Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013

Have a safe day!

Wednesday, Jan. 23

3:30 p.m.

4 p.m.
Fermilab Colloquium - One West
Speaker: Catherine Pfister, University of Chicago
Title: Climate Change in the Sea: The Implications of Increasing the Carbon Dioxide Inputs to the Surface Ocean

Thursday, Jan. 24

2:30 p.m.
Theoretical Physics Seminar - Curia II
Speaker: Daniel Mohler, Fermilab
Title: Excited States and Hadron Resonances from Lattice QCD

3:30 p.m.


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Wilson Hall Cafe

Wednesday, Jan. 23

- Breakfast: breakfast casserole
- Golden broccoli and cheddar
- Chicken cordon bleu sandwich
- Traditional turkey dinner
- Smart cuisine: beef bourguignon
- Turkey bacon Swiss panini
- Assorted calzones
- Blackened chicken alfredo

Wilson Hall Cafe Menu

Chez Leon

Wednesday, Jan. 23
- Stuffed cabbages
- Mashed potatoes
- German chocolate cake

Friday, Jan. 25
- Roasted-red pepper soup
- Halibut with champagne butter sauce
- Lemongrass rice
- Sautéed sugar snap peas
- Pineapple coconut cake

Chez Leon Menu
Call x3524 to make your reservation.


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Paving the way: first student from a Philippine university at Fermilab

Michael Andrews

If you're a student who wants to pursue the field of high-energy physics, your usual path is to attend a university whose wagon is hitched to one of the world's particle physics laboratories. From there you get the chance to work on an experiment.

Michael Andrews, a physics graduate student from the Philippines, had no such wagon before he came to Fermilab in June. His school, Ateneo de Manila University, has no official connection to a particle physics laboratory. So he formed his own connections, and now he is the first student from a Philippine university to have worked at Fermilab.

"He's playing a special role, paving the way for future collaborations between Philippine universities and Fermilab," said his Fermilab advisor Michael Wang of the Scientific Computing Division.

The Philippines has little in the way of high-energy physics programs. The nation's state university, the University of the Philippines, sends students to CERN on occasion. Although it has particle theorists and phenomenologists on its faculty, it has no experimentalists. To gain a foothold in high-energy physics experiment, Andrews had to strike out on his own.

In January 2012, Andrews attended a workshop in Singapore co-hosted by CERN. The only Filipino at the meeting, Andrews approached a CERN experimentalist about opportunities to work on particle physics. Through him he eventually connected with fellow countryman and UP alumnus Michael Wang, who later worked on DZero. Wang replied to Andrews' inquiry, offering him an opportunity to work on DZero top quark analysis, facilitated by the DZero spokespersons and the laboratory directorate.

"What really caught my excitement was that there was a real opportunity for me to come here and do analysis," Andrews said. "I was not expecting to fly anywhere. I was just expecting to work with someone in the local universities on some small project."

Andrews arrived at Fermilab in June. Analyzing particle collision data was new to him, so the first month was a brute-force education in collision analysis. He got through it with the help of Wang and several DZero doctoral students and postdocs.

"Michael set up all the analysis tools, derived all the corrections that need to be applied to the data," Wang said. "He's brought the analysis to a stage where all you have to do is apply the corrections to data, and that's the easy part."

Andrews completed his Fermilab residency earlier this month and will continue to work on the DZero analysis for the master's thesis he will complete this year. He also plans to publish a paper on this work and is currently applying to doctoral physics programs in the United States.

"At a science lab, everybody in the research arena is dedicated and really has the drive to do things correctly, precisely," Andrews said. "It's been exciting to be part of it."

Leah Hesla

Photo of the Day

A new haunt for owl

Last week a great horned owl perched above an Industrial Center Building door—perched, and sat, and nothing more. Photo: Marie Herman, TD
From symmetry

A bullet through an apple

Physicists have begun the first full run of proton-lead collisions in the Large Hadron Collider to learn more about the beginning of our universe. Photo: CERN

The Large Hadron Collider is getting ready for a two-year upgrade to prepare it to run at even higher energies. But first it's going for one more run.

Normally, scientists send protons smashing into each other in the LHC. In 2010 and 2011, they mixed it up for a few weeks and sent heavier particles, lead ions, careering around the 17-mile ring. When the lead ions smashed into each other, their protons and neutrons melted down to their smallest parts, quarks and gluons. At such high temperatures, those particles break bonds and float freely in a state of matter said to have been present just after the big bang—the quark-gluon plasma.

This week physicists began a new effort that might help them understand that state of matter.

