Monday, June 22, 2015
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Wilson Hall annual abandoned bike removal

Preschool and youth swim lessons session 2

NALWO potluck picnic in Kuhn Barn - July 1

Zumba Toning registration due June 23

Hands-on: Evaluate CompactDAQ and LabVIEW for your application - June 25

Developing Monitoring and Control Systems with LabVIEW and CompactRIO hands-on seminar - June 25

Zumba Fitness registration due June 25

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

WalkingWorks week five winners

Wednesday Walkers

Scottish country dancing moves to auditorium, meets Tuesday evenings through summer

International folk dancing moves to auditorium, meets Thursday evenings through summer

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LARP completes first successful test of High-Luminosity LHC coil

Steve Gould of the Technical Division prepares a cold test of a short quadrupole coil. The coil is of the type that would go into the High-Luminosity LHC. Photo: Reidar Hahn

Last month, a group collaborating across four national laboratories completed the first successful tests of a superconducting coil in preparation for the future high-luminosity upgrade of the Large Hadron Collider, or HL-LHC. These tests indicate that the magnet design may be adequate for its intended use.

Physicists, engineers and technicians of the U.S. LHC Accelerator Research Program (LARP) are working to produce the powerful magnets that will become part of the HL-LHC, scheduled to start up around 2025. The plan for this upgrade is to increase the particle collision rate, or luminosity, by approximately a factor of 10, so expanding the collider's physics reach by creating 10 times more data.

"The upgrade will help us get closer to new physics. If we see something with the current run, we'll need more data to get a clear picture. If we don't find anything, more data may help us to see something new," said Technical Division's Giorgio Ambrosio, leader of the LARP magnet effort.

LARP is developing more advanced quadrupole magnets, which are used to focus particle beams. These magnets will have larger beam apertures and the ability to produce higher magnetic fields than those at the current LHC.

The Department of Energy established LARP in 2003 to contribute to LHC commissioning and prepare for upgrades. LARP includes Brookhaven National Laboratory, Fermilab, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and SLAC. Its members began developing the technology for advanced large-aperture quadrupole magnets around 2004.

The superconducting magnets currently in use at the LHC are made from niobium titanium, which has proven to be a very effective material to date. However, they will not be able to support the higher magnetic fields and larger apertures the collider needs to achieve higher luminosities. To push these limits, LARP scientists and engineers turned to a different material, niobium tin.

Niobium tin was discovered before niobium titanium. However, it has not yet been used in accelerators because, unlike niobium titanium, niobium tin is very brittle, making it susceptible to mechanical damage. To be used in high-energy accelerators, these magnets need to withstand large amounts of force, making them difficult to engineer.

LARP worked on this challenge for almost 10 years and went through a number of model magnets before it successfully started the fabrication of coils for 150-millimeter-aperture quadrupoles. Four coils are required for each quadrupole.

LARP and CERN collaborated closely on the design of the coils. After the first coil was built in the United States earlier this year, the LARP team successfully tested it in a magnetic mirror structure. The mirror structure makes possible tests of individual coils under magnetic field conditions similar to those of a quadrupole magnet. At 1.9 Kelvin, the coil exceeded 19 kiloamps, 15 percent above the operating current.

The team also demonstrated that the coil was protected from the stresses and heat generated during a quench, the rapid transition from superconducting to normal state.

"The fact that the very first test of the magnet was successful was based on the experience of many years," said TD's Guram Chlachidze, test coordinator for the magnets. "This knowledge and experience is well recognized by the magnet world."

Over the next few months, LARP members plan to test the completed quadrupole magnet.

"This was a success for both the people building the magnets and the people testing the magnets," said Fermilab scientist Giorgio Apollinari, head of LARP. "We still have a mountain to climb, but now we know we have all the right equipment at our disposal and that the first step was in the right direction."

Diana Kwon

In the News

Does time dilation destroy quantum superposition?

