Monday, March 23, 2015
Top Links

Labwide calendar

Fermilab at Work

Wilson Hall Cafe menu

Chez Leon menu

Weather at Fermilab


Today's New Announcements

Mac OS X security updates - March 24

Networking DNS software upgrade - April 7

FermiPoint (including FermiDash), MyPoint, downtime - today and tomorrow

Muscle Toning Class registration due March 24

URA Visiting Scholars Program deadline delayed to March 30

2015 URA Alvin Tollestrup Award application deadline - April 1

Nominations for Employee Advisory Group due April 17

2014 FSA deadline is April 30

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

Changarro restaurant offers Fermilab employee discount


Fermilab Today

Director's Corner

Frontier Science Result

Physics in a Nutshell

Tip of the Week

Related content


Fermilab Today
is online at:

Send comments and suggestions to:

Visit the Fermilab
home page

Unsubscribe from Fermilab Today

From symmetry

The LHC does a dry run

Engineers have started the last step required before sending protons all the way around the renovated Large Hadron Collider. Photo: Maximilien Brice, CERN

All systems are go! The the Large Hadron Collider's operations team has started running the accelerator through its normal operational cycle sans particles as a final dress rehearsal before the restart later this month.

"This is where we bring it all together," says Mike Lamont, the head of CERN's operations team.

Over the last two years, 400 engineers and technicians worked a total of 1 million hours repairing, upgrading and installing new technology into the LHC. And now, the world's most powerful particle accelerator is almost ready to start doing its thing.

"During this final checkout, we will be testing all of the LHC's subsystems to make sure the entire machine is ready," says Markus Albert, one of the LHC operators responsible for this dry run. "We don't want any surprises once we start operation with beam."

Read more

Sarah Charley


After more than 40 years at Fermilab, Ernie Villegas retires

Ernie Villegas

Ernie Villegas started at Fermilab as a mechanical designer in 1974. Over the years he has used drafting tables and inking tips, computer-aided design software and 3-D engineering modeling for more than 10 major projects at the laboratory.

Villegas is now retiring. His last day is March 27.

Villegas' first assignment in 1974 was to design fixtures for large quadrupole magnets. At the time he was unsure of how long he would remain at the lab since he didn't know much about physics. But he continued, moving on to what was then the Neutrino Department to work on designs for fixed-target experiments. He also served as the project engineer for the New Muon Beamline and worked on the design of the end muon chamber frames for the DZero experiment.

He later designed the beamline targets and absorber for the NuMI beamline. He also recently designed the large table that was part of the giant pivoter used to help assemble the NOvA far detector. He was responsible for all aspects of the mechanical design of the NOvA near detector.

Most recently he served as assembly task supervisor for the Muon g-2 magnet and has worked on conceptual designs for the near liquid-argon detector for the short-baseline neutrino program.

Villegas plans to spend his retirement at his family's home in Arizona. He'll spend time outdoors shooting, hunting, fishing and horseback riding.

Say goodbye to Villegas at lunch on Tuesday, March 24, at Pal Joey's. You can also wish him well at the Users Center on March 26 after 5 p.m.

In the News

"Rock the LHC" video contest to celebrate particle physics

From the University of Notre Dame College of Science, March 16, 2015

Editor's note: The Rock the LHC video contest begins accepting entries today.

The High Energy Particle Physics Group at the University of Notre Dame will host a public video contest called "Rock the LHC," from March 23-May 31, 2015. Participants are invited to create short videos about why they are interested in the research at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). The goal of the video contest is to celebrate particle physics and the U.S. contributions to the LHC.

Read more

Tip of the Week: Cybersecurity

Increasing vigilance

The Fermilab security team is looking even more closely at the laboratory's computing systems to uncover vulnerabilities before they become problems. Photo: Andy Beatty

Scanning our networks for vulnerable systems is an important part of our cybersecurity defenses. (A vulnerability is a software defect that can be exploited by an outsider to cause your computing system to do things you don't want it to do.) It is important that we find and fix any vulnerabilities before attackers do.

Vulnerability scans consist of two separate processes. The first is a set of continuous scans for critical vulnerabilities, those deemed by the security team as highly likely to be exploited in the very near future. These deficiencies must be remedied immediately, and any new systems appearing on our network that are sensitive to these vulnerabilities need to be detected and blocked immediately to prevent infection.

The second process is a set of periodic, more thorough scans to look for a much broader set of defects. Anything discovered in these scans generates a Service Desk ticket requiring remediation but not an immediate block. Until now, we have performed these scans several times per year. However, with the constantly evolving threat landscape and with new systems constantly being brought on site and connected to our network, we find it prudent to increase our scan frequency.

Consequently, we recently upgraded our scanning systems to allow us to perform full scans of all laboratory systems each month so we can find potential problems even earlier.

What does this mean to you? First, you may detect more frequent scanning from our on-site systems. You should always be sensitive to outside probes or attempts to connect to your systems. In fact, several alert users have observed and reported this increased scan frequency and asked to make sure that it was the "good guys" doing this scanning and not an adversary. Stay vigilant, and continue to report via the Service Desk anything that appears unusual on your systems.

Next, you may see the creation of Service Desk tickets asking you to fix something on your computing systems. Please respond promptly to these requests, as our increased scanning frequency will quickly rediscover issues that have not been dealt with. Repeat "offenders" will have their systems blocked.

Finally, a small number of systems, such as some data acquisition systems, may find that the scans interfere with some real-time operation of their systems. In such cases, please inform the Fermilab security team via the Service Desk, and we will exempt your systems from the scans and implement other mechanisms to ensure secure operation.

Together with other tools in our arsenal, scanning helps minimize the disruptions that could occur from unauthorized or malicious use of our computing resources.

Irwin Gaines

Photo of the Day

South windows

Light streams through the south atrium-level window in Wilson Hall. Photo: Stephanie Timpone, PPD