Read more

Ashley WennersHerron

In the News

Hultgren appointed to Science Committee for 113th Congress

From Kane County Chronicle, Jan. 14, 2013

Congressman Randy Hultgren, R-Winfield, has learned that he has been appointed to the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology for the 113th Congress. Hultgren also served on the committee during the 112th Congress.

Read more
From the Technical Division

Blocking bubbles leads to a breakthrough

Lance Cooley

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

Accelerators use magnets to steer and focus particle beams. At the Energy Frontier, very high magnetic fields are required and can be created only by energizing magnets with superconducting wires.

Fermilab scientist Tengming Shen and colleagues at Brookhaven and Berkeley laboratories, Florida State University and Oxford Instruments – Superconducting Technology have identified a new treatment for an emerging material called Bi-2212, which could lead to magnets twice as powerful as LHC magnets.

Bi-2212 has some nice qualities. It has a high critical temperature, which means it doesn't have to be cooled as much as typical superconductors. What's better is that, when it is cooled by the same liquid-helium refrigeration already used for accelerators, Bi-2212 can maintain superconductivity at huge magnetic fields, perhaps opening up new frontiers of energy.

Unlike other high-temperature superconductors, Bi-2212 can also be formed as round wires, making it relatively straightforward to wind cables and coils. Since we do this now with low-temperature superconducting wires, a new magnet technology using Bi-2212 might not be too far of a leap. However, its ability to carry high electrical current has been less than adequate to sufficiently energize the magnets we envision.

Recently, Shen and colleagues learned how to beef up the electrical capacity.

They found that Bi-2212's low current density is due to gas bubbles that form during a melting process that is an integral part of wire and magnet fabrication. The voids naturally present in the wires coalesce into large gas bubbles, which partially obstruct the current path along the wire. The collaborators found evidence that carbon dioxide and water vapor were liberated when the wires were heated. The liberated gas may have come from moisture, solvents or other contaminants. OI-ST, the manufacturer of the wire, took measures to improve their handling techniques and reduce surface contamination.

This "cleaner is better" approach yielded a current density that was two times higher than before, but some bubbles seemed to remain, especially in long-length conductors for which gas can barely diffuse out through two ends. So Shen and Brookhaven collaborators used a very precise laser micrometer to detect subtle changes in the wire diameter. Wires bulged in the center, and where bulges occurred, bubbles also remained, still limiting the current density. Near the exposed ends of the wire, on the other hand, gas could escape and the bubble formation was reduced. The result was a much higher current density, enough to envision magnets with very high magnetic fields.

The understanding led to a technique that prevents bubble formation almost entirely. The team carried out the melting process under high external gas pressure, enough to balance the internal pressure of gas bubbles and prevent the wire from swelling. They observed five times higher current relative to a coil processed using the standard recipe. This discovery demonstrates a current-carrying capability well above what is necessary for future magnet technology, even for fields of 30 Tesla and beyond, three to four times higher than generated at present by existing accelerator magnet technology. It also signifies the birth of a new high-performance magnet conductor and could enable a new class of superconducting magnets.


Beam back in Booster

On Friday beam circulated through the Booster for the first time since the Fermilab accelerator complex shut down in April. Photo: Reidar Hahn

On Friday, beam circulated around the Booster for the first time since the Fermilab accelerator complex shut down for upgrades on April 30, 2012.

The running of beam in the Booster is an important milestone toward the restart of the Fermilab accelerator complex this spring. It also marks the beginning of a commissioning period for the Booster, during which members of the Accelerator Division will run tests on the proton source to get this part of the accelerator complex ready for steady, 24-7 operations.

The Booster provides beam to the Main Injector. The recent Booster upgrades are part of Fermilab's Proton Improvement Plan to provide more beam for experiments at the Intensity Frontier.


NALWO Armenian cooking demonstration - Jan. 24

Artist reception - Jan. 25

Free tickets - Bella Gaia: A Poetic Vision From Space - Jan. 25

Fermilab Arts Series - Tomas Kubinek - Jan. 26

Budgeting Basics for 2013 - Jan. 30, Feb. 2

January 2013 float holiday for timecard use

UChicago panel discussion on Higgs discovery - Feb. 7

URA Visiting Scholars Program deadline - Feb. 25

2013 FRA scholarship applications accepted until April 1

Professional development courses

Abri Credit Union - member appreciation

Scottish country dancing Tuesday evenings in Kuhn Barn

International Folk Dancing Thursday evenings in Kuhn Barn

Indoor soccer

Employee discounts