Tuesday, May 5, 2015
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Today's New Announcements

Wilson Hall east drinking fountains out of service - May 5-7

Gallery talk - May 6

"What is Thought?" open discussion - May 7

Volunteers needed for Employee Health and Fitness Day on May 12

Living Green! new Fermilab Library book display

Swim lessons at Fermilab Pool

Adult water aerobics at Fermilab Pool

Lunch and Learn About Allergies - today

For the Life of the World video series starts today

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

Prescription Safety Eyewear Form updated

Mac OS X security patches enabled

Fermilab Board Game Guild

Scottish country dancing Tuesday evenings at Kuhn Village Barn

International folk dancing Thursday evenings at Kuhn Barn


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New beamline at Fermilab Test Beam Facility delivers beam to LArIAT, a liquid-argon detector for neutrino research

Technicians John Cornele, Pat Healey and Skyler Sherwin have been crucial in preparing the LArIAT detector for beam. The liquid-argon-filled detector saw first beam on Thursday. Photo: Jen Raaf, PPD

Fermilab's Test Beam Facility (FTBF) now runs a second beamline to provide particles for R&D experiments. The MCenter beamline came back to life last year after an eight-year slumber to join the facility's other beamline, MTest.

On Thursday, April 30, accelerator operators began using the revived beamline to send particles to its first major experiment, Liquid Argon TPC in a Test Beam (LArIAT), which will help advance particle detector technologies for neutrino experiments.

The FTBF provides experiments with different types of particle beams with a range of energies. Its main purpose is the research and development of particle detectors. It is one of only two sites in the world that provides this service with high-energy hadrons, which are particles made of quarks. Since 2005, the FTBF, with its distinctive orange and blue corrugated-steel roof, has staged more than 50 experiments, conducted by scientists from more than 170 institutions in 30 countries.

"We're very busy and fully subscribed," said JJ Schmidt, deputy facility manager at FTBF. "The existence of two beams allows us to serve a broader class of experiments."

Not only does the new beamline allow FTBF to serve a larger number of users, it also provides room for a greater diversity of experiments. While MTest is aimed at experiments with a turnover of about one to four weeks, MCenter caters to more long-term experiments like LArIAT that will last for months, or even years.

Beautiful tracks at first try
LArIAT is a liquid-argon time projection chamber. Charged particles traveling through the sea of liquid argon ionize the argon atoms, and an electric field causes liberated electrons to drift toward the detector readout. Different particles cause different amounts of ionization, allowing researchers to distinguish between particles such as pions, kaons and protons.

The first spill of particles delivered to LArIAT led to immediate success. The detector recorded picture-perfect tracks of charged particles.

Like the test beam, LArIAT will act as a research and development vehicle for future projects. Because neutrinos can be studied only through the particles produced when they interact with material inside a particle detector, being able to reliably characterize these other particles is of great importance.

"This is going to be fantastic not only for LArIAT but all the neutrino experiments that will use its results," said Jen Raaf, co-spokesperson for LArIAT.

LArIAT will run the test beam for 24 hours a day while experimenters take data. The first run will last about three months, after which the detector's cryogenic system will undergo upgrades to prepare for longer follow-up runs.

"It's great that we have a facility where a small experiment can take beam over a long term," said Brian Rebel, a scientist involved in LArIAT.

About 75 people from 22 institutions from the United States, Europe and Japan work on this experiment.

"Most are young postdocs and Ph.D. students that are enthusiastically doing a great job," said Flavio Cavanna, LArIAT co-spokesperson.

"It's an exciting combination of many years of work by the Accelerator, Particle Physics, Neutrino and Scientific Computing divisions to have the capability to do research that is important for making this the premier neutrino laboratory in the world," Schmidt said.

Diana Kwon

This plot shows LArIAT's first tracks: two views of a charged particle interacting inside the LArIAT detector, which is filled with liquid argon.
In the News

Do we live in a hologram? It's more likely than you might think

From Forbes, April 28, 2015

Everything in our universe might be a lot flatter than it seems, at least, if you do the math.