From Physics World, June 19, 2015

Why do we not see everyday objects in quantum superpositions? The answer to that long-standing question may partly lie with gravity. So says a group of physicists in Austria, which has shown theoretically that a feature of Einstein's general relativity, known as time dilation, can render quantum states classical. The researchers say that even the Earth's puny gravitational field may be strong enough for the effect to be measurable in a laboratory within a few years.

Our daily experience suggests that there exists a fundamental boundary between the quantum and classical worlds. One way that physicists explain the transition between the two, is to say that quantum superposition states simply break down when a system exceeds a certain size or level of complexity — its wavefunction is said to "collapse" and the system becomes "decoherent".

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Tip of the Week: Safety

Flash flood safety tips

Like much of the Chicagoland area at the time, Fermilab experienced flooding in April 2013. We could experience something similar this summer. Be prepared by following these tips. Photo: Reidar Hahn

The rain has subsided and flooding concerns in the area have diminished, but weather conditions in the area are still favorable for flash flooding.

In April 2013, Fermilab was bombarded with storms producing torrential downpours, heavy winds and lightning. We could experience similar weather conditions again soon. Always exercise caution when traveling to work and on site, and observe signage on roads and in areas adjacent to ponds, where standing water may still be present.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency recommends the following:

Before a flood
• If a flood is likely in your area, listen to the radio or television for information.
• If possible, construct barriers such as levees, berms and floodwalls to stop floodwater from entering your home or workplace.
• Seal walls in basements with waterproofing compounds to avoid seepage.
• Know the difference between a flood watch and a flood warning. A watch means flooding is possible. A warning means flooding is occurring or will occur soon.

When a flood is imminent
• Pack a bag with important items in case you need to evacuate. Don't forget to include medications.
• If advised to evacuate your home or workplace, do so immediately.
• If there is any possibility of a flash flood, move immediately to higher ground.
• If possible, bring in outdoor furniture and move essential items to an upper floor.
• Turn off utilities at the main switches or valves if instructed to do so. Disconnect electrical appliances.

During a flood
• Do not walk through moving water. As little as six inches of moving water can make you fall.
• If you have to walk in water, wherever possible, walk where the water is not moving. Use a stick to check the firmness of the ground in front of you.
• Do not drive into flooded areas. If floodwaters rise around your car, abandon the car and move to higher ground if you can do so safely.
• Do not touch electrical equipment if you are wet or standing in water.

After a flood
• Listen for news reports to learn whether the community's water supply is safe to drink.
• Avoid floodwaters; water may be contaminated by oil, gasoline or raw sewage. Water may also be electrically charged from underground or downed power lines.
• Avoid moving water.
• Be aware of areas where floodwaters have receded. Roads may have weakened and could collapse under the weight of a car.
• Stay away from downed power lines, and report them to the power company.
• Return home only when authorities indicate it is safe.
• Stay out of any building if it is surrounded by floodwaters.
• Service damaged septic tanks, cesspools, pits and leaching systems as soon as possible. Damaged sewage systems are serious health hazards.
• Clean and disinfect everything that is wet. Mud left from floodwater can contain sewage and chemicals.

If you encounter unusual conditions due to the rain events in your work area or building, please contact your building manager or FESS operations.

J.B. Dawson

Photo of the Day

Grassy shore

This picturesque scene of Lake Law was taken from the Fermilab Village. Photo: Sudeshna Ganguly, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
In the News

Particle weirdness shows physics is right about being wrong

From Wired, June 17, 2015

If neutrinos had personalities, they'd be known best for their aloofness. These tiny particles, which can travel almost as fast as the speed of light, don't have much regard for matter; they sail right on through walls and buildings and planets. If you sent a group of neutrinos through a light-year of lead shielding — six trillion miles thick — half of them would still cruise on through.

Physicists attempt to explain all fundamental particles, including neutrinos, with a set of rules known as the Standard Model. Mostly it works great, but it has a few flaws. One mystery that the theory fails to explain is the snobbish behavior of the tiny neutrino, which comes in three different flavors: muon, electron and — most elusive of all — the tau neutrino.

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