Monday, Aug. 31, 2015
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Today's New Announcements

Pilates registration due Sept. 8

Workshop on Future Linear Colliders - register by Sept. 28

Scottish country dancing moves to Kuhn Barn Tuesdays evenings after Labor Day

International folk dancing returns to Kuhn Barn Thursday evenings after Labor Day

Call for proposals: URA Visiting Scholars Program - deadline is today

Fermilab employee art show - submission deadline Sept. 1

Bible exploration group starting new study called "Live Justly" - Sept. 8

Fermilab golf outing - Sept. 11

September AEM meeting date change to Sept. 14

Fermilab Lecture Series: Visualizing the Future of Biomedicine - Sept. 18

Fermilab Arts Series: 10,000 Maniacs - Sept. 26

Fermilab Prairie Plant Survey

New line dancing class

Pine Street road closing

Fermilab Board Game Guild

Walk 2 Run on Thursdays

English country dancing at Kuhn Barn


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NAW alphabet soup

Do you know what all these terms mean? Read below to find out.

This week you may find that, no matter which way you turn, you will bump into a neutrino specialist. That is because, through Sept. 6, Fermilab will play host to no fewer than seven meetings attended by scientists all bent on better understanding these subtle particles.

The goal of these neutrino enthusiasts is lofty — nothing less than understanding the universe — but as they take over Wilson Hall and other parts of the laboratory, they bring with them their arcane, obligatory acronyms.

At first we refused to learn their language. Then we realized what a neutrino realizes after traveling 800 miles through the Earth: Not interacting with anyone and ignoring what's going on around you is pretty boring. So we succumbed, learned the lingo and now present you with our translation.

Here is your guide to NAW: Neutrino Action Week.

LBNF/DUNE far-site risk workshop. LBNF is the Long-Baseline Neutrino Facility, a two-part effort based at Fermilab and 800 miles away at Sanford Underground Research Facility in South Dakota. LBNF is the platform for DUNE, the future Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment, which aims to detect many neutrinos and pin down their properties.

Today and tomorrow, scientists on the projects will talk all about risk management at the South Dakota site. The planners have already confirmed that attendance, like a neutrino, is not hazardous to your health.

SBND-DUNE workshop. SBND stands for Short-Baseline Neutrino Detector. It belongs to an international initiative called the Short-Baseline Neutrino program. ("Baseline" refers to the distance neutrinos travel. In the Short-Baseline Neutrino program, the neutrino beam will travel only about 600 meters.) Joining both initiatives is sometimes called base jumping.

SBND is completely separate from DUNE, a long-baseline project, but its neutrino detector shares similar technology and will be used to advance R&D toward DUNE.

DUNE collaboration meeting. See above. The DUNE collaboration is an international group of scientists who are working together to run the world's largest neutrino experiment. They will get together for three and a half days starting Wednesday for some serious face time. (Note: There will be no spice.)

EFIG meeting. The Experiment-Facility Interface Group oversees and ensures coordination during the design phase of LBNF and DUNE. They will continue to do so during the construction and operation phases.

They will meet at Fermilab only for a few hours on Wednesday, so if you blink, you may miss them. But that's OK. EFIG members oscillate into other roles when they attend other NAW meetings, so they may yet be visible to you.

RRB meeting. The Resources Review Board is composed of representatives from all the funding agencies that sponsor LBNF and DUNE and from Fermilab management. The RRB provides focused monitoring and detailed oversight of each of the projects.

They will meet at Fermilab for an afternoon on Thursday. No word yet on whether RRB will meet at Arby's after work.

LBNF-LBNC meeting. LBNF: See above. LBNC: Long-Baseline Neutrino Committee. The LBNC oversees the design, construction and delivery of LBNF. On Thursday the oversight committee will meet with the overseen. Will anything be overturned?

LBNC meeting. See above. Last we checked, the LBNC were to discuss the FSF, FSCF, ESH, FD and ND. Presumably they preferred to discuss these topics away from LBNF, on a Saturday and Sunday.