If you've got a credit card in your wallet that has one of those little 3D holograms on it — a two-dimensional image that uses some tricks of light to appear three-dimensional — you can get a sense of how new research out of Vienna suggests that we might be able to describe our universe.

In other words, the mind-melting notion that sometimes floats around in theoretical physics and science fiction circles that the universe might actually be a hologram continues to be worth further investigation.

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Director's Corner

A new board is on board

Fermilab Director
Nigel Lockyer

As you know, Fermilab is a U.S. Department of Energy laboratory managed under contract by Fermi Research Alliance LLC. FRA combines the strengths of the University of Chicago and the Universities Research Association to provide oversight, guidance and support for Fermilab. The FRA Board of Directors has undergone a recent evolution, and I had the pleasure of participating in their recent meeting in April.

Yes, the board still hires and fires the Fermilab director, but the expertise and experience they bring to the table has dramatically expanded. With the advent of the P5 report and its focus on the LBNF/DUNE future flagship for the U.S. particle physics program, Fermilab needs a board that oversees our implementation plan and helps guide us to success.

FRA has recruited an impressive starting team as we embark on this bold program. In addition to the members from the University of Chicago (Bob Zimmer and Don Levy) and URA (Lou Anna Simon, Marta Cehelsky), the FRA Board now includes Steve Ritz (UC Santa Cruz), John Womersley (Science and Technology Facilities Council, UK), Quinn Stepan (Stepan Company) and our newest member Bret Hart (United Airlines). A few more members are expected to be added over the coming year.

The reformulated group met in person in Washington, D.C., last month not only to conduct its business, but also to get acquainted with the national landscape and federal Fermilab stakeholders in Congress, the Department of Energy and other executive branch agencies. The new board members were highly engaged and had many questions for me about how Fermilab makes decisions, evaluates opportunities and manages risks. Regarding the agencies and Congress, the board was interested in strategic priorities and international considerations while also expressing their enthusiasm for Fermilab and the direction in which we're heading. Board members learned a great deal from Pat Dehmer and Jim Siegrist (DOE Office of Science) about the significance of the opportunity for Fermilab to host a global "megaproject" for neutrino science on U.S. soil. The agencies emphasized the need for clear, consistent messaging about the value of particle physics and these types of flagship initiatives.

I want to reiterate my welcome to our newest board member, Brett Hart, and thank those who have been with us for the past few months. And I sincerely thank our colleagues at the Department of Energy (Jim Siegrist, Pat Dehmer, Lynn Orr) and the National Science Foundation (Fleming Crim) for taking time to meet with the board and share their wisdom about how to make the case for science in the modern world.

The FRA Board's fresh perspective is seasoned by substantial experience and a commitment to helping us succeed. I look forward to working closely with them as we secure the next several decades of Fermilab's future.

In Brief

Celebrating Administrative Professionals Day at Fermilab

Administrative professionals of Fermilab were honored with a reception on April 21. Photo: Reidar Hahn

On April 21, administrative professionals of the lab gathered for a luncheon in their honor at Kuhn Barn. The 70 attendees enjoyed lunch and received raffle prizes. Perhaps the highlights of the sweet table were the chocolate fountains.

Thanks to all of Fermilab's administrative professionals for their help in operating the laboratory.

Photo of the Day

The ring and the tower

"Mobius Strip" and the windows of Wilson Hall gleam in the sunlight. Photo: Valery Stanley, WDRS
In the News

Scientists get ultra-fast and robust network across the Atlantic Ocean

From Bloomberg Business, April 29, 2015

WASHINGTON, DC — (Marketwired) — 04/29/15 — At the Internet2 Global Summit today, the partners in ANA-200G and ESnet announced a new agreement that improves the resiliency of the world's fastest inter-continental network for research and education.

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