Sarah Charley

Sarah Charley is senior writer in the Fermilab Office of Communication.

Scientists know that there are three types of neutrinos but they don’t know which is the heaviest. Image courtesy of NOνA Neutrinos may not be faster than light, but their curious shape-shifting properties might be the reason matter exists in the universe. “Equal parts of matter and anti-matter should have been produced in the big bang and then annihilated each other, leaving just a sea of photons,” said neutrino physicist David Schmitz, PPD. “But we exist, which means there must…

Fermilab’s Main Control Room remains as busy as ever. Photo: Reidar Hahn What do you do now that the Tevatron is shut down? This question, spurred by lay curiosity or by ignorance, plagues Fermilab employees and users. But Cindy Joe, an operator in the Main Control Room, has an answer. “The Tevatron was just one of the many machines we run here,” Joe said. “There are a lot of other experiments and a lot of science to be done.” The…

The model of the Cryomodule Testing Facility shows the SLAC refrigerator in orange. The silver cylinder in the foreground is the cryogenic distribution box, and the large silver cylinder on the right is the superfluid helium cryogenic plant. Image: Dave Richardson, AD Fermilab’s cryogenics R&D may not be able to deep-freeze a brazen Han Solo, but it can cool cutting-edge particle accelerators down—way down—to the optimum operational temperatures. “No one realizes how important the cryogenic cooling system is until it…

A collaborative effort, students all over the world have a chance to visit labratories and learn about physics from physicists, like this group at Fermilab in 2008. Photo: Cindy Arnold Around the world, high school students are discovering what it means to be a physicist in a program called Masterclass. From Israel to Illinois, students have the opportunity to spend a day conversing with scientists and analyzing real scientific data. Recently, three local high school groups had the chance to…

Fellow Chiu-Tien Yu, from the University of Wisconsin, takes a break from analyzing a theoretical physics problem to smile for the camera. Photo: Sarah Charley Fermilab is currently accepting applications for the 2012-2013 fellowships in Theoretical Physics program. The program is open to PhD candidates attending school in the United States. “This program gives physics PhD candidates the opportunity to work alongside researchers and post docs at Fermilab,” said Andreas Kronfeld, chair of the selection committee. “It is designed so…

The SRF Test Facility at NML is filled with recycled materials. The green shield blocks, cable tray and yellow electrical racks are all reused equipment. Photo: Jerry Leibfritz Some people make coffee coasters out of old newspapers or lawn ornaments out of rusty shovels. Fermilab is building a particle accelerator that employs $28 million of recycled equipment and material. Fermilab’s Superconducting Radio Frequency program places Fermilab at the forefront of design and development for the next generation of particle accelerators….

This photo of John Linsley is from the Fermilab Archive. It was taken in 1977 and most likey depicts Linsley near the Volcano Ranch experiment in New Mexico, where Linsley observed the first ultra-high energy cosmic ray. On his death bed, cosmic ray pioneer John Linsley made it clear that he wanted to leave a legacy. “He kept repeating that he didn’t want his stuff thrown into a dumpster,” said Linsley’s daughter-in-law Joanna Quargnali-Linsley, who took care of him his…

Tony Armendariz’s watercolor,”The Red Broom.” Editor’s note: Contemporary realist painter and Chicago native Tony Armendariz will feature over 30 original paintings in Fermilab’s Art Gallery from Jan. 26 through March 16. An artist reception will take place from 5 to 7 p.m. today. Dilapidated but dignified: two words that aptly describe the urban portraits Tony Armendariz paints exclusively in watercolor. His work will be on display in Fermilab’s Art Gallery through March 16. “The aging man-made structures I depict are…

Samantha Poeppelman Samantha Poeppelman was going to study biology in college, but that was before she fell in love with international relations. Now she is Fermilab’s new International Services Administrator and will help foreign nationals at Fermilab navigate everything from temporary work contracts to basic life services. Poeppelman, who is from a small town in Ohio, made the decision to study international relations during her freshman year at the University of Kentucky. “I lived behind the international students’ dorm. If…

Composer Mason Bates performs a previous symphony, “Mothership,” with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Watch a clip from that show here. Editor’s note: The Chicago Symphony Orchestra will perform contempory composer Mason Bates’ newest symphony, “Alternative Energy,” at 8 p.m. from Feb. 2 to Feb. 4 and Feb. 7. This piece features sounds collected at Fermilab last spring, including hums from refrigeration units, growls from transformers and the quenching of a Tevatron magnet. Most Fermilab personnel have learned to ignore the…