Fermilab news for employees and users

Making science more equitable, starting with 101

Physics courses have a reputation among university students: If you don’t do well, then you probably weren’t meant to study science after all. Studies have shown that those who face the worst consequences from this mentality are those who are already less likely to be found in many STEM fields: women, underrepresented minorities and students from low-income backgrounds. The SEISMIC project aims to make introductory STEM courses successful for everyone.

Five thousand eyes on the skies: Scientists choreograph robots to observe distant galaxies

Scientists have begun operating the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument, or DESI, to create a 3-D map of over 30 million galaxies and quasars that will help them understand the nature of dark energy. The new instrument is the most advanced of its kind, with 5,000 robotic positioners that will enable scientists to gather more than 20 times more data than previous surveys. Researchers at Fermilab helped develop the software that will direct these positioners to focus on galaxies several billion light-years away and are currently in the process of fine-tuning the programs used before the last round of testing later this year.

LHCb discovers a new type of tetraquark

For the first time, the LHCb collaboration at CERN has observed an exotic particle made up of four charm quarks.

From Tim Meyer: Supporting Fermilab’s S&T beneficial impact on society

I’m writing this column to launch a monthly feature that will highlight the different members of the Technology Engagements team here at Fermilab and how we can work with you to advance Fermilab’s mission of discovery science and innovation.

Subatomic Stories: Why general relativity is definitely right

Of the known fundamental forces, gravity stands out. Rather than being caused by force-carrying particles jumping between matter particles, gravity can be explained as the bending of space and time. In episode 13 of Subatomic Stories, Fermilab scientist Don Lincoln briefly sketches Einstein’s theory of general relativity — our current theory of gravity — and mentions some tests that prove that it’s right.

Stay safe this Independence Day

The Fourth of July is just around the corner. Some may enjoy online fireworks displays, while others may attend outdoor shows where social distancing is enforced. Fireworks can be dangerous and can cause severe injuries when improperly used. Read on for a few suggestions for a safe holiday gathering.

Saturday Morning Physics goes virtual

Fermilab’s popular outreach program for high school students, started in 1980, takes full advantage of modern technology to reach a broader audience. Recordings now are available online.

Hundreds of hadrons

Hadrons count among their number the familiar protons and neutrons that make up our atoms, but they are much more than that.

Three receive distinguished scientist distinction

The Distinguished Scientist Promotion Committee, chaired by physicist Beate Heinemann of the German laboratory DESY, has recommended three Fermilab scientists be awarded the title of distinguished scientist in 2020: Brenna Flaugher, Andreas Kronfeld and Lia Merminga.

Four new events: Fermilab Arts and Lectures At Home

The Fermilab Arts and Lecture Series launches a new set of science talks so you can learn from the comfort of your home.

US CMS participates in day of reflection

On June 10, the US CMS collaboration participated in a day of reflection and conversation in support of the Strike For Black Lives, which was led by a group of physicists. About 525 members of the US ATLAS and the US CMS collaborations, including a few external guests, gathered together virtually.

How will Fermilab’s new accelerator propel particles close to the speed of light?

The PIP-II project at Fermilab includes the construction of a 215-meter-long particle accelerator that will accelerate particles to 84% of the speed of light. Research institutions in France, India, Italy, Poland, the UK and the United States are building major components of the new machine. The new particle accelerator will enable Fermilab to generate an unprecedented stream of neutrinos — subtle, subatomic particles that could hold the key to understanding the universe’s evolution.

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Tuning in to neutrinosNEW

From CERN Courier, July 7, 2020: A new generation of accelerator and reactor experiments is opening an era of high-precision neutrino measurements to tackle questions such as leptonic CP violation, the mass hierarchy and the possibility of a fourth “sterile” neutrino. These include the international Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment, hosted by Fermilab, and Fermilab’s NOvA and Short-Baseline Neutrino programs.

House panels use “emergency” to boost NIH, DOE science budgetsNEW

From Science, July 7, 2020: Spending panels in the U.S. House of Representatives have begun voting on bills to fund the government, and a few of them made use of an emergency mechanism to beef up research budgets. The national laboratories funded by the Department of Energy’s Office of Science is a big winner, receiving a one-time boost of $6.25 billion next year under a plan approved by a House spending panel, including funding for the Long-Baseline Neutrino Facility hosted by Fermilab.

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