Monday, April 6, 2015
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Today's New Announcements

Performance review training for managers and supervisors - Aug. 4, 5 and 6

Networking DNS software upgrade - April 7

GCC power outages April 7 and 8

Fermilab Village Easter Egg Hunt April 8

Nominations for Employee Advisory Group due April 17

2014 FSA deadline is April 30

Interpersonal Communication Skills course - May 20

Managing Conflict (a.m. only) on June 10

Mac OS X security patches

Fermilab Board Game Guild

Players needed for 2015 Fermilab co-ed softball league

Indoor soccer

Changarro restaurant offers Fermilab employee discount


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Press Release

U.S. scientists celebrate the restart of the Large Hadron Collider

The Large Hadron Collider is back on again after two years of upgrades and repairs. Photo: CERN

[On Sunday], the world's most powerful particle accelerator began its second act. After two years of upgrades and repairs, proton beams once again circulated around the Large Hadron Collider, located at the CERN laboratory near Geneva, Switzerland.

With the collider back in action, the more than 1,700 U.S. scientists who work on LHC experiments are prepared to join thousands of their international colleagues to study the highest-energy particle collisions ever achieved in the laboratory.

These collisions — hundreds of millions of them every second — will lead scientists to new and unexplored realms of physics and could yield extraordinary insights into the nature of the physical universe.

A highlight of the LHC's first run, which began in 2009, was the discovery of the Higgs boson, the last in the suite of elementary particles that make up scientists' best picture of the universe and how it works. The discovery of the Higgs was announced in July 2012 by two experimental collaborations, ATLAS and CMS. Continuing to measure the properties of the Higgs will be a major focus of LHC Run 2.

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Photos of the Day

Cylindrical sections

The tanks outside CZero create a pattern in turquoise. Photo: Alyssa Miller
The helium tanks, seen here from Outer Ring Road, are perhaps one of the more unexpectedly visually appealing features on the Fermilab grounds. Photo: Alyssa Miller
In the News

LHC reboot: the world's largest particle accelerator is now active

From The Verge, April 5, 2015

The Large Hadron Collider is reborn — on Easter weekend, of course. After shutting it down for two years in February 2013, the world's biggest and most powerful particle accelerator is up and running again. That doesn't mean that it's going at full power though, says Paul Collier, head of beams at CERN. Getting it to the acceleration needed to collect collision data — and perform actual physics experiments — is going to take two months.

"It's not like flipping a switch, that's for sure," Collier says. CERN's physicists first have to increase the machine's energy over time. "We're talking early to mid-June, when we can take the first high energy data, [but] at this stage the collision rate will be fairly low," he says.

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Tip of the Week:
Quality Assurance

What could possibly go wrong?

Review your tasks before you start them. This will reduce the likelihood of accidents, delays and increased costs.

When most people begin a new activity, they tend to hope that things will go right. While optimism may be a great approach to life, it can get in the way of looking at a situation with a critical and objective eye. Although we try to develop a straightforward set of tasks to accomplish a project, if we don't think about what could go wrong, we are more likely to experience accidents, delays, increased costs and decreased quality.

Lab policy requires a pre-work review for all activities carried out by Fermilab employees (FESHM 2060) or service subcontractors (FESHM 7010 and FESHM 7020). The purpose is to identify hazards and specify the controls needed to minimize the likelihood of an accident. In some cases, a written hazard analysis may be required, such as when the jobs are complex, hazards are great or unfamiliar, or the actions of multiple organizations must be coordinated.

Here are some questions you should ask to avoid "hidden" hazards.

  • Deficiencies: Do we have the necessary materials, equipment, training, experience and knowledge?
  • Control: Are we dependent on someone else to provide something?
  • Concurrence: Are the key players in agreement?
  • Time: Is there enough time to do the job properly?

By finding what actions work best to get a task done and then making those actions the norm, we create a set of standard practices that allows us to get expected results for many of our daily activities at home and at work.

An example of a set of standard practices is that for traffic safety, detailed in FESHM 10160: rules for the use of the road. By adhering to these practices, we can get the desired result of safely arriving at our destination. When these practices are not followed, the results may be a ticket or worse.

The Integrated Quality Assurance manual encourages written procedures to ensure quality for activities of sufficient complexity or potential hazard. We document reviews, assessments and audits in iTrack and conduct self-assessments. The more critical the task is to a job, the greater the need to create explicit standard practices and follow them.

When starting a new task, make sure you're in the right position to complete the mission by checking to see if your department or division has a set of standard practices for that task that you should follow.

It is in all of our best interests to follow standard practices or make suggestions for how those practices may be improved to get more consistent results. If you have questions or ideas for improvements, contact your supervisor or quality assurance representative.

J.B. Dawson

In the News

Want to do a little astrophysics? This app detects cosmic rays

From NPR, March 27, 2015

Scientists in California are hoping to use your smart phone to solve a cosmic mystery. They're developing an app to turn your phone into a cosmic ray detector. If enough people install the app, the scientists think they'll be able to figure out once and for all what's producing the very energetic cosmic rays that occasionally hit the Earth.

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