Friday, Nov.13, 2015
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NALWO playgroup - Nov. 15

Barn Dance - Nov. 15

UChicago 125th anniversary celebration - today

Black Violet, Act III - The Unnatural Order - Fifth House Ensemble - Nov. 14

Lunch and Learn: Health at Your Desk - sign up by Nov. 18

NALWO Thanksgiving dinner demo - Nov. 18

Linux at Fermilab quarterly meeting - Nov. 18

English country dancing at Kuhn Barn with live music - Nov. 22

Workshop on Booster Performance and Enhancments - Nov. 23-24

Deadline for University of Chicago Tuition Remission Program - Nov. 24

No international folk dancing on Thanksgiving

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

Holiday travel planning for foreign nationals

Fermilab prescription safety eyewear notice

Fermilab Board Game Guild

Open pickleball league at the gym

Indoor soccer

Scottish country dancing Tuesdays evenings at Kuhn Barn

Employee discount at Warrenville Oil Express

Employee discount at RX Auto Care

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From symmetry

Giving physics students options

Many physics degree programs excel at preparing students for an academic career, but more than half of those who complete the programs head to industry instead. Photo courtesy of Kettering University

"I was drawn to physics because I thought it was amazing," says Crystal Bailey, recalling the beginnings of her graduate work in the early 2000s. "There's a sense of wonder that we're really understanding something fundamental and elegant about the universe."

But when she decided that an academic career path wasn't right for her, she left her degree program. Bailey assumed, like many physics students, that the purpose of earning a physics degree is to remain in academia. In fact, statistics describe a different reality.

The American Institute of Physics states that roughly half of those who enter the workforce with a degree in physics — either a bachelor's, master's or doctorate — work in the private sector.

In an AIP survey of Ph.D. recipients who had earned their degrees the previous year, 64 percent of respondents who identified their jobs as potentially permanent positions were working in industry.

Institutions in the United States currently grant around 1,700 physics Ph.D.s each year, though only about 350 academic faculty positions become available in that time, according to the AIP.

Most university physics programs are rooted in academic tradition, and some members of the physics community have expressed concern that not enough emphasis is placed on preparing students for potential jobs in industry. Among these members are the professors and students in three physics programs that are bucking this trend, taking a decidedly different approach to prepare aspiring physicists for what awaits beyond graduation.

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Troy Rummler

Photo of the Day

Fog hat

outdoors, building, Wilson Hall, sculpture, Acqua Alle Funi, Hyperbolic Obelisk
Fog at Fermilab creates a monochrome symmetry on the pond in front of Wilson Hall. Photo: Valerie Higgins, CCD
In the News

Dark matter research earns doctoral student a fellowship at Fermilab

From the University of Kansas, Nov. 11, 2015

LAWRENCE — It's a stunning fact that human senses perceive only a tiny fraction of what makes up our universe.

"If you look up on a dark night — you see a lot of stars and some planets — all of that, including the billions of other stars and galaxies that are too far away to be seen with the naked eye, only forms about 4 percent of our entire universe," said Gopolang Mohlabeng, a graduate student in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Kansas.

"The rest of the universe is composed of 'dark matter' and 'dark energy,'" he said. "Dark matter accounts for about 23 percent, and dark energy, 73 percent of our universe. Dark matter is what holds our universe together — it's like a kind of cosmic glue."

Mohlabeng came to KU from South Africa in 2011 after scoring a Fulbright Fellowship for his graduate studies. He currently works on dark matter research, which he calls "one of the greatest mysteries in current physics research." He works with KU physics and astronomy professors Kyoungchul Kong and John Ralston.

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In Brief

Veterans Day celebration

Greg Gilbert, FESS, served as master of ceremonies for the Veterans Day celebration on Nov. 11 in Kuhn Barn. He introduces former Fermilab General Counsel Gary Leonard. Charles Svazas (background), trumpeter, played the national anthem and taps for the ceremony. Photo: Sandy Morgan
Veterans filled Kuhn Barn on Wednesday to commemorate the service of all military veterans. Photo: Sandy Morgan
U.S. Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Eric Pettyjohn (left) was the event's guest speaker. He stands by former Fermilab General Counsel Gary Leonard. Photo: Sandy Morgan

Military veterans met at Kuhn Barn for a Veterans Day celebration on Wednesday, Nov. 11. U.S. Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Eric Pettyjohn was guest speaker. Attendees celebrated with food and fellowship.

Greg Gilbert of FESS was the event's master of ceremonies. Former Fermilab General Counsel Gary Leonard and Neutrino Division Deputy Head Steve Brice also addressed the attendees.

In the News

Envisaging the invisible

From The Economist, November 2015

"When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth." Though that maxim of Sherlock Holmes would rarely withstand scrutiny in the everyday world, where facts can be fuzzy and the truth is often protean, it is not a bad one for fundamental physics — a field where there really is only one right answer. It has certainly been the approach taken by Dan Hooper and Lisa Goodenough, two hunters of some of physics's most elusive creatures: the particles of which dark matter is composed. They think they have eliminated all alternative explanations to these particles being the origin of a powerful clutch of gamma rays that come from the centre of the Milky Way, the Earth's home galaxy, and they have been saying so for several years.

This week the chief remaining group of sceptics — the team that runs the satellite which detected the gamma rays in question — has thrown in the towel and agreed that it, too, can come up with no convincing alternative. Though this concession does not, quite, close the "Case of the missing WIMPS", it will require a considerable reversal of fortune for Dr Hooper and Dr Goodenough now to be proved wrong.

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In the News

Largest-ever dark-matter experiment poised to test popular theory

From Nature, Nov. 12, 2015

The world's most sensitive detector for dark matter — the mysterious stuff thought to make up 85 percent of matter in the Universe — was inaugurated on 11 November under the Gran Sasso mountain in central Italy.

If the experiment, called XENON1T, finds dark matter, it will enter the history books. Meanwhile a failure to do so, say many theorists, would go a long way to ruling out a popular candidate for the elusive substance — a type of weakly interacting massive particle (WIMP) predicted by supersymmetry, an elegant extension to the standard model of particle physics.

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