Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2015

Have a safe day!

Tuesday, Jan. 6

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


Wednesday, Jan. 7

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

4 p.m.
Fermilab Colloquium - One West
Speaker: Maria Michela Del Viva, University of Florence
Title: Brain Mechanisms in Human Visual Processing and Data Acquisition in HEP

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Wilson Hall Cafe

Tuesday, Jan. 6

- Breakfast: all-American breakfast
- Breakfast: bacon, egg and cheese bagel
- Ranch chicken breast sandwich
- Egyptian barbecue chicken breast
- Country fried steak
- California turkey panino
- Shrimp and crab scampi
- Chef's choice soup
- Minnesota chicken and rice soup
- Assorted pizza by the slice

Wilson Hall Cafe menu

Chez Leon

Wednesday, Jan. 7
- Northern Italian lasagna
- Caesar salad
- Ice cream cake

Friday, Jan. 9

Chez Leon menu
Call x3524 to make your reservation.


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In Brief

Register for ELBNF collaboration meeting - Jan. 22-23 at Fermilab

The first collaboration meeting for the experiment at the long-baseline neutrino facility will be held from Jan. 22-23 at Fermilab.

The meeting will be hosted by Fermilab and chaired by interim Institutional Board Chair Sergio Bertolucci, who will have recently presented the LBNF letter of intent to the Fermilab Physics Advisory Committee.

All interested researchers are invited to view the letter of intent and to register for the meeting. Telephone participation will also be possible; details will be posted along with the agenda.


Lucky stars, clear night for DES surveyors

These scientists, part of the DES survey team, were on shift during a night of firsts for the team. From left: Chris D'Andrea (University of Portsmouth, UK); Dominik Gangkofner (LMU, Germany); Christina Krawiec (University of Pennsylvania); Ting Li (Texas A&M). Photo courtesy of Chris D'Andrea, University of Portsmouth

Once in a while the stars align in your favor. They certainly did for a group of Dark Energy Survey observers using the Dark Energy Camera on a cloudless Chilean evening, clearing the way for an observational night of firsts.

On the night of Nov. 11, the group for the first time captured in one shift images of all 10 of the DES supernova target fields. The fraction of time the camera's shutter was open was the highest it had ever been. And the data taken was so superior, the group had to come up with a new way to handle it.

Although the team had observed all 10 fields before and in good conditions, they'd never observed them all in a single night.

Within the Dark Energy Survey, the Dark Energy Camera is shared between supernova survey and a wide-area survey. Weather is a factor not only in how good the data will be, but also in which fields get shift time.

In November, the camera was taking turns between the wide-area survey and the supernova survey. The wide survey gets dibs when the weather is propitious, but after it claims a certain number of nights on the camera, it has to relinquish a shift to the supernova survey regardless of weather. Otherwise, the supernova survey dates would be spaced too far apart to easily connect the time-separated data.

Luckily, it was the supernova survey's turn that outstanding night, which was long enough to allow seven hours of picture taking — enough time to photograph 10 supernova fields.

While capturing all 10 doesn't materially change the science the group does with the data, the images' unprecedentedly high quality did change how the team had to process the pictures.

Typically, supernova surveyors subtract from their newest image a combination of top-notch older images, called a template, of the same piece of sky. The starlight that remains after subtraction is a candidate for a new supernova event. Light is unavoidably "smeared" by the atmosphere by the time it reaches the camera. Scientists smear the points of light in the template to match the amount of smearing in the new image to aid image subtraction.

But this time, the group couldn't follow their protocol: Unusually, the smearing in the new image was less present than that in the template. The new images were too crisp.

The algorithm was not set to think that the new data could be better than the old data. So the team smeared the new data to match the old.

Ting Li of Texas A&M University, run manager and Fermilab liaison during those shifts, said the team knew even before they inspected their data that it would be exceptional.

"Even as we were observing, we could tell the data was so good," she said.

The happy conditions were repeated a week later, on Nov. 18, allowing the team to once again take high-quality images of all 10 target fields.

Leah Hesla

In the News

A weird phenomenon that might change how we see neutrinos

From io9, Dec. 31, 2014

Neutrinos are the ninjas of the universe. They don't interact with other particles very often, but when they do, they obliterate them. Until now. Scientists have observed a new way that neutrinos interact with the world.

Neutrinos have, roughly, the size of an electron, but without the electric charge of an electron. This makes them elusive. While electrons can be ensnared by nearby protons, or pushed away by nearby electrons, neutrinos can drift through pretty much anything. Neutrinos can pass through light-years of lead without interacting with a single atom.

Read more

Director's Corner

A focused (new) year

Fermilab Director
Nigel Lockyer

Happy new year, everyone. Thanks to all those who "enjoyed" working over the holidays to keep lab operations running smoothly, the accelerator complex running, and the experiments taking data. Quiet is good when you are an experimenter. Particular kudos go to the accelerator team, who not only kept the machines up and running but began slip stacking tests in the Recycler that will pave the way toward ever higher beam power, hopefully 400 kilowatts, in 2015. For those who took some time off to rest and recharge, welcome back.

As we begin 2015, this is an opportune time to remind ourselves of our highest priorities, which are based on the 10-year prioritized P5 recommendations that were released in May:

  • Create a world-leading international neutrino program hosted at Fermilab, including a coherent short-baseline program and the long-baseline neutrino facility
  • Excel in accelerator operations and upgrade our accelerator complex to support the future neutrino program (PIP-II)
  • Excel in the management of our key science projects, Mu2e and Muon g-2, the CMS detector Phase I upgrades as well as the LHC accelerator upgrade, our contribution to SLAC's LCLS-II project, and our Master Substation infrastructure upgrade.

In addition we will continue to strengthen partnerships with national and international colleagues, enhance the user experience at our lab, improve our site and infrastructure, make progress in the other P5 science priorities such as dark energy and dark matter, and build stronger relationships with industry through IARC. This is the year we plan to launch IARC.

Last year was successful for Fermilab, as evidenced by the completion and successful first operation of NOvA, and completion of MicroBooNE, which will begin data taking in the spring. This year will also be critical. The future success of our lab rests on many things, but our ability to achieve major milestones for LBNF, PIP-II and for the future of our site infrastructure will be central to our goals for this year. We have a committed and focused team, a clear coalescing of community support around our P5 initiatives, which we appreciate very much, and continued support from the Fermi Site Office and the Office of High Energy Physics. Here's to a successful 2015!

Photos of the Day

Hawk in flight

A hawk flies over Fermilab on Dec. 26. Photos: Bridget Scerini, TD

Today's New Announcements

Free health screenings for active employees - sign up now for Jan. 13-14

Register for ELBNF collaboration meeting - Jan. 22-23

Lifestyle Patterns Approach to managing weight - register by Jan. 8

International folk dancing - Jan. 8

Fermilab Arts Series presents Chicago Harp Quartet - Jan. 11

Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion) end of life Jan. 12

Goal setting in FermiWorks on Jan. 13

Writing for Results: Email and More - Feb. 27

OS X 10.10 Yosemite certified for use

2015 float holiday

Charitable donations through payroll deduction

The Take Five challenge and poster winter 2014/2015

Taiji and Qigong for health

For Women Only Qigong class

Scottish country dancing Tuesdays through December and into January

Indoor soccer

Fox Valley Fitness offers employee discount