Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014

Have a safe day!

Tuesday, Jan. 21

3 p.m.
LHC Physics Center Topic of the Week Seminar - WH11NE
Speaker: Felix Yu, Fermilab
Title: Fully Exploring Exotic Production of the 126 GeV Higgs

3:30 p.m.

4 p.m.
Accelerator Physics and Technology Seminar - One West
Speaker: Alexander Valishev, Fermilab
Title: Beam-Beam Effects in the High-Luminosity LHC Upgrade

Wednesday, Jan. 22

8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Fermilab PAC Meeting - One West

2:30 p.m.
Particle Astrophysics Seminar (NOTE DATE) - WH8XO
Speaker: Anne Bauer, IEEC-CSIC, Barcelona
Title: Weak-Lensing Magnification and Large-Scale Structure

3:30 p.m.


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Flags at full staff

Wilson Hall Cafe

Tuesday, Jan. 21

- Breakfast: All-American breakfast
- Breakfast: bacon, egg and cheese bagel
- Grown-up grilled cheese with bacon
- Smart cuisine: pork loin with raspberry sauce
- Italian lasagna
- Gourmet chicken salad croissant
- Kiwi pecan chicken salad
- Green pork chili
- Chef's choice soup
- Assorted pizza by the slice

Wilson Hall Cafe menu

Chez Leon

Wednesday, Jan. 22
- Chicken marsala with fettuccini
- Caesar salad
- Italian cream cake

Friday, Jan. 24

Saturday, Jan. 25
- Corn chowder
- Pork tenderloin
- Bourbon-walnut sweet potato mash
- Sautéed Brussels sprouts
- Pecan rum cake

Chez Leon menu
Call x3524 to make your reservation.


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LBNE prototype cryostat exceeds goals

PPD technician John Najdzion, standing atop the LBNE 35-ton prototype cryostat, works on the piping for the cryogenic systems. Photo: David Montanari, PPD

"We're cold, we're full, and the purity numbers are a success."

Barry Norris, the LBNE cryostat and cryogenic systems manager, thus summed up the just-completed first phase of testing for the 35-ton LBNE prototype cryostat.

As reported in May 2013, the 35-ton cryostat was constructed to demonstrate that a non-evacuable "membrane" cryostat, the type chosen for the LBNE far detector, can satisfy the less-than-200-parts-per-trillion (ppt) requirement on oxygen contamination of the liquid argon in the detector and maintain that level stably.

On Dec. 20, during a marathon 36-hour session, PPD engineers David Montanari and Terry Tope cooled down the membrane cryostat — slowly and smoothly — to 110 Kelvin (-262 F), at which point they commenced the transfer of about 5,000 gallons liquid argon, maintained at about 89 K (-299 F), from the Liquid-Argon Purity Demonstrator to the 35-ton cryostat. (View a video of liquid argon in the cryostat.) By the end of this session, the team was able to verify that the systems for purifying, recirculating and recondensing the argon were working properly and to begin the purity testing.

"It is an excellent Christmas present," said LBNE Co-spokesperson Milind Diwan of Brookhaven National Laboratory in congratulating the team. He recognized the accomplishment that the cryostat, the systems that function in and around it, and the connections to and from these systems satisfy the very stringent requirements on placed on them in regards to purity, leakage and electronic noise placed on them.

PPD scientist Alan Hahn ran the argon purity tests, in which he measured the lifetime of ionization electrons traveling through the argon, accelerated by an electric field. Purer argon has fewer contaminants present to intercept the electrons, therefore they can travel for longer times, on average. Hahn measured electron lifetimes to be between 2.5 and 3 milliseconds, nearly twice the goal of 1.5 milliseconds, corresponding to an oxygen contamination of only 100-120 ppt.

Following the success of this test, the cryogenics team, Tope and PPD Engineer Mark Adamowski will continue to tweak the knobs and levers for another two weeks, studying and improving the system in preparation for a second phase of testing. The Phase II testing program, scheduled to take place at the end of 2014, will focus on the performance of active detector elements placed directly in the volume of liquid argon.

