Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2015

Have a safe day!

Wednesday, Jan. 28

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

4 p.m.
Fermilab Colloquium - One West
Speaker: Claudia Alexander, Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Title: Rosetta Comet Chaser at Landing and Starting its Orbit Mission

Thursday, Jan. 29

2:30 p.m.
Theoretical Physics Seminar - Curia II
Speaker: Michael Döring, George Washington University
Title: Baryon Spectroscopy: New Results and Perspectives

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

Visit the labwide calendar to view Fermilab events


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Wilson Hall Cafe

Wednesday, Jan. 28

- Breakfast: breakfast pizza
- Breakfast: ham, egg and cheese English muffin
- Gyros
- Baked pork chops
- Chicken cacciatore
- Chicken carbonara
- Three bean overland soup
- Texas-style chili
- Assorted calzones

Wilson Hall Cafe menu

Chez Leon

Wednesday, Jan. 28
- Stuffed cabbages
- Mashed potatoes
- Apple crisp cake

Friday, Jan. 30
- Zucchini fitters with yogurt dill sauce
- Grilled swordfish with marmalade-ginger glaze
- Spinach risotto
- Lemon cheesecake

Chez Leon menu
Call x3524 to make your reservation.


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From symmetry

DECam's nearby discoveries

The Dark Energy Camera does more than its name would lead you to believe. Photo: Reidar Hahn

The Dark Energy Camera, or DECam, peers deep into space from its mount on the 4-meter Victor Blanco Telescope high in the Chilean Andes.

Thirty percent of the camera's observing time—about 105 nights per year—go to the team that built it: scientists working on the Dark Energy Survey.

Another small percentage of the year is spent on maintenance and upgrades to the telescope. So who else gets to use DECam? Dozens of other projects share its remaining time.

Many of them study objects far across the cosmos, but five of them investigate ones closer to home.

Overall, these five groups take up just 20 percent of the available time, but they've already taught us some interesting things about our planetary neighborhood and promise to tell us more in the future.

Far-out asteroids
Stony Brook University's Aren Heinze and the University of Western Ontario's Stanimir Metchev used DECam for four nights in early 2014 to search for unknown members of our solar system's main asteroid belt, which sits between Mars and Jupiter.

To detect such faint objects, one needs to take a long exposure. However, the paths of these asteroids lie close enough to Earth that taking an exposure longer than a few minutes results in blurred images. Heinze and Metchev's fix was to stack more than 100 images taken in less than two minutes each.

With this method, the team expects to measure the positions, motions and brightnesses of hundreds of main belt asteroids not seen before. They plan to release their survey results in late 2015, and an early partial analysis indicates they've already found hundreds of asteroids in a region smaller than DECam's field of view—about 20 times the area of the full moon.

Whole new worlds
Scott Sheppard of the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington DC and Chad Trujillo of Gemini Observatory in Hilo, Hawaii, use DECam to look for distant denizens of our solar system. The scientists have imaged the sky for two five-night stretches every year since November 2012.

Every night, the DECam's sensitive 570-megapixel eye captures images of an area of sky totaling about 200 to 250 times the area of the full moon, returning to each field of view three times. Sheppard and Trujillo run the images from each night through software that tags everything that moves.

"We have to verify everything by eye," Sheppard says. So they look through about 60 images a night, or 300 total from a perfect five-night observing run, a process that gives them a few dozen objects to study at Carnegie's Magellan Telescope.

The scientists want to find worlds beyond Pluto and its brethren—a region called the Kuiper Belt, which lies some 30 to 50 astronomical units from the sun (compared to the Earth's 1). On their first observing run, they caught one.

This new world, with the catalog name of 2012 VP113, comes as close as 80 astronomical units from the sun and journeys as far as 450. Along with Sedna, a minor planet discovered a decade ago, it is one of just two objects found in what was once thought of as a complete no man's land.

Sheppard and Trujillo also have discovered another dwarf planet that is one of the top 10 brightest objects beyond Neptune, a new comet, and an asteroid that occasionally sprouts an unexpected tail of dust.

Read more

Liz Kruesi

Photo of the Day

Winter pagoda

A hoar frost-covered tree and the proton pagoda make a nice pair. Photo: Georgia Schwender, OC
In the News

Fermilab Family Open House event set

From Kane County Chronicle, Jan. 26, 2015

The Fermilab Family Open House event is set from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 8. Fermilab is at Kirk Road and Pine Street, Batavia.

It will take place in Wilson Hall. It will include activities, from hands-on science exhibits to tours of some of the lab’s attractions. There will be a series of performances by Jerry Zimmerman, known as “Mr. Freeze,” demonstrating the effects of liquid nitrogen, and about a dozen scientists will be ready to answer questions in the exhibit area on the 15th floor of Wilson Hall, according to a news release.

For the first time, Fermilab’s brand-new operations center on the first floor of Wilson Hall will be accessible for the open house. Many of Fermilab’s experiments are controlled from this room, and there will be operators at their stations, ready to talk about the work they are doing.

