Friday, Aug. 8, 2014

Have a safe day!

Friday, Aug. 8

3:30 p.m.


Monday, Aug. 11

8:20 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
Fermilab-CERN Hadron Collider Physics Summer Symposium


3 p.m.
LHC Physics Center Topic of the Week Seminar - WH11NE
Speaker: Joey Huston, Michigan State University
Title: The New Les Houches High Precision Wish List

3:30 p.m.

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

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Wilson Hall Cafe

Friday, Aug. 8

- Breakfast: chilaquiles
- Breakfast: chorizo and egg burrito
- Beer-battered fish sandwich
- Smart cuisine: chana masala
- Traditional turkey dinner
- 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, Aug. 8

Wednesday, Aug. 13
- Baked southwest chicken with jack cheese and peppers
- Frijoles
- Mexican rice
- Apricot pecan tartlets

Chez Leon menu
Call x3524 to make your reservation.


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One minute with Michael Pfaff, lead groundskeeper

Michael Pfaff helps maintain Fermilab's beautiful grounds. Photo: Cindy Arnold

How did you find yourself at Fermilab?
When I graduated from college I worked for The Care of Trees for a while. But my job was about an hour-and-15-minute drive each way, so I started looking for jobs that were closer to home. My brother told me about an opening at Fermilab so I applied and got the job. I've been here almost seven years now.

What does a typical workday look like for you?
There isn't really a typical work day. In the winter I'm most likely removing snow or trees, but in the summer it could be mowing, spraying, tree removal, even catching an animal that accidentally got into a building. There are a million different things you can do in our department, Roads and Grounds, and on any given day you can do just about any of them.

What's your favorite thing about working at Fermilab?
I really like that every day is not the same. It's really nice that I get to work outside all the time. Even in the winter time, it's great to get fresh air. I really like that I get an opportunity to interact with so many different people from all different parts of the lab. We're always doing a service for someone, so I could be talking with a physicist one day and an electrician the next day or both in the same day. I also just really like the Roads and Grounds group. We'll razz each other and joke around but we all get along pretty well.

How else are you involved in laboratory life?
I've been a member of the Employee Advisory Group for two and a half years and joined the EAG's steering committee six months ago. The EAG advises the directorate on all sorts of lab-related issues, and the steering committee is a smaller group that gets together to decide what the EAG should focus on.

My wife and I are members of Fermilab Natural Areas, which is a not-for-profit volunteer group that helps restore, manage and conserve the natural areas of the lab. I'm also on the Prairie Fire softball team in the lab's co-ed league.

What do you like to do outside of work?
My wife and I really enjoy being outside. We like to hike and camp a lot, and we have a big garden with goats and chickens at home.

What's something that people may not know about you?
My wife and I had an atypical honeymoon. We went to Glacier National Park and camped in the backcountry for eight days. We're also expecting our second child in a month. Another thing: We're going on three years without owning a television set.

Hanae Armitage

In Brief

Notebooks by Fermilab's namesake housed at University of Chicago

Enrico Ferni's original sketch of the nuclear pile is visible in the upper left. From the Enrico Fermi Collection in the University of Chicago Library, Special Collections Research Center, Box 42, Folder 4.

Fun fact: Contrary to what some believe, famed physicist Enrico Fermi never worked at Fermilab or on any Fermilab experiment. Indeed, he died in 1954, well before the founding of what was then named the National Accelerator Laboratory, in 1967. It was renamed Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in 1974 in honor of Fermi's great achievements in the field of particle physics.

The University of Chicago houses an extensive collection of Enrico Fermi's notebooks, letters and notes. The collection is available for public viewing. Digitized scans of his notebooks are also available online.

You can read about Fermilab's dedication event in the May 9, 1974, and May 16, 1974, issues of the original Fermilab employee newsletter, The Village Crier. You can also see the program and read more about the dedication ceremony at the Fermilab History and Archives Project website.

In the News

Quantum particles take the road most traveled

From LiveScience, Aug. 6, 2014

For the first time ever, physicists have mapped the path that particles are most likely to take when moving from one quantum state to another.

