Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2015
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Today's New Announcements

Muscle Toning registration due Aug. 11

Women's Initiative: "Guiltless: Work/Life Balance" - Aug. 13

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

Python Programming Basics is scheduled for Oct. 14-16

Python Programming Advanced - Dec. 9-11

Prescription safety eyewear

Fermilab prairie plant survey

Fermi Singers invite all visiting students and staff

Fermilab bicycle commuters Web page has moved

Pool memberships on sale

Fermilab Board Game Guild

Outdoor soccer

Scottish country dancing meets Tuesday evenings in Ramsey Auditorium

International folk dancing Thursday evenings in Ramsey Auditorium

English country dancing at Kuhn Barn


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One minute with Valerie Higgins, archivist

Valerie Higgins pages through issues of FermiNews in the History Room. Photo: Reidar Hahn

How long have you been at Fermilab?
I started in February 2012 as the Linsley project archivist for six months. Then in August 2012 I was hired as the lab archivist and historian when Adrienne Kolb went into phased retirement.

What brought you to Fermilab?
Fermilab seemed like a really interesting place to work. Before I was at Fermilab, I was an assistant archivist at The Art Institute of Chicago, so I thought this would be a fun, new, very different type of archives work.

What does your typical workday look like?
I usually start by working on reference requests. These requests might come from lab staff, faculty from universities, students working on projects, or many other types of researchers. Processing is also a big part of what I do. When I get an accession — new paper or electronic documents or artifacts to be added to the archive — I start by figuring out what the records are, then organize and describe them all in a way that makes them accessible and useful. Sometimes records can come in as a mass of unorganized papers. I might also do an oral history interview, and I sometimes work with researchers visiting the archives for several days at a time. I also work on various projects. Right now I am creating a workflow for archiving Fermilab's websites.

What is your favorite aspect of your job?
I really like the processing. That's the archivist's bread and butter. It's fascinating to go through records, learn so much about the people and events they document, and then make them available to others. Archives are a unique resource; they are the raw materials for history. Archivists preserve and make available the records we need in order to write and understand history. It's also very satisfying to find someone the information or document they need!

What's something not many people may know about archiving?
I feel like many people know very little about archives in general and don't realize what a valuable resource they are. Many people are more familiar with libraries and museums than they are with archives. I think that's in part because you can't just check stuff out of an archive like a library — you have to consult it on site. But our collections are unique, so we have to be careful with them, because if a document walks away, that's often our only copy.

Archives may not have the same visual appeal as a library or museum because our shelves are filled with gray boxes, but those boxes have great things in them. And anyone is welcome to visit the Fermilab Archives and use our collections — just contact me!

What is an interesting fact about you?
I'm a big Doctor Who fan.

Ashley Black

In the News

Notes from the particle physics underground

From Berkeley Lab News Center, Aug. 3, 2015

The Black Hills region in western South Dakota is known for its rich stores of gold and silver. In fact, 41 million ounces of gold and 9 million ounces of silver were pulled from Homestake Mine in Lead, SD between the 1870s and early 2000s. During that time, 370 miles of mine tunnels were created, reaching depths of 8,000 feet. But in 2006 science took over: Sanford Underground Research Facility (Sanford Lab) is an underground particle physics research complex housed in the former mine, using the earth and rock to shield experiments from cosmic rays.

Read more

From CMS

Run 2 off to a roaring start

Kevin Burkett

Kevin Burkett, head of the CMS Center, wrote this column.

After a two-year shutdown, the LHC roared back to life earlier this summer, delivering proton-proton collisions at an energy of 13 TeV, significantly higher than the 8-TeV collisions of Run 1. The second run of the LHC started in early June with much anticipation of what the data might have in store for us. Since those first collisions, the LHC collaboration has been slowly ramping up the intensity of the collisions, tuning the machine as they go. At the same time, the experiments have been using the lower-intensity collisions to debug and calibrate their detectors.

No restart of an experiment is without a few hiccups, but after hard work by many CMS collaborators, the detector is operating well. While we haven't yet recorded enough data to perform stringent tests of theories like supersymmetry, the first results from Run 2 are coming out. Last week in Vienna, the first Run 2 results were presented at the European Physical Society Conference on High Energy Physics (EPS-HEP2015). From the "rediscovery of the Standard Model" — measuring known particles to verify the performance of the detector and our reconstruction of the data — to the first searches for heavy particles that decay into a pair of jets, Fermilab scientists and our university collaborators at the LHC Physics Center have been in the middle of the action.

The plan for the rest of 2015 has the LHC continuing to increase the rate of collisions, running late into the year. With this data, we should already be able to extend the reach of many of our searches from Run 1. But this is just a taste of what we can expect in all of Run 2, which is currently scheduled to continue through 2018 and could potentially deliver more than 20 times what we will see this year.

In addition to analyzing the CMS data, Fermilab scientists, technicians and engineers are busy with upgrades to the detector that will keep it running smoothly through Run 2 and beyond. Run 2 promises to be a busy and exciting period, and it is only just beginning.

In Brief

Fermilab summer intern poster session - Aug. 6 at 3:30 p.m.

Students from all over the world come to Fermilab every summer to learn about the process of research from laboratory staff. They advance the laboratory's mission and gain valuable educational experience that they can take with them when they leave.

This year as part of their deliverables, the interns will participate in a poster session to showcase what they learned here.

The Education Office invites you to the session, which takes place tomorrow, Aug. 6, from 3:30-5 p.m. on the second-floor crossover in Wilson Hall. Come support the interns' efforts, take a look at what they've learned, and get to know the future faces of science.

Photo of the Day

Captive decay

Old barbed wire, probably dating back to a time when most of the Fermilab site was still farmland, surrounds a tree stump in the woods near Wilson Hall. See other photos of odd or funny scenes on Fermilab at Work. Photo: Al Johnson, OC
Safety Update

ESH&Q weekly report, Aug. 4

This week's safety report, compiled by the Fermilab ESH&Q Section, contains one incident.

An employee was struck in the face when he attempted to pick up an old monitor by its base. A cut on his lower lip and two cuts inside his mouth were treated with first aid.

See the full report.