Thursday, Dec. 13, 2012

Have a safe day!

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.


Friday, Dec. 14

3:30 p.m.

4 p.m.
Joint Experimental-Theoretical Physics Seminar - One West
Speakers: Steve Brice, Fermilab
Title: The Neutrino Program at Fermilab

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Wilson Hall Cafe

Thursday, Dec. 13

- Breakfast: Mexican omelet
- New Brunswick stew
- Ranchero steak tacos
- Stuffed pork chops
- Smart cuisine: Brazilian beef chimichurri
- Turkey BLT panini
- Assorted pizza
- Buffalo chicken tender ranch salad

Wilson Hall Cafe Menu

Chez Leon

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

Wednesday, Dec. 19
- Pork tenderloin with brandy cream sauce
- Sweet potatoes
- Sautéed green beans
- Assortment of Christmas cookies

Chez Leon Menu
Call x3524 to make your reservation.


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Special Announcement

Holiday Celebration - today at 4 in Wilson Hall atrium

Today 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. If you would like to share a favorite family cookie or dessert, please bring it on a disposable plate or tray. For more information, e-mail


Insulation installation at test beam facility

Todd Nebel helps install insulation panels at MT6.2 at Fermilab's Test Beam Facility. Photo: Reidar Hahn

The largest enclosure of the Fermilab Test Beam Facility, called MT6.2, is getting a shiny, new look. What used to be a generic plastic- and cement-walled room now resembles something out of a science fiction film.

Six thousand square feet of aluminum-coated insulation will soon adorn the walls and ceiling in MT6.2. The insulation will help to maintain the room's temperature at 70 degrees Fahrenheit or less, which will be important when users take beam next year.

Many users bring equipment that works best at 70 degrees or less, such as sensitive detectors called silicon photo multipliers, said JJ Schmidt, who was responsible for determining the best type of insulation to use. Although the room has an air conditioning unit, its high ceilings and uninsulated walls did little to keep the heat out on a hot day.

"During the summer, the temperature would get to 85 degrees or higher, even with the air conditioning running," he said. "Users would try to cool their equipment with foil blankets, fans and portable A/C units."

In addition to providing a more convenient working atmosphere for users, the new insulation is also expected to reduce energy costs. On average, it costs several thousand dollars per year to run the air conditioning unit in MT6.2. Schmidt and his colleagues hope to reduce costs by about a third once the insulation installation is complete.

"Reducing energy costs is a nice bonus we're getting out of this project," said PPD mechanical operations specialist Todd Nebel, who is working on installing the insulation, along with Jerry Taccki and Gordon Gillespie. They hope to finish by the end of the year.

Jessica Orwig

Photo of the Day

Sally Field at CMS meeting

Academy Award-winning actress Sally Field spoke to CMS collaborators during their meeting at CERN on Monday. In her presentation, Field spoke of her fascination with the physics research done at places such as Fermilab and CERN and urged the scientists in attendance to spend some of their time letting people know about the amazing science discovered at these facilities. Photo: Robin Erbacher, UC Davis
From symmetry

Zombies invade the LHC in student-made horror film

Decay, a low-budget horror film starring Ph.D. students and postdocs at CERN, was released online last weekend. Photo: Shawn Koppenhoefer

Many movies use pseudoscience to explain the origins of their villains. A film released this weekend follows the same model, but its producers and stars all know better than to buy the nonsense: They're Ph.D. students and postdocs in particle physics.

The zombie horror film Decay tells the story of an unlucky group of students who find themselves trapped in an underground control room after the Large Hadron Collider malfunctions and exposes a group of engineers to so-called Higgs radiation. The made-up phenomenon transforms them into flesh-hungry zombies. As the students attempt to escape through a maze of tunnels, they clash with the monsters and encounter clues as to what caused the disaster.

The film's writer and director, Luke Thompson of the University of Manchester, strove to make the science outrageously implausible as a dig at popular Hollywood films with misguided science scenarios.

"Sometimes we had to fight hard to make sure everything was rubbish," Thompson says. "Actors would say, 'No, you can't say that. It's so wrong!' But that's exactly what we were going for."

Read more

Jessica Orwig

Result of the Week

Another charm revolution?

Mass distributions of the charm (left) and anticharm (right) decays used in the measurement. The different heights of the narrow peaks indicate instrumental and physics asymmetries.

Among quarks, the charm has played probably the biggest role in the development of the Standard Model. When its existence was postulated in 1970 to explain the absence of particle decays that should have otherwise been observed, not many physicists believed charm could be real. But it is, as it was spectacularly shown by two experiments, at Brookhaven and SLAC, four years later. The discovery of the charm quark is known in physicists' lingo as the "November revolution" because it triggered a chain of experimental and theoretical advancements that produced the Standard Model as we know it today.

The Standard Model predicts that laws governing the decays of charm quarks differ if these particles are replaced by their antiparticles and observed in a mirror. This difference, called CP violation, is so tiny that no one has observed it to date.

A team of CDF scientists searched for the tiny differences by analyzing hundreds of thousands of charm decays into pairs of charged kaons and pions by sifting through thousands of billions proton-antiproton collisions from the Tevatron.

Because the detector is made of matter and not antimatter, it can generate instrumental differences that mimic or mask the physics differences. The CDF scientists devised a special measurement technique in which any instrumental effects cancel out from the results.

The results of our measurement of CP violating asymmetry parameter is: Δ ACP = -0.0062 ± 0.0021 (stat) ± 0.0010 (syst). This is a 2.7 sigma deviation from the expected result of there being no asymmetry. This measurement is in good agreement with the earlier result from the LHCb experiment at CERN. Calculations by theorists are unable to consistently explain an effect of this size. This measurement puts much pressure on the need for revising and improving the prediction techniques to make a clear distinction between the contributions expected from Standard Model physics and those from possible new interaction forces. Ideas for new precision measurements are likely to turn out as well. Our hope is that this is the beginning of a second revolution in charm physics.

Learn more

edited by Diego Tonelli and Andy Beretvas

These CDF physicists contributed to this data analysis. From left: Angelo Di Canto (INFN Pisa/Heidelberg University), Diego Tonelli (Fermilab/CERN), Luciano Ristori (INFN Pisa, Fermilab and CDF co-spokesperson), Giovanni Punzi (Pisa University), Michael J. Morello (INFN Pisa).
In the News

Bird-watching program at Fermilab accesses normally off-limits areas

From the Daily Herald, Dec. 8, 2012

Alan Robertson was introduced to bird-watching decades ago by his parents, who knew Joel Carl Welty, an internationally known expert and author of "The Life of Birds."

Ever since, Robertson has enjoyed photographing birds everywhere he goes. "The diversity of birds is just truly amazing," the St. Charles resident said after snapping photos of a woodpecker Saturday during the "Woodpeckers in Winter" nature program at Fermilab in Batavia.

Read more

Clearance through customs (also streamed live) - today

Fermilab's Holiday Celebration - today

Barn Dance - Dec. 16

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