Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Have a safe day!

Wednesday, May 14

8 a.m.-6 p.m.
Americas Workshop on Linear Colliders 2014 - Wilson Hall
Register in person

11 a.m.
Computing Techniques Seminar (NOTE LOCATION) - One West
Speaker: Regis Kopper, Duke University
Title: Understanding the Benefits of Immersive Virtual Reality: from Interaction to Visualization

3:30 p.m.


Thursday, May 15

9 a.m.-5:40 p.m.
Americas Workshop on Linear Colliders 2014 - Wilson Hall
Register in person

2:30 p.m.
Theoretical Physics Seminar - Curia II
Speaker: Daniel Hernandez, Northwestern University
Title: Recent Ideas on the Flavor Puzzle

3:30 p.m.

4 p.m.
Accelerator Physics and Technology Seminar (NOTE DATE, LOCATION) - Curia II
Speaker: Rob Ainsworth, Royal Holloway, University of London
Title: Parasitic Resonances in High-Power Proton Linacs

4 p.m.
Joint Experimental-Theoretical Physics Seminar (NOTE DATE) - One West
Speaker: Regina Demina, University of Rochester
Title: Top Forward-Backward Asymmetry at DZero

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

Wednesday, May 14

- Breakfast: breakfast casserole
- Breakfast: ham, egg and cheese English muffin
- Italian sausage combo sandwich
- Smart cuisine: herbed pot roast
- Roasted turkey with dressing
- Turkey bacon panino
- Mongolian beef stir fry
- Chunky broccoli cheese soup
- Texas-style chili
- Assorted calzones

Wilson Hall Cafe menu

Chez Leon

Wednesday, May 14
- Danish open-face sandwiches
- Cucumber salad
- Caramel apple cake

Friday, May 16

Chez Leon menu
Call x3524 to make your reservation.


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From symmetry

Saving the Feynman van

A team of Richard Feynman's friends and fans banded together to restore the Nobel laureate's most famous vehicle. Photo courtesy of Seamus Blackley

"The game I play is a very interesting one," says Nobel Laureate Richard Feynman in a low-resolution video posted to YouTube. "It's imagination in a tight straitjacket."

Feynman is describing his job as a theoretical physicist: to lay out what humanity knows about how the world works and to search the spaces in between for what we might have missed.

The video shows more than Feynman's way with words. It shows his approachability. One of the greatest minds that particle physics has ever known stands barefoot, lecturing in a distinct Queens, New York, accent for an audience lounging casually on the floor at the new-age Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California.

In a way, Feynman remains approachable to this day for all of the snippets of his personality left behind in books, letters and recordings of formal and informal lectures and interviews.

Recently, a more concrete bit of Feynman history came out of retirement: A small team has brought back to life the so-called "Feynman van."

One camper, special order
In 1975, Feynman and his wife, Gweneth Howarth, bought a Dodge Tradesman Maxivan and had it painted with Feynman diagrams, symbols Feynman had invented to express complicated particle interactions through simple lines and loops.

It might seem arrogant to drive around in a van covered in reminders of one's own intellectual prowess. But Feynman's daughter, Michelle, thinks the decorations represented something else: a love of physics.

"My dad was pretty low-key about himself," she says. "I think decorating the van was more to celebrate the diagrams than to celebrate himself."

Michelle's parents put a lot of thought into the design of the vehicle, which they primarily used for camping, Michelle says. It was outfitted with a small hammock for Michelle to use in case the family of four needed to sleep inside during inclement weather.

"I don't think that they had ever done anything like that with a car purchase before," Michelle says. "It was always: Go to the dealer and find something — it doesn't really matter what color it is — and you'll have it for a million years."

The Feynman family took the van to Canada, Mexico and dozens of US campsites in between, often traveling with a couple of other families, often leaving the paved road for the unknown.

Michelle began driving the van to school after she turned 16.

"I thought it was kind of embarrassing," she says. "But at a certain point I kind of got over it. If you want to drive at that age, you'll drive anything."

After Michelle's first couple of years in college, one of her father's friends, film producer Ralph Leighton — Feynman's drumming partner in another famous fuzzy YouTube clip — bought the van and put it into storage, where it began to rust and fade.

Read more

Kathryn Jepsen

Photos of the Day

A chip off the new board

This chip, called VIPRAM, is the first prototype of a new concept developed at Fermilab. It uses the emerging 3-D vertical integrated chip technology to advance state-of-the-art, fast pattern recognition within and outside high-energy physics. This prototype is in 2-D, but it contains all the building blocks that are fully compatible and ready for 3-D integration. One of its main potential applications is the real-time recognition of charged particles coming out of the CMS detector. The particles arise from billions of collisions every second at the future high-luminosity LHC. The R&D project is funded by the DOE Collider Detector R&D Program, and it is fully supported by URA fellowship program. Photo: Reidar Hahn
This is the Pulsar-II board, a general-purpose processor capable of creating a scalable architecture abundant in flexible, high-bandwidth interconnections. It has more than 1-terabit-per-second input-output capability. For high-luminosity LHC applications, the Pulsar-II can host a bank of high-performance VIPRAM chips, providing a powerful mechanism for the rapid recognition of charged particles in the CMS detector, crucial for frontier physics reach at high-luminosity LHC. Photo: Reidar Hahn
In the News

Physicist leads effort to image melted cores

From The Japan Times, May 11, 2014

​Haruo Miyadera is spearheading a project to use subatomic particles called muons to peer into the damaged reactors at the Fukushima No. 1 power plant.

