Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2015
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Timecards for Nov. 16-22 are due Friday, Nov. 20

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

School's Day Out: Nov. 23-25

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

Open pickleball league at the gym

Indoor soccer

Scottish country dancing Tuesdays evenings at Kuhn Barn

Employee discount at Warrenville Oil Express

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PIP-II: Renewing Fermilab's accelerator complex

The PIP-II accelerator will provide Fermilab with the high-power beams needed to carry out a world-class neutrino program. Image: Fermilab

Even accelerator complexes can use some good, old-fashioned makeovers every now and then. The Proton Improvement Plan II, or PIP-II, is a proposed project to improve Fermilab's particle accelerator complex with a major hardware overhaul and a powerful boost in its capabilities.

"Every forefront research facility has to be continually renewing itself," said Steve Holmes, project manager for PIP-II. "Yesterday's performance is not going to be competitive tomorrow. We've done a lot with the Fermilab accelerator complex over the years, but eventually you reach a point where you've got to retire some of the really old stuff."

The headliner for this upgrade is neutrino physics, Holmes said. The next generation of neutrino programs is going to be bigger and more capable than current experiments. With more beam power, Holmes said, the physics reach will be substantial. When PIP-II achieves its design goal, it will deliver the world's most intense neutrino beam just in time for the Long-Baseline Neutrino Facility to start operations in 2025. The facility will support Fermilab's flagship research program, the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment.

"We want high power to support our neutrino program," said Paul Derwent, deputy project manager. "That means lots of particles at high energy and frequently. To increase the power, we need to be able to increase the number of particles right from beginning."

PIP-II will allow physicists to accelerate more protons and help them achieve higher energy over a shorter distance. The project will involve retiring Fermilab's 400-MeV copper linac and building a new 800-MeV superconducting radio-frequency linac as well as replacing the beam transport to the Booster. There will also be upgrades to the laboratory's Booster, Main Injector and Recycler.

The most ambitious part of the PIP-II upgrade will be the new 800-MeV linear accelerator, which will be built in the infield of the decommissioned Tevatron accelerator and take advantage of significant existing accelerator infrastructure at Fermilab. The location will provide access to existing utilities, while allowing construction to proceed independent of ongoing accelerator operations and retaining possibilities for upgrade paths down the road. The linac design also provides an option for continuous-wave operations, which means delivery of an uninterrupted, rather than pulsed, stream of particles, providing physicists with more beam for other experiments, such as Mu2e.

A large part of this effort involves an international collaboration with India. The Department of Atomic Energy in India has offered to contribute hardware in exchange for the experience of building high-intensity superconducting radio-frequency proton linacs, which they hope to construct in their own country.

"I'm excited to have the chance to retire a bunch of accelerators that were old when I started here 30 years ago," Holmes joked. "But more seriously, what I find most attractive about this project is the opportunity to do something that will improve the performance of the Fermilab accelerator complex in a manner that will allow us to remain at the forefront both of accelerator-based neutrino physics and our other programs for decades."

Ali Sundermier

Photos of the Day

Symmetry in reflection

nature, landscape, buildings, Wilson Hall, water, pond, sculpture, Acqua Alle Funi, Hyperbolic Obelisk
Wilson Hall and its reflection are perfectly clear on a perfectly clear day. Photo: Valery Stanley, WDRS
nature, landscape, buildings, Wilson Hall, water, pond
There is a very pleasing symmetry along Main Ring Road. Photo: Auralee Edelen, Colorado State University

In memoriam: Barbara K. Edmonson

Former Fermilab employee Barbara Edmonson, 81, passed away Nov. 12.

Visitation will be held Wednesday, Nov. 18, from 4-7 p.m. at Daleiden Mortuary, 220 North Lake Street in Aurora. Funeral service follows at 7 p.m.

Read Edmonson's obituary.

In the News

Are we on the brink of the Higgs abyss?

From Physics, Nov. 9, 2015

One of the ambitious goals of particle physics is to elucidate the early history of the Universe and predict its distant future. Particle cosmologists examine whether the known laws of particle physics are consistent with the observed cosmological evolution and what future they might imply. Do such laws require some modifications to explain the present Universe? Do they suggest that the Universe is stable, or do they imply it is "metastable," that is, temporarily stable on cosmological time scales but headed towards an inevitable, if distant, cataclysmic collapse? A new theoretical analysis by Vadim A. Bednyakov at the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research, Dubna, Russia, and co-workers connects these basic questions to the most recent discoveries obtained at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). The authors conclude that if the standard model is correct, the measured values of certain quantities, such as the mass of the Higgs boson, imply the Universe is metastable. However, they also show that stability might be more likely than previous studies indicated.

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In the News

Astronomers gaze upon the oldest stars in the galaxy

From Physics World, Nov. 13, 2015

The oldest stars in our Milky Way galaxy have been discovered by an international team of researchers. These ancient stars could contain vital clues about how the first stars in the early universe died, and their discovery marks the first time that extremely metal-poor stars have been observed in the central region of the galaxy. The location of the stars suggests that they formed when the Milky Way underwent rapid chemical changes during the first 1–2 billion years of the universe.

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