Laura Dattaro

Archivists Adrienne Kolb (left) and Valerie Higgins stand behind a plaster sculpture of J. Robert Oppenheimer in the History Room. Photo: Laura Dattaro In a box on the third floor of Wilson Hall is a thick book with a soft, faded green cover that contains the words that Robert R. Wilson, Fermilab’s first director, used to convince Congress to approve funds to build the lab’s first accelerator: “It has nothing to do directly with defending our country except to help…

Bill Dymond (foreground) and Paul Schild, AD, work on one of the new 53-MHz cavities for the Recycler upgrade. Photo: Denton Morris, AD A beam of protons whizzed through the Main Injector for the first time in over a year on July 30, representing a major milestone in the year-long process of overhauling the Fermilab accelerator complex. The upgrade will eventually culminate in an accelerator with double the power it had previously. “The shutdown has been challenging, and we all…

Fermilab Accelerator Division’s Jinhao Ruan, ASTA laser expert, presents results of the first beam from the ASTA photoinjector. Photo: Margie Bruce, APC A crowd of researchers from government labs, academia and industry gathered in Wilson Hall for two days last week for the first-ever users’ meeting for the Advanced Superconducting Test Accelerator, which produced its first electrons in late June. The primary goal of ASTA is to provide a home for accelerator R&D, specifically in the areas of superconducting radio-frequency…

Summer workers help prepare the CDF central detector for the possible future installation of ORKA. Photo: Reidar Hahn CDF may have stopped collecting data in late 2011, but its detector hall is currently being repurposed to possibly house an experiment designed to observe one of the rarest events in particle physics. The proposed experiment, called ORKA, would observe the decays of charged kaons, looking for a specific decay chain into a charged pion and two neutrinos. The “OR” in the…

Cryomodule 2 was recently installed in the Advanced Superconducting Test Accelerator in Fermilab’s NML building. The first users’ meeting for ASTA will take place on July 23 and 24. Photo: Reidar Hahn On July 23 and 24, Fermilab will host the first users’ meeting for the Advanced Superconducting Test Accelerator, which produced its first electrons on June 20. The meeting will address the current state of ASTA, plans for the near future and experiment proposals. ASTA, which will provide a…

The Muon Accelerator Program collaboration met at Fermilab in June to explore the staging possibilities for a future muon collider. Photo: Reidar Hahn The future of Fermilab’s campus may rely on the interactions not only of particles, but also of frontiers: the Energy and Intensity frontiers. This is the idea behind the Muon Accelerator Program, a collaboration designed to study the possibility of a future neutrino factory and muon collider. The MAP collaboration met at Fermilab in June to, among…

Bill Lee Bill Lee has taken over as Fermilab’s new Minos underground areas coordinator now that the former underground coordinator, Aria Soha, has moved on to work on the Muon g-2 project. Lee worked as the run coordinator on the DZero experiment from 2000 until the fall of 2012. As Minos underground areas coordinator, Lee will oversee all underground operations, ensuring that construction, experiments and other underground happenings run smoothly and without interfering with each other. “Right now it’s very…

This team of technicians helped construct new silicon detectors for Brookhaven’s STAR experiment. From left: Michelle Jonas, Humberto Gonzalez, Gordon Gillespie and Tamara Hawke. Not pictured: Michael Roman. Photo: Reidar Hahn In the first millionths of a second of the universe’s life, protons and neutrons—the particles that make up matter—didn’t exist. Instead, there was simply a hot, dense soup of even smaller particles known as quarks and gluons. Scientists working on Brookhaven National Laboratory’s STAR experiment have been studying this…

The new photoinjector gun at the Advanced Superconducting Test Accelerator recently produced its first electrons. Photo: Jerry Leibfritz, AD Around 4 p.m. on June 20, spikes started appearing in data being collected at the Advanced Superconducting Test Accelerator facility. They signaled the presence of electrons, and they were lined up exactly with the timing of ultraviolet laser pulses striking the cathode of a new photoinjector gun. “We saw very clear, very distinct feedback,” said Jerry Leibfritz, ASTA project engineer. The…

Physics students at Peters Township High School in Pennsylvania participate in a Skype in the Classroom call with Fermilab scientist Mike Cooke and two ATLAS physicists. Photo courtesy of Susan Hlebinsky In an effort to inspire the next generation of scientists, last month Fermilab scientist Mike Cooke, along with two physicists from CERN’s ATLAS experiment, chatted via Skype with 64 students at Peters Township High School in McMurray, Penn., as part of Skype in the Classroom, a program that sets…