Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2012

Have a safe day!

Wednesday, Dec. 12

12:30 p.m.
Physics for Everyone - Auditorium
Speaker: Robert Kephart, Fermilab
Title: Illinois Accelerator Research Center

3:30 p.m.

4 p.m.
Fermilab Colloquium - One West
Speaker: Silvan Schweber, Brandeis University/Harvard University
Title: Hans Bethe and Physics in/of the 20th Century

Thursday, Dec. 13

2:30 p.m.
Theoretical Physics Seminar (NOTE LOCATION) - WH3NE
Speaker: Walter Freeman, George Washington University
Title: The Intrinsic Strangeness and Charm of the Nucleon

3:30 p.m.


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a weekly calendar with links to additional information.

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Wilson Hall Cafe

Wednesday, Dec. 12

- Breakfast: crustless quiche casserole
- Tomato basil bisque
- Teriyaki chicken burger
- Seafood Newburg
- Smart cuisine: baked penne with chicken and mushrooms
- Grilled veggie panini
- Assorted calzones
- Pork carnitas

Wilson Hall Cafe Menu

Chez Leon

Wednesday, Dec. 12
- Shepherd's pie
- Field greens with cranberries and walnuts
- Cocoa cappuccino mousse with cookies

Friday, Dec. 14
Guest chef: Marty Murphy
- Spinach and pomegranate salad
- Surf and turf
- Vegetable risotto
- Cheesecake a la Marty

Chez Leon Menu
Call x3524 to make your reservation.


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Special Announcement

Physics for Everyone - today at 12:30; Holiday Celebration - tomorrow at 4

Today from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. in Ramsey Auditorium, IARC Project Manager Bob Kephart will give a talk on the Illinois Accelerator Research Center, a new facility currently under construction at Fermilab. "Physics for Everyone" is a non-technical lecture series about Fermilab science and culture. Information on upcoming lectures and video of previous lectures is available on the series website.

Tomorrow, Dec.13, from 4 to 6:30 p.m., Fermilab will hold its annual Holiday Celebration in the Wilson Hall atrium. Celebrate with your Fermilab colleagues, coworkers and their families. The laboratory will provide pizza, salad and soft drinks; contributions of desserts and cookies are welcome. For more information, e-mail


Bob Wilson elected co-spokesperson for LBNE

Bob Wilson

When Bob Wilson was an undergraduate student studying condensed matter physics at the University of London, the UK native was nonetheless drawn to the United States by a long-held fascination with high-energy physics.

Fast forward more than 30 years, and Wilson now has an active research group and teaches physics at Colorado State University. And starting Jan. 1, he will step into the role of spokesperson for the largest planned high-energy physics experiment in the United States.

Wilson was elected to the position of co-spokesperson for the Long-Baseline Neutrino Experiment in November. He will replace outgoing spokesperson Bob Svoboda of UC Davis and will join Brookhaven National Laboratory's Milind Diwan in leading the LBNE collaboration.

"It's an exciting time," he said. "Although I don't start officially until the beginning of the year, my calendar is already a lot fuller. My responsibilities include ensuring that as the project technology develops, it does so in way that keeps the science goals of the collaboration front and center."

In many ways, Wilson's involvement with LBNE is just the next step in a decades-long journey of fascination with the fundamental nature of the universe. Ultimately, he decided to attend graduate school in the United States, at Purdue University. He has worked on numerous projects at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center and currently works on the T2K long-baseline neutrino experiment in Japan.

Why do neutrinos fascinate him? Well, they didn't always, he said. When he was an undergraduate, neutrino physics was "the boring part of the textbook to me." But the past 20 years, he said, has seen that notion turned upside down. Neutrinos may now even hold the key to explaining why the universe is primarily made of matter, instead of equal parts matter and antimatter.

With LBNE, Wilson hopes scientists will see even more mysteries opened up.

"Neutrinos have proven to be chock-full of surprises, and I'm hoping they've got a few more up their sleeve," he said. "The only way to find out is with a large-scale experiment like LBNE."

On Monday, the U.S. Department of Energy granted CD-1 approval to LBNE's first phase, which will see a beamline built at Fermilab and a far detector constructed near Sanford Lab in Lead, S.D. This approval, Wilson said, will help the collaboration recruit more international partners to advance the project's long-term science goals.

With Wilson's election, Svoboda's time as spokesperson is nearing an end. Svoboda and Diwan were elected in 2010 as LBNE's first co-spokespersons, and Svoboda has worked on neutrino experiments like LBNE for more than 25 years. The collaboration, Diwan said, is grateful for his efforts.

"It has been a rewarding experience for me to work with Bob Svoboda, who has been tireless in promoting the scientific program for LBNE and in organizing the collaboration," Diwan said.

Andre Salles

University Profile

Texas A&M University

Texas A&M University

College Station, Texas


Maroon and white

Early 1980s. Texas A&M faculty members Peter McIntyre and Bob Webb were founding members of CDF.

