
Speaker: Juan Jose Gomez-Cadenas, University of Valencia
Title: Ettore Majorana Through the Looking-Glass

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

Ongoing and upcoming conferences at Fermilab


Take Five

Weather Showers likely

Extended forecast
Weather at Fermilab

Current Security Status

Secon Level 3

Current Flag Status

Flags at full-staff

Wilson Hall Cafe

Tuesday, Oct. 23

- Breakfast: All-American breakfast
- Golden broccoli and cheddar
- Ye olde fish and chips
- Country fried steak
- Smart cuisine: honey dijon pork chops
- Gourmet chicken salad sandwich
- Assorted pizza
- Kiwi pecan chicken salad

Wilson Hall Cafe Menu

Chez Leon

Wednesday, Oct. 24
- Rouladen
- Egg noodles with dill
- Glazed carrots
- Apple walnut cake

Friday, Oct. 26

Chez Leon Menu
Call x3524 to make your reservation.


Fermilab Today

Director's Corner

Result of the Week

CMS Result

Physics in a Nutshell

Tip of the Week

User University Profiles

Related content


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Special Announcement

Farewell symposium for Bruce Chrisman - Oct. 26

The directorate is hosting a symposium in honor of former Chief Operating Officer Bruce Chrisman on Friday, Oct. 26. Everyone is invited to attend.

The symposium takes place from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. in Ramsey Auditorium. A reception follows from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on the Wilson Hall 2nd-floor crossover.


A shocking good time

Terry Blake attracts lightning to his suit-protected body. Photo: Jeff Larson

Ever been so close to lightning you could feel its heat? Fermilab Booster Technical Specialist Jeff Larson and his group of friends have. In fact, they make a hobby of harnessing lightning in the palms of their hands and, better still, they do it for an audience.

On Nov. 3 the group, befittingly named Masters of Lightning, will perform their seemingly frightful feats at SciTech Museum in Aurora, Ill. – a show the museum expects to sell out fast.

“The looks on people’s faces when they see the show for the first time is pretty priceless,” Larson said. “The ability to be that close to lightning and see it sustained is quite phenomenal, and many people come year after year.” The group has been performing since 2007.

Using Tesla coils, the performers can sustain 10-foot-long lightning strands for hours at a time, and perhaps more shockingly, the technology for such stunts has existed since 1891. Back then Tesla coils weren’t 6 feet tall, like the ones Masters of Lightning use, but they could still charge the surrounding air with high voltage, initiating a lightning bolt.

The technology has advanced since the first Tesla coil and with it, a few new tricks. One trick the Masters of Lightning treat their audience to is familiar tunes, which they play through the lightning.

“We can turn the Tesla coils on and off at audio frequencies to make different and distinct notes, which the lightning responds to,” Larson said. “We play all kinds of stuff like theme music, video game music and classical music.”

The group’s website hosts online videos, which have had nearly 2 million hits. They've also played to audiences of as many as 3,000. With so much popularity, Masters of Lightning have every intention of continuing to stun viewers with their light shows well into the future, Larson said.

In addition to the entertainment, education is also an important aspect to the show, Larson said. Many of the demonstrations involve one of Larson’s partners, Terry Blake – stage name Dr. Zeus – standing between two Tesla coils and attracting the lighting to either a flame device he holds or simply his hands. To hear how he stays protected while seemingly holding lightning, check out the show Nov. 3.

—Jessica Orwig

In the News

INO to study atmospheric neutrinos

From The Hindu, Oct. 17, 2012

The India-based Neutrino Observatory (INO) project involving 25 research institutions and universities across the country will focus on studying atmospheric neutrinos for the next 15 years, Naba K. Mondal, senior professor, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), has said.

Addressing a public science lecture organised by the Kerala State Science and Technology Museum (KSSTM) here on Tuesday, Prof. Mondal said India had much to gain from collaborating with other countries in neutrino research.

Observing that a neutrino factory producing a concentrated beam of the tiny, neutral elementary particles was several decades away from becoming a reality, he said India could benefit from such a facility when it became operational. “INO is essentially designed to help us understand the basic nature of neutrinos. It will explore neutrino mass parameters and other properties.”

