Friday, March 27, 2015
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Today's New Announcements

Cafeteria open Saturday 8 a.m. to 3 p.m

Book Fair - March 31 and April 1

Fermilab Village Easter Egg Hunt on April 8 - RSVP by April 1

Two-step and Waltz workshops at Kuhn Barn - April 5

Pilates registration due March 30

Employee discount at Chipotle on March 30

2015 FRA scholarship applications accepted until April 1

Wilson Hall southwest stair work: temporary access restriction through April 4

Nominations for Employee Advisory Group due April 17

2014 FSA deadline is April 30

Interpersonal Communication Skills course - May 20

Fermilab Board Game Guild

Muscle Toning class

Monday Golf League

Changarro restaurant offers Fermilab employee discount

Find new classified ads in Fermilab Today.


Fermilab Today

Director's Corner

Frontier Science Result

Physics in a Nutshell

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In Brief

Dan Hooper to appear on NPR's 'Science Friday' today at 1 p.m. Central time

Today at 1 p.m. Central time, Fermilab scientist Dan Hooper will be a guest on NPR's "Science Friday."

He will join panelists Steven Weinberg, Nobel Prize winner and professor at the University of Texas at Austin, and Jodi Cooley, principal investigator of the SuperCDMS experiment and professor at Southern Methodist University. They will discuss dark matter and the mysteries of the universe.

Those in the Chicago area can tune in to WBEZ to hear the program. Check your local listings for more information.

In Brief

Talk by Hannah Bloch kicks off Fermilab Women's Initiative - Monday at 3 p.m. in One West

Hannah Bloch

The inaugural Fermilab Women's Initiative series kicks off on Monday, March 30, with a talk by Hannah Bloch. The talk takes place at 3 p.m. in One West.

Hannah Bloch, a Washington, D.C.-based journalist, will discuss key issues affecting women around the world. Globally, no country has achieved gender equality. Bloch will speak about the challenges facing women and some efforts to address them.

Bloch writes the "Work in Progress" column for The Wall Street Journal and contributes to National Geographic, and other publications. Previously, she was a staff writer and editor at National Geographic and worked at Time for 11 years. While Time's Pakistan correspondent, Bloch also opened CNN's bureau in Islamabad and was its first bureau chief.


Changes to parking rules

Pay attention to the new signage in the Wilson Hall and Feynman Computing Center parking areas. Photo courtesy of Jody Federwitz, ESH&Q

Safety and security are important to Fermilab, and restricted parking is a part of the laboratory's Security Plan. Next week you will notice changes in the parking areas near Wilson Hall and the Feynman Computing Center. These changes, in keeping with the Security Plan and related DOE requirements, will allow us to maintain a safe and secure parking arrangement while alleviating enforcement problems we have seen over the last several months.

Hang tags
Starting Monday, March 30, you will no longer need to display a hang tag when parking in restricted areas. To park in a restricted parking area spot, marked by the sign above, you need only a Fermilab-issued vehicle sticker. These stickers are available to any lab employee through the Key and ID Office on the ground floor of Wilson Hall. The expiration date of the sticker coincides with the month and year your Fermilab ID card expires.

If you do not renew your sticker and park in a restricted area, you will receive a citation. If you sell your car or purchase a new one, you can easily get a new sticker from the Key and ID Office.

Long-term parking
Fermilab has designated long-term parking spots for employees on business travel. Employees who will be away from the lab longer than two weeks and would like to leave their vehicles at the laboratory must use the long-term parking lot located in the Village. Employees can park in a satellite location if they will be on travel for two weeks or less. These spots are located at CDF, DZero Outback, SiDet and the Wilson Hall overflow parking lot located at the Lederman Science Center. The reasons for these special parking areas are to keep vehicles out of the way of lab operations and to identify the owners so these vehicles aren't considered abandoned. To park in these spots, fill out a long-term parking form and take it to the Communication Center on the Wilson Hall ground floor.

How long may I park here?
Another change (watch for the signs to be updated) is that the one-hour parking area on the east side of Wilson Hall will become two-hour parking. However, spots in the front horseshoe will remain one-hour parking spots.

