Friday, Jan. 24, 2014

Have a safe day!

Friday, Jan. 24

3:30 p.m.

4 p.m.
Joint Experimental-Theoretical Physics Seminar - One West
Speaker: Tae Min Hong, University of Pennsylvania
Title: VBF Higgs at ATLAS

Saturday, Jan. 25

8 p.m.
Fermilab Arts Series - Auditorium
Dirty Dozen Brass Band
Tickets: $30/$15

Sunday, Jan. 26

2:30 p.m.
Gallery Chamber Series - Fermilab Art Gallery
Chicago Brass Quintet
Tickets: $17

Monday, Jan. 27

2:30 p.m.
Particle Astrophysics Seminar - Curia II
Speaker: Dan Scolnic, Johns Hopkins University
Title: Cosmology Results from the Pan-STARRs Supernova Survey

3:30 p.m.

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

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

Ongoing and upcoming conferences at Fermilab


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Wilson Hall Cafe

Friday, Jan. 24

- Breakfast: strawberry-stuffed french toast
- Breakfast: chorizo and egg burrito
- Texas Pete buffalo-style wings
- Smart cuisine: chana masala
- Barbecue ribs
- Honey-mustard ham and Swiss panino
- Chicken fajitas plate
- Tomato basil bisque
- Texas-style chili
- Assorted pizza by the slice

Wilson Hall Cafe menu
Chez Leon

Friday, Jan. 24

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

Wednesday, Jan. 29
- Ziti with sausage, onions and fennel
- Mixed green salad
- White-chocolate raspberry cheesecake

Chez Leon menu
Call x3524 to make your reservation.


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Roberto Vega-Morales earns Sakurai Dissertation Award


Earlier this month, the American Physical Society awarded Roberto Vega-Morales the 2014 J.J. and Noriko Sakurai Dissertation Award in theoretical particle physics.

The award recognizes exceptional young scientists who have performed original doctoral thesis work of outstanding scientific quality and achievement in the area of theoretical particle physics.

Vega-Morales received the honor for research he conducted as a Fermilab graduate student fellow under Northwestern University Professor Ian Low and Fermilab scientist Joe Lykken.

His 2013 dissertation investigated ways to characterize the precise properties of the Higgs boson. He constructed an analysis framework aimed at extracting the maximum amount of information about the Higgs boson in its decays into charged leptons.

Vega-Morales is now a postdoctoral fellow at the Laboratoire de Physique Theorique d'Orsay in Paris.


Fermilab Cultural Events presents Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Chicago Brass Quintet

The Dirty Dozen Brass Band and the Chicago Brass Quintet perform at Fermilab this weekend.

Those who enjoy brass ensembles can look forward to two opportunities to hear some of the world's finest performers at Fermilab this weekend.

On Saturday the Fermilab Arts Series presents the exuberance and groove of New Orleans with the Dirty Dozen Brass Band. The world-famous music machine, whose name is synonymous with genre-bending romps and high-octane performances, has revitalized the brass band in New Orleans and around the world. They perform on Jan. 25 at 8 p.m. in Ramsey Auditorium. Tickets are $30, $15 for ages 18 and under.

Sunday brings the gorgeous, resonant sounds of the Chicago Brass Quintet, presented as part of the Fermilab Gallery Chamber Series. The quintet rose to prominence with the release of its first recording on Crystal Records, and they have since performed around the world. Sunday's program includes works by Vivaldi, Copland, Villa-Lobos, and a world premiere of Joe Clark's "Chicago," written for the group in celebration of their 50th anniversary. Hear them on Jan. 26 at 2:30 p.m. in the Fermilab Art Gallery. Tickets are $17.

For more information or to make reservations, visit the Fermilab Cultural Events Web page or call 630-840-2787.

Photo of the Day

You can't spell "particles" without I-C-E

This anonymous ice installation expresses a warm sentiment on a cold day. Emil Huedem spotted it on the steps of Wilson Hall Wednesday morning. Photo: Emil Huedem, FESS
In the News

Hunt for muon's magnetic field to get Cornell insight

From Cornell Chronicle, Jan. 21, 2014

An international high-energy physics collaboration that could provide the deepest glimpse yet into the nature of the elusive subatomic particle known as the muon is receiving key insights and expertise from Cornell scientists.

