Tuesday, May 12, 2015
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Fermilab Users Meeting to celebrate past and future discoveries - June 10-11

The 2015 Fermilab Users Meeting takes place from June 10-11. The popular Festa Italiana will take place on Tuesday evening, June 9. Registration is now open.

Fermilab researchers will have plenty to celebrate at this year's Users Meeting, which takes place at the laboratory from June 10-11. This year researchers formed the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment collaboration, strengthening Fermilab's position at the forefront of neutrino research. Along with Argonne National Laboratory, Fermilab recently hosted an accelerator stewardship pilot program to reach potential partners in industry. And just last month, scientists celebrated the 20th anniversary of the top quark discovery at Fermilab.

The 48th annual Users Meeting will address all of these topics, in addition to other news in astroparticle, accelerator, collider, muon and neutrino physics.

"This is a pivotal year. With the release of the P5 recommendations, DOE and Fermilab are both firmly behind building a strong neutrino program," said Users Executive Committee co-chair Bill Louis of Los Alamos National Laboratory. "This is really terrific. It puts Fermilab at the center of neutrino research in the world."

The popular Festa Italiana will take place on June 9, the evening before the Users Meeting officially kicks off. Registered attendees are invited to come socialize with other Fermilab users over food and beverage.

In a special event on June 10, the American Physical Society will recognize Fermilab's pivotal contributions to high-energy physics, naming Fermilab a historic site.

On June 10 at 8 p.m. in Ramsey Auditorium, Francis Halzen of the University of Wisconsin–Madison will give a public talk titled "Ice Fishing for Neutrinos." He will discuss the IceCube experiment, where researchers are looking for astronomical messengers — neutrinos — from giant black holes gobbling up stars and from gamma ray bursts. Tickets can be purchased through the Fermilab Lecture Series box office.

"His talk will be an exciting one," said Users Meeting Deputy Chair Thomas Strauss of the University of Bern. "He'll give a great view of an important neutrino experiment happening outside Fermilab."

Two days before the Users Meeting, on June 8-9, the Fermilab Student and Postdoc Association will hold its annual New Perspectives Conference, a day and a half of talks given by undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral researchers. The group will also host a poster session during the banquet on the first day of the Users Meeting.

"We are very excited that this year's meeting will showcase all of the great things that have been happening at Fermilab as well as all of the wonderful projects that are about to start," said Users Meeting Chair Bill Lee of Fermilab.

Please register for the Users Meeting by June 1. Learn more by viewing the agenda or visiting the event website.

"The Fermilab present and future programs are very exciting, and I would not be surprised at all if one or more major discoveries are made in the next five or 10 years," Louis said. "There are many experiments running and more being built and planned. So it will be an especially interesting meeting."

Leah Hesla

Photos of the Day

Leaves of spring

These bright red leaves of spring could almost pass for fall foliage. Young silver maple grows by pond under the footbridge between Wilson Hall and the Lederman Science Center. Photo: Leticia Shaddix, PPD
A bloodroot plant's leaves reach toward the heavens. Photo: Leticia Shaddix, PPD
From the Deputy Director

CERN and the White House

Joe Lykken

It's not every day that you get invited to a White House event in the historic Indian Treaty Room. At the back door of the old Executive Office Building, Nigel Lockyer, Patty McBride and I waited dutifully in a long security line composed of dignitaries from a host of Washington agencies and embassies, as well as familiar faces from the particle physics community such as Nobel laureate Sam Ting.

The occasion, of course, was the signing ceremony last Thursday formalizing the new agreement for cooperation between the United States and CERN. As succinctly summarized for The New York Times by Jim Siegrist of the DOE Office of High Energy Physics, this agreement is both "a big deal" and "a big change." It's a big deal because it strengthens the U.S. partnership with CERN on the Large Hadron Collider, just as 13-TeV running is about to commence. This will include major U.S. contributions to upgrades of the ATLAS and CMS detectors, as well as accelerator components that will enable higher-luminosity running of the LHC. It's a big change because, as noted by CERN director-general Rolf Heuer, "it formalizes CERN's participation in U.S.-based programs such as prospective future neutrino facilities for the first time."

The ceremony was hosted by Jo Handelsman and Saul Gonzalez of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. As Dr. Handelsman noted in her welcoming remarks, U.S.-CERN cooperation is seen at the highest levels of government as a model for international science and technology partnerships. This gives the new agreement importance and visibility that transcends Higgs bosons and neutrinos.

All of this is great news for us at Fermilab, but it is also a reminder of our major responsibilities going forward. We are leading the LHC Accelerator Research Program to deliver contributions to the high-luminosity LHC accelerator upgrades. We are leading the U.S. efforts in CMS operations, data analysis, computing and detector upgrade projects. We are preparing to host the global neutrino community for both the new short-baseline neutrino program and the flagship of DUNE/LBNF. Hundreds of new international users will be pumping up the scientific energies of the laboratory. We will work hard to make these partners feel at home at Fermilab, just as we feel at home at CERN.

Last Tuesday morning I stumbled from the CERN hostel (somewhat jet-lagged) across to Restaurant 1 for a double espresso and a full-fat hazelnut yogurt. By the time I had paid for my coffee, I had run into 10 people I knew, most of them U.S. physicists there for the CMS week. I look forward to our European colleagues having the same experience when they grab an espresso in the Wilson Hall atrium. The new U.S.-CERN agreement means that our research programs will be even more deeply intertwined, and that is a very good thing.

From left: U.S. Office of Science and Technology Policy Assistant Director Saul Gonzalez, OSTP Associate Director Jo Handelsman, Department of Energy Secretary Ernie Moniz, CERN Director-General Rolf Heuer, National Science Foundation Director France Cordova. Photo: CERN
In the News

Physicists theorize that reality is a 2-D hologram

From WBEZ's Tech Shift, May 7, 2015

Physicists around the world are theorizing that reality as we know it may just be one big hologram. That means, the 3-D objects you see around you aren't actually three-dimensional. At the moment, this is just an idea. But a team of physicists and researchers at Fermilab are conducting an experiment to try to find evidence that such a theory is possible. Joining us to explain is Craig Hogan, Director of the Fermilab Center for Particle Astrophysics and professor of astronomy and astrophysics at the University of Chicago.

Listen to the story

In the News

Kibo on the hunt for dark matter

From The Japan News, May 7, 2015

Japan's experiment module Kibo (Hope), which has been in operation on the International Space Station since 2008, will be equipped with new research devices this year, including one that will observe dark matter, a substance considered to be one of the greatest mysteries in physics.

The dark-matter observation device will be the centerpiece of the new research equipment. In the background of this rush of new equipment is Japan's desire to promote the appeal of its space technology worldwide.

Dark matter is a mysterious substance whose weight and fundamental properties remain obscure. To capture its true form would be "a success worthy of a Nobel Prize," according to some, and the competition among nations in this field of research is becoming more and more intense.

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