Tuesday, June 9, 2015
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Barn Dance - June 14

Wednesday Walkers

Fermilab pool open today, memberships available

Managing Conflict (half-day) on June 10

Commercializing Innovation: office hours at IARC - June 11

International folk dancing Thursday evenings through June 11

Monday yoga registration due June 15

NALWO lecture: Beauty of Barns - June 16

art/LArSoft course at Fermilab, free registration - Aug. 3-7

WalkingWorks week three winners

WalkingWorks program begins - register now

Pedometers available for WalkingWorks program

Fermilab Board Game Guild

Outdoor soccer

Scottish country dancing meets Tuesday evenings at Kuhn Barn

English country dancing at Kuhn Barn

H4 Training discount for Fermilab employees


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Special Announcement

Festa Italiana tonight, 48th annual Users Meeting Wednesday and Thursday

The popular annual Festa Italiana will be held in the Users Center tonight from 8 to 11:30 p.m. Fermilab users and friends are invited to attend.

The festivities precede the 48th annual Fermilab Users Meeting, which starts tomorrow in Ramsey Auditorium. View the Users Meeting agenda.

DOE Press Release

Energy Department seeks public input on neutrino project; meetings set in June

The Department of Energy will host public meetings on the environmental impacts of LBNF and DUNE this month. Image: Fermilab

The U.S. Department of Energy invites interested citizens to review and comment on the possible environmental effects of building and operating the Long-Baseline Neutrino Facility (LBNF) and the associated Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment (DUNE). The experiment will send a beam of neutrinos through the Earth from Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory near Batavia, Illinois, to the Sanford Underground Research Facility in Lead, South Dakota.

DOE's Draft Environmental Assessment (EA) analyzes the environmental and socioeconomic impacts of the proposed facility. DOE released the draft EA for public review and comment in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The comment period on the document is June 8 through July 10. To help people understand the document and start the comment process, DOE will conduct three public meetings:

  • June 17 at 6:30 p.m. at Copper Mountain Resort, 900 Miners Ave., Lead, South Dakota
  • June 18 at 6:30 p.m. at the Surbeck Center at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, 501 E St. Joseph St., Rapid City, South Dakota
  • June 24 at 6:30 p.m. in the atrium of Wilson Hall, the main building at Fermilab in Batavia, Illinois

DOE, Sanford Lab and Fermilab will have people available at the meetings to explain the proposed project, the science it plans to accomplish and the specifics of the impacts that are listed in the EA. There are a number of ways people can comment on the document, including:

  • At the meeting;
  • By U.S. mail: LBNF/DUNE Comments, U.S. Department of Energy (STS), Fermi Site Office, P.O. Box 2000, Batavia, IL 60510;
  • Email; and
  • Online.

All comments, both oral and written, received during this period will be given equal consideration.

Read more

In the News

A crisis at the edge of physics

From The New York Times, June 5, 2015

Do physicists need empirical evidence to confirm their theories?

You may think that the answer is an obvious yes, experimental confirmation being the very heart of science. But a growing controversy at the frontiers of physics and cosmology suggests that the situation is not so simple.

A few months ago in the journal Nature, two leading researchers, George Ellis and Joseph Silk, published a controversial piece called "Scientific Method: Defend the Integrity of Physics." They criticized a newfound willingness among some scientists to explicitly set aside the need for experimental confirmation of today's most ambitious cosmic theories — so long as those theories are "sufficiently elegant and explanatory." Despite working at the cutting edge of knowledge, such scientists are, for Professors Ellis and Silk, "breaking with centuries of philosophical tradition of defining scientific knowledge as empirical."

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From the Deputy Director

48th Fermilab Users Meeting

Joe Lykken

Every summer the Fermilab users converge on the mother ship for their annual meeting, a community briefing on the status of the full program of particle physics supported by the laboratory. The 2015 edition begins tomorrow, with an action-packed schedule put together by the hard-working Fermilab Users Executive Committee.

As has become tradition, the Users Meeting is preceded by two other special events. One is the Tuesday evening Festa Italiana, a most welcome contribution from the Italian scientist community. The other preamble is the New Perspectives conference, organized by the Fermilab Student and Postdoc Association to give students and postdocs an opportunity to present their work to an audience of their peers. Peeking into their meeting this afternoon, I felt a wave of nostalgia for a New Perspectives conference that I attended in a previous millennium. As recorded in the papyrus scrolls of the July 23, 1999, edition of FermiNews, I addressed an assembly of eager junior scientists (many of whom are now leaders of major experiments) with the latest in cutting-edge theoretical insight to guide their budding careers. "Something is out there," I said. "Go find it."

The mood for this week should be very upbeat considering all of the recent science accomplishments and forward motion on new initiatives of the Fermilab program. NOvA, MINERvA and MINOS+ are all running, MicroBooNE is starting up, and our neutrino user community is expanding rapidly with DUNE, ICARUS and SBND. We are all excited by the discovery prospects for the new LHC run, our muon experiments Muon g-2 and Mu2e, and our cosmic portfolio exploring dark energy and dark matter.

An objective summary of how we are doing as a laboratory can be found in the closeout summary of the recent DOE Institutional Review. The outside review panel reported that Fermilab is aligned very well to P5 priorities and following P5 recommendations. They said that there is palpable excitement for the recent positive developments in securing international support for the long-baseline neutrino program and that the laboratory is much more focused than in previous years. Fermilab, they noted, has long been the focal point for high-energy physics in the United States, and the lab should strive to maintain this role.

Sounds good to me. With a strong user community, we can do it.

Photo of the Day

Atrium colors

The green sheen of atrium leaves complements the colorful CMS detector banner on the second-floor crossover. Photo: Elliott McCrory, AD
In the News

Four reasons to not fear physics

From Forbes, May 29, 2015

Last week, the science blog The Last Word on Nothing celebrated its fifth year of operation, and as part of that several of their writers contributed to a post on the The Best Science to Write About and the Worst. Two of the writers, Craig Childs and Jennifer Holland, list physics as their least favorite, and their descriptions of why were pretty dispiriting, as English-major-turned-science-writer Jennifer Ouellette explained.

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