Friday, Feb. 1, 2013

Have a safe day!

Friday, Feb. 1

3:30 p.m.

4 p.m.
Joint Experimental-Theoretical Physics Seminar - One West
Speaker: Bogdan Dobrescu, Fermilab
Title: Interactions of the newly discovered Higgs-like boson

Monday, Feb. 4


3:30 p.m.

4 p.m.
All Experimenters' Meeting - Curia II
Special Topics: SuperCDMS Update; Measurements at HINS

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Wilson Hall Cafe

Friday, Feb. 1

- Breakfast: blueberry-stuffed French toast
- Vegetarian chili
- Barbecue chopped-pork sandwich
- Southern fried chicken
- Smart cuisine: seafood linguine
- Eggplant parmesan panini
- Assorted pizza by the slice
- Breakfast-for-lunch omelet bar

Wilson Hall Cafe Menu
Chez Leon

Friday, Feb. 1

Wednesday, Feb. 6
- Spicy black bean and sausage calzone
- Confetti corn salad
- Pineapple flan

Chez Leon Menu
Call x3524 to make your reservation.


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From the Director Search Committee

Moving forward

Norm Augustine

On behalf of the Search Committee, I want to update the Fermilab community on our progress in support of the selection of the laboratory's next director. I also pass along the committee's thanks to the many members of the community who have taken the time over the past few months to convey to us their comments, suggestions and nominations. Your input is critical for the success of the search and is much appreciated.

The committee had its third in-person meeting this past Monday. We reviewed all the feedback received to date and heard from a handful of government, funding agency and national laboratory officials about their perspectives on the search process and the future for Fermilab and for U.S. particle physics. We reviewed an inclusive list of some 65 names suggested to the committee for consideration and have narrowed the list to about a dozen individuals whose candidacy will be pursued further.

The committee has now divided up into teams to follow up with each of the candidates. These teams will report back to the full committee at our next meeting in late February, at which time we will develop our short list of prospective candidates to be invited for interviews. Thanks to the hard work of all of the Committee members, and to your assistance and advice, we are on track to submit our final recommendations to the FRA Board by May 1.

Norm Augustine, Chair,
Fermilab Director Search Committee

Photo of the Day

Armenian pastry making

Mady Newfield, PPD, demonstrates how to make a sweet, Armenian pastry called kadayif at a recent NALWO gathering. Photo: Georgia Schwender, DO
In the News

NASA to help build telescope that will study universe's dark past

From ars technica, Jan. 27, 2013

NASA is joining forces with the European Space Agency to launch a telescope into space with the goal of mapping and measuring around two billion galaxies, the administration announced Thursday. The information the telescope collects will help scientists map dark matter in the universe and understand how dark energy has affected the universe's evolution over time.

The mission, named Euclid, is set to begin in 2020 and last for six years. NASA and the ESA will put the Euclid telescope into orbit at the Earth and Sun's Lagrange point L2. That's the area where the gravitational pull from both bodies balances enough so Euclid can remain stationary behind Earth, as seen from the Sun.

Read more
In the News

Prof. Ferenc Krausz is winner of the King Faisal International Prize 2013

From the Max Planck Institut für Quantenoptik, Jan. 31, 2013

The King Faisal International Prize for Science (Topic: Physics) for the year 2013 has been jointly awarded to Professor Ferenc Krausz, Director at the Max-Planck-Institute of Quantum Optics in Garching and Chair of Experimental Physics at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU) Munich, and Professor Paul B. Corkum, Research Chair in Attosecond Photonics, University of Ottawa (Canada). Since 1978, this award has annually been given to scientists for outstanding achievements in five categories by the King Faisal Foundation in Riyadh (Saudi Arabia). Prof. Krausz and Prof. Corkum are recognized "for their independent pioneering work which has made it possible to capture the incredibly fast motion of electrons in atoms and molecules in a "movie" with a time resolution down to attoseconds."

Read more
Physics in a Nutshell

Quantum foam

The foam on a head of root beer is a complicated environment, with bubbles appearing and disappearing in a dizzying display of change. Empty space experiences similar activity, with subatomic particles winking in and out of existence. These ephemeral subatomic particles are real and have a measurable impact on our universe.

Read the complete column on quantum foam.

Modern physics deals with some ridiculously non-intuitive stuff. Objects act as though they gain mass the faster they move. An electron can't decide if it's a particle, a wave or both. However, there is one statement that takes the cake on sounding like crazy talk: Empty space isn't empty.

On the face of it, empty space should be … well … empty. If you take a container, pump all the air out of it, shield it from electric fields and plop it in the deepest of intergalactic space to get it away from gravitational fields, that container should contain absolutely nothing. Nada. Zip.

However, that's not what happens. At the quantum scale, space is a writhing, frantic, ever-changing foam, with particles popping into existence and disappearing in the wink of an eye. This is not just a theoretical idea—it's confirmed. How can this bizarre idea be true?

Even though in classical physics we are taught that energy is conserved, which means it cannot change, one of the tenets of quantum mechanics says that energy doesn't have to be conserved if the change happens for a short enough time. So even if space had zero energy, it would be perfectly OK for a little energy to pop into existence for a tiny split second and then disappear—and that's what happens in empty space. And since energy and matter are the same (thank Einstein for teaching us that E=mc2 thing), matter can also appear and disappear.

And this appears everywhere. At the quantum level, matter and antimatter particles are constantly popping into existence and popping back out, with an electron-positron pair here and a top quark-antiquark pair there. This behavior is the reason that scientists call these ephemeral particles "quantum foam": It's similar to how bubbles in foam form and then pop.

Read more

—Don Lincoln

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Today's New Announcements

Employees save $10 at

2013 standard mileage reimbursement rate

Volunteer engineers needed to judge robotics tournament Saturday

Budgeting Basics for 2013 - Feb. 2

English country dancing Sundays - Feb. 3 and Feb. 10

Financial and procurement systems down - Feb. 6-11

UChicago panel discussion on Higgs discovery - Feb. 7

No on-site prescription safety eyewear - Feb. 13

Employee art show applications - due Feb. 20

Fermilab Lecture Series: Engineering Biology - Feb. 22

Fermilab Gallery Series: Dios no Choro (Brazilian flute and guitar)

URA Visiting Scholars Program deadline - Feb. 25

2013 FRA scholarship applications accepted until April 1

Professional development courses

Scottish country dancing Tuesday evenings in Kuhn Barn

Indoor soccer

60 percent off Vaughan Athletic Center memberships

Additional employee discounts

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