CDF, CDMS, CMS, Dark Energy Survey, LUX (Sanford Lab). We have also been a member of DZero and MINOS.

14 faculty, four research scientists and engineers, nine postdocs, approximately 20 students

We focus on activities at the interface of particle physics and cosmology, in particular, the search for dark matter, the Higgs and SUSY, as well as dark energy.

Our emphasis is on the interface between astronomy, particle physics and cosmology. We enjoy strong interactions between our phenomenology and experimental groups, and we benefit from local machine, electronics and computing capabilities. We enjoy the generous support from the Mitchell Institute for Fundamental Physics and Astronomy.


View all university profiles.

In the News

DOE, national labs reveal sweeping cloud strategy

From Information Week, Dec. 10, 2012

The Department of Energy and its national laboratories released a wide-ranging cloud computing strategy and overview that for the first time pulls together the disparate cloud computing efforts of the agency's 22 national laboratories.

Read more
From the Particle Physics Division

Going deep for detector R&D

Erik Ramberg

Erik Ramberg, assistant head for detector research, wrote this column.

Sometimes you have to go to the ends of the Earth to get what you need. Last week for one Fermilab project this saying was more literal than figurative.

The DAMIC (Dark Matter In CCDs) experiment saw a very successful culmination of several years of detector research. The experiment employed a new technique for searching for the elusive particles that we think make up most of the matter in the universe—dark matter.

The latest episode for the DAMIC experiment played out in one of the more exotic laboratories in the world: the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory Lab, located 6,800 feet underground in an active nickel mine in Ontario, Canada. This laboratory provides the right conditions for DAMIC and other dark-matter experiments. The extreme depth filters out cosmic rays, which could mimic dark matter interactions, and the highly specialized SNOLAB crew keeps the laboratory in clean-room conditions.

DAMIC uses charged coupled devices—the CCDs that have been used for many years in digital cameras.. But these are not your average CCDs. They are the high-tech ones also used in the Dark Energy Camera, which Fermilab installed on the Blanco telescope in Chile. The detectors were developed and fabricated at Berkeley Lab and were tested and installed in the camera here at Fermilab. They are unusually thick (250 microns instead of the usual 30) and have low intrinsic noise levels, making them ideal for the long exposure times needed to search for the rare interactions expected for dark-matter particles.

Just down the tunnel from DAMIC, another Fermilab project, COUPP, operates two bubble chambers for dark-matter research. The smaller of the two (4 kilograms of liquid inside the bubble chamber) has been running for six months, while the 60-kilogram experiment is just now receiving its sensitive payload underground.

Both DAMIC and COUPP initially started as Fermilab PPD detector research and development projects with the goal of proving that the novel techniques they used could be expanded into large detector systems for the extremely challenging hunt for dark matter. Since that start, both projects have set world-class constraints on the potential interactions between dark and normal matter, and they have definitively proven that the techniques are sound.

Detector R&D, whether it is for dark-matter searches or for other research projects, contributes to the success of our laboratory by finding ways to work beyond the limitations of today's technology. The members of our detector R&D group don't always literally go to the ends of the Earth, but they do what it takes to make great experiments.

Part of the DAMIC group stands by the newly installed detector. From left: Juan Estrada, Javier Tiffenberg, Herman Cease and Gustavo Cancelo, all from Fermilab. Photo courtesy of Erik Ramberg
Photo of the Day

A dash of red

Elliott McCrory, AD, took this photo of a berry from a bush in the woods just west of Wilson Hall.
From symmetry

Fundamental Physics Prize recognizes Higgs hunters

The Fundamental Physics Prize Foundation honored leaders at the LHC and the CMS and ATLAS experiments with a special $3 million prize. Image: Sandbox Studio

Many have speculated about which theorists the Nobel Committee might honor for the prediction of the Higgs boson, but it was the experimentalists involved in the search for the particle who received recognition today.

The Fundamental Physics Prize Foundation announced that it will award a shared $3 million prize to the head of the Large Hadron Collider construction project and to each of the spokespersons who have led the CMS and ATLAS experiments since 1994. Scientists on the two experiments made headlines this summer when they announced the discovery of a new, Higgs-like particle.

Read more

Kathryn Jepsen

Safety Update

ES&H weekly report, Dec. 11

This week's safety report, compiled by the Fermilab ES&H section, contains no incidents.

Find the full report here.

Today's New Announcements

Barn Dance - Dec. 16

Director search meeting for students and postdocs - today

Physics for Everyone lecture - today

Clearance through customs (also streamed live) - Dec. 13

Fermilab's Holiday Celebration - Dec. 13

School's Out Day Camp - register by Dec. 19

An Honest Approach to Weight Management - register by Dec. 21

AFS passwords discontinued

Service Desk staffing hours have been extended

Revised Procedures for Researchers document online

Professional development courses

International Folk Dancing every Thursday through December

Give the gift that everyone can use!

Employee discounts at Journey Cycle and BMX

Atrium work updates