Director’s corner

Fermilab Director Pier Oddone The National Research Council (NRC) has concluded its Assessment of the Deep Underground Science and Engineering Laboratory (DUSEL) . NRC reports are produced by expert committees, in this case a committee under the leadership of Professor Andy Lankford of the University of California at Irvine. The committee tackled the charge from NSF and DOE to provide an independent assessment of the physics questions that could be addressed with the proposed DUSEL program. These questions include what…

Fermilab Director Pier Oddone I realize that the self-select voluntary separation program is on everyone’s mind, but it is too early to say very much. We have received 62 applications for the program, but employees have until Thursday to rescind. The summer continues to be very busy. A great deal of energy and excitement is in the air with the approaching major summer conferences. The first one is the International Europhysics Conference on High Energy Physics EPS-HEP-2011, July 21-27, where…

Craig Hogan The grandest spectacle in the universe is the structure defined by galaxies on the largest scales. Called the cosmic web, it is an enormous, perhaps even infinite structure, with a transcendent beauty. Dense clusters, each one swarming with thousands of orbiting galaxies, connect with each other over gossamer filaments and delicate sheets of galaxies, stretching across tens to hundreds of millions of light years. Between the sheets loom large, nearly empty voids. Similar clusters, filaments, sheets and voids…

Fermilab Director Pier Oddone After last year’s decision by the National Science Board to deny further NSF funding for DUSEL, the DOE Office of Science convened a committee led by Jay Marx and Mark Reichanadter to evaluate the Office of Science’s options for underground science. The findings of the committee were presented last Thursday to the High Energy Physics Advisory Panel. The charge to the committee was to assess options for the development of the Homestake site and to present…

Fermilab Director Pier Oddone Last week the T2K Collaboration in Japan announced the observation of electron neutrino appearance events using the neutrino beam from J-PARC to the Super Kamiokande detector (Read paper submitted to Physical Review Letters). The collaboration reported the observation of six events with an expected background of 1.5 ± 0.3 events. The probability that the background would fluctuate upward to give six events is less than 1 percent. Thus we now have strong evidence that muon neutrinos…

Fermilab Director Pier Oddone announced a self-select voluntary separation program at the All Hands meeting on Thursday, June 16. View the video online. Yesterday I announced a self-select voluntary separation program that is being made available to regular employees to accomplish a necessary reduction in the size of the Fermilab staff. The program will bring laboratory operations into balance with the resources we expect for the next few years. It will also bring our workforce into balance with the skills…

Fermilab Director Pier Oddone Last week Fermilab was the subject of an institutional review. Such reviews are infrequent and arduous, as they cover the entire laboratory including facility operations, scientific program, current and planned projects and strategy for the future. Six managers from DOE and 10 reviewers from other labs and universities worked very hard during the four-day review. We are very appreciative of their recommendations. I think they will prove helpful in the future as we sell our program….

Associate Director for Accelerators Stuart Henderson and Fermilab Director Pier Oddone give Energy Secretary Steven Chu a tour of the SRF Test Facility during his visit to the laboratory on June 2. Last week we had the privilege to host Energy Secretary Steven Chu at the laboratory. It was an opportunity for us to explain our program and ambitions, to showcase our facilities and to make the case for supporting the fundamental research that we do. Secretary Chu had not…

Fermilab Director Pier Oddone We spent yesterday with the Office of Science leadership discussing strategy for particle physics and Fermilab. We also met with Secretary of Energy Steven Chu. In designing the laboratory strategy for the post-Tevatron era we try to meet the following criteria: Address critical and exciting questions Be bold and establish world leadership in at least one domain Attract partners to leverage our investments through international collaboration Fit within a global strategy for the field and within…