Friday, Sept. 25, 2015
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Pine Street closed for repairs - Sept. 26

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

Wilson Hall southwest elevator offline through Sept. 26

English country dancing in Kuhn Barn - Sept. 27

Siemens Mobile Showcase Is coming to Fermilab - Sept. 29

NALWO evening social - Oct. 7

Process Piping Design; Process Piping, Material, Fabrication, Examination, Testing - Oct. 13, 14, 15, 16

Python Programming Basics - Oct. 14, 15, 16

Interpersonal Communication Skills - Oct. 20

Access 2013: Level 2 / Intermediate - Oct. 21

Excel 2013: Level 2 / Intermediate - Oct. 22

Managing Conflict (morning only) - Nov. 4

PowerPoint 2013: Introduction / Intermediate - Nov. 18

Python Programming Advanced - Dec. 9, 10, 11

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Professional and Organization Development 2015-16 fall/winter course schedule

Fermilab Board Game Guild

Scottish country dancing moves to Kuhn Barn Tuesdays evenings

International folk dancing returns to Kuhn Barn Thursday evenings

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From symmetry

Muon g-2 magnet successfully cooled down and powered up

It survived a month-long journey over 3,200 miles, and now the delicate and complex electromagnet is well on its way to exploring the unknown. Photo: Cindy Arnold

Two years ago, scientists on the Muon g-2 experiment successfully brought a fragile, expensive and complex 17-ton electromagnet on a 3,200-mile land and sea trek from Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York to Fermilab in Illinois. But that was just the start of its journey.

Now, the magnet is one step closer to serving its purpose as the centerpiece of an experiment to probe the mysteries of the universe with subatomic particles called muons. This week, the ring — now installed in a new, specially designed building at Fermilab — was successfully cooled down to operating temperature (minus 450 degrees Fahrenheit) and powered up, proving that even after a decade of inactivity, it remains a vital and viable scientific instrument.

Getting the electromagnet to this point took a team of dedicated people more than a year, and the results have that team breathing a collective sigh of relief. The magnet was built at Brookhaven in the 1990s for a similar muon experiment, and before the move to Fermilab, it spent more than 10 years sitting in a building, inactive.

"There were some questions about whether it would still work," says Kelly Hardin, lead technician on the Muon g-2 experiment. "We didn't know what to expect, so to see that it actually does work is very rewarding."

Moving the ring from New York to Illinois cost roughly 10 times less than building a new one. But it was a tricky proposition — the 52-foot-wide, 17-ton magnet, essentially three rings of aluminum with superconducting coils inside, could not be taken apart, nor twisted more than a few degrees without causing irreparable damage.

Scientists sent the ring on a fantastic voyage, using a barge to bring it south around Florida and up a series of rivers to Illinois. A specially designed truck gently drove it the rest of the way to Fermilab.

The Muon g-2 experiment plans to use the magnet to build on the Brookhaven experiment but with a much more powerful particle beam. The experiment will trap muons in the magnetic field and use them to detect theoretical phantom particles that might be present, impacting the properties of the muons. But to do that, the team had to find out whether the machine could generate the needed magnetic field.

Read more

Andre Salles

Video of the Day

Time lapse: Commissioning the Muon g-2 magnet

This two-minute time-lapse video shows the installation and preparation of the Muon g-2 ring being installed and prepped over one year, from June 2014 to June 2015. View the video. Video: Fermilab
In Brief

FSPA elections are now open

Elections are now open for the Fermilab Student and Postdoc Association. Candidate statements and voting details are available online.

The voting period ends on Thursday, Oct. 1, at 5 p.m. After the election, join the FSPA at the Users Center on Friday, Oct. 2, at 6 p.m. to meet your newly elected FSPA officers. Food and beverages will be provided.

In the News

Mysterious neutrinos take the stage at SLAC

From SLAC, Sept. 23, 2015

Of all known fundamental particles, neutrinos may be the most mysterious: Although they are highly abundant in the universe and were discovered experimentally in 1956, researchers still have a lot left to learn about them. To find out more about the elusive particles and their potential links to cosmic evolution, invisible dark matter and matter's dominance over antimatter in the universe, the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory is taking on key roles in four neutrino experiments: EXO, DUNE, MicroBooNE and ICARUS.

Read more

Frontier Science Result: CMS

Subatomic gryphons

The gryphon is a mythical beast with the head of an eagle and the hindquarters of a lion. Physicists look for a proposed particle hybrid of a quark and a lepton. This theoretical particle is called a leptoquark.

Mythology is replete with creatures that are exotic blends of more familiar animals, for example gryphons, mermaids and centaurs. Finding ordinary animals is commonplace, but discovering one of these blended ones would be a true triumph of science.

There are similarities in particle physics. For instance, the Standard Model contains the very familiar quarks and leptons. These two classes of particles have very different properties. Quarks feel all of the known subatomic forces and are found in the center of atoms. Leptons feel only two of the three known subatomic forces (they do not react via the strong nuclear force), and the most familiar lepton, the electron, orbits far from the atomic nucleus. Further, a single quark cannot convert into a single lepton, and vice versa. These really are quite different beasties.

However, the goal of particle physics is unification. We hope one day to generate a single, overlapping theory that contains but one type of particle and one type of force. We are very far from that goal and will need to somehow account for the existence of the very different quarks and leptons.

One possibility is that a quark and lepton can fuse to make a hybrid particle called a leptoquark. Leptoquarks would contain all the properties of quarks and leptons and would be a step on the path to building a unified theory.

Leptoquarks are speculative particles, and they pop up in many proposed theories. And, like any good researchers, CMS scientists studied their data to see if they could find evidence that supported the particle's existence. After considerable effort, the CMS experiment submitted for publication not one, but two papers reporting on a leptoquark search. One paper looked for leptoquarks produced individually, while the other looked for leptoquarks produced in pairs.

No evidence was observed for the existence of leptoquarks, which means either that the idea is wrong or that the measurement didn't have enough energy to make them. These two papers were reported using LHC data recorded in 2012 at an energy of 8 trillion electronvolts. CMS is recording data now at a much higher energy, and researchers are refining their analyses to dig into this new possible treasure trove. The hunt for leptoquarks isn't over yet.

Don Lincoln

These U.S. CMS scientists made important contributions to this analysis.
Photo of the Day

Shadow in the sun

nature, animal, bird, hawk
A hawk takes in the sunshine. Photo: Bridget Scerini, TD
In the News

Map reveals ghostly antineutrinos lurking within Earth

From Live Science, Sept. 23, 2015

A look inside of Earth has revealed the hiding places of weird antimatter particles that are nearly massless, resulting in a global map of the planet's so-called antineutrinos.

Antineutrinos are the antimatter versions of neutrinos, particles so light and insubstantial that they rarely interact with matter. They can pass through a light-year of solid lead and still have a 50-50 chance of sailing through as if it wasn't there.

Read more