In physics, a concept called the "path of least action" describes the trajectory that an object is most likely to follow, similar to the familiar concept of the "path of least resistance." For example, a tossed football follows a parabolic arc through the air instead of spinning off in crazy loops or zigzags. That's because a parabola path requires fewer "actions" than a looped or zigzag path.

Read more

In the News

Particle measurement sidesteps the uncertainty principle

From Scientific American, Aug. 6, 2014

Quantum mechanics imposes a limit on what we can know about subatomic particles. If physicists measure a particle's position, they cannot also measure its momentum, so the theory goes. But a new experiment has managed to circumvent this rule — the so-called uncertainty principle — by ascertaining just a little bit about a particle's position, thus retaining the ability to measure its momentum, too.

Read more

Frontier Science Result: CMS

An ambidextrous W boson?

The weak force loves particles that spin in one direction but completely ignores particles that spin the other way. In today's article, I describe a search for a particle that would interact with the ignored spin.

Of the four known subatomic forces, the weak force has what seems to be a particularly bizarre behavior. It's a lefty. What exactly does that mean in the subatomic realm? To understand, you need to remember that fundamental particles spin and that they spin in a peculiar way.

Suppose you're playing catch with someone using a football. If you throw the football properly, the ball spins around the long axis of the ball. As you see the ball coming towards you, you see the ball spin in either a clockwise or counterclockwise direction. Scientists call the clockwise rotation left-handed, because if you take your left hand and aim your thumb in the direction the ball is moving (toward you), the fingers of your left hand naturally wrap in the clockwise direction.

The strong and electromagnetic forces, with their gluons and photons, don't care which way the particle is spinning. But the weak force, with its W boson, will interact with only a left-handed particle. W bosons just don't interact with counterclockwise-spinning particles. And, while it seems weird, the theory of the weak force has long accommodated this fact.

On the other hand, given the symmetry of the other forces, maybe the problem is that we just haven't found the kind of W boson that interacts with right-handed particles. This isn't an unreasonable conjecture — maybe the right-handed W bosons are just much heavier than the familiar left-handed versions. If that's the case, then the LHC, with its high-energy beams, would be a perfect place for finding right-handed W bosons.

While symmetry and aesthetic considerations might be enough reason to look for heavy right-handed W bosons, some related theoretical ideas have been proposed. One such thought involves the neutrino, which is the only particle that feels only the weak force. Neutrinos are incredibly light, much lighter than other particles that have mass. Given this discrepancy, maybe the neutrinos don't get their mass from the Higgs boson as other particles do. It could be an entirely different mechanism. Neutrinos are also left-handed particles, and scientists have proposed that perhaps there exists a heavier and right-handed version. Under this theory, the masses of the left-handed and right-handed neutrinos are connected in that if one goes up, the other goes down. This connection is called the seesaw mechanism.

Given the interesting possibilities, CMS searched for the two inextricably linked theoretical particles: heavy, right-handed W bosons and neutrinos. No evidence was found for either, although the new measurement is the most precise one thus far.

Don Lincoln

These U.S. scientists contributed to this analysis.
These physicists are involved in testing the QIE chip for the CMS hadron calorimeter upgrade. The QIE chip takes electrical signals from the detector and converts them to numbers so that computers can analyze the data.
Photo of the Day

Which way should I fly?

A hawk comes to a crossroads. Photo: Mike Stiemann, AD

Today's New Announcements

Outdoor soccer

C++ FNAL Software School - today

English country dancing Sunday afternoon at Kuhn Barn - Aug. 10

Fermilab Lecture Series presents The Science of Speed - Aug. 15

Deadline for the UChicago tuition remission program - Aug. 18

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

New central web services launched

Walk 2 Run offers two time slots in August

International folk dancing Thursday evenings at Ramsey through August

Scottish country dancing Tuesday evenings at Ramsey through August

Fermilab Tango Club

Find new classified ads on Fermilab Today.