Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2015

Have a safe day!

Tuesday, Jan. 20

2 p.m.
Particle Astrophysics Seminar (NOTE DATE) - Curia II
Speaker: Irshad Mohammed, University of Zurich
Title: Towards Precision Cosmology: The Halo Model and Necessary Modifications

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


Wednesday, Jan. 21

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


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Wilson Hall Cafe

Tuesday, Jan. 20

- Breakfast: all-American breakfast
- Breakfast: bacon, egg and cheese bagel
- Grown-up grilled cheese
- Pork loin with raspberry sauce
- Italian lasagna
- Spicy buffalo chicken wrap
- Szechuan-style green beans with chicken
- Chef's choice soup
- Green pork chili
- Assorted pizza by the slice

Wilson Hall Cafe menu

Chez Leon

Wednesday, Jan. 21
- Rouladen
- Buttered egg noodles
- Dill baby carrots
- German chocolate cake

Friday, Jan. 23

Chez Leon menu
Call x3524 to make your reservation.


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From symmetry

Scientists complete array on Mexican volcano

An international team of astrophysicists has completed an advanced detector to map the most energetic phenomena in the universe. Photo courtesy of HAWC

On Thursday, atop Volcán Sierra Negra, on a flat ledge near the highest point in Mexico, technicians filled the last of a collection of 300 cylindrical vats containing millions of gallons of ultrapure water.

Together, the vats serve as the High-Altitude Water Cherenkov (HAWC) Gamma-Ray Observatory, a vast particle detector covering an area larger than 5 acres. Scientists are using it to catch signs of some of the highest-energy astroparticles to reach the Earth.

The vats sit at an altitude of 4,100 meters (13,500 feet) on a rocky site within view of the nearby Large Millimeter Telescope Alfonso Serrano. The area remained undeveloped until construction of the LMT, which began in 1997, brought with it the first access road, along with electricity and data lines.

Temperatures at the top of the mountain are usually just cool enough for snow year-round, even though the atmosphere at the bottom of the mountain is warm enough to host palm trees and agave.

"The local atmosphere is part of the detector," says Alberto Carramiñana, general director of INAOE, the National Institute of Astrophysics, Optics and Electronics.

Scientists at HAWC are working to understand high-energy particles that come from space. High-energy gamma rays come from extreme environments such as supernova explosions, active galactic nuclei and gamma-ray bursts. They're also associated with high-energy cosmic rays, the origins of which are still unknown.

When incoming gamma rays and cosmic rays from space interact with Earth's atmosphere, they produce a cascade of particles that shower the Earth. When these high-energy secondary particles reach the vats, they shoot through the water inside faster than particles of light can, producing an optical shock wave called Cherenkov radiation. The boom looks like a glowing blue, violet or ultraviolet cone.

The Pierre Auger Cosmic Ray Observatory in western Argentina, in operation since 2004, uses similar surface detector tanks to catch cosmic rays, but its focus is particles at higher energies — up to millions of gigaelectronvolts. HAWC observes widely and deeply between the energy range of 100 gigaelectronvolts and 100,000 gigaelectronvolts.

Read more

Eagle Gamma

In the News

Like a BOSS: how astronomers are getting precise measurements of the universe's expansion rate

From Universe Today, Jan. 15, 2015

Astrophysicists studying the expansion of the Universe with the largest galaxy catalogs ever assembled are ushering in an exciting era of precision cosmology. Last week, the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) issued its final public data release, and scientists working in its largest program, the Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey (BOSS) also presented their final results at the American Astronomical Society meeting in Seattle, Washington.

By mapping over 10,000 square degrees — 25 percent of the sky — BOSS is "measuring our universe's accelerated expansion with the world's largest extragalactic redshift survey," according to SDSS-III Director Daniel Eisenstein of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. The BOSS results include new and precise measurements of the universe's expansion rate (called the "Hubble constant") and matter density, which includes dark matter, stars, gas, and dust.

Read more

Director's Corner

Lab-Corps pilot launches today

Fermilab Director
Nigel Lockyer

Fermilab encourages an environment and culture that fosters creativity, innovation and excellence. Together we will continue to produce great science in a global environment and contribute to the economic well-being of our nation, which includes particle physics-based real-world applications.

Later today, the Lab-Corps pilot will launch. Sponsored by the DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Lab-Corps is a program that helps develop the entrepreneurial skills of inventors at the laboratory. Based on the successful I-Corps program of the National Science Foundation, Lab-Corps can help highly trained technical experts learn some of the softer skills that are needed to take a great technical idea and transition it into a commercial product or service. We have partnered with Argonne National Laboratory and the Chicago Innovation Exchange to bring this program to Fermilab.

The Lab-Corps pilot provides Fermilab with the opportunity to commercialize new applications of accelerator technologies developed in pursuit of science to the important energy and environmental needs of our nation. If you have an idea or invention that can be applied to create clean-energy solutions, I encourage you to attend today's briefing at 2 p.m. in Curia II.

Photo of the Day

Equine sublime

One of the horses at the stables by DZero bathes itself in the light of a sunny, wintry day. Photo: Bridget Scerini, TD

Today's New Announcements

Zumba Toning registration due Jan. 27

Zumba Fitness registration due Jan. 29

Abri Credit Union appreciates our members

International folk dance workshop with Lee Otterholt - Jan. 22

Register for ELBNF collaboration meeting - Jan. 22-23

Managed print upgrade revised date - Jan. 25

Vaughan Athletic Center membership rates effective Feb. 3

Writing for Results: Email and More - Feb. 27

Interpersonal Communication Skills course - March 10

Managing Conflict course - March 24

Fermilab Functions - March 3, 5, 11

2015 FRA scholarship applications accepted until April 1

Windows 8.1 approved for use

Maternity closet

New ebook available: CRC Handbook of Mechanical Engineering

GSA updates mileage rate to 57.5 cents for 2015

The Take Five challenge and poster winter 2014/2015

Scottish country dancing Tuesday evenings at Kuhn Barn

Indoor soccer