Monday, Nov. 24, 2014

Have a safe day!

Monday, Nov. 24

2 p.m.
Particle Astrophysics Seminar - Curia II
Speaker: Juan Estrada, Fermilab
Title: MKIDs at Fermilab: From Detector R&D to Dark Energy Science

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

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

Tuesday, Nov. 25

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

4 p.m.
Accelerator Physics and Technology Seminar - One West
Speaker: Steve Werkema, Fermilab
Title: The Fermilab Muon Campus - Plans and Status

Visit the labwide calendar to view Fermilab events

Weather Rain and snow

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Weather at Fermilab

Current Flag Status

Flags at full staff

Wilson Hall Cafe

Monday, Nov. 24

- Breakfast: pancake sandwich
- Breakfast: sausage, egg and cheese croissant
- Philly chicken sandwich
- Filipino chicken adobo
- Roasted pork loin with raspberry sauce
- Spicy chicken buffalo wrap
- Cobb salad
- Minestrone soup
- Texas-style chili
- Assorted pizza by the slice

Wilson Hall Cafe menu

Chez Leon

Wednesday, Nov. 26
- Cheese fondue
- Mixed greens salad
- Strawberry almond tart

Friday, Nov. 28

Chez Leon menu
Call x3524 to make your reservation.


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Neutrinos, claymation and 'Doctor Who' at this year's physics slam

Wes Ketchum of the MicroBooNE collaboration is the Physics Slam III champion. Ketchum's slam was on the detection of particles using liquid argon. Photo: Cindy Arnold

On Nov. 21, for the third year in a row, the Fermilab Lecture Series invited five scientists to battle it out in an event called a physics slam. And for the third year in a row, the slam proved wildly popular, selling out Ramsey Auditorium more than a month in advance.

More than 800 people braved the cold to watch this year's contest, in which the participants took on large and intricate concepts such as dark energy, exploding supernovae, neutrino detection and the overwhelming tide of big data. Each scientist was given 10 minutes to discuss a chosen topic in the most engaging and entertaining way possible, with the winner decided by audience applause.

Michael Hildreth of the University of Notre Dame kicked things off by humorously illustrating the importance of preserving data — not just the results of experiments, but the processes used to obtain those results. Marcelle Soares-Santos of the Fermilab Center for Particle Astrophysics took the stage dressed as the Doctor from "Doctor Who," complete with a sonic screwdriver and a model TARDIS, to explore the effects of dark energy through time.

Joseph Zennamo of the University of Chicago brought the audience along on a high-energy journey through the "Weird and Wonderful World of Neutrinos," as his talk was called. And Vic Gehman of Los Alamos National Laboratory blew minds with a presentation about supernova bursts and the creation of everything and everyone in the universe.

The winner was Fermilab's Wes Ketchum, a member of the MicroBooNE collaboration. Ketchum's work-intensive presentation used claymation to show how different particles interact inside a liquid-argon particle detector, depicting them as multicolored monsters bumping into one another and creating electrons for the detector's sensors to pick up. Audience members won't soon forget the sight of a large oxygen monster eating red-blob electrons.

After the slam, the five scientists took questions from the audience, including one about dark matter and neutrinos from an eight-year-old boy, sparking much discussion. Chris Miller, speech professor at the College of DuPage, made his third appearance as master of ceremonies for the Physics Slam, and thanked the audience — particularly the younger attendees — for making the trek to Fermilab on a Friday night to learn more about science.

Video of this year's Physics Slam is available on Fermilab's YouTube channel.

Andre Salles

The slammers at this year's Fermilab Physics Slam were, Michael Hildreth, University of Notre Dame (far left); Marcelle Soares-Santos, Fermilab (second from left); Vic Gehman, Los Alamos National Laboratory (third from left); Wes Ketchum, Fermilab (second from right); Joseph Zennamo, University of Chicago. Fermilab Director Nigel Lockyer (third from right) congratulated all the participants. Photo: Cindy Arnold
In Brief

Retirement savings plans move to Fidelity on Feb. 2

On Nov. 3, all retirement savings plan participants were mailed a letter regarding changes to Fermilab's retirement saving plans. Effective Feb. 2, 2015, Fidelity will be the sole provider of retirement savings plan administration and record-keeping services; this includes the 401a, 403b and 457b plans. A new menu of well-diversified investment options in our retirement plans will be available. The new investment menu is not limited to the Fidelity family of mutual funds.

