Monday, Aug. 5, 2013

Have a safe day!

Monday, Aug. 5


3:30 p.m.

4 p.m.
All Experimenters' Meeting - Curia II

Tuesday, Aug. 6

Undergraduate Lecture Series - Auditorium
Speaker: Jin-Yuan Wu, Fermilab
Title: Wave Phenomena

3:30 p.m.


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a weekly calendar with links to additional information.

Ongoing and upcoming conferences at Fermilab


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Wilson Hall Cafe

Monday, Aug. 5

- Breakfast: pancake sandwich
- Breakfast: sausage, egg and cheese croissant
- Philly chicken sandwich
- Smart cuisine: herbed pot roast
- Spaghetti and meatballs
- Garden beef wrap
- Creole jambalaya
- Minestrone soup
- Texas-style chili
- Assorted pizza by the slice

Wilson Hall Cafe menu

Chez Leon

Wednesday, Aug. 7
- Chicken vindaloo
- Plum tart with goat cheese and walnut-thyme streusel

Friday, Aug. 9
Special serving time of 6 p.m.
- Vichyssoise
- Filet mignon with red-pepper coulis
- Sauteed spinach
- Parmesan orzo
- Tiramisu

Chez Leon menu
Call x3524 to make your reservation.


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From symmetry

The tale of Fermilab's "elephant doors"

A set of twin doors take on two very different purposes at Fermilab and Chicago's Lincoln Park Zoo. Photo: Cindy Arnold

One of the paradoxes of particle physics research is that, in order to study the tiniest bits of matter, scientists must use some of the world's largest scientific instruments. That is how an area housing experiments dedicated to the study of neutrinos, particles so small they have almost no mass, came to be guarded by a set of doors fit for an elephant exhibit.

Mysterious neutrinos very rarely interact with other matter, so the way to study them is to send intense beams of them into very large detectors. These detectors live underground, shielded from the meddlesome particles constantly showering the Earth as a consequence of cosmic rays interacting with the planet's atmosphere. To protect large detectors for the MINOS, MINERvA and NOvA neutrino experiments, Fermilab keeps them in a cavernous underground area on site.

Approximately 10 years ago, Fermilab engineers needed to add to an access tunnel in this area a set of doors that could let through carts carrying several-thousand-pound shielding blocks 8 feet long and 4 feet wide.

"You have to be able to account, width- and height-wise, for all the shielding material, rigging equipment, personnel and other types of equipment that needed to be moved through the access tunnel," says Mike Andrews, who manages the facility. "Everything wouldn't just fit through a regular personnel-type door after the facility was built."

Fortunately, Ragnor Benson, the construction company Fermilab used for the project, had some surprisingly relevant previous experience: They had just built the Lincoln Park Zoo's Regenstein African Journey exhibit, which included habitats for elephants and rhinoceroses.

Ragnor Benson had found for the entrances to these giant animal spaces a supplier selling doors around 10 feet tall and 8 feet wide, the very size Fermilab needed. They installed an identical set in the neutrino area. They still go by the nickname "the elephant doors" today.

At Lincoln Park, the doors were used for people, not elephants, though they did open up into an exhibit that housed three African elephants from 2003 to 2005, according to Lincoln Park Zoo spokeswoman Sharon Dewar. Later, the elephants were replaced by camels, and, mostly recently, black rhinos.

Read more

Julianne Wyrick

In the News

Black holes + wormholes = quantum answers

From NPR, July 30, 2013

If physicists had a holy grail it would go by the name of quantum gravity.

For 60 years researchers have been searching for a way to unite the very large and the very small into a single coherent theory. But for all their efforts, Einstein's Theory of General Relativity—which describes the Universe at large scales—simply won't play nice with quantum physics—the all-encompassing vision of the micro-world. But the appearance of a remarkable new idea is raising eyebrows, and hopes, around the world. Maybe, just maybe, a new clue to the most fundamental of fundamental theories has been found.

Read more

In the News

Big bang light reveals minimum lifetime of photons

From Scientific American, July 29, 2013

The notion of the speed of light as the cosmic speed limit is based on the assumption that particles of light, called photons, have no mass. But astrophysical observations cannot rule out the slim chance that photons do have a tiny bit of mass—a prospect with wide ramifications in physics. For instance, if photons weigh nothing at all, they would be completely stable and could theoretically last forever. But if they do have a little mass, they could eventually decay into lighter particles. Now, by studying ancient light radiated shortly after the big bang, a physicist has calculated the minimum lifetime of photons, showing that they must live for at least one billion billion years, if not forever.

Read more

Tip of the Week:
Quality Assurance

Keeping quality assurance simple: a new lessons learned program at Fermilab

ESH&Q is currently revising the Fermilab Integrated Quality Assurance program.

Here at Fermilab we believe that safety and quality go hand in hand, and we work hard to integrate both into our everyday activities.

"Just as with safety, quality assurance is also everyone's responsibility," says recently hired Quality Assurance Specialist Kathy Zappia. "We should think about quality assurance as we plan and perform our daily activities, not just when an audit or assessment is coming up."

Kathy, who will also be chairing the new ESH&Q Quality Assurance Subcommittee, is now in the final draft stages of revising the Integrated Quality Assurance program and is "looking forward to meeting and working with everyone to sustain and improve an already vibrant quality assurance culture here at Fermilab."

To improve the IQA program even further, we are developing a new FESHM chapter series featuring quality assurance. The newest chapter, FESHM Chapter 12010: Contractor Assurance/ Lessons Learned Program And Procedures, incorporates the former Office of Quality and Best Practices procedure #3903 into FESHM. This is the first quality assurance chapter in a series, bringing all quality assurance activities under the ESH&Q Section.

FESHM 12010 simplifies the lessons learned program under the DOE standard while preserving its spirit and intent. Many of the appendices and guidance sections were removed to simplify the chapter.

Sharing lessons learned makes the workplace more productive and safer for all. To view existing lessons learned, contact your supervisor, senior safety officer or quality assurance representative.

Stay tuned as more quality assurance chapters are updated and added to the FESHM, and remember quality is everyone's responsibility.

J.B. Dawson

Photo of the Day

Lonely at the top

A heron sits atop a leafless tree on the Fermilab grounds. Photo: Steve Krave, TD
Special Announcement

Linac driveway closed to vehicles, pedestrians Tuesday

The driveway between Wilson Hall and the Linac will be closed tomorrow, Aug. 6, to accommodate the installation of a hatch cover onto the north Linac roof. The hatch will be used for future heavy-equipment replacement.

Please see this map of the closure area and the alternative route to and from the auditorium parking area.

During the closure, no vehicle or pedestrian traffic will be allowed to enter the area. Pedestrian traffic will not be allowed access through the Linac building.

The driveway is scheduled to be closed all day, but may reopen by late morning or early afternoon. In case of rain, the closure will be moved to Aug. 7. Contact Scott Crowell at x4435 with questions or concerns.


All 2013 summer interns photo - Aug. 7

Fermilab Heartland Blood Drive - Aug. 12 and 13

UChicago Tuition Remission program deadline - Aug. 22

URA Visiting Scholars program deadline - Aug. 26

Outdoor soccer at the Village

International folk dancing in Auditorium for summer

Chicago Fire discount tickets

Fermilab discount at Don's Auto Ade Inc.

Bristol Renaissance Faire discount