Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2015
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Today's New Announcements

Fermi Society of Philosophy, A. Burov, "A Puzzling Error of Karl Popper," WH4NW - Oct. 8

School's Day Out - Oct. 9, 12

Computing Technology Day - today

NALWO evening social - Oct. 7

Muscle Toning registration