Read more

In the News

Astronomers take first 3-D look at giant strand of dark matter

From NBC News, Oct. 17, 2012

Astronomers have taken their first 3-D look at a gigantic filament of dark matter, an invisible cosmic structure that can be detected only by the gravitational effects it has on its surroundings.

The universe is thought to be structured like a tangled web, with long strings of mostly dark matter intersecting at giant galaxy clusters. Since dark matter cannot be seen directly, these filaments are difficult to observe. But using the Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers have managed to probe one of the elusive cosmic strands in 3-D.

The researchers sought out a 60 million light-year strand of dark matter around the massive galaxy cluster MACS J0717. The galaxy cluster is one of the largest yet seen and is about 5.4 billion light-years from Earth.

Read more

Director's Corner

PAC and new ideas

Fermilab Director
Pier Oddone

We are very fortunate to have a great Physics Advisory Committee comprising distinguished scientists from the national and international particle physics community. Over the last several years the PAC has helped Fermilab establish an exciting suite of future experiments. Although this set of experiments uses all of the financial resources currently available to us, the flow of ideas has not stopped, and our creative user community continues to propose very attractive experiments using our current and future facilities. For example, past PAC meetings have analyzed proposals for the ORKA experiment to measure kaon decay, the LAr1 experiment to study short-baseline neutrino anomalies, and the nuSTORM project to create an on-site muon ring to study neutrino cross sections and anomalies in unprecedented detail. Of these previously considered ideas, ORKA is the only one to have first-stage approval from the lab, which allows us to discuss the experiment with the funding agencies.

The PAC met again last week, and in addition to reviewing essential parts of our ongoing program, they once again heard ideas and proposals from several groups for the following intermediate and long-range projects:

  • The study of WIMPs using MiniBooNE and adding scintillator to the MiniBooNE mineral oil to unravel the cause of the MiniBooNE low-energy anomaly;
  • An experiment to study quantum chromodynamics in nuclei by using polarized beams from the Main Injector, with the addition of a single "Siberian snake" to the Main Injector;
  • Two options for the study of dark energy using spectroscopic probes in existing telescopes to study the evolution of dark energy using baryon acoustic oscillations;
  • An electrostatic proton storage ring for polarized electrons to study the electric dipole moment of the proton 1,000 times better than it is now understood and in the range that would be produced by TeV-scale supersymmetry; and
  • Ideas on how to use Project X to study neutron-antineutron oscillations that would violate baryon number conservation.

The report of last week's PAC meeting will be published after we have had a chance to discuss the committee's recommendations with the various proponents. We are greatly encouraged by the continuous flow of new creative ideas from our users and the thorough analysis and vetting from our PAC.

Construction Update

NOvA Near-Detector Cavern excavation continues

Workers continue to excavate the NOvA Near-Detector Cavern. Photo: Cindy Arnold

The excavation of the NOvA Near-Detector Cavern continues. In this north-facing picture, the entrance to the NOvA Detector Cavern is to the left. Temporary duct work removes dust-laden air for workers' protection. It also creates negative pressure in the construction area, ensuring that dust does not pass into the detector hall or the emergency escape passageway.

The electronics alcove for the cavern is visible just past the cavern entrance.


Today's New Announcements

"Playing with Time" at the Field Museum - register by Oct. 31

2013 403(b) plan limitations

Don Lincoln to present at Geneva Library - Oct. 24

State-of-the-laboratory meetings - Oct. 25 and 26

NALWO Playgroup Halloween party - Oct. 26

Zumba on Fridays - begins Oct. 26

Farewell symposium for Bruce Chrisman - Oct. 26

In the Footsteps of Django - Oct. 27

Survey of God's promise through history - begins Oct. 30

SciTech presents Masters of Lightning - Nov. 3

CSADay 2012 training opportunities - Nov. 6

Enrollment for 2013 benefits - through Nov. 6

Applications being accepted for Wilson Fellowship

Abri Credit Union - money just got cheaper

Winter volleyball begins soon

Accelerate to a Healthy Lifestyle update

Professional development courses

Atrium work updates

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