Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014

Have a safe day!

Tuesday, Jan. 7

3:30 p.m.


Wednesday, Jan. 8

10:30 a.m.
Research Techniques Seminar - Hornet's Nest (WH8XO)
Speaker: Gino Bolla, Purdue University
Title: The Present CMS Tracker and its Future Prospects

3:30 p.m.


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

Ongoing and upcoming conferences at Fermilab


Take Five

Weather Sunny

Extended forecast
Weather at Fermilab

Current Security Status

Secon Level 3

Current Flag Status

Flags at full staff

Wilson Hall Cafe

Tuesday, Jan. 7

- Breakfast: All-American breakfast
- Breakfast: bacon, egg and cheese bagel
- Ranch chicken breast sandwich
- Smart cuisine: pork piccata with lemon sauce
- Liver and onions
- California turkey panini
- Taco salad
- Minnesota chicken and rice soup
- Chef's choice soup

Wilson Hall Cafe menu

Chez Leon

Wednesday, Jan. 8
- Carrot parsnip soup
- Spinach, sun-dried tomato and parmesan wrapped in phyllo
- Olive oil cake

Friday, Jan. 10
- Mixed greens with pears, pecan and balsamic vinaigrette
- Blue-cheese salad
- Stuffed filet of sole with crab meat
- Wilted spinach with lemon and pine nuts
- Carrot cake

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

Related content


Fermilab Today
is online at:

Send comments and suggestions to:

Visit the Fermilab
home page

Unsubscribe from Fermilab Today


MicroBooNE installs time projection chamber inside vessel, prepares for move

A crew installed MicroBooNE's 5-ton time projection chamber in its cryostat last month. Photo: Reidar Hahn

On Dec. 20, Fermilab collaborators on the MicroBooNE experiment successfully installed the time projection chamber in the experiment's vessel at the DZero assembly building.

The completion of this step is a milestone in the experiment's years-long narrative. Once the detector is moved to the new Liquid-Argon Test Facility, MicroBooNE scientists can begin a new stage of exploration of the behavior of chargeless, subatomic particles called neutrinos.

Even though neutrinos are all around us, they are not fully understood. One of scientists' longstanding questions about neutrinos is how one type morphs into another. MicroBooNE aims to address this and other questions and better explain neutrinos' role in the universe.

Once MicroBooNE is up and running, experimenters will shoot beams of neutrinos, manufactured at Fermilab, into the 10-meter-long time projection project chamber, which is filled with 89 tons of liquid argon and sits inside a silo-like vessel called a cryostat. When one of the neutrinos hits an argon nucleus, it will release particles, some of which are charged. This interaction, while it happens in the blink of an eye, will take many months to decipher. Thus scientists make sure that the detector "takes pictures" of all that goes on in its dark, cavernous depths.

As part of that process, the experiment uses a uniform, high-voltage electric field across the cage-like frame of the time projection chamber. This ensures that, when a charged particle is released, it will travel through the liquid argon, stripping electrons off the argon atoms along the way. The electrons in turn are directed along the electric field to the wires that are positioned along one side of the detector.

These delicate, gilded wires — all 8,256 of them — took MicroBooNE team members about two months to hand-string across the TPC. They "take the pulse" of each charged particle traversing the TPC and send information about its interaction to researchers' computers.

This information is translated into pixels, where each pixel represents the wire that recorded the interaction and each line of pixels represents that wire over time (usually a few microseconds, which is fairly long in particle physics). This "projection" of each wire's activity over a period of time is where the time projection chamber gets its name, explained Jonathan Asaadi, a postdoc from Syracuse University working on the experiment.

The wires are angled three different ways — vertically, and rotated 60 degrees to the left and right — so that a computer can construct a 3-D image of the interaction.

MicroBooNE researchers use a computer algorithm — a similar type of algorithm, in fact, used for facial recognition in airport security — to try to interpret these images and find anomalies. Their different shapes and patterns indicate which type of neutrino was involved in the interaction.

"By looking at interactions in our detector, we can measure the effective rate at which our neutrinos are changing form," said Fermilab's Jennifer Raaf, co-construction manager for MicroBooNE. "That tells us something, fundamentally, about physics."

Not only this, but MicroBooNE's experimenters aim to demonstrate the detector technology needed for the proposed Long-Baseline Neutrino Experiment. LBNE's multi-kiloton detector would be a far more massive, higher-voltage version of MicroBooNE's.

