Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2012

Have a safe day!

Tuesday, Nov. 20

10:30 a.m.
Research Techniques Seminar (NOTE LOCATION) - One West
Speaker: Erik Ramberg, Fermilab
Title: Fundamentals of Global Climate Change Science

3:30 p.m.


Wednesday, Nov. 21

3:30 p.m.


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

Ongoing and upcoming conferences at Fermilab


Take Five

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Secon Level 3

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Flags at half-staff

Wilson Hall Cafe

Tuesday, Nov. 20

- Breakfast: All-American breakfast
- Old El Paso lime chicken
- Ye Olde fish and chips
- Traditional turkey
- Honey-glazed ham
- Gourmet chicken salad sandwich
- Assorted pizza
- Kiwi pecan chicken salad

Wilson Hall Cafe Menu

Chez Leon

Wednesday, Nov. 21
- Cheese fondue
- Mixed-green salad
- Cold lemon soufflé

Friday, Nov. 23

Chez Leon Menu
Call x3524 to make your reservation.


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Fermilab's first Physics Slam a smash hit

Participants in Fermilab's first Physics Slam on Friday watch the applause meter to see who won. From left: Bob Tschirhart, Deborah Harris, Doug Glenzinski, Chris Stoughton, Stuart Henderson and host Chris Miller of the College of DuPage. Photo: Reidar Hahn

On Friday night, about 1,000 people came out to Fermilab to see five physicists duke it out … with science.

The occasion was the Arts and Lecture Series’ first ever Physics Slam. A physics slam is kind of like a poetry slam—the five contestants were given 12 minutes each to explain a complex particle physics concept to an auditorium filled with laymen. And they had to do it in the most entertaining way they could, because audience applause determined the winner.

The slammers could use anything they wanted to on stage, from songs to props to dancing bears. The objective was to do whatever it took to entertain the audience while talking science.

The first particle physics slam was held at the Max Planck Institute for Physics in Germany a few years ago, and the first one on these shores took place last year at the University of Oregon. The Fermilab event was organized by the Auditorium Committee and hosted by Chris Miller of the College of DuPage.

All of the slammers—and the audience—had a great time. Chris Stoughton had the packed house at Ramsey Auditorium doing the wave to illustrate the holography of the universe. Deborah Harris called her presentation “The Neutrino Monologues,” and she played five different characters, tracing the evolution of neutrino physics up through Fermilab’s current experiments.

Doug Glenzinski had the audience cracking up at his fabricated pictures of himself accepting a Nobel prize and talked about the experiment he hopes might get him one: Mu2e, which will try to catch muons changing into electrons. And Bob Tschirhart worked Danica Patrick and dogs playing poker into a talk about one of Fermilab’s big future experiments, Project X.

But it was Stuart Henderson who took home the prize. He spiced up a talk about how particle accelerators can alleviate the problem of nuclear waste by bringing in Homer Simpson and a graphic from The Onion about a giant science machine.

An applause meter iPad app was used to determine the winner.

View the video recording of Friday's slam.

The physics slam is part of our ongoing Arts and Lecture series. The full lineup for that series is here.

Andre Salles

Stuart Henderson, winner of Fermilab's first Physics Slam, explains the complex machinery used to "create science" during Friday's sold-out event in Ramsey Auditorium. Photo: Reidar Hahn
The sold-out crowd in Ramsey Auditorium applauds the five participants in Fermilab's first Physics Slam on Friday. Photo: Reidar Hahn
Photo of the Day

Hawk is watching out for you

Do you have all the required personal protective equipment? A hawk outside the NOvA Near Detector wants to know. Photo: Jack Cassidy, DO
From symmetry

Arrow of time prefers to point forward

To a single, isolated particle, time's arrow could work just as well pointing forward as backward. But it doesn't, says the BaBar collaboration. Image: Greg Stewart, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

Time ceaselessly speeds onward in our everyday experience, never taking so much as half a step backward. Now, thanks to experimental results from the BaBar collaboration, researchers can be sure that the same is also true for single, isolated particles. Time is indeed asymmetric, even on exceedingly small scales.

Read more

Kelen Tuttle

In the News

LUX ready for testing

From Black Hills Pioneer, Nov. 16, 2012

LEAD — Scientists with the LUX dark matter experiment at the Sanford Lab hope to be detecting dark matter by next May.

That means that plans are forging ahead to take real data from their detector, 4,850 feet underground, by January or February 2013. That timeline looks promising, as the scientists with the Large Underground Xenon detector celebrated a major milestone and filled their 72,000-gallon water tank with ultra-pure water. The tank will act as the last line of shielding from particles that can interfere with dark matter detection.

