Thursday, July 30, 2015
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Today's New Announcements

Python Programming Basics is scheduled for Oct. 14-16

Python Programming Advanced - Dec. 9-11

Book discussion - Mindset: The New Psychology of Success - today

Deadline for the University of Chicago tuition remission program - Aug. 18

Call for proposals: URA Visiting Scholars Program - deadline is Aug. 31

Prescription safety eyewear

Fermi Singers invite all visiting students and staff

Fermilab bicycle commuters Web page has moved

Fermilab prairie plant survey

Users Center entrance repair on Sauk Blvd in the Village

Pool memberships on sale

Fermilab Board Game Guild

Outdoor soccer

Fermilab Softball League

Scottish country dancing meets Tuesday evenings in Ramsey Auditorium

International folk dancing Thursday evenings in Ramsey Auditorium

English country dancing at Kuhn Barn

Bristol Renaissance Faire employee discount

Raging Waves Waterpark employee discount


Fermilab Today

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Fermilab native habitat certified as a Conservation@Work site by The Conservation Foundation

Conservation Foundation President/CEO Brook McDonald (left) presents the Conservation@Work sign to Fermilab Director Nigel Lockyer. Photo courtesy of The Conservation Foundation

Editor's note: The following is a press release issued by The Conservation Foundation.

Fermilab became the latest campus to receive Conservation@Work certification by The Conservation Foundation, recognizing it as one of the largest natural areas in the region.

Conservation Foundation President/CEO Brook McDonald presented Fermilab Director Nigel Lockyer with a Conservation@Work sign at a brief ceremony at the trailhead of the Margaret Pearson Interpretive Trail at the Batavia campus on Thursday, July 23.

Started nearly 40 years ago when prairie preservation pioneer Robert Betz pushed the first native plant into the ground, the 2,500 acres of native prairie at the Fermilab campus continues to be a work in progress.

"It is one of the largest expanses of restored woodlands, wetlands and tall-grass prairie," said Dan Lobbes, The Conservation Foundation's director of land preservation. "It's really an amazing accomplishment in terms of managing natural areas within an urban setting. I give a lot of credit to Fermilab's staff and the strong group of volunteers that put in so much time and energy."

The Conservation@Work concept — using hardy Midwest plants as well as other techniques to capture and clean rainwater — has been eagerly embraced by workplaces because it saves on upkeep costs, reduces the amount of mowing and chemicals used in their landscape, helps control stormwater, and creates a beautiful haven for birds, butterflies and other wildlife.

Fermilab's first director, Robert Wilson, worked with Betz, a Northeastern Illinois University biology professor, on his vision of a restored prairie of native plants found on the prairies of Illinois during presettlement days (prior to 1850).

Wilson believed the prairie — and Fermilab's bison — would link this global center of science and technology with the natural history of this place.

The Conservation Foundation also helps homeowners reduce maintenance by creating native habitats for wildlife in their own backyards with the Conservation@Home program.

The Conservation Foundation is one of the region's largest and oldest private conservation organizations, with more than 4,000 members and donors and more than 500 volunteers who contribute 20,000 hours per year.

Work is focused in DuPage, Kane, Kendall and Will Counties to preserve and restore nature in your neighborhood. Find out more at The Conservation Foundation website.

Wellness Feature of the Month

August fitness classes and complimentary wellness

Complimentary Wellness

Wednesday Walkers
Wednesdays. Depart from Wilson Hall east side at noon. Time, distance and speed are up to you.

Free trial Muscle Toning class
Tuesday, Aug. 18, 5-6 p.m.
Fitness Center Exercise Room.
Hosted by Bod Squad (gym will be open for access)

Lunch and Learn: Why do millions of people see a chiropractor?
Tuesday, Aug. 25, noon-1 p.m.
Curia II
Presented by Sharratt Chiropractic


Fitness Classes

Muscle Toning by Bod Squad
Tuesdays and Thursdays, Aug. 18-Oct. 8, 5-6 p.m.
Fitness Center Exercise Room
$82. Register by Aug. 11.

Mondays, Aug. 24-Oct. 19 (no class Sept. 7 or 28), noon-12:45 p.m.
WHGFE Training Room
$55. Register by Aug. 17.

Thursdays, Aug. 27-Oct. 22 (no class Oct. 1), noon-12:45 p.m.
WHGFE Training Room
$60. Register by Aug. 20.

Zumba Toning
Tuesdays, Aug. 25-Oct. 13, noon-12:45 p.m.
Fitness Center Exercise Room
$50. Register by Aug. 18.

Zumba Fitness
Thursdays, Aug. 27-Oct. 15, noon-12:45 p.m.
Fitness Center Exercise Room
$50. Register by Aug. 20.