Handicap parking
To park in the handicap spots on site, you must have a hang tag or license plate issued by the state of Illinois. Be aware that some of the handicap parking spots also require a vehicle sticker.

Car pool parking
There are now six car pool spaces outside Wilson Hall. We have also added three new car pool spaces at Feynman Computing Center.

Anyone who carpools can use the car pool parking spaces, even if you drop off a spouse or co-worker at another building on site.

Learn more about the new parking rules on the Traffic Safety Subcommittee Web page.

Martha Michels, head of ESH&Q

In the News

'Penguin' anomaly hints at missing particles

From Quanta Magazine, March 20, 2015

A penguin-shaped anomaly first detected two years ago has survived a comprehensive new analysis of data from the first run of CERN's Large Hadron Collider (LHC), scientists revealed today at a meeting in La Thuile, Italy.

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Frontier Science Result: CMS

Rule of three

The three-fold symmetry of electrons, muons and taus may be broken by Higgs decays. (Design adapted from a neolithic spiral and the flag of Sicily.)

In Rendezvous with Rama, Arthur C. Clarke imagined an artifact built by aliens who have three arms with three fingers each, so everything about it has a three-fold symmetry. One could argue that our fondness for bilateral symmetries (in the design of cars, planes, cathedrals, etc.) comes from the ubiquity of this shape in life on Earth, and creatures from other worlds might have developed differently. However, it is more surprising to find such a pattern imprinted on the universe itself.

All particles of matter appear in threes: three generations of leptons and three generations of quarks. The second generation is a complete copy of the first with heavier masses, and the third generation is yet another copy. For instance, a muon is a heavy version of an electron, and a tau is a heavy muon. No one knows why matter comes in triplicate like this.

For quarks, the symmetry isn't perfect because W bosons can turn quarks of one generation into quarks of another generation. Something else transforms generations of neutrinos. But charged leptons — electrons, muons and taus — appear to be rigidly distinct. Some physicists suspect that we simply haven't found the particle that mixes them yet.

Or perhaps we have: Theoretically, the Higgs boson could mix lepton generations the way that the W boson mixes quarks. The Higgs decay modes haven't all been discovered yet, so it's possible that a single Higgs could decay into two generations of leptons at once, such as one muon and one tau. CMS scientists searched for muon-tau pairs with the right amount of energy to have come from a Higgs boson, and the results were surprising.

They saw an excess of events. That is, they considered all the ways that other processes could masquerade as Higgs to muon-tau decays, estimated how many of these spurious events they should expect to find, and found slightly more. The word "slightly" should be emphasized — it is on the border of statistical significance, and other would-be discoveries at this level of significance (and stronger) have been shown to be flukes. On the other hand, if the effect is real, it would start as a weak signal until enough data confirm it.

Naturally, the physics community is eager to see how this develops. The LHC, which is scheduled to restart soon at twice the energy of the first run, has the potential to produce Higgs bosons at a much higher rate — perhaps enough to determine whether this three-fold symmetry of leptons is broken or not.

Jim Pivarski

These U.S. scientists contributed to this result.
The Tier 3 support team helps CMS Tier 3 computational sites resolve problems and develops new tools to make them more productive and easier to maintain.
Photos of the Day

Fog at dawn: three views

The dawn fog earlier this week made for quiet morning scenery on near the Wilson Street entrance ... Photo: Carl Lundberg, AD
... by the Receiving Department ... Photo: Justin Bower, FESS
... and by the bison farm. Photo: Lori Limberg, ESH&Q
In the News

Fact or fiction?: Dark matter killed the dinosaurs

From Scientific American, March 25, 2015

Every once in a great while, something almost unspeakable happens to Earth. Some terrible force reaches out and tears the tree of life limb from limb. In a geological instant, countless creatures perish and entire lineages simply cease to exist.

The most famous of these mass extinctions happened about 66 million years ago, when the dinosaurs died out in the planet-wide environmental disruption that followed a mountain-sized space rock walloping Earth. We can still see the scar from the impact today as a nearly 200-kilometer-wide crater in the Yucatan Peninsula.

Read more