Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Have a safe day!

Tuesday, May 14

1:30 p.m.
Particle Astrophysics Seminar (NOTE DATE, TIME, LOCATION) - Curia II
Speaker: Stefan Ballmer, Syracuse University
Title: Experimental Challenges in Gravitational Wave Astronomy

2:30 p.m.
Theoretical Physics Seminar (NOTE DATE, LOCATION) - WH3NE
Speaker: Eduardo Pontón, ICTP-SAIFR and IFT-UNESP
Title: Vector-Like Fermions and the Electroweak Phase Transition

3:30 p.m.


Wednesday, May 15

3:30 p.m.

4 p.m.
Fermilab Colloquium - One West
Speaker: Roger Blandford, Kavli Institute, Stanford University
Title: The Accelerating Universe

Click here for NALCAL,
a weekly calendar with links to additional information.

Ongoing and upcoming conferences at Fermilab


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Weather Sunny

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Current Security Status

Secon Level 3

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Flags at full staff

Wilson Hall Cafe

Tuesday, May 14

- Breakfast: All-American breakfast
- Breakfast: bacon, egg and cheese bagel
- Chopped-barbecue-pork sandwich
- Smart cuisine: honey dijon baked pork chops
- Chicken pot pie
- Gourmet chicken salad croissant
- Kiwi pecan chicken salad
- Mexican lime chicken soup
- Chef's choice soup
- Assorted pizza by the slice

Wilson Hall Cafe menu

Chez Leon

Wednesday, May 15
- Ropa vieja (braised beef, peppers, onions)
- Yellow rice with toasted cumin
- Baked custard with rum sauce

Friday, May 17

Chez Leon menu
Call x3524 to make your reservation.


Fermilab Today

Director's Corner

Frontier Science Result

Physics in a Nutshell

Tip of the Week

User University Profiles

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Special Announcement

Employee Health and Fitness Day - today on Main Ring Road

Walk, run, bike or rollerblade around the ring today. Photo: Cindy Arnold

Walk, run, bike or rollerblade around the Main Ring with your co-workers today from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. for Employee Health and Fitness Day. Start at A1 on Main Ring Road to the east of Wilson Hall. The first 300 participants will receive a pedometer, drawstring backpack, free movie pass and coupon for Italian ice, valid at the cafeteria. Don't forget your sunglasses and sunscreen.

This is also the kick-off for the laboratory's 10,000 Steps-A-Day walking program. Register and log your steps. For more information contact Jeanne in the Wellness Office at x2548 or at jecker@fnal.gov.


Small files, big storage solutions

The Grid Computing Center houses small files for a number of experiments at Fermilab. Photo: Reidar Hahn

Experts in the Scientific Computing Division have developed a more efficient method to store data to better cater to the needs of Intensity Frontier experiments.

Last year, SCD developers created a method to efficiently store and access small-sized data files. The method is useful for several neutrino experiments, which normally store many small, sparse files that range from hundreds of kilobytes to hundreds of megabytes in size. That's a small fraction of what you could store on your flash drive.

For example, NOvA, a neutrino experiment, currently stores about 14 terabytes of data per month. That's downright tiny compared to the amount of data per month the collider experiment CMS currently stores: over 1,000 terabytes, which can be written to tape efficiently.

"Neutrino experiments are producing more and more of these small files," said Data Movement and Storage Department Head Gene Oleynik. "There is a growing demand for this new storage feature."

Fermilab uses in-house software called Enstore to store scientific data on digital tape.

It takes time—a few seconds per file, which can turn into hours for thousands of files—to write file markers on the tape, ensuring the whole file is indeed transferred, said Enstore project leader Alexander Moibenko.

"We resolved this problem by aggregating files into larger containers, which are subsequently written to tape," Moibenko said. "It could take several hours or even days to write thousands of small files to a tape, but we use much less time by writing files that are bigger and thus optimal for the tape drive."

The method's efficiency also lessens wear and tear on the tapes and tape drives, increasing their lifetimes.

Additionally, SCD builds fail-safes into their storage method, which is important when storing experiment data for a whole day or longer. Until a file is fully written, catastrophic errors could result in large data loss. A robust file storage system guards against data loss or corruption until files are written to tape, Oleynik said.