Employee Discounts
Raging Waves Waterpark
Bristol Renaissance Faire
For other employee discount information visit employee discount Web page.

In the News

How atom-smashers make and discover new particles

From The Economist, July 23, 2015

Last week, physicists at the Large Hadron Collider, in Switzerland, announced the discovery of a new particle called the pentaquark. Back in 2012 the same machine provided evidence for the Higgs boson — the final missing piece in what is called the Standard Model. This is essentially a cupboard of ingredients for the stuff that makes up the universe, a neat set of all the known fundamental particles and all the forces that mediate interactions among them. Exotic new particles, such as the pentaquark, can be cooked up using only these ingredients. But how do particle accelerators find these fundamental bits, or make ones for new recipes?

Read more

Frontier Science Result: CDF

Fishing for the weak and the charmed

The top plot shows the observed and predicted rates of vector boson plus charmed meson production at different energies for a type of vector boson called a W boson. The bottom plot shows the ratio of the observed to predicted rates. Observation and prediction are in agreement even at low energies, providing confirmation that we understand how these events behave. A well-tested model makes it easier to pick out anomalies, such as dark matter candidates.

You collect coins, and you're on the trail of a legend: According to rumor, a manufacturing defect led to one in every thousand 1939 nickels replacing Thomas Jefferson with a Sasquatch (also known as Bigfoot). But all of these weathered nickels now look about the same. How can you tell that you have found your elusive quarry?

Finding something new in particle physics is much the same. We frequently know roughly what a new particle might look like, but this "signature" is often similar to that of other particles. One of the best ways to aid our search is to paint extremely accurate pictures of known particles and then look for exceptions to that rule.

Heavy particles like dark matter candidates, the Higgs boson or particles predicted by supersymmetry share a common signature: They may decay into particles including a "vector boson," V (a type of particle that transmits the weak force), and a "charmed meson," D* (a particle made of two quarks, one of which is a charm quark).

CDF physicists performed a search for these V+D* events — the normal nickels — to make certain that our picture of them is accurate. Models of events such as these are known to be accurate at high energies; however, at lower energies, subtleties in the strong force that binds together fundamental particles become more important, and the models may break down.

This study was the first to test V+D* production at lower energies in hadron collisions. The V particle is either the W boson or the Z boson. The full Tevatron Run II data sample was used (9.7 inverse femtobarns).

The figure shows the data when the V particle is the W particle. The experiment measured 634 ± 39 such events. The W particle is found by looking for an energetic lepton (a muon or an electron) and missing transverse energy (neutrino). The D* particle is observed from its decay into the D0 particle and a low-energy pion. The D0 decays into a negative kaon and a positive pion.

Several sources of systematic uncertainty cancel in calculating the ratio of the decay probabilities for these two processes. We found that V+D* production behaves just as predicted. Providing such a stringent test of these models widens the net that we can cast in future studies. This, in turn, betters our chances of fishing out something new and exciting, perhaps previously undiscovered particles or particle decays.

Keith Matera and Andy Beretvas

Learn more

From left: Keith Matera (University of Illinois, now at Fermilab) and Kevin Pitts (University of Illinois) are the primary analysts for this result.
In Brief

Science Next Door August newsletter now online

The August edition of Science Next Door, Fermilab's monthly community newsletter, is now available online. View it or subscribe to get the latest about the laboratory's public events, including tours, lectures, arts events and volunteer opportunities.

Photo of the Day

Imperial moth

An imperial moth graces Wilson Hall. Photo: Adam Bracero, TD
In the News

Lawrence Krauss new Board of Sponsors Chair, Nobel Laureate Leon Lederman Chair Emeritus

From Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, July 21, 2015

CHICAGO – July, 21, 2015 – The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists has announced that Lawrence Krauss has been elected Chair of the organization's Board of Sponsors; Nobel Laureate Leon Lederman has been elected Chair Emeritus, marking the first time the Bulletin has bestowed such an honor.

Lederman is an experimental physicist who received the National Medal of Science in 1965, the Wolf Prize in Physics in 1972, and the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1988. He was director of the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory from 1978 to [1989] and remains the lab's Director Emeritus. Lederman has served as Chair, and then co-Chair, of the Bulletin's Board of Sponsors since 2001.

Krauss is a theoretical physicist and the director of the Origins Project at Arizona State University, and has won several honors for translating difficult scientific concepts into language general readers can understand. He was named to the Bulletin's Board of Sponsors in 2006, along with Stephen Hawking, Lisa Randall, and Brian Greene. He is the author of more than 250 scientific papers and is a regular contributor to the Bulletin's pages.

Read more