These retirement plan changes will take a few months to implement. During this time you are invited to attend on-site town hall meetings and schedule a one-on-one appointment with a Fidelity consultant. A transition guide and schedule of events was mailed to your home today. Please review the transition guide and schedule of events that was mailed to you or visit the Fidelity transition website.

In the News

Basic science is the centre of gravity, says particle physics lab chief

From The Star, Nov. 24, 2014

As a kid growing up in North York, Nigel Lockyer earned his keep as a Toronto Star paperboy. He has moved up in the world a little since then. After spending six years as the director of TRIUMF, Canada's national particle and nuclear physics lab, he was hired away last year to become director of Fermilab, the U.S.'s premier particle physics lab and accelerator. His first degree was a bachelor of science in physics from York University, and this week he returned to Toronto to accept the school's most distinguished alumni award.

The Star sat down with its former employee to chat dark matter, balancing science and hockey, and whether the Canadian government supports basic research.

Read more

Tip of the Week: Safety

Winter weather: road closures and parking restrictions

These lime-green cones will mark the special no-parking areas during the winter.

Green cones will soon begin appearing in parking lots across site — a sure sign that Fermilab is ready for winter weather. It's time to take more care walking in parking lots and in choosing where to park. And as in recent years, there will be road and parking lot closures.

Employees have suggested that we wait until the first significant snowfall to close roads. Based on these suggestions, we will close some roads starting with the first significant snowfall and then for the remainder of winter. These roads will reopen in late March, depending on weather forecasts. With the road closures, crews can maintain the same level of service in critical areas and extend the life of older roads.

North Eola Road from Batavia Road to Road C East and Wilson Road from McChesney to Road B will be closed. In addition, Main Ring Road will be closed to all traffic except emergency and service vehicles. Limited snow removal service in the Main Ring will provide access for only these vehicles. Service levels and access will not change in the F4/AZero and CZero areas.

Parking during the winter can also be more complicated. Every winter, FESS Roads and Grounds crews clear more than 85 parking lots across the Fermilab site during and after each weather event.

In an effort to streamline parking lot plowing operations without jeopardizing safety, FESS Roads and Grounds, in cooperation with building managers, designate areas in about 25 parking lots that will not receive snow removal service. These areas are marked with lime-green safety cones.

The cones designate the areas as no-parking zones throughout the winter season. Fermilab security personnel will monitor the no-parking areas. Establishing these areas allows for effective and frequent snow removal efforts in high-priority locations while keeping costs low. In addition, using less salt and less fuel will have a beneficial environmental effect.

With more than 400 building entrances on site, it is challenging for snow crews to keep every entrance free from snow and ice all winter. Employees and users are encouraged to walk slowly, take small steps, and watch for snow and ice hazards. Uneven surfaces can complicate matters. Chunks of ice and snow or even coarse rock salt can cause normally smooth surfaces to become uneven. Wear footwear that provides traction on snow and ice, slow down, and don't let yourself become distracted while walking in winter conditions.

If you have questions about parking during the winter season, please contact the building manager for your work area.

Jolie Macier


New employees - November

The following regular employees started at Fermilab in November:

Markeshia Carter, WDRS; Zhen Hu, PPD; Elise Jennings, PPD; Sean Johnson, TD; Joshua Kenney, FESS; David Leeb, OPSS; Joseph Ozelis, TD; Caterina Vernieri, PPD; Genfa Wu, TD.

Fermilab welcomes them to the laboratory.

Photos of the Day

Two sides to the high-rise

Sunset turns the high-rise bright pink against the cloudy, gray sky. Photo: Josh O'Connell, AD
The up-close view of the south side of Wilson Hall, along with the exterior of Ramsey Auditorium, is a rarely appreciated aspect of the building. Photo: Georgia Schwender, OC
In the News

Never-before-seen particles discovered at Swiss collider

From Live Science, Nov. 20, 2014

Two new subatomic particles have popped up at the world's largest atom smasher. The never-before-seen particles could help physicists glean key information about the building blocks of matter in the universe.

Read more


Today's New Announcements

Norris Recreation Center discount for employees

Ultimate Core class sign-up due Nov. 26

Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing - Dec. 1-5 (afternoon)

Excel 2010: Advanced - Dec. 3

NALWO winter coffee and tea - Dec. 8

NALWO Playgroup meets Wednesdays at 5:15 at Users Center

Scottish country dancing Tuesday evenings at Kuhn Barn

International folk dancing Thursdays at Kuhn Barn (except Thanksgiving)

Indoor soccer

Broomball open league