Thursday, Feb. 5, 2015

Have a safe day!

Thursday, Feb. 5

2:30 p.m.
Theoretical Physics Seminar - Curia II
Speaker: Michael Perez, University of Florida
Title: Hunting for Hierarchies in PSL2(7)

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

Friday, Feb. 6

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

4 p.m.
Joint Experimental-Theoretical Physics Seminar - One West
Speaker: Andrei Gaponenko, Fermilab
Title: Never Throw Away Old Data: Using TWIST Muons for Mu2e

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Wilson Hall Cafe

Thursday, Feb. 5

- Breakfast: Canadian bacon, egg and cheese Texas toast
- Breakfast: corned beef hash and eggs
- Grilled chicken quesadilla
- Chicken vincenza with pasta
- Oven-roasted turkey and dressing
- Italian antipasto panino
- Italian pasta bar
- White chicken chili
- Chef's choice soup
- Assorted pizza by the slice

Wilson Hall Cafe menu

Chez Leon

Friday, Feb. 6

Wednesday, Feb. 11
- Grilled Asian flank steak
- Soba noodle salad
- Pineapple flan

Chez Leon menu
Call x3524 to make your reservation.


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From CERN Bulletin

Everything is illuminated

On Monday, Jan 26, CMS installed one of the final pieces in its complex puzzle: the new Pixel Luminosity Telescope. This latest addition will augment the experiment's luminosity measurements, recording the bunch-by-bunch luminosity at the CMS collision point and delivering high-precision measurements of the integrated luminosity. Photo: CERN

No matter the analysis, there's one factor that every experimentalist needs to know perfectly: the luminosity. Its error bars can make or break a result, so its high precision measurement is vital for success. With this in mind, the CMS collaboration tasked the BRIL (Beam Radiation Instrumentation and Luminosity) project with developing a new detector to record luminosity for Run 2. Working with experimentalists from across the CMS collaboration and CERN, BRIL designed, created and installed the small — but mighty — Pixel Luminosity Telescope (PLT).

"During Run 1, our primary online luminosity measurements came from the forward hadron calorimeter, which we compared to the offline luminosity measurement using the pixel detector," says Anne Dabrowski, BRIL deputy project leader and technical coordinator (CERN). "But as we move to higher and higher luminosities and pile-ups in Run 2, extracting the luminosity gets harder to do."

That's where the PLT comes in. Designed with the new LHC Run 2 in mind, the PLT uses radiation-hard CMS pixel sensors to provide near-instantaneous readings of the per-bunch luminosity — thus helping LHC operators provide the maximum useful luminosity to CMS. The PLT is unconnected to the CMS trigger and reads out at 40 MHz (every 25 nanoseconds) with no dead time.

Read more

Katarina Anthony

Photo of the Day

Clearing the way

As we drive on streets cleared of snow and walk on well-kept sidewalks, let us remember that the Fermilab Roads and Grounds crew plow and shovel after every snowfall, making it easier for us to move about the lab. Photo: Michael Kuc, CCD
Special Announcement

Save the date: DASTOW 2015 set for Friday, June 26

The annual Daughters and Sons to Work Day at Fermilab will take place on Friday, June 26. DASTOW 2015 will offer many of the always popular events included in previous years. Look for more information in a future issue of Fermilab Today.


In memoriam: Judy Sabo

Fermilab retiree Judy Sabo passed away on Feb. 2 at the age of 74. She was a member of the Accelerator Division Instrumentation Department until her retirement in 2005.

A funeral mass will be held today at 10 a.m. at Annunciation Church in Aurora, with interment at Mt. Olivet Cemetery.

Read Sabo's obituary.

In the News

Upgraded Large Hadron Collider brings atom smashin' back in fashion

From NBC News, Feb. 4, 2015

After a two-year-long overhaul, thousands of researchers are getting ready to restart the $10 billion Large Hadron Collider — and this time, they're going to turn the world's most powerful particle-smasher up to the max.