Of course, if you have free time this week, don't forget that there is also an ISO/OHSAS meeting!

If the neutrino knew it was going to receive this much attention, perhaps it would have worked harder to make itself more scarce. Happy Neutrino Action Week, Fermilab!

In the News

More evidence to support quantum theory's 'spooky action at a distance'

From Science, Aug. 28, 2015

It's one of the strangest concepts in the already strange field of quantum physics: Measuring the condition or state of a quantum particle like an electron can instantly change the state of another electron — even if it's light-years away. That idea irked the likes of Albert Einstein, as it suggests that something can travel faster than light and that reality is somehow determined by the measurements we make. But now, a team of experimenters says it has clinched the case for this concept, sealing up loopholes in previous demonstrations.

Read more

Tip of the Week: Safety

Our children depend on our safe driving

As school starts this fall, be especially aware of pedestrians when driving through school zones.

Many child pedestrians are killed in the streets or sidewalks of their school zones because of the reckless and irresponsible behaviors of motorists. Drivers need to remember the unpredictability of children and be on the lookout for all pedestrians. It is difficult for children to see motorists and for motorists to see them. Children also have difficulty judging a car's speed and distance, and they often think that if they can see the driver, the driver can see them.

As the school season begins, keep in mind these school zone motorist safety tips:

  • Observe speed limits at all times, but especially around children. When driving in school zones, near playgrounds, or in neighborhoods where children might be playing, anticipate that a child may dart out into the roadway.
  • When turning left at a green light or making a right turn on red, look for children crossing the street.
  • While picking up kids, do not stop or park in the crosswalk.
  • A school bus' red flashing lights and extended stop arms indicate that it has stopped and that children are boarding or stepping off. As you approach a stopped school bus from either direction, wait until the red lights stop flashing before proceeding. On undivided roadways with no physical barrier or median, stop on both sides of the roadway.
  • Avoid using a cell phone close to school zones. If you are texting, talking or making a call, it affects your ability to react quickly. Remember that using cell phones while driving in a school zone is illegal in Illinois.

Again, children's actions can be unpredictable, and they do not always pay close attention to drivers when they are outside a school zone on the way home. Motorists, child pedestrians and adults with child pedestrians should be especially mindful of moving vehicles during the school year.

For more information on school zone and school bus safety, view this National Safety Council video.

Brian Niesman

Photos of the Day

Barking up two trees

nature, trees, pine, oak
You can compare bark on an oak (top) and a pine tree in these closeups. Photo: Leticia Shaddix, PPD

New employees - August

The following regular employees started at Fermilab in August:

Anthony Alfaro, FESS; Adam Anderson, PPD; Raquel Castillo Fernandez, ND; Saravan Chandrasekaran, TD; Jonathan Edelen, PPD; Laura Fields, SCD; Joseph Jarocki, FS; Cheryl Keaty, DO; Wesley Ketchum, SCD; John Kruse, FESS; Evan Niner, ND; Aldmettrice Riley, FESS; Zani Semovski, PPD; Mingzhi Shen, CCD; Gerik Wysocki, AD.

Fermilab welcomes them to the laboratory.

In the News

What has quantum mechanics ever done for us?

From Forbes, Aug. 13, 2015

In a different corner of the social media universe, someone left comments on a link to Tuesday's post about quantum randomness declaring that they weren't aware of any practical applications of quantum physics. There's a kind of Life of Brian absurdity to posting this on the Internet, which is a giant world-spanning, life-changing practical application of quantum mechanics. But just to make things a little clearer, here's a quick look at some of the myriad everyday things that depend on quantum physics for their operation.

At bottom, the entire computer industry is built on quantum mechanics. Modern semiconductor-based electronics rely on the band structure of solid objects. This is fundamentally a quantum phenomenon, depending on the wave nature of electrons, and because we understand that wave nature, we can manipulate the electrical properties of silicon. Mixing in just a tiny fraction of the right other elements changes the band structure and thus the conductivity; we know exactly what to add and how much to use thanks to our detailed understanding of the quantum nature of matter.

Read more