On April 20, Fermilab participated in the National Lab Science Day hosted by Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz in Washington, D.C. The event showcased the research facilities and capabilities of the 17 DOE national laboratories. It was an opportunity for scientists to explain to members of Congress and their staff the cutting-edge research that takes place in the national lab system and highlight DOE’s role as a powerhouse of science, technology and engineering.
The event, held in the Dirksen Senate Office Building, started with remarks by Secretary Moniz and several congressmen, including — from Illinois — Senator Dick Durbin and Representatives Randy Hultgren and Bill Foster.
Led by Deputy Director Joe Lykken, Fermilab scientists contributed to three of the exhibit areas set up for the event: Facilities, Computation and “Science and the Universe.” Two other themes, Energy and Environment, completed the exhibit areas.
The “Science and the Universe” area featured research from the smallest building blocks of matter to the largest structures of the universe, covering DOE’s research in fields such as high-energy physics, nuclear physics and basic energy sciences. Bonnie Fleming of Yale, recently appointed deputy chief research officer at Fermilab, guided Secretary Moniz and members of the U.S. Senate and House on virtual tours of particle detectors at Fermilab and the Large Hadron Collider, complete with particle tracks created by neutrino interactions. Fermilab’s Juan Estrada showed particle detector technologies and explained the leading role that DOE national laboratories play in dark matter and dark energy research.
The “Science and Facilities” area highlighted the more than 30 user facilities located at DOE national labs. Stephen Brooks from Brookhaven and I staffed a table that featured an SRF particle acceleration cavity and a 50-inch monitor with 3-D videos of the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider and an animation of the Long-Baseline Neutrino Facility.
The title of the “Science and Computation” area was “Revolutionizing Science by Integrating Experiment, Computation and Big Data.” Demos and videos explained the role of supercomputers, networking and exascale computing in discovery science and the impact that cutting-edge computation has on economic competitiveness and national security.
The feedback on this National Lab Science Day has been extremely positive. The labs put together an exciting set of exhibits that were engaging and represented the full breadth and capabilities in science across the national lab complex.
I’d like to thank the many people who contributed to creating the Fermilab exhibit items, shipping them to D.C. and staffing them during the event. Enjoy the photo gallery that my colleagues and I put together with highlights of the event, focusing on the Fermilab-related contributions.
Kurt Riesselmann is the deputy head of the Fermilab Office of Communication.