​"Finding out what is happening inside the reactors will be the first step toward dismantling them," said the 36-year-old physicist at Toshiba Corp.'s Power and Industrial Systems Research and Development Center.

​Tokyo Electric Power Co., which runs the power plant, wants to start removing the reactors' melted fuel cores in 2020. It plans to install muon detection equipment next year that will help them examine the reactors' interiors, which are too radioactive to probe by direct means.

​"I'm excited because our efforts will finally pay off, but also feel terrified when I think about the gravity of our responsibility," Miyadera said.

Read more


Inspiring today's students

Marge Bardeen

Marge Bardeen, head of the Education Office, wrote this column.

The calendar says spring, and so does the Education Office field trip calendar. This time of year yellow school buses roll up to Wilson Hall or the Lederman Science Center, loaded primarily with students from 8th to 12th grades who have come to meet scientists in our workplace. Some students as young as 1st grade visit the prairie, mostly in the fall. Last year more than 10,000 students made the trip to Fermilab.

The Education Office docents and the members of the technical staff who join the groups for Q&A are the face of Fermilab for these young people. We could not have better representatives for our lab.

As one teacher from Kentucky put it, "Each year, when we leave Fermilab, my students are as excited about what they have learned as they are about the mysteries which remain unsolved. Your staff really helps them to believe that the solution to these mysteries might just lie in their own minds and imaginations. I would travel a million miles to any place which can help my students to understand this. To know that I need only go to Fermilab is a wonderful thought indeed. In a beautiful way, everyone at Fermilab helps, each year, to place the keys to Universe into my students' hands. As a teacher, I can't thank you enough."

As you encounter these groups in the halls, elevators or in the cafeteria, you may wonder why we do this. There are two main reasons: workforce development and citizenship. Tomorrow's graduate students are in middle and high school today. Some will pursue STEM careers, possibly in particle physics. They will build on our discoveries. For others whose career paths lie elsewhere, an appreciation of science and scientific inquiry is essential for a well-informed and well-educated modern citizenry. They are the voters and politicians of tomorrow. You can make a difference; just look at the before and after images (below) that a 7th grader created in connection with a visit to Fermilab.

When you meet a group of young people with their teachers and chaperones, say hello. If there is time or you are asked, tell them what you do at Fermilab. Everyone performs an essential function for a large research institution, but students may think only "scientist." From physicist to engineer, travel agent to machinist, accountant to director, you help students understand what makes Fermilab work.

We could not provide this outreach without our 25 terrific docents. With support from Sue Sheehan and Maureen Hix, they provide wonderful hospitality filled with knowledge, enthusiasm and kindness — and a glimpse into the world of science.

Before visiting Fermilab, one 7th grader drew the figure on the left, depicting a scientist. After visiting physicists at Fermilab, she drew the scientist on the right.
In Brief

New and improved Fermilab Service Awards program

Fermilab is pleased to announce enhancements to our Service Awards program, expanding recognition for milestones of five, 15, 40, 45 and 50 years of employee service. This is in addition to the 10-, 20-, 25-, 30- and 35-year milestones, which we recognize currently.

In Phase I of the enhancements, Fermilab will begin the recognition five and 15 years of service. This will be retroactive effective to January 2014, the date on which DOE approved the program.

WDRS is excited to introduce these enhancements, which have been added due to your feedback. Newly recognized five-year employees should be on the lookout for gift packets from our service award partner Lester Lampert. The gifts will be mailed to your home address. Employees are encouraged to take a look at their website.

Keep an eye on Fermilab Today for the announcement of Phase II.

Safety Update

ESH&Q weekly report, May 13

This week's safety report, compiled by the Fermilab ESH&Q Section, contains one incident.

An employee tripped and fell down the front stairs of Wilson Hall, injuring one knee and both hands. He received first-aid treatment.

Find the full report here.


Today's New Announcements

Arts and Lecture Series presents Quantum Universe - Hitoshi Murayama - June 11

Fermilab scientist gives Higgs talk - May 15

Wilson Street entrance closed until May 18

English country dancing with live music - May 18

Mac OSX end of life - May 21

Joint Speaker Series: Science and Serendipity - May 21

Change in tax practice may affect some visitors

Be a winner! Take the Take Five Challenge spring 2014

Martial Arts

Fermi pool memberships

Water aerobics registration

Preschool and beginner swim lesson registration

Women softball players needed for Fermi coed league

Thursday night golf at Arrowhead Golf Course

Abri Credit Union new financial advisor