Thursday, March 5, 2015

Have a safe day!

Thursday, March 5

1:30 p.m.
Neutrino Seminar - WH8XO
Speaker: Philip Rodrigues, University of Rochester
Title: Reanalysis of Bubble Chamber Measurements of Muon Neutrino-Induced Single-Pion Production

2:30 p.m.
Theoretical Physics Seminar - Curia II
Speaker: Bibhushan Shakya, University of Michigan
Title: Neutrino Masses and Sterile Neutrino Dark Matter from the PeV Scale

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

Friday, March 6

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

2 p.m.
Future Colliders Seminar - WH10NW
Speaker: David Curtin, University of Maryland
Title: Excluding Electroweak Baryogenesis at Future Colliders


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Wilson Hall Cafe

Thursday, March 5

- Breakfast: Canadian bacon, egg and cheese Texas toast
- Breakfast: corned beef hash and eggs
- Grilled chicken quesadilla
- Dijon roasted pork loin with black bean salsa
- 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, March 6
- Avgolemono soup
- Herb-crusted lamb chops
- Horseradish mashed potatoes
- Steamed broccoli
- Baklava

Wednesday, March 11
- Chicken enchilada
- Refried beans
- Spanish rice
- Tres leches cake

Chez Leon menu
Call x3524 to make your reservation.


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In Brief

Accepting applications for 2015 Alvin Tollestrup Award for postdoctoral research

The Universities Research Association Inc. will make an award for outstanding work conducted by a postdoctoral research fellow at Fermilab or in collaboration with Fermilab scientists. Alvin Tollestrup will present the award during the 2015 Users Meeting. The deadline to apply for the award is Wednesday, April 1.

All Ph.D. researchers in nontenure track or nontenure-track-equivalent positions at Fermilab or URA member institutions or at institutions collaborating in Fermilab projects who are within six years of the receipt of their Ph.D. (as of the nomination deadline) are eligible. The work for which the award is made must be performed in conjunction with a Fermilab experiment or project or under the auspices of the Fermilab Theory or Astrophysics groups.

For more information visit the Tollestrup Award website.

All nomination material should be sent in electronic form (pdf or plain text is preferred) to

From Dark Energy Detectives

Cosmic soup for the soul

Clusters of galaxies are so large they can be considered to be miniuniverses. They contain several dozen galaxies and sometimes as may as several hundred. In between the galaxies is the continuous haze of gas. Image: Phil Rooney, University of Sussex, and Chris Miller, University of Michigan

Amidst the dark forces and energies at work across the cosmos, a fire brews, a soup simmers.

The expansion history of the universe is dominated by dark matter and dark energy. However, it is the elements in the periodic table that allow us to study and understand that history. In this posting we give a flavor for how the cosmic soup of elements came into existence.

Almost all the elements came into existence within 30 minutes of the big bang. The resulting broth was rather dull: nine hydrogen nuclei (one proton) to every helium nucleus (two protons) and almost nothing of anything else. Even if you sifted through a billion nuclei you'd still be lucky to find anything as tasty as lithium (three protons).

Fortunately, over the intervening 13.7 billion years, the cosmic soup has become a little more interesting. Nuclear fusion — so hard to reproduce on Earth — is commonplace in stars: We have fusion to thank for the carbon in our cells, the iron in our blood.

The flavor, density and temperature of the element soup vary widely. Consider our own solar system, from the extreme pressures and temperatures inside the sun's core to the cold and empty space between the planets. These variations are replicated throughout the Milky Way and in all the other galaxies in the universe.

These three concepts — that most elements were formed just after the Big Bang; that a smattering of heavier elements have been added since then; and that the elements are distributed nonuniformly — are of great benefit to the Dark Energy Survey.

Read more

Kathy Romer, University of Sussex

Photo of the Day

A study in pink

The sky at sunrise surrounds the pi poles in violet and pink. Photo: Lori Limberg, ESH&Q
In the News

The Majorana mysteries

From Sanford Underground Research Facility's Deep Thoughts, March 3, 2015

In 1937, Italian physicist Ettore Majorana hypothesized the existence of the Majorana fermion, a particle that is its own anti-particle. In 1938, he mysteriously disappeared while traveling by ship from Palermo to Naples. Although many believed he drowned, rumors also suggested he had committed suicide or taken refuge in a convent. Another theory says he disappeared because he feared for his life after discoveries he made about the atom.

Read more

Physics in a Nutshell

Don’t forget technology

The purpose of particle physics is to better understand the rules that govern the universe. Long before the papers are written, accelerators and detectors must be designed, built and operated. It is technology that makes it all possible.

Readers of Fermilab Today have read many articles on many experiments: CDF and DZero, LHC, the neutrino program, the muon program, astrophysics studies. These articles focus on the outcome of the measurements and what they tell us about the physical world. But the universe does not lightly yield its secrets. They must be wrested from the realm of the unknown in an effort that is often heroic.

How is it that we can make these measurements? How is it that the Higgs boson was discovered? How is it that we study the mixing rates of neutrinos? How is it that we hope to make and discover dark matter in the laboratory?

Long before a discovery, a brother- and sisterhood of physicists, engineers, computer professionals and technical support must come together to build the equipment that allows us to take data.

But before the data is taken, beams must be prepared. Accelerators, consisting of accelerating electric fields and confining magnetic ones, must be built. Control systems must be built that allow the accelerators’ operating conditions to be monitored and adjusted on time scales much faster than human reflexes can allow. Power supplies must be stable and vacuum pumps must run without fail.

On the detector side, using tiny slivers of silicon and large harp-like wire chambers, the path that particles traverse must be tracked with painstaking precision. Employing layers of metal and plastic or baths of liquid argon, scientists measure the energy of the debris of individual collisions. Muons, electrons, photons and bottom quarks must be identified.

Electronics, both custom and commercial, are needed to convert the data from blinks of light and pulses of electricity to numbers amenable to analysis. Computers and data networks are required to ship the information across the world and to extract the real meaning from what would otherwise be just a string of numbers.

In short, technology and human ingenuity are a crucial precursor to the conclusions made by the scientists who analyze the data. Technology makes it possible for laboratories like Fermilab and CERN to announce new insights into the workings of the natural world and, occasionally, a discovery that makes us rewrite the textbooks.

Over the next weeks and months, this Physics in a Nutshell column will pay homage to the heroes of technology and the techniques they have mastered. On behalf of the entire particle physics scientific community, we salute you.

Don Lincoln

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Today's New Announcements

Budker Seminar - March 9

Garden Club spring meeting - today

Deadline for University of Chicago tuition remission program - March 6

Power outage affects Fermilab Village - March 7

Deadline approaches for summer on-site housing requests - March 9

NALWO Puerto Rican cooking demo - March 9

Lab-Corps program accepting applications until March 13

10-minute employee appreciation chair massages - March 17

URA Thesis Award competition deadline - March 20

Managing Conflict on March 24

URA Visiting Scholars Program deadline delayed to March 30

2015 Alvin Tollestrup Award application deadline - April 1

Need cash for college? Abri is awarding two $1,000 scholarships

Yoga signup due soon

Fermilab Golf League 2015 season is just around the corner

Scottish country dancing Tuesday evenings at Kuhn Barn

International folk dancing Thursday evenings at Kuhn Barn

Indoor soccer