Thursday, April 23, 2015
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Today's New Announcements

Philosophy Society: "Value of Fundamental Science" open discussion - today

Bardeen Engineering Leadership Program lecture - April 24

Linux User Group meets April 29

For the Life of the World video series starts May 5

National Day of Prayer Observance - May 7

Interpersonal Communication Skills on May 20

MS Excel 2013: Introduction offered two half days - April 28 and 30

2014 FSA deadline is April 30

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

Interaction Management course (three days) scheduled for June 28, July 9, July 28

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

Mac OS X security patches enabled

Zumba Toning and Zumba Fitness registration due soon

Yoga registration due soon

Players needed for 2015 Fermilab co-ed softball league

Indoor soccer

Scottish country dancing Tuesday evenings at Kuhn Village Barn

International folk dancing Thursday evenings at Kuhn Barn


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In Brief

Fermilab and NASA scientists discuss challenges of big science at recent APS meeting

These scientists recently spoke at a panel discussion titled "Big Science and Big Challenges." From left: Fermilab scientist Pushpa Bhat, Fermilab Director Nigel Lockyer, former Lockheed Martin CEO Norm Augustine, Nobel laureate and NASA scientist John Mather, and Director of NASA Science Missions and former astronaut John Grunsfeld.

On April 11, Fermilab Director Nigel Lockyer and scientist Pushpa Bhat (chair and moderator) participated in a panel discussion titled "Big Science and Big Challenges." The discussion was held at a meeting of the American Physical Society in Baltimore, Maryland.

The panel, which included NASA scientists, discussed international collaborations in frontier sciences such as high-energy physics, science of the cosmos, human exploration of space and public support for science.

"Technology has advanced our civilization and tremendously improved our lives," Bhat said during the discussion. "But technology does not just happen. New technologies are born out of fundamental science research."

View a webcast of the press conference that followed the panel discussion.

In Brief

Digging up the dirt at Fermilab for Arbor Day 2015

Randy Ortgiesen, DO, left, and Joe Pygott, FESS, plant a young tree for Arbor Day. Photo: Bridgett Pygott, FESS

Roughly 20 volunteers planted native shrubs and trees west of Road B on Tuesday for Fermilab's annual Arbor Day event.

The tree planters included laboratory employees, their family members and Fermilab Natural Areas volunteers.

They planted hackberry trees, hickory trees, oak trees and viburnum shrubs.

This panoramic view shows the vast area of land covered by volunteers. Photo: Bridgett Pygott, FESS
In Brief

PowerPoint template and FermiMail signature options now available

The Core Computing Division has installed on Windows PCs the Fermilab Microsoft PowerPoint template as a default template and two FermiMail signature options that conform to the Fermilab graphic design standards.

To make use of these options, users will need to reboot their Windows PCs. See more information on the PowerPoint template and Outlook signatures.

Photo of the Day

Spiny softshell

Throwback Thursday: This spiny softshell turtle, spotted near Feynman Computing Center last summer, is about 20 inches long. Photo: Greg Cisko, CCD
In the News

Astronomers fill supervoid in their knowledge

From Physics World, April 21, 2015

Astronomers believe they may finally be able to explain the origin of the "cold spot," a glaringly large cool region in the cosmic microwave background (CMB). Maps of the CMB, such as that created by the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) and more recently by the Planck mission, reveal the distribution of radiation left over after the Big Bang. When in 2004 researchers noticed this cold spot on the map, they soon realized it was either a sign of exotic physics linked to the Big Bang itself or it was caused by some sort of structure in the foreground between the CMB and the Earth.

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Frontier Science Result: DZero

From E-8 to E-823

Data from five very different experiments over a wide range of energies and taken over a span of four decades fall together on a smooth curve here. When the trajectory of the outgoing Λ or anti-Λ is close to the trajectory of the incoming proton (the left side of the plot), there are relatively few anti-Λ produced. On the right, when the outgoing trajectory is very different from the incoming one, Λ and anti-Λ are produced at the same rate.

Disponible en español

Today's DZero result involves two orders of magnitude — in experiment number!

A proton contains three quarks: two u (up) flavored quarks and a d (down) flavored quark. (Avid readers will recall that we are speaking here of valence quarks.) If one of the u quarks is replaced with an s (strange) flavored quark, the resulting particle is a Λ (Lambda) rather than a proton. That replacement process can easily happen in collisions of protons with antiprotons, as was done in the Tevatron.

In the exchange process, there is a marked tendency for the two unchanged quarks — the ud diquark, as it is called — to continue after the interaction in nearly the same direction as they had as they entered the collision. At DZero, for example, protons entered the detector from the north side of the building, and the produced Λ particles headed south from the interaction region. Still, a few north-bound Λ particles were produced as well. The Λ that were produced in the expected direction are called "forward," and Λ that were produced in the opposite direction are called "backward." Anti-Λ were also produced, and they tended to go in the direction of the incoming antiproton.

DZero has recently measured the directions of Λ particles — the asymmetry between the forward and backward production rates at the Tevatron. The difference between the forward and backward rates is on the order of a few percent of the total production rates.

Next, we compared this result with results from other experiments. Take a look at the plot above. The horizontal axis of the plot is labeled "rapidity loss." The lower this number is, the more the outgoing Λ has the same trajectory as the incoming proton. The vertical axis is the rate at which anti-Λ are produced divided by the rate at which Λ are produced. On the right side of the plot, where the Λ direction is very different from the proton direction, both Λ and anti-Λ are produced at about the same rate. On the left hand side, where the outgoing Λ has a very similar trajectory as the incoming proton, there are few anti-Λ produced.

The plot shows a nice smooth S-shaped curve. That curve describes the results of five very different experiments. Three of them collide protons with other protons. One collides protons with antiprotons, and one collides protons with lead and beryllium nuclei. And the range of energies involved is large: The energies of the highest-energy collisions on this plot are roughly 300 times those in the lowest-energy collisions.

What is entertaining here is that we are able to compare the latest results from DZero, which is Fermilab Experiment 823, with those of Fermilab Experiment 8. E-8 was proposed in June 1970 and ran until March 1976. You may not have been born yet! But the laws of physics are still unchanged.

Leo Bellantoni

Bruce Hoeneisen of Universidad San Francisco de Quito in Quito, Ecuador, is the primary analyst for this measurement.
The DZero collaboration thanks the collaborators pictured here for their support with the computing needed for DZero analysis. Top, from left: Qizhong Li (Fermilab), Herb Greenlee (Fermilab), Peter Svoisky (Oklahoma). Bottom, from left: Peter Vokac (Czech Technical University, Prague, Czech Republic) and Jesus Orduna (Rice).
In the News

Physicists detect radio waves from a single electron

From Science, April 21, 2015

Physicists have long known that charged particles like electrons will spiral in a magnetic field and give off radiation. But nobody had ever detected the radio waves emanating from a single whirling electron — until now. The striking new technique researchers used to do it might someday help particle physicists answer a question that has vexed them for decades: How much does a ghostly particle called the neutrino weigh?

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