Thursday, April 30, 2015
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Today's New Announcements

Bardeen Engineering Leadership Program talk - May 1

2014 FSA deadline is today

Harvard Implicit Association Test - today

International folk dancing meeting in Ramsey Auditorium today only

Artist reception - May 1

For the Life of the World video series starts May 5

National Day of Prayer Observance - May 7

Interpersonal Communication Skills on May 20

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

Online and mobile language learning service now available

Prescription safety eyewear form updated

Fermilab Board Game Guild

Zumba Toning and Zumba Fitness registration due soon

Players needed for 2015 Fermilab co-ed softball league

Scottish country dancing Tuesday evenings at Kuhn Village Barn

International folk dancing Thursday evenings at Kuhn Barn


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Patterns dominate at new exhibit in Fermilab Art Gallery

Jen Evans' painting "Safe" is currently on display in the Fermilab Art Gallery.

The pieces in the latest exhibit in the Fermilab Art Gallery, "Systems and Intuition," engage viewers through organic arrangements of repeated shapes, lines and colors inspired by nature and everyday objects.

The show features three Chicagoland artists — Fawn Clarke-Peterson, Jen Evans and Rita Grendze — who have worked alongside each other for several years.

The exhibit will be up until June 26. An artist reception will take place in the gallery on Friday, May 1, from 5-7 p.m. A gallery talk by the artists will take place on Wednesday, May 6, from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Rita Grendze works with a range of materials, exploring their physicality. Her small installations and three-dimensional drawings, as she calls them, note the passage of time, reflect history and tell new narratives, which can be seen in patterns: the frays of yarn, the rumpled pages in a book, the grids formed by steel grates.

Clarke-Peterson likewise allows the very material of the clay to guide her in creating her wall-hung sculptures. Inspired by nature's imperfect patterns, Clarke-Peterson references the "flawed regularity" of natural systems, she said.

The paintings of Jen Evans are made of forms, fields and swirls of color at once chaotic and simple. Visual inspiration for her paintings come from "the likes of sidewalk cracks, river bubbles and accidental compositions found in laundry piles and within door frames," as she notes in an artist statement.

The three artists have held leadership roles at Water Street Studios in Batavia, which has another connection with Fermilab: the Science&Art@School initiative. Evans and Grendze in particular helped facilitate the students' work, which was recently displayed both at Fermilab and at Water Street Studios.

"The act of art making is finding a way to communicate a solution to a problem," Grendze said in an artist statement. "Intuition and logical systems are the two main means by which problems are solved. They are alternate sides of a single coin."

Photo of the Day

Spring beauty

Spring beauties grow on Fermilab grounds. Photo: Barb Kristen, PPD
In the News

Milky Way's quiet life leaves it with no dark matter skeleton

From New Scientist, April 29, 2015

The Milky Way has had a sheltered life. A search for the signs of a violent galactic upbringing has come up empty, and the finding is helping astronomers understand our galaxy's history. It could also aid the search for dark matter.

Galaxies are shape-shifters. Far from being a single set of stars in an eternal spiral, the Milky Way has devoured countless smaller galaxies over its 13 billion year lifetime, and its shape has been in constant flux to accommodate the immigrants. It is riddled with alien stars, threshed from foreign galaxies as they joined ours.

If these galaxies were big hitters, the forces unleashed by a merger would push stars into the heart of our galaxy and create a flattened disc of accreted dark matter that lines up with the spiral disc of stars.

Read more

From symmetry

Natural SUSY's last stand

Either supersymmetry will be found in the next years of research at the Large Hadron Collider, or it isn't exactly what theorists hoped it was. Photo: Claudia Marcelloni De Oliveira, CERN

One of the big questions scientists are asking with experiments at the Large Hadron Collider is this: Does every fundamental particle we know about have a hidden partner that we have yet to meet?

A popular set of theories predict that they do.

The first run of the LHC came and went without any of these partner particles turning up. But a recent paper shows that the real test of the theories that predict their existence could happen during the next run, when particles will collide at higher energies than ever before.

These theoretical partner particles come from the idea of supersymmetry, or SUSY, a mathematical framework developed over the past 40 years that could answers questions such as: Are all of the forces we know just parts of a single, unified force? How is the Higgs boson so light? What is dark matter? Is the world made up of the tiny, vibrating strings described by string theory?

A key aspect of SUSY is that each of the dozens of particles in the Standard Model of particle physics must have a partner, called a superparticle or sparticle. Scientists think all of these sparticles must ultimately decay into a light, stable particle. If they are light enough, supersymmetric particles that interact through the strong force, such as supersymmetric quarks (squarks) or supersymmetric gluons (gluinos), could be produced at large rates at the LHC.

There are many different manifestations of supersymmetry, explains theorist JoAnne Hewett of SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. A subset of them are known as "natural" theories. That is, they could answer many of the questions above. Their lightest sparticle could be the dark matter particle. The math could work out for all of the forces to have come from a single origin. They could help explain the mass of the Higgs boson.

Data from the LHC's first run, from 2010 to 2013, snuffed out any hope that the simplest natural version of SUSY exists.

"But, there are millions of possible models consistent with natural supersymmetry that have not been explored," says Hewett's advisee, Stanford graduate student Matthew Cahill-Rowley.

According to a paper they worked on together with two other physicists, the second run of the LHC will investigate nearly all of them.

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Mike Ross

In Brief

Helping earthquake victims

The recent earthquake in Nepal has caused thousands of deaths and brought devastation to the lives of an estimated 8 million people. Fermilab employees may wish to donate to charities helping with the recovery efforts.

U.S. AID and the Better Business Bureau have published lists of charitable groups who are soliciting donations for relief efforts in Nepal.

If you decide to donate, be sure to check that the charity is legitimate. Scammers have historically used tragic events to entice people to open email attachments or respond to solicitations for donations.

Charity Watch is a helpful resource to find out if your potential charity is legitimate.

In the News

Cyclotron radiation from a single electron is measured for the first time

From Physics World, April 27, 2015

The cyclotron radiation emitted by a single electron has been measured for the first time by a team of physicists in the US and Germany. The research provides a new and potentially more precise way to study beta decay, which involves the emission of an electron and a neutrino. In particular, it could provide physicists with a much better measurement of neutrino mass, which is crucial for understanding physics beyond the Standard Model.

Read more