The collaboration is now hooking up the TPC's cables, after which they'll test the electronics, cover the open end of the TPC with an endcap and weld the whole thing shut. Then the detector is ready for its move to the Liquid-Argon Test Facility.

"We've been assembling the TPC for more than a year now, so it's a great feeling to finally have it sitting on its resting pads inside the cryostat," Raaf said. "Hopefully, the next steps will go as smoothly as the insertion did."

Sarah Witman

In the News

Thorium put to use, kills a few more versions of Supersymmetry

From ars technica, Dec. 23, 2013

Are there any particles beyond the Higgs lurking where the LHC might discover them? A team of researchers that calls itself the ACME project has now produced a measurement that says the answer is "probably not." ACME looked for any imperfections in the shape of an electron's electric field and placed a limit on the measurements that is 12 times smaller than anyone had previously achieved. As far as they could tell, the electron has no imperfections, which rules out the possibility of finding many of the new particles predicted to be within the mass range that will be explored by the LHC.

Read more

Director's Corner

Our focus for 2014

Fermilab Director
Nigel Lockyer

Happy New Year. I hope everyone had an enjoyable break — there is nothing like the holiday season to clear the mind and recharge the batteries!

The year ahead will be an important one for defining the long-term vision for Fermilab. Here are a few highlights we can look forward to in 2014.

The final report from the Particle Physics Project Prioritization Panel: The U.S. particle physics community’s planning process kicked off last fall with the establishment of a new P5 committee. The committee has held three face-to-face “town meetings,” all of which were well attended with good participation from the particle physics community. A virtual town hall meeting will be held on Wednesday, Jan. 8, at 10 a.m. CST, with the goal of involving those working at CERN or other locations not near the previous meetings. P5 has been charged with delivering preliminary comments in March and its final public report in the May time frame. Once the report is released, Fermilab will need to focus its attention on aligning with the community plan.

The next run of the Large Hadron Collider at close to 14 TeV: Excitement is building as we prepare for the start of the run. The discovery potential is huge. In addition, we recently learned that the government of Japan has invested a small amount of funding into the International Linear Collider to explore interest and potential partners from around the globe. This is a good and positive step for this future collider.

The future neutrino physics program: Here in the United States, we already know that the “big questions” in neutrino physics will play an important role in our future. The recent insertion of the MicroBooNE time projection chamber into the pressure vessel (see article on the left) is the first of many milestones we expect as we build expertise in the sophisticated liquid-argon detector technology. The upcoming Physics Advisory Committee meeting, which will be chaired for the first time by Daniella Bortoletto from Oxford University, will have a significant focus on neutrino physics.

The continuing challenge for our laboratory, working with partners from around the world, will be how to address the most compelling questions in neutrino physics such that the program builds and evolves toward the long-baseline neutrino program. This is an exciting time in neutrino physics, and with the right partners, wise investments and focus, Fermilab should be well placed to play a leading role in addressing the ever puzzling nature of the particle coined by Enrico Fermi as the “little neutral one.”

Photo of the Day

Gray morning

Bare, snow-sprinkled branches and and overcast sky make for a gray day in the woods at Site 38. Photo: Sue Quarto, FESS
In the News

CERN gears up for new experiments

From Physics World, Jan. 3, 2014

This year will be a fallow one for the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). The accelerator and its experiments are still being upgraded and the 27-km-circumference collider is not due to restart until 2015. However, all is not quiet at the CERN particle-physics lab near Geneva: the accelerators that feed protons into the LHC – the Proton Synchrotron (PS) and the Super Proton Synchrotron (SPS) – will both be fired up in the second half of 2014, which means that lots of experiments at CERN should be taking data this year, including some that are entirely new.

One new experiment firing up is the rather prosaically named NA62, and physicists working on it are now in the final stages of installing their 270-m-long experiment on the SPS.

Read more


Today's New Announcements

Users' Center closed today, but MuPAC dinner will take place

Earned Value Management (EVMS) course offered Jan. 28 & 29

Dreamweaver class offered in February

2014 BCBS PPO & PPO Premium plan ID cards

Float holiday - 2014

ASM handbooks are online sitewide

Wanted: Are you an AJAS fellow?

English country dancing at Kuhn Barn

Indoor soccer