Read more

From the Deputy Director

Celebrating the DECam and CTIO's 50th birthday

Fermilab Deputy Director
Young-Kee Kim

On Nov. 9 I joined a delegation of Fermilab scientists and DOE colleagues to celebrate the dedication ceremonies for the Dark Energy Camera, held during the kick-off of the 50th anniversary of the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory. The more than 100 attendees included collaborators and representatives from all the Dark Energy Survey institutions, as well as CTIO and National Optical Astronomy Observatory staff. Unfortunately, Pier was not able to be there because he was attending the graduation of our latest group in the Strategic Laboratory Leadership Program.

The dedication ceremonies began with a tour of the Blanco Telescope and the DECam. A group of excellent speakers from NOAO, CTIO, Fermilab and University College London then told the fascinating history of the CTIO, of the formation of the DES collaboration and of the many challenges and successes that faced DECam's construction and installation.

Funded by NSF and managed by the NOAO, the CTIO is an astronomical observatory located on Cerro Tololo near the Atacama Desert of northern Chile, approximately 50 miles east of La Serena, where the support facilities are located. Of the numerous achievements made by the telescopes at the CTIO, I mention only that much of the early work by the two main groups who made the discovery of the accelerating universe was carried out at the Blanco Telescope.

DECam, a 570-megapixel camera mounted on the Blanco Telescope, is the world's most powerful digital camera. It was constructed at Fermilab by the DES collaboration of more than 130 scientists from 27 institutions with support from DOE, NSF, funding agencies in Brazil, Germany, Spain, Switzerland and the UK, and partner DES institutions. With this device, roughly the size of a phone booth (for those of you who remember phone booths!), scientists will probe the mystery of dark energy, the force that could be causing the universe to expand at ever-increasing speeds.

The Dark Energy Survey is expected to begin in December, after the camera has been fully tested. It will take advantage of the excellent atmospheric conditions in the Chilean Andes to create the deepest, sharpest pictures ever achieved in such a wide-field astronomical survey. In its first few nights of testing in September, the camera already delivered incredible images with excellent, nearly uniform spatial resolution.

The morning following the dedication ceremony, I attended a DES Council meeting where we discussed the commissioning work needed before the survey can commence and visited Gemini South, an observatory consisting of a roughly 8.2-meter telescope, and the site of the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope on Cerro Pachón, about 7 miles from Cerro Tololo. LSST excavation work is proceeding well.

Clearly the scientific highlight of the trip was seeing the Blanco Telescope and the DECam - a testament to the power and vigor of a successful international collaboration. The personal highlight was to perceive the forces of nature written indelibly in the night sky as can only be properly experienced on a distant mountain top in the middle of a cold clear night.

Five women scientists and former Fermilab Director John Peoples in front of the DECam. From left: Kathy Turner (DOE), Young-Kee Kim (Fermilab), Natalie Roe (LBNL), John Peoples (Fermilab), Brenna Flaugher (Fermilab), Marcelle Soares Santos (Fermilab). Photo: Craig Hogan
A group tours the future site for the LSST. The telescope domes seen in the back are SOAR and Gemini-South. From left: Christopher Smith (AURA), Peter Garbincius (Fermilab), Craig Hogan (Fermilab), David Silva (NOAO Director), Kathy Turner (DOE), Josh Frieman (Fermilab), Young-Kee Kim (Fermilab), Nicole van der Bliek (CTIO Director), Rob Pennington (NCSA). Photo: Jean Garbincius
Construction Update

NOvA Near-Detector Cavern excavation completed

The excavation of the NOvA Near-Detector Cavern is now complete. Photo: Cindy Arnold

Excavation of the NOvA Near-Detector Cavern is complete. Since this photo was taken, workers have installed a new concrete floor over the exposed bedrock to be level with that of the existing facility. In the final phase of the project, workers will install the infrastructure necessary to support the future near detector, including steel platforms and ceiling, electrical and mechanical utilities, fire doors and walls and other safety devices.


Today's New Announcements

NALWO Holiday Tea - Dec. 4

No Int'l Folk Dancing Nov. 22; dancing every Thurs. thru Dec.

Deadline for UChicago Tuition Remission Program - Nov. 26

Environment, Safety & Health Fair - Nov. 29

C2ST screening of "A Beautiful Mind" - Dec. 6

Ruby course offered - Jan. 22-24

Windows 8 at Fermilab

Indoor soccer

Additional professional development courses

Fermilab employee discounts

Atrium work updates