The Muon g-2 experiment, now in planning stages at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab) with expected data collection starting in 2016, includes a partnership with Cornell physicists who will help measure the ratio of a muon's magnetic moment to its angular momentum.

Last year, the Cornell Muon g-2 team received National Science Foundation approval for its Major [Research Instrumentation] (MRI) proposal for their role, along with five other institutions, in building a suite of detectors and instrumentation for the experiment.

Read more

In the News

Super-popular Family Open House at Fermilab coming
Feb. 9

From Batavia Patch, Jan. 17, 2014

It's probably a good idea to sign up for a tour now, because they fill up fast. Massive magnets, science shows and hands-on fun — what's not to like?

The Family Open House is one of the most popular annual events hosted by the U.S. Department of Energy's Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory.

Read more

Physics in a Nutshell

"Nobody understands quantum mechanics"

Intuitively, we expect physical quantities such as energy to be continuous and single-valued, like a dimmer switch. At very small scales, however, they are both discrete and multivalued, like a light switch that can be on and off at the same time.

Of all the scientific theories that have broken out into public consciousness, none have ranged as far as quantum mechanics. This subject is sometimes presented as an erudite abstraction, as a smokescreen of uncertainty, as an almost mystical philosophy or as evidence that physicists have lost their minds. It's rarely said that quantum mechanics makes sense.

There is good reason for that. Quantum mechanics is as hard to believe as anything can be while being demonstrably true. Feynman's famous quote, "I think I can safely say that nobody understands quantum mechanics," is sometimes taken out of context as suggesting that if you think you get it, you don't. This defeatist attitude is unnecessary. Quantum mechanics is bizarre, but it can be understood.

The rules of quantum mechanics are logical, yet unfamiliar. For example, we expect a physical quantity like the position of a particle to be a single number, something that could be measured by a ruler. It is here and not there. That number may vary continuously as the particle moves, and it may be imprecisely known if we have not measured it well, but we intuitively expect it to be a specific number at a specific time.

What physicists have learned is that the position of a particle is not a single number: It is multivalued. The particle is here and there in a way that can be quantified, called the wavefunction. We imagine the wavefunction as a blob filling space, describing the degree to which the particle is in each place: thicker here, thinner there. It can be measured and charted, but our brains don't like it because we evolved to manipulate the macroscopic world, everything larger than a splinter and smaller than a mammoth. Studying quantum mechanics forces us beyond our comfort zone, to apprehend something truly alien and shed our macrocentrism.

When I first learned about quantum mechanics, I was bothered by the crispness of quantum properties almost as much as their fuzziness. Not only is the energy of a particle multivalued, but each of those values is a whole number, never a fraction. It is as though the sliding dimmer light of our intuition has been replaced by an on-off switch with no middle value, but one that can be 30 percent on and 70 percent off, or any other ratio. Quantities have surprisingly little freedom in what values they can take, but surprisingly much freedom in how many they can take at once.

This is the first in a four-part series on quantum mechanics. In the next article, I will present the time paradoxes, followed by wave-particle duality and an overview of how we know what we know.

Jim Pivarski

In the News

Scientists search for understanding of dark matter

From PBS News Hour, Jan. 20, 2014

At the bottom of a nickel mine near Sudbury, Ontario, scientists at one of the world's most sophisticated particle physics observatories are investigating one of the biggest mysteries of the cosmos: What is dark matter? Science correspondent Miles O'Brien helps to shed some light on the research at SNOLAB.

View the video story


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

Power Writing Workshops - Jan. 30

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

ICFA Neutrino Panel town meeting - Jan. 30-31

NALWO crepe cooking demo - Feb. 3

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

Free introductory yoga classes - Feb. 3, 6

Family Science Days in Chicago - Feb. 15-16

Interpersonal Communication Skills - Feb. 26

2014 standard mileage reimbursement rate

Fermi Singers invites new members

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

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