Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Have a safe day!

Wednesday, July 23

3:30 p.m.

4 p.m.
Fermilab Colloquium - One West
Speaker: James Welsh, NIU Institute for Neutron Therapy at Fermilab
Title: The Abscopal Effect, Contagious Cancers, Transplanted Cancers and Pregnancy: Clues to a Genuine Cure for Cancer?

Thursday, July 24

2:30 p.m.
Theoretical Physics Seminar - Curia II
Speaker: Matthew Reece, Harvard University
Title: Nonthermal SUSY Cosmology, Dark Matter and Indirect Detection

3:30 p.m.

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, July 23

- Breakfast: ham, egg and cheese English muffin
- Breakfast: breakfast strata
- Grilled chicken quesadilla
- Smart cuisine: baked cajun catfish
- Shepherd's pie
- Italian antipasto panino
- Grilled- or crispy-chicken Caesar salad
- Sausage, potato and kale soup
- Texas-style chili
- Assorted calzones

Wilson Hall Cafe menu

Chez Leon

Wednesday, July 23
- Greek meatballs with feta yogurt dressing
- Lemon couscous
- Baklava

Friday, July 25
- Spinach and blue cheese souffle
- Filet mignon with cabernet sauce
- Golden mashed potatoes with fried onions and bacon
- Broccoli
- Coffee creme brulee

Chez Leon menu
Call x3524 to make your reservation.


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In Brief

LHC Physics Center turns 10

Former LPC Coordinator Dan Green, left, and current LPC co-coordinators Boaz Klima and Meenakshi Narain celebrate how far the LPC has come over the past 10 years over cake. Photo: Reidar Hahn

The LHC Physics Center, the United States hub for CERN's CMS experiment, celebrated its 10th anniversary earlier this year.

On July 17, members of the LPC marked their first 10 years with a half-day symposium at Fermilab. Previous LPC coordinators and other attendees discussed highlights and their experiences over the last decade.

They capped off the celebration with refreshments.

Fermilab theorist Chris Quigg defies folkloric wisdom and opens indoors an umbrella printed with an image of the CMS detector. Boaz Klima appears unworried. Photo: Reidar Hahn
From symmetry

Exploratorium exhibit reveals the invisible

A determined volunteer gives an old detector new life as the centerpiece of a cosmic ray exhibit. Image: Sandbox Studio

Watch one of the exhibits in San Francisco's Exploratorium science museum and count to 10, and you'll have a very good chance of seeing a three-foot-long, glowing red spark.

The exhibit is a spark chamber, a piece of experimental equipment 5 feet wide and more than 6 feet tall, and the spark marks the path of a muon, a particle released when a cosmic ray hits the Earth's atmosphere. The spark chamber came to the museum by way of the garage of physicist and computer scientist Dave Grossman.

"I always thought this would make a great science exhibit," says Grossman, who spent more than eight years gathering funding and equipment from places like SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, building the chamber, and trying to find it a home.

Grossman wrote the book — the Ph.D. dissertation, actually — on this type of spark chamber during the mid-1960s when he was a graduate student at Harvard University. Grossman's task was to help design and build a spark chamber that could reveal the precise paths of certain types of particles.

All spark chambers contain a mixture of inert gases — usually neon and helium — that glow when an electric current passes through them (think neon signs). When an energetic charged particle passes through the gas, it leaves a trail of ionized molecules. When voltage is applied to the gas, the current flows along the trail, illuminating the particle's path.

Read more

Lori Ann White

Photo of the Day

Gold skies at the Village

A gorgeous sunset, photographed just west of the Village, illuminates the ceiling of clouds. Photo: Manbir Kaur
In the News

Planning for an electron-ion collider at Brookhaven

From iSGTW, July 16, 2014

In a paper detailing the scientific goals for a new high-energy electron-ion collider (EIC) at Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton, New York, US, the authors use the phrase, "understanding the glue that binds us all." One of the co-authors, Liang Zheng, a PhD exchange student from Central China Normal University in Wuhan, explains it like this:

"The EIC is a project to help us understand the origin and structure of the core of the atom, the nucleus and nucleons within it, which account for essentially all the mass of the visible universe. Even though the strong nuclear force, the force that joins the nucleons together to make the atom's nucleus, makes up 95 percent of the visible mass of the universe, and indeed us, it is the least understood of the forces in the standard model."