"It's a new machine," Fermilab physicist Don Lincoln, a member of the science team behind the LHC's Compact Muon Solenoid detector, told NBC News.

Engineers have beefed up the interconnections between the supercooled magnets in the collider's 17-mile-round (27-kilometer-round) underground ring, built at the CERN particle physics center at the French-Swiss border. Meanwhile, the detectors have been upgraded to accommodate bigger, brighter bangs. The proton collisions will reproduce the conditions that existed in the universe just a tiny fraction after the Big Bang.

Read more

Physics in a Nutshell

The universe takes sides

A photograph from the day that Sweden switched from driving on the left to driving on the right. A physicist might call this a change in chirality, since one driving pattern was replaced by its mirror image. Photo courtesy of

One morning in 1967, all cars in Sweden had to stop, move over to the right side of the road, wait 10 minutes and then resume driving. From that day forward, Sweden has been a drive-on-the-right country, like its closest neighbors and most of Europe. One may argue that left versus right is pure convention, but conventions are contagious: It's much easier when they match.

People aren't as left-right symmetric as they appear. At an anatomic level, human hearts are slightly on the left and livers are predominantly on the right. The differences are even more striking at a molecular level — molecules and their mirror-image counterparts have completely different biological effects. For instance, the mirror image of the molecule that gives mint its taste is the flavor of caraway seeds. More dramatically, life on Earth is composed purely of left-handed amino acids. Right-handed versions of these molecules exist, but early microbes decided against them.

Still, this seems to be a matter of convention, or at least an accident of evolution. At the most fundamental level, is there a difference between left and right? Surprisingly, the answer seems to be yes. The weak force, uniquely among the four fundamental forces, can only be felt by left-handed particles (and right-handed antiparticles). Particle physics interactions involving W bosons simply do not have mirror-image counterparts.

We can make a distinction between a left-handed particle and a right-handed particle by how its spin aligns with its trajectory. If you point the thumb of your right hand in the direction of a particle's motion and your fingers curl in the direction that it spins, then the particle is right-handed and is completely invisible to the weak force. A particle that spins in the direction that your left fingers curl is perfectly susceptible to the weak force.

The idea that a fundamental interaction of the universe would prefer left over right is so strange that some physicists hypothesize that it only looks that way because we're not seeing the whole picture. Suppose that the W boson we know is half of a pair: that there's a W' boson that only interacts with right-handed particles and that we haven't discovered it yet because its mass is more than current particle colliders can produce. Curiously, this theory could also explain the small yet nonzero mass of the neutrino.

In this theory, the universe would have no fundamental left-right preference, but slight fluctuations in the early universe made the W boson light and the W' heavy in some regions of space. Once seeded, that asymmetry spread, like the microbes that favored left-handed amino acids and the drivers that favored the right-hand side of the road. If this theory is true, then there could even be parts of the universe where the other convention was chosen, in much the same way that most island nations drive on the left. They get away with it because they're islands.

Jim Pivarski


Budker Seminar - Feb. 9

Fermilab Arts Series presents Cirque Zuma Zuma - Feb. 7

Barn Dance - Feb. 8

Barnstormers Delta Dart Night - Feb. 11

Fermilab Chamber Series presents Callipygian Players - Feb. 15

School's Day Out - Feb. 16 and 27

Core Computing Division briefs on MS Office 2013/365 - Feb. 17

Writing for Results: Email and More - Feb. 27

English country dancing at Kuhn Barn - March 1

Fermilab Functions - March 3, 5, 11

Interpersonal Communication Skills course - March 10

URA Thesis Award competition deadline - March 20

Managing Conflict course - March 24

2015 FRA scholarship applications accepted until April 1

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

Scottish country dancing Tuesday evenings at Kuhn Barn

Indoor soccer

Vaughan Athletic Center membership rates