Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Have a safe day!

Tuesday, April 9

3:30 p.m.


Wednesday, April 10

3:30 p.m.

4 p.m.
Fermilab Colloquium - One West
Speaker: Thomas Knight, Ginkgo Bioworks Inc.
Title: Life with Four Billion Atoms

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Wilson Hall Cafe

Tuesday, April 9

- Breakfast: All-American breakfast
- Hearty beef barley
- Classic reuben sandwich
- Beef stew in a bread bowl
- Smart cuisine: Caribbean chicken skewers
- Grilled-chicken Caesar wrap
- Assorted pizza
- Pork carnitas

Wilson Hall Cafe menu

Chez Leon

Wednesday, April 10
- Grilled five-spice chicken
- Thai rice pilaf
- Sugar snap peas
- Pineapple upside-down cake

Friday, April 12

Chez Leon menu
Call x3524 to make your reservation.


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Pushing accelerator technology with PXIE

Engineering physicist Bruce Hanna works on the PXIE ion source test stand at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The ion source will arrive at Fermilab this month. Photo: Lionel Prost, AD

The Intensity Frontier program planned for Fermilab's proposed Project X is an ambitious one, making extraordinary demands of its particle beams and thus of the machine that provides them. Project X teams aren't shying away from the challenge. They're tackling the machine head-on and from the front.

This month the Accelerator Sector will begin assembling the Project X Injector Experiment (PXIE), kicking off an R&D program to understand, integrate, test and hammer the dents out of this most complex subsystem in the Project X accelerator. PXIE focuses on the front-end injector of Project X, the section that prepares the beam for delivery to multiple physics experiments.

"The unique aspects of Project X are pretty much enabled by the way the front end is configured," said Steve Holmes, project manager for Project X.

The injector takes up the first roughly 40 meters of the Project X 400-meter linear accelerator. In that short length reside the novel accelerator technologies that are most crucial for Project X.

"There isn't anything similar to PXIE in the world, so in some respect we are in uncharted waters," said Sergei Nagaitsev, project scientist for Project X.

One aspect of this uncharted territory is the use of superconducting technology very early in the beam's path, well before its energy is really ramped up. Most of the world's accelerators use older, normal-conducting devices to accelerate a high-power proton beam in the early stages. By instead using superconducting structures far upstream, Project X minimizes the wall-plug energy needed for acceleration.

"Every proton linac on the planet is based on 1940s technology for the early stage of acceleration," said Associate Director for Accelerators Stuart Henderson. "This, finally, is based on 21st century technology."

Demonstrating PXIE would advance technology for other accelerators, both in the United States and throughout the world.

Project X's efficiency extends to how it would send beam. It would deliver simultaneously to multiple experiments the exact pattern of particle bunches each one requires, with no more and no less beam than needed.

The wide-band chopper is responsible for this sorting and shipping. One of PXIE's major tasks is to demonstrate that it can execute the delivery of any given particle bunch pattern and chop out unwanted bunches from the continuous stream of particles.

"We can pre-program it to say to each bunch, every 6 nanoseconds you go through and you don't go through," Holmes said. "No one's really used this device in this way for a continuous-wave particle beam before."

In addition to those at Fermilab, researchers at Argonne, Berkeley, Oak Ridge and SLAC national laboratories and in the Project X India collaboration participate in PXIE, contributing R&D and the injector's major components. The goal is to demonstrate by 2018 that the injector system works.

"If you can prove you can produce, slice and dice the beam the way you like it, with the right beam quality, then you're a lot more confident that the rest will go well downstream," Henderson said. "Relatively, the rest is a piece of cake."

Leah Hesla

In the News

A NOvA experience for students

From University of Minnesota News, April 4, 2013

When Luke Wolf decided to study history, he never dreamed he would soon be making it himself.

But as one of the 250 University of Minnesota students building the elements of a major international physics experiment, that's exactly what he's doing.

Called NOvA, the $283 million experiment will study neutrinos, ultra-tiny particles that date from the Big Bang and may be the key reason our universe didn't promptly annihilate itself. Starting later this year, neutrinos will be generated and shot through the earth from the Department of Energy's Fermilab in Illinois to remote Ash River, Minnesota; there, a gigantic neutrino detector, built from components the students are now making, is being installed to capture some of the particles.

Read more

Director's Corner

Safety update

Fermilab Director
Pier Oddone

Perennial awareness is crucial to maintaining a safe environment. All of us can contribute to this state of mind. I try to do this in several ways, including writing about safety periodically in this column. Today I am pleased to be able to bring you good news on the safety front. The rate of recordable accidents has dropped by a factor of two from this point last year. Even more importantly, the rate of injuries that required either time away from work or restricted work is the lowest ever. If we maintain the same performance for the second part of the year, we will have a record low number of DARTS and TRCs for the year. Kudos to all of you for your efforts to keep yourselves and your colleagues safe. Keep up the fine performance!

One aspect of our safety culture that is growing in importance at the lab is Human Performance Improvement. Since we strive for a very low number of injuries, statistical fluctuations tend to obscure short-term trends. HPI methodologies help us look beyond the numbers to understand where we need to improve and learn. The laboratory offers different levels of training on HPI, and DOE has prepared excellent guidance documents for us to use. We have also incorporated HPI considerations into job planning and feedback systems such that our culture of self-improvement allows us to report incidents without fear of repercussion.

As we move through the second half of this fiscal year, keeping these few points in mind might help us maintain our good safety record:

  1. None of us is getting any younger, and what was easy for us to lift or pull two decades ago is not what we should strive to lift or pull today. Know your limitations.
  2. "Take 5" before you begin a job, and be sure to undertake only those for which you are prepared and trained. This is especially true for folks who may think they are capable of doing all jobs necessary to get something done, including material handling, mechanical work or machining.
  3. Stop, pause and "Take 5" after an incident. Think about what went wrong and how you can tell others the lesson you learned. As a laboratory, we have a tendency to want to fix issues quickly and move on. This can mean a missed opportunity for the organization to learn from such events. Even small incidents can teach us important lessons.
Photo of the Day

Sunning squirrel

A squirrel in Big Woods basks in the sun. Photo: Sue Quarto, FESS
Construction Update

Installing protection systems at NOvA Near-Detector Cavern

With all the utilities in place in the NOvA Near-Detector Cavern, workers are ready to install the cavern's large entrance door. Photo: Cindy Arnold

Upstream from the MINOS Hall, preparations to install the large entrance door to the NOvA Near-Detector Cavern are complete. Fire protection and detection systems have been tested, and support posts are being installed around the entire hall to accept a 4-foot-high oil containment liner, which will protect the facility from an unintentional release of oil from the future detector.


Today's New Announcements

Chicago Fire discount tickets

Snowmass Young survey

STEM career expo - April 10

The World According to Higgs - Chris Quigg - April 12

Wonders of Science - April 14

Fermilab Heartland Blood Drive - April 15-16

Fermilab Arts Series: Barynya: Music & Dance of Russia - April 20

UChicago: Willy Wonka - movie and science demos - April 21

Engineering Group to hold seminars at Fermilab - April 26

Fermilab-CERN Hadron Collider Physics Summer School open for applications

Web queries security changes

Reminder - FSA debit card PIN required

Free Zumba trial classes

International folk dancing meets Thursday evenings in Kuhn Barn

Indoor soccer