The method has been on the minds of SCD developers for years, Oleynik said. Neutrino experiments, which will ramp up their data output in future years, pushed the department to create the method and put it to practice.

When users request to read a packaged file, Enstore can grab the file from its cache instead of the tape, which has a slower transfer rate. Users can also define rules to determine how to best store their experiment's data.

Users now have less to stress about in terms of potential data loss, Oleynik said.

ArgoNeuT, Lattice QCD and MINERvA are also currently using the new method.

"I think this feature will successfully meet much of our new and growing storage demands," Moibenko said.

"The Data Movement Development Group has done an excellent job developing the data storage software for our Intensity Frontier experiments," Oleynik said. "It's made the storage process that much easier."

Sarah Khan

In the News


From The Economist, May 4, 2013

At the beginning of April, Research Councils UK, a conduit through which the government transmits taxpayers' money to academic researchers, changed the rules on how the results of studies it pays for are made public. From now on they will have to be published in journals that make them available free—preferably immediately, but certainly within a year.

Read more

Director's Corner

The future of Fermilab

Fermilab Director Pier Oddone and Deputy Director Young-Kee Kim review the Fermilab site master plan. Photo: Reidar Hahn

Two important events related to the future of Fermilab occurred last week. On Wednesday, Fermilab held a groundbreaking for the building that will house the Muon g-2 experiment. Nearby, an additional building and associated beamline will be built to house, initially, the Mu2e experiment. These two experiments will be located between the former antiproton source—now repurposed to produce muon beams—and the central campus. When completed, this area of the Fermilab site will be referred to colloquially as the muon campus and will join our other areas for neutrino physics, engineering and technical areas, and test beam areas.

We are formulating a broader view of how the Fermilab site should develop over the next several decades as part of a comprehensive master plan for the site. The lab sits on exceptional property, and preserving its beauty requires us to fit buildings, the landscape and the experimental facilities in a harmonious whole that will support a great work environment: the 21st-century laboratory.

The second event, the Future of Fermilab address, took place on Thursday and included a presentation to leaders from our surrounding communities. We are fortunate to have always enjoyed strong support from our neighbors. The laboratory in turn supports the community—not only with jobs and economic activity, but also with our extensive outreach programs to students and families, the use of the site by visitors, and the preservation of the land and buildings that remain from the farms on our site before the laboratory was born.

The Future of Fermilab event was attended by the mayors of Batavia, Geneva, Warrenville and West Chicago, and by representatives from the Naperville and Aurora city councils, the counties of Kane and DuPage, and local educational institutions. We received numerous appreciative comments, many expressing their delight that Fermilab has a strong future program and that, clearly, the lab is here to stay.

View a video of the Future of Fermilab address.

Photo of the Day

Goose on guard

A goose protects an employee's car from mischief. Photo: John Galvan, CS
Construction Update

Digging in the dirt for LBNE

Workers begin exploring potential areas that could provide soil for an embankment to be constructed for LBNE. Photo: Tim Wyman, FESS

Last week, contractor Raimonde began drilling through rock and soil near Main Injector Road and Pond F as part of the geotechnical exploration program for LBNE. Raimonde will drill a total of 38 separate borings. Some borings will be drilled along roughly 1,800 feet of the proposed LBNE proton-to-neutrino beamline, and others will be drilled in the vicinity of the beamline site to explore potential "borrow" areas, which will provide soil for the large embankment to be constructed for the project. The deepest holes will penetrate into the ground to as much as 160 feet, which is about 90 feet into bedrock.

The exploration program will provide geotechnical information needed to proceed with design of conventional facilities for the LBNE neutrino beamline.


Today's New Announcements

Martial arts class - begins May 20

Fermilab prairie quadrat study

10,000 Steps-A-Day enrollment

Employee Health & Fitness Day - today

English country dancing Sunday afternoons at Kuhn Barn - May 19

OneNote 2010 class offered - May 22

Fermilab Family Outdoor Fair - June 9

DASTOW scheduled - June 21

46th Fermilab Users Meeting registration now open

Register for Argonne-UChicago-Fermilab collaboration meeting

Changes to U.S. visa procedures

Open gym basketball Tuesday evenings

Scottish country dancing meets Tuesday evenings in Kuhn Barn

Outdoor soccer at the Village

International folk dancing meets Thursday evenings in Kuhn Barn