Wednesday, March 18, 2015
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Muscle Toning Class registration due March 24

URA Thesis Award competition deadline - March 20

FermiPoint (including FermiDash), MyPoint, downtime - March 23 and 24

URA Visiting Scholars Program deadline delayed to March 30

School's Day Out - March 30-April 3

2015 URA Alvin Tollestrup Award application deadline - April 1

Interpersonal Communication Skills course - May 20

Mac OS X security patches

SharePoint online training videos available for on-site users

Monday Golf League

Fermilab Golf League 2015 season is just around the corner

International folk dancing Thursday evenings at Kuhn Barn

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Changarro restaurant offers Fermilab employee discount


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From symmetry

Experiments combine to find mass of Higgs

The CMS and ATLAS experiments at the Large Hadron Collider joined forces to make the most precise measurement of the mass of the Higgs boson yet. Image: Thomas McCauley and Lucas Taylor, CERN

On the dawn of the Large Hadron Collider restart, the CMS and ATLAS collaborations are still gleaning valuable information from the accelerator's first run. Today, they presented the most precise measurement to date of the Higgs boson's mass.

"This combined measurement will likely be the most precise measurement of the Higgs boson's mass for at least one year," says CMS scientist Marco Pieri of the University of California, San Diego, co-coordinator of the LHC Higgs combination group. "We will need to wait several months to get enough data from Run II to even start performing any similar analyses."

The mass is the only property of the Higgs boson not predicted by the Standard Model of particle physics — the theoretical framework that describes the interactions of all known particles and forces in the universe.

The mass of subatomic particles is measured in GeV, or gigaelectronvolts. (A proton weighs about 1 GeV.) The CMS and ATLAS experiments measured the mass of the Higgs to be 125.09 GeV ± 0.24. This new result narrows in on the Higgs mass with more than 20 percent better precision than any previous measurements.

Experiments at the LHC measure the Higgs by studying the particles into which it decays. This measurement used decays into two photons or four electrons or muons. The scientists used data collected from about 4000 trillion proton-proton collisions.

By precisely pinning down the Higgs mass, scientists can accurately calculate its other properties — such as how often it decays into different types of particles. By comparing these calculations with experimental measurements, physicists can learn more about the Higgs boson and look for deviations from the theory — which could provide a window to new physics.

"This is the first combined publication that will be submitted by the ATLAS and CMS collaborations, and there will be more in the future," says deputy head of the ATLAS experiment Beate Heinemann, a physicist from the University of California, Berkeley, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

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Sarah Charley

Photo of the Day

Ridged roof

Interesting patterns can be found everywhere on the Fermilab campus, including at the Meson Test Facility. Photo: Elliott McCrory, AD
In the News

Shining an X-ray torch on quantum gravity

From ars technica, March 17, 2015

Quantum mechanics has been successful beyond the wildest dreams of its founders. The lives and times of atoms, governed by quantum mechanics, play out before us on the grand stage of space and time. And the stage is an integral part of the show, bending and warping around the actors according to the rules of general relativity. The actors — atoms and molecules — respond to this shifting stage, but they have no influence on how it warps and flows around them.

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From the Office of Communication

Tomorrow's Fermilab Today

Katie Yurkewicz

Katie Yurkewicz, assistant director for communications, wrote this column.

The year is 2003. On the news you're reading about the Human Genome Project, the new Department of Homeland Security, the Space Shuttle Columbia tragedy and — no matter how much you try to avoid her — Britney Spears.

You're wondering if you should give up your flip-phone for one of the BlackBerry devices that everyone's talking about while checking out the new iTunes store on your home dial-up Internet connection.

And on July 21, you receive the first issue of Fermilab Today in your "emailbox."

Twelve years ago, the Fermilab Today format was at the cutting edge of communication. Fermilab focus groups had revealed a strong desire for more information and a greater sense of community. The switch from a paper publication to a daily email provided a virtual news avalanche that quickly became the go-to source for Fermilab employees and users as well as physicists and Fermilab fans worldwide.

Our need for communication and community has not changed, but technology and digital news delivery certainly has. We are bombarded by emails, newsletters, tweets, posts, blogs, pins, pop-ups, photos, videos. For something to catch and hold our attention today, it needs to be tailored specifically to our needs and delivered in a format and on a timeline that we expect to receive it.

Over the next year your Office of Communication team will transform Fermilab Today into a set of publications targeted to the needs of the many audiences this newsletter now serves. Other new tools will join the labwide calendar in providing up-to-date information and fostering community. We'll be asking for your input during the planning process, and your feedback after changes are made.

We hope that next year you'll be using your iPhone 7 to read the Fermilab news you need to do your job, check events on the labwide calendar and add your announcements to a new phablet-friendly forum — all while still trying your best to avoid the latest news about Britney Spears.

Safety Update

ESH&Q weekly report, March 17

This week's safety report, compiled by the Fermilab ESH&Q Section, contains two incidents.

An employee strained her back while attempting to prevent a child from sitting on another child. She was pulled off balance and while trying to catch herself twisted her back. This is a DART case.

A visitor fell in the parking lot when her ankle gave out. Her computer bag struck her middle right finger in the fall. The visitor went to the Medical Office and was advised to go to urgent care for X-rays. This is a pending claim.

See the full report.

In the News

Excitement, anxiety greet LHC restart

From Science, March 9, 2015

Later this month, scientists at the European particle physics lab, CERN, near Geneva, Switzerland, will reawaken their slumbering giant, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), after 2 years of repairs. They are hoping that the past is not prologue. In July 2012, physicists at CERN scored the field's crowning achievement by discovering the Higgs boson, the particle key to explaining how other fundamental particles get their mass and the last missing piece in a 40-year-old theory called the standard model. But in its 3-year first run, the LHC also produced nothing that would point to a deeper theory. For decades, in fact, atom smashers haven't produced anything the standard model can't explain. So some physicists worry that the LHC won't find anything besides the Higgs — for many, the nightmare scenario.

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