It was my privilege to inform staff of the significant progress we’ve made at PIP-II, as well as give a run-down of our substantial to-do list in making PIP-II a world-leading accelerator project. Our strong, experienced team is doing excellent work, and we’re grateful to an effective Integrated Project Team, the Office of High-Energy Physics, the DOE Fermi Site Office and the Fermilab Directorate for their strong support.
The year 2018 will be remembered as a very eventful year for CMS as a whole and especially for the Fermilab group. Thanks to excellent accelerator performance, the LHC delivered much more proton-proton collision data than anticipated, making the LHC Run 2 a very successful data-taking period. Being at the very core of the detector operations and computing, the Fermilab group was key in ensuring that a large and high quality data set was collected for searches and precision measurements.
“Wait,” you may be thinking, “I thought this was a science column. What has science to do with peace?” Those who visit Fermilab or CERN, the European Laboratory for Particle Physics in Switzerland, understand. There are today many international scientific organizations, at least partly inspired by CERN’s success.
As part of Computer Science Education Week, several Fermilab employees participated in Hour of Code, a global initiative to bring coding activities and role models to local schools to demystify computer programming and science. The lab partnered once again with Argonne National Laboratory and the University of Chicago to send its staff to visit elementary, middle and high schools. Participants spoke about their careers and assisted students with coding exercises led by their teachers.
The upcoming Short-Baseline Near Detector at Fermilab continues scientists’ search for evidence of a hypothetical particle, the sterile neutrino. Collaborators around the world are participating in the detector’s construction. Its first critical components recently arrived from partner institutions. When complete, SBND will be the third and final detector in Fermilab’s Short-Baseline Neutrino Program.
On Dec. 2, 1988, a brand-new building was added to the Fermilab campus: the Feynman Computing Center. Its dedication coincided with the 20th anniversary of the groundbreaking for the National Accelerator Laboratory, which was celebrated with a full slate of activities, including speeches, visits from consul generals, politicians and other officials, and a celebration in the atrium.
On Friday, Dec. 7, the Finance Section gathered to discuss priorities, accomplishments, and the path ahead. Here are the highlights from the meeting.
REFUGES, started by physicist Tino Nyawelo, aims to give refugees and other underrepresented groups the tools to succeed in STEM. Although the program is focused on increasing diversity in STEM disciplines, the overall goal is to address the academic and cultural difficulties that refugee youth face in Utah.
For his 2018 Physics Slam presentation at Fermilab, Northwestern University scientist André de Gouvêa took on one of the most fascinating particles in physics: the neutrino. In 10 minutes, he explained — with the help of a few props — what neutrinos are and how physicists discovered that these particles can transform into one other, a phenomenon known as neutrino oscillation. At the end of the evening, the audience declared him to be the winner of the 2018 Physics Slam.
Symmetry writer Mike Perricone presents his annual compilation of new popular science books related to particle physics and astrophysics. The array that Symmetry readers might have encountered in 2018 ranges from the philosophical to the whimsical.
The Fermilab PAC is one of the driving engines behind the laboratory’s scientific program. Composed of distinguished scientists in the international particle physics community, the committee advises the director on the lab’s experimental program by reviewing proposals for new experiments and giving the director advice in planning the laboratory’s slate of programs and projects.
Multifactor authentication has been in use at Fermilab for more than two years for a very limited group of employees. However, due to increased cybersecurity risks to our lab data, this will soon change. Currently, individuals who need access to our sensitive financial, HR and security systems use MFA. Over the next several months, we will be taking steps to expand MFA, most notably, to include VPN access.
IN THE NEWS
From HostingAdvice.com, Dec. 14, 2018: Fermilab scientist Marc Paterno is quoted in this article on how Fermilab raising the bar on innovative and cost-effective computing solutions that help researchers explore high-energy physics. As a repository for massive sets of scientific data, Fermilab is at the forefront of new computing approaches, including HEPCloud, a paradigm for provisioning computing resources.
From Futurism, Dec. 11, 2018: No matter how confident we are that it’s out there, dark matter continues to evade our brightest physicists. Now, yet another experiment designed to pick up on signs of dark matter’s presence has turned up nothing at all. Fermilab’s Dan Hooper comments on results from the COSINE-100 experiment.