Read more

In the News

Weird X-rays spur speculation about dark matter detection

From Scientific American, Jan. 26, 2015

Many major discoveries in astronomy began with an unexplained signal: pulsars, quasars and the cosmic microwave background are just three out of many examples. When astronomers recently discovered x-rays with no obvious origin, it sparked an exciting hypothesis. Maybe this is a sign of dark matter, the invisible substance making up about 85 percent of all the matter in the universe. If so, it hints that the identity of the particles is different than the prevailing models predict.

The anomalous x-rays, spotted by the European Space Agency’s orbiting XMM–Newton telescope, originate from two different sources: the Andromeda Galaxy and the Perseus cluster of galaxies. The challenge is to determine what created those x-rays, as described in a study published last month in Physical Review Letters. The signal is real but weak and astronomers must now determine whether it is extraordinary or has a mundane explanation. If that can be done, they can set about the work of identifying what kind of dark matter might be responsible.

Read more

From the Accelerator Physics Center

The 2020 vision: the new face of accelerator science at Fermilab


Swapan Chattopadhyay, Northern Illinois University professor and director of accelerator science and joint appointee with Fermilab in the directorate and Accelerator Division (APC), wrote this column.

Recently I had the privilege of being asked by the laboratory leadership to bring a fresh perspective and lead a working group on accelerator science during the Strategic 10-year Plan Workshop (services account login required), which met from Jan. 7-8. Our group, which includes Director Nigel Lockyer, set aside two full days, focusing on six thematic areas critical to the laboratory: neutrinos; LHC long-range plan; projects and facilities; exploring the unknown; cosmic program; and accelerator science. The fact that accelerator science was included as a strategic theme in the laboratory's long-range planning exercise already signals winds of change.

The five highest priority strategic objectives that emerged from this exercise in the accelerator science theme are:

• Use and advance accelerator science to extend the scientific reach of existing facilities. Improved performance of Fermilab accelerators with intense beams and low losses are critical to achieving the muon and neutrino programmatic goals. Developing comprehensive theoretical, computational and experimental tools as our core competencies will position us to assist other laboratories with similar challenges.

• Establish an advanced beam test facility using protons and electrons to address key questions related to intense yet affordable future accelerators and enable a transformative accelerator science program. Fermilab must complete the construction of the Integrable Optics Test Accelerator, including its injector, define its science program and build community interest via university-lab partnerships in a timely fashion.

• Explore the scientific limits to achievable acceleration and quality factor for future superconducting accelerators. Continuously operating accelerators, for example LCLS-II and PIP-II in the immediate future and 1- to 100-TeV-scale particle colliders in the far future, will need enhanced acceleration capabilities and reduced losses to enable energy efficiency, cost-effectiveness and technology translation to affordable compact industrial accelerators.

• Position Fermilab to be an essential contributor to future large accelerators under consideration. Advanced capabilities in high-field magnets, high-performance superconducting linear accelerators and beam dynamics will position the laboratory to be a major player in future high-energy facilities.

• Show relevance of our science to U.S. competitiveness via the Illinois Accelerator and Research Center platform as an enabler of technology transfer to address industrial and societal grand challenges of health, security, energy and environment. We need a timely launch of projects with joint partnership of university, industry and laboratory.

There is also the emerging recognition to enhance the academic profile of the accelerator community. We have learned last week about the appointment of Sergei Nagaitsev to the level of professor part-time at the University of Chicago.
Vladimir Shiltsev
I have the pleasure of announcing today that Vladimir Shiltsev has been appointed as adjunct professor at Northern Illinois University. He joins other Fermilab adjunct professors at universities, strengthening our academic collaboration in accelerator science even further.

As we enter the next decade of forefront accelerator research at the laboratory, we look forward to many transformative developments stemming from Fermilab accelerator research in such emerging areas as microwave and applied superconductivity, nonlinear dynamics, precision optical control of single particles in circulating beams and structured nanomaterials as particle sources, in addition to developing accelerators at the intensity frontier for particle physics.

Safety Update

ESH&Q weekly report, Jan. 27

This week's safety report, compiled by the Fermilab ESH&Q Section, contains no incidents.

See the full report.


Today's New Announcements

English country dancing at Kuhn Barn - Feb. 1 and March 1

Windows users: Adobe software upgrade and licensing change - Feb. 3

Barnstormers Delta Dart Night - Feb. 11

Artist Reception - Feb. 4

Linux User Group meets today

Fermi Philosophy Society - Jan. 29

Zumba Fitness registration due Jan. 29

Vaughan Athletic Center membership rates effective Feb. 3

Writing for Results: Email and More - Feb. 27

Fermilab Functions - March 3, 5, 11

Interpersonal Communication Skills course - March 10

Managing Conflict course - March 24

2015 FRA scholarship applications accepted until April 1

URA Thesis Award Competition

Microsoft Office 2013 eBooks

Windows 8.1 approved for use

GSA updates mileage rate to 57.5 cents for 2015

Fermi Singers seek new members in New Year!

Abri Credit Union appreciates our members

The Take Five challenge and poster winter 2014/2015

Scottish country dancing Tuesday evenings at Kuhn Barn

Indoor soccer