"The 35-ton cryostat operation proves that very large liquid-argon detectors can be built using industry-standard liquefied natural gas technology," said LBNE Far-Detector Project Manager Jim Stewart of Brookhaven National Laboratory. "This working prototype is a significant milestone toward clearing the way for the LBNE far detector as a next-generation neutrino detector."

Anne Heavey

Photos of the Day

Swan at the Main Injector

A rarely seen swan swims through ice-cold water near the Main Injector. Photos: Marty Murphy, AD
In the News

Synopsis: Catching Z's in particle colliders

From Physics, Jan. 15, 2014

In April 2013, particle physicists made an unexpected discovery: a particle, called Zc(3900), that appears to be composed of four quarks rather than the usual two or three. The BESIII Collaboration — one of the two groups to first spot Zc(3900) — has now explored a separate set of reactions that may lead to the production of these four-quark states. As reported in Physical Review Letters, they do find strong signatures of a particle, but its mass isn't exactly that of Zc(3900). Regardless of its true identity, the detected entity may give a better understanding of how four quarks might bind together in these unusual particles.

Read more

Director's Corner

Good FY14 budget news

Fermilab Director
Nigel Lockyer

Last week, Congress passed and the President signed into law an omnibus spending bill that will fund the federal government through the end of September. The bill contains good news for U.S. particle physics and for our laboratory.

Funding for the two federal agencies that supply most U.S. particle physics funding — the Department of Energy's Office of Science and the National Science Foundation — is up about four percent from FY13. The Department of Energy's Office of High Energy Physics, which provides more than 90 percent of Fermilab's funding, will receive $797 million for this fiscal year.

As is the case every year, it will be some time before we know what this means for Fermilab's FY14 bottom line and for our projects, research and operations. However, some crucial details for our projects and for nationwide initiatives important for the future of U.S. particle physics are spelled out in the bill, including:

  • $26 million for LBNE, including $10 million for R&D and $16 million for project engineering and design;
  • $15 million to support minimal sustaining operations at the Homestake Mine in South Dakota, which will be the location of the LBNE far detector;
  • $35 million for Mu2e construction;
  • $35 million for Fermilab utility upgrades through the Science Laboratories Infrastructure program; and
  • $10 million for the nationally competitive Accelerator Stewardship program administered by the DOE Office of High Energy Physics.

While not spelled out in the bill, the passage of the omnibus bill also means that the Muon g-2 experiment will proceed toward construction in FY14. These funding numbers send a positive signal for the future of our country's, and our lab's, broad particle physics program.

I will discuss more details of the FY14 budget and lab's current and future projects and programs at an all-hands meeting scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 6, at 10 a.m. in Ramsey Auditorium. I hope you will be able to attend.

In Brief

Fermilab PAC meeting takes place Jan. 22-24

The Fermilab Physics Advisory Committee will meet from January 22-24, 2013 to review new proposals and other aspects of the Fermilab science program. The agenda can be found on the PAC webpage.

All employees are welcome to attend the presentations in the open part of the meeting, which will be held in One West.

Construction Update

A view from the interior of the IARC OTE Building

A sunset vista surrounds the IARC OTE Building. Photo: Kasie Mathena, Barton Malow Co.

As we near completion of the IARC Office, Technical and Education Building, the interior is shaping up. This photo of vistas seen from inside is taken from the third-floor balcony in the lunch room.

Rhonda Merchut


Power Writing Workshops - today and Jan. 30

Fermilab PAC meeting - Jan. 22-24

Dirty Dozen Brass Band - Fermilab Arts Series - Jan. 25

Chicago Brass Quintet - Fermilab Gallery Chamber Series - Jan. 26

Earned Value Management course offered Jan. 28, 29

C2ST talk: The Nature of Nano 2 - Jan. 30

ICFA Neutrino Panel town meeting - Jan. 30-31

DreamWeaver CS6: levels 1 and 2 - Feb. 3-4

Free introductory yoga classes - Feb. 3, 6

Interpersonal Communication Skills - Feb. 26

2014 standard mileage reimbursement rate

Abri Credit Union member appreciation

Free weekly Tai Chi Easy, Integral Tai Chi/Qigong classes

Scottish country dancing meets Tuesday evenings at Kuhn Barn

International folk dancing meets Thursday evenings at Kuhn Barn

10 percent employee discount at North Aurora Dental Associates