Monday, Nov. 3, 2014

Have a safe day!

Monday, Nov. 3

9 a.m.-6:30 p.m.
BSM Higgs Workshop at LPC 2014 - One West

2 p.m.
Particle Astrophysics Seminar (NOTE LOCATION) - WH6NW
Speaker: Chris Carilli, National Radio Astronomy Observatory
Title: Cosmic Reionization

3:30 p.m.
Director's Coffee Break - WH2XO

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

Tuesday, Nov. 4

9 a.m.-6:30 p.m.
BSM Higgs Workshop at LPC 2014 - One West

3:30 p.m.
Director's Coffee Break - WH2XO

4 p.m.
Accelerator Physics and Technology Seminar (NOTE LOCATION) - Curia II
Speaker: Daniel Noll, Goethe University
TItle: The Particle-in-Cell Code Bender and Its Application to Nonrelativistic Beam Transport

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Wilson Hall Cafe

Monday, Nov. 3

- Breakfast: blueberry crepes
- Breakfast: sausage, egg and cheese croissant
- Philly-style cheesesteak with peppers
- Chicken creole
- Greek patitsio
- Spicy Asian chicken wrap
- Halai chicken and vegetable curry with naan
- Chicken noodle soup
- Texas-style chili
- Assorted pizza by the slice

Wilson Hall Cafe menu

Chez Leon

Wednesday, Nov. 5
- Marinated flank steak
- Parmesan orzo
- Sauteed Brussels sprouts
- Lemon blueberry cake

Friday, Nov. 7
- French onion soup
- Filet mignon with horseradish cream sauce
- Roasted new potatoes
- Broccoli puree
- Chocolate souffle

Chez Leon menu
Call x3524 to make your reservation.


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New technique for generating RF power may dramatically cut linac costs

A team from the Accelerator Division has successfully powered this small SRF cavity with a magnetron. Now they aim to power a large, application-specific model. Photo: Brian Chase, AD

If you own a magnetron, you probably use it to cook frozen burritos. The device powers microwave ovens by converting electricity into electromagnetic radiation. But Fermilab engineers believe they've found an even better use. They've developed a new technique to use a magnetron to power a superconducting radio-frequency (SRF) cavity, potentially saving hundreds of millions of dollars in the construction and operating costs of future linear accelerators.

The technique is far from market-ready, but recent tests with Accelerator Division RF Department-developed components at the Fermilab AZero test facility have proven that the idea works. Team leaders Brian Chase and Ralph Pasquinelli have, with Fermilab's Office of Partnerships and Technology Transfer, applied for a patent and are looking for industrial partners to help scale up the process.

Both high-energy physics and industrial applications could benefit from the development of a high-power, magnetron-based RF station. The SRF cavity power source is a major cost of accelerators, but thanks to a long manufacturing history, accelerator-scale magnetrons could be mass-produced at a fraction of the cost of klystrons and other technologies typically used to generate and control radio waves in accelerators.

"Instead of paying $10 to $15 per watt of continuous-wave RF power, we believe that we can deliver that for about $3 per watt," Pasquinelli said.

That adds up quickly for modern projects like Fermilab's Proton Improvement Plan II, with more than 100 cavities, or the proposed International Linear Collider, which will call for about 15,000 cavities requiring more than 3 billion watts of pulsed RF power. The magnetron design is also far more efficient than klystrons, further driving down long-term costs.

But the straightforward idea wasn't without obstacles.

"For an accelerator, you need very precise control of the amplitude and the phase of the signal," Chase said. That's on the order of 0.01 percent accuracy. Magnetrons don't normally allow this kind of control.

One solution, Chase realized, is to apply a well-known mathematical expression known as a Bessel function, developed in the 19th century for astronomical calculations. Chase repurposed the function for the magnetron's phase modulation scheme, which allowed for a high degree of control over the signal's amplitude. Similar possible solutions to the amplitude problem use two magnetrons, but doubling most of the hardware would mean negating potential savings.

"Our technique uses one magnetron, and we use this modulation scheme, which has been known for almost a hundred years. It's just never been put together," Pasquinelli said. "And we came in thinking, 'Why didn't anyone else think of that?'"

Chase and Pasquinelli are now working with Bob Kephart, director of the Illinois Accelerator Research Center, to find an industry partner to help them develop their idea. Inexpensive, controlled RF power is already needed in certain medical equipment, and according to Kephart, driving down the costs will allow new applications to surface, such as using accelerators to clean up flue gas or sterilizing municipal waste.

"The reason I'm not retired is that I want to build this prototype," Pasquinelli said. "It's a solution to a real-world problem, and it will be a lot of fun to build the first one."