Read more

From the Scientific Computing Division

The science of data collection

Kurt Biery

Kurt Biery, head of the Real-Time Software Infrastructure Department, wrote this column.

Whether an experiment at Fermilab is carried out through a short exposure of a prototype detector to a particle beam or a multiyear run of a large detector with hundreds of thousands of data taking channels, they all need data acquisition systems to collect their data.

The primary purpose of such a system is to convert the signals from the detector components into digital data, organize the data into well-defined blocks, select subsets of the data that pass specific acceptance criteria and store the data on disk for later storage and analysis.

In some experiments, the data acquisition needs are modest, but many experiments have technically challenging requirements, such as transferring tens of gigabytes of data per second and selecting the 0.1 percent of the data that contains the interesting physics.

Engineers and software developers in the Scientific Computing Division work with experiment collaborators, as well as engineers, developers and scientists in the Particle Physics Division, to develop the DAQ systems needed for today's high-energy physics and cosmology experiments. SCD engineers develop hardware and firmware to read out the data and provide the precise timing information needed to correlate data from different parts of the detector. SCD software developers write applications and tools to transfer and filter the data and to control, configure and monitor the performance of the detector and the DAQ system.

As a result of technology improvements, today's DAQ systems can be designed almost entirely from commercial off-the-shelf hardware. Multiple levels of custom electronics can be consolidated into a single level of processors. This fits well with the needs of experiments that require a DAQ system in which all of the data is streamed into a cluster of computers. Software filters are run on those computers to select the events of interest.

Software frameworks provide reusable core functionality and allow experimenters to create components that perform experiment-specific functions, significantly reducing the effort needed to build software for an experiment's DAQ system. Two such frameworks that have been developed within SCD are the artdaq data acquisition toolkit and the art event analysis framework. artdaq provides necessary DAQ functionality and allows experimenters to develop the software that configures and reads out their particular detector components. art is used for the offline analysis on many experiments at Fermilab, and it is included in artdaq to provide data analysis and filtering in the online environment.

Members of SCD contribute to data acquisition development on the DarkSide-50, LArIAT, LBNF, MicroBooNE, Mu2e and NOvA experiments. NOvA, which started taking data this year, uses custom hardware and software DAQ components. DarkSide-50 and LArIAT use commercial DAQ hardware and the artdaq toolkit. Mu2e, which will be constructed over the next five to seven years, will use commercial DAQ hardware and the artdaq toolkit. The Mu2e DAQ will take advantage of improvements in commercial hardware while still providing the high data rates that are needed.

The work on these experiments shows the evolution of our approach to DAQ systems, providing state-of-the art systems to current and future experiments at Fermilab.

Safety Update

ESH&Q weekly report, July 22

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

An employee received a yellowjacket sting on his shin, which immediately swelled. He was given some restrictions and a walking boot, and he returned to work the next day.

Find the full report here.


Today's New Announcements

Vehicles in restricted parking lots from July 25-27 will be towed

English country dancing Sunday at Kuhn Barn - July 27

Final swim lessons registration due July 28

Deadline for the University of Chicago tuition remission program - Aug. 18

Fermilab prairie plant survey - Aug. 9

Call for applications: URA Visiting Scholars Program - apply by Aug. 25

Fermilab Tango Club

Scottish country dancing Tuesday evenings in Ramsey Auditorium

International folk dancing Thursday evenings in Ramsey Auditorium

Outdoor soccer

Fermi Days at Six Flags Great America

Employee Appreciation Day at Hollywood Palms Cinema