Monday, May 5, 2014

Have a safe day!

Monday, May 5

2 p.m.
Particle Astrophysics Seminar - Curia II
Speaker: Marc Postman, Space Telescope Science Institute
Title: Latest Results from the Cluster Lensing and Supernovae Survey with Hubble (CLASH)

3:30 p.m.

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

Tuesday, May 6

11 a.m.
Academic Lecture Series - One West
Speaker: Sheldon Stone, Syracuse University
Title: Quark Flavor Physics I

3:30 p.m.

4 p.m.
Accelerator Physics and Technology Seminar - One West
Speaker: Flor de Maria Blaszczyk, Louisiana State University
Title: A Journey from T2K to LArIAT

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

Monday, May 5

- Breakfast: Mexican omelet
- Breakfast: sausage, egg and cheese croissant
- Taco al pastor
- Smart cuisine: ancho chili barbecue beef
- Marinated roasted chicken
- Torta de jamon (Mexican ham sandwich)
- Chicken tostada
- Caldo de camaron
- Texas-style chili
- Assorted pizza by the slice

Wilson Hall Cafe menu

Chez Leon

Wednesday, May 7
- Potato cod cakes with dijon tartar sauce
- Kale salad
- Lemon pound cake with blueberry sauce

Friday, May 9
- Mussels with white wine and thyme
- Herb-crusted lamb chops
- Caramelized onion and horseradish mashed potatoes
- Sauteed baby carrots
- Banana profiteroles

Chez Leon menu
Call x3524 to make your reservation.


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From symmetry

Keeping things awesome on the Dark Energy Survey

Scientists stay inspired in their sometimes tedious task of inspecting photographs taken in the Dark Energy Survey's ambitious cataloging of one-eighth of the sky. Photo courtesy of Dark Energy Survey

Physicists working on the Dark Energy Survey can expect to pull many an all-nighter. The international collaboration of more than 120 scientists aims to take about 100,000 photographs peering deep into the night sky. Scientists must personally review many of these photos to make sure the experiment is working well, and they've come up with ways to stay motivated while doing so.

DES scientists collected almost 14,000 photographs from August 2013 to February 2014, in the first of five seasons they plan to operate their sophisticated Dark Energy Camera. Even for those of us who aren't trying to take the most detailed survey of the universe, it might not come as a surprise that complications can occur during operation. For example, the telescope may not always sync up with the natural movement of the night sky, and passing airplanes can create trails in the images. Software bugs can also cause issues.

Two of the DES researchers, Erin Sheldon of Brookhaven National Laboratory and Peter Melchior of The Ohio State University, created the DES Exposure Checker, an online gallery of images from the telescope. Team members use the photo repository as a way to spot imperfections and other issues with the images so they can fix problems as quickly as possible.

"These problems are easier for an actual person to see rather than some automated program," Sheldon says. "And then we can create an inventory to help diagnose troubles that may occur with future images."

When reviewing photos, DES scientists flag the ones that show symptoms of different problems, such as long streaks from satellites; unwanted reflections, called ghosts; or marks left by cosmic rays. But the process can get overwhelming with thousands of photos to look over. So the DES researchers decided to add a positive classification to the mix — an "Awesome!" category. When someone sees an incredible photo, they can mark it as such in the database.

Sheldon points out one of his favorite images, one that captured a passing comet. "It was just so serendipitous. We couldn't find that if we pointed the telescope in the same place at any other time," he says.

Read more

Amanda Solliday

Photo of the Day

Skywriting, of a kind

The lines formed by contrails echo those of Edward Tufte's sculptures of Feynman diagrams. Photo: Amanda Solliday
In Brief

Retesting of emergency messaging system tomorrow

Tomorrow, May 6, at approximately 10 a.m., the laboratory's emergency messaging system will be retested. A few modifications to the system delivery process have been made since the test in February. You will not have to confirm the message(s), and you will receive only one message at each contact number, text and email.

Actual emergency messages can be sent at any time, 24/7, with the exception of tornado warnings, watches and related all-clear messages, which can be sent between 5:30 a.m. and 10 p.m., Monday through Friday.

For more information on the emergency messaging system, please see the frequently asked questions document on the Fermilab emergency management website.

In the News

The antarctic neutrino camera is about go get much, much bigger

From Gizmodo, May 1, 2014

The University of Wisconsin's IceCube neutrino detection system has been quietly operating amid Antarctica's barren tundra for more than four years now. In that time, the fledgling detector has captured more than 100 cosmic neutrinos, many of which originated far outside our Milky Way galaxy. And if project leaders get their way, its imaging quality is about to improve by an order of magnitude.

Read more

Tip of the Week:
Ecology and Environment

Fermilab Natural Areas gets a Strategic Plan

Fermilab Natural Areas has been an Illinois 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation since 2008. The group recently adopted a Strategic Plan to support an aggressive fundraising drive.

Part of Fermilab's "personality" is our pride in the land we occupy. Robert Wilson, the laboratory's first director, instilled a sense of place that has continued for more than 40 years. In 1975, with the assistance of Robert Betz, we began our history of ecological land stewardship with the first handful of acres of tallgrass prairie reconstruction. Fermilab now boasts more than 1,100 acres of reconstructed prairie and a fully fledged philosophy of ecological land management.

In 2008, in the face of declining budgets and increased demands on our Roads and Grounds Department, a group of volunteers decided to create Fermilab Natural Areas, a not-for-profit corporation dedicated to caring for the land at Fermilab. The idea behind FNA was to enable an increase in conservation and restoration of the natural areas.

Since the first days of FNA's existence, it has grown and accomplished much at Fermilab. Last year, the FNA Board of Directors decided that a comprehensive Strategic Plan was needed to focus the efforts of the group and to demonstrate to members, volunteers, and potential contributors and grantors that FNA's goals were well-founded and practical.

At the core of the plan is our mission to carry out conservation practices and projects at Fermilab and to study our natural areas to help us and other land managers in the future. Projects that further the mission include maintaining existing land management practices, such as prescribed burning, controlling invasive species, and undertaking projects designed to improve habitat and increase biodiversity, like improving the quality of the oak savanna in the middle of the Main Ring.

The plan supports these activities with three additional goals: engagement, communication and fundraising. Because FNA is exclusively a volunteer-based organization, we must actively engage potential volunteers from our membership and others who are interested in improving natural areas at Fermilab. Planning regular programs such as nature walks and presentations like the popular "Hawk Talk" keep volunteers engaged. Communication about FNA and its opportunities is essential for attracting more volunteers and members. You can learn about FNA from our website or on Facebook.

The life blood of volunteer, not-for-profit groups like FNA is fundraising. Because we are not federally funded, we have the flexibility to solicit funding through grants that are not available to DOE or FRA. Over the last few years, FNA has received grants from The Boeing Employees Community Fund, DuPage Community Foundation, Illinois Department of Natural Resources and others to support our projects. FNA is supported substantially through membership fees and sales of FNA T-shirts, hats and recycled rain barrels. The Strategic Plan foresees a corporate donation program going forward to provide more funding and also to engage local businesses in the FNA mission.

Rod Walton

In the News

Could tiny "black hole atoms" be elusive dark matter?

From, April 30, 2014

Dark matter, the invisible and mysterious stuff that makes up most of the material universe, might be hiding itself in microscopic black holes, says a team of Russian astrophysicists.

No one knows what dark matter is. But scientists do know that it must exist, because there is not enough visible matter in the cosmos to account for all the gravity that binds galaxies and other large-scale structures together.

Read more


Today's New Announcements

Central web service town hall meeting - May 8

Yoga Open House class - May 8

Wilson Street entrance closed

NALWO spring tea - today

Martial Arts open house - today

Pre-retirement planning Lunch and Learn - May 7

Yoga registration due May 8

Take the train commuting survey by May 9

English country dancing with live music on May 18

Change in tax practice may affect some visitors

A Smart Cuisine purchase earns you 10 bonus points