Troy Rummler

The magnetron project members are, from left: Brian Chase, Ed Cullerton, Ralph Pasquinelli and Philip Varghese. Photo: Elvin Harms, AD
In the News

Dark matter: Out with the WIMPs, in with the SIMPs?

From Science, Oct. 30, 2014

Like cops tracking the wrong person, physicists seeking to identify dark matter — the mysterious stuff whose gravity appears to bind the galaxies — may have been stalking the wrong particle. In fact, a particle with some properties opposite to those of physicists' current favorite dark matter candidate — the weakly interacting massive particle, or WIMP — would do just as good a job at explaining the stuff, a quartet of theorists says. Hypothetical strongly interacting massive particles — or SIMPs — would also better account for some astrophysical observations, they argue.

"We've been searching for WIMPs for quite some time, but we haven't found them yet, so I think it's important to think outside the box," says Yonit Hochberg, a theorist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of California (UC), Berkeley, and an author of the new paper.

Theorists dreamed up WIMPs 30 years ago to help explain why galaxies don't just fly apart. The particles would have a mass between one and 1000 times that of a proton and, in addition to gravity, would interact with one another and with ordinary matter through only the weak nuclear force, one of two forces of nature that normally exert themselves only in the atomic nucleus.

Read more

Tip of the Week: Safety

Space heater safety

This ceramic heater, suitable for use at work, is available in the Fermilab Stockroom. Photo: J.B. Dawson, ESH&Q

As the days turn cooler, many people find their workspace chillier as well. The use of space heaters is permitted at the laboratory, provided employees follow these conditions:

  • Ensure that space heaters have the required UL, ETL or NRTL label and have a switch that turns it off if it is tipped over.
  • Choose ceramic heaters, rather than radiant heaters, for use at work. The glowing elements of radiant heaters pose a greater fire hazard, so these heaters should be retired.
  • Inspect heaters before use. Do not use ones that are damaged, discolored or have frayed cords or plugs.
  • Clean dust and lint from space heaters. Look through ceramic heaters to see if lint is clogging the heating element. Clean the air filters on heaters that have them.
  • Place the heater on a stable, level surface where it won't be knocked over.
  • Keep combustible materials such as paper, furniture or clothing away from the heater. There must be no combustible materials within 3 feet around or above the heater.
  • Plug space heaters into permanent building outlets, not into power strips or extension cords.
  • Do not power a space heater from a loose or damaged outlet. Ask for bad outlets to be repaired.
  • Never run the cord under rugs or carpets.
  • If the cord, plug or receptacle gets hot when the heater is running, stop using the heater until the problem is fixed.
  • Turn off space heaters when you leave your work area. This reduces the fire hazard and saves energy, too.

We recommend that you use the ceramic-element space heaters from the Fermilab Stockroom, item #2800-100000. You don't need to bring your own heater to work.

Dave Mertz

Video of the Day

The CMS detector

The Higgs boson was discovered in 2012 by scientists on the ATLAS and CMS experiments. Located 300 feet underground in Cessy, France, the CMS detector inspects collisions of protons from the Large Hadron Collider and searches for new physics. U.S. CMS Education and Outreach Coordinator Don Lincoln tells us more. View the video. Video: U.S. CMS
Special Announcement

All-hands meeting - Wednesday at 10 a.m. in auditorium

Please join Fermilab Director Nigel Lockyer for an all-hands meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 5, at 10 a.m. in Ramsey Auditorium.

Lockyer will provide updates and information on the state of the laboratory. A question-and-answer session will follow the presentation.

Photos of the Day

Queens of Halloween

ESH&Q's Kathy Zappia, left, and Jemila Adetunji are the queens of quality at Fermilab. Photo courtesy of Martha Michels, ESH&Q
They display their holiday and lab spirit. Photo courtesy of Martha Michels, ESH&Q

Today's New Announcements

Sitewide power outage for substation test - Nov. 3-4

Ramsey Auditorium horseshoe road closure begins today

Silk and Thistle Scottish dancing celebrates 20 years - Nov. 4

Managing Conflict - Nov. 5 (morning only)

English country dancing - Nov. 9

Computer Security Awareness Day 2014 - Nov. 11

Access 2010: Advanced - Nov. 12

Wilson Fellowship accepting applications through Nov. 14

UChicago Tuition Remission Program deadline - Nov. 24

Excel 2010: Advanced - Dec. 3

NALWO Playgroup meets Wednesdays at Users Center

Scottish country dance Tuesdays at Kuhn Barn

English country dancing at Kuhn Barn

Indoor soccer

Hollywood Palms Employee Appreciation Day