Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013

Have a safe day!

Tuesday, Feb. 19

10:30 a.m.
Research Techniques Seminar - Curia II
Speaker: Shawn Henderson, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Title: Surface Commissioning of the DMTPC 4-Shooter Directional Dark Matter Detector Prototype

3:30 p.m.


Wednesday, Feb. 20

3:30 p.m.


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Wilson Hall Cafe

Tuesday, Feb. 19

- Breakfast: All-American breakfast
- Old El Paso chicken lime soup
- Chopped barbecue pork sandwich
- Chicken pot pie
- Smart cuisine: honey dijon pork chops
- Gourmet chicken salad sandwich
- Assorted pizza
- Kiwi pecan chicken salad

Wilson Hall Cafe Menu

Chez Leon

Wednesday, Feb. 20
- Cornish hens
- Sage and onion stuffing
- Glazed baby carrots
- Pumpkin cheesecake

Friday, Feb. 22

Chez Leon Menu
Call x3524 to make your reservation.


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From symmetry

Deconstruction: Long-Baseline Neutrino Experiment

The Long-Baseline Neutrino Experiment aims to discover whether neutrinos violate the fundamental matter–antimatter symmetry of physics. Image: Sandbox Studio

The U.S. Department of Energy has approved the conceptual design of a new experiment that will be a major test of our current understanding of neutrinos and their mysterious role in the universe. Scientists are now proceeding with the engineering design of the Long-Baseline Neutrino Experiment, which aims to discover whether neutrinos violate the fundamental matter-antimatter symmetry of physics. If they do, physicists will be a step closer to answering the puzzling question of why the universe is filled with matter while antimatter all but disappeared after the big bang.

So far, quarks are the only known particles that violate this fundamental symmetry. But the observed effect in quark interactions is not of the right kind to explain the abundance of matter over antimatter in our universe.

Scientists know that neutrino interactions also could violate matter-antimatter symmetry. If so, how strong is the effect? Scientists designed the LBNE experiment to discover the answer. They plan to break ground in 2015.

From around the world

The LBNE experiment will send beams of neutrinos and antineutrinos from the Department of Energy's Fermilab, 40 miles west of Chicago, to the Sanford Lab in the Black Hills of South Dakota. More than 350 scientists and engineers from more than 60 institutions have joined the LBNE collaboration so far. They come from universities and national laboratories in the United States, India, Italy, Japan and the United Kingdom. The collaboration continues to grow, and project leaders seek and anticipate further international participation.

Start on the prairie

Surrounded by 1,000 acres of tallgrass prairie, the accelerators at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, Ill., will produce beams of muon neutrinos and antineutrinos for LBNE. Every 1.3 seconds, an accelerator will smash a batch of protons into a graphite target to make short-lived pions. Strong magnetic fields will guide and focus the pions to form a beam that points toward the LBNE detector in South Dakota. The pions will travel a few hundred feet, decay and produce muon neutrinos and antineutrinos.

Read more

Kurt Riesselmann

Photos of the Day

An opossum's many moods

An opossum sits tight near the Main Injector.
The opossum becomes discontent...
...but then finds something to gnaw on. Photos: Dan Johnson, AD

University of Manchester particle physics group

Yesterday's feature on the University of Manchester joining the URA stated that university's School of Physics and Astronomy has more than 80 members. It should have stated that the School of Physics and Astronomy's particle physics group has more than 80 members.

The article is now corrected.

In the News

The next big physics machines are neutrino detectors

From Popular Mechanics, Feb. 16, 2013

Now that the Large Hadron Collider has apparently found the Higgs Boson, a sort of malaise has set over some of the scientists behind the project. What do you do next with a 17-mile underground ring? And will there be a successor—an even larger collider of hadrons?

Fear not, lovers of big physics machines. While we await that answer, multiple new mega-projects are coming in the form of sprawling neutrino detectors, according to neutrino scientists who spoke at this weekend's meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Boston. China's building them, Japan is vying for an even larger one that it already has, and the U.S.'s Fermilab, outside Chicago, hopes to start firing neutrinos toward a detector 800 miles away near Mount Rushmore.

Read more
Director's Corner

FRA Board meeting

Fermilab Director
Pier Oddone

Last week, the FRA Board of Directors met at Fermilab. The FRA Board is the highest authority in FRA and is responsible for delivering on Fermilab's contract with DOE. It appoints the laboratory director and oversees the laboratory in its operations, strategic planning and the relations with its many stakeholders. Board committees delve deeper into their respective areas of expertise, including ES&H, audit, administration and finance, compensation, physics and science planning. The board also convenes additional external review committees that focus on specific areas, including the lab's scientific programs and the implementation of our contractor assurance system.

The meetings of the board are always interesting and useful. Last week's meeting included discussions of two important and timely issues.

The first discussion focused on the next steps to ensure that the outcome of this year's DOE performance evaluation improves through better project management, tracking and oversight. The laboratory has recently made significant changes in the way we carry out these activities, and an ad-hoc external committee composed of top project managers within the DOE system of laboratories will review these changes in March. We will make additional changes if required following the external review.

The second important issue is how we recast the messages from the particle physics community and Fermilab in a way that resonates with the current emphasis on economic competitiveness. Two examples of these messages were recently published in the print issue of symmetry magazine (one of which is currently online). Coherence of messaging from Fermilab and the particle physics community is essential in maintaining the support of our field, both in how we advocate for the basic science we want to accomplish and in the consistency of the messages that describe how we have helped and will continue to advance the economy. The discussion at the board meeting was stimulating, identifying issues and barriers associated with recasting our message. In a future column I will describe the steps we are taking at Fermilab to address these issues.

Construction Update

Water flowing at CMTF

Industrial cooling water flows out of the CMTF building to the man-made “river” that returns it to Casey’s Pond. Photo: Jerry Leibfritz, AD

The Industrial Cooling Water system was turned on for the first time at CMTF last week. The ICW comes from Casey’s Pond, located just southwest of CMTF, and provides the cooling needed to operate the seven helium compressors for the new cryogenic plant. To keep the compressors cool, a continuous flow of water in excess of 1,500 gallons per minute is required. After flowing through the compressors, the water pours out of a pipe that penetrates the south wall of CMTF into a man-made drainage ditch that returns the water back to Casey’s Pond to begin the cycle again.

Cooling water flowing at CMTF. Photo: Jerry Leibfritz, AD

Today's New Announcements

Demonstration on terrariums - mini indoor gardens - Feb. 21

Special seminar - John Cary of U Colorado and Tech-X - Feb. 22

International Folk Dance 25th Anniversary party - March 2

Employee art show applications - due Feb. 20

Down time for Fermilab instant messaging service - Feb. 20

Fermilab Lecture Series: Engineering Biology - Feb. 22

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

URA Thesis Award competition applications accepted until March 1

School's Day Out - March 1

Deadline for UChicago Tuition Remission Program - March 7

Nominations open for 2013 Tollestrup Award - through April 1

2013 FRA scholarship applications accepted until April 1

Interpersonal Communication Skills course offered in May

Martial arts class

Increased online access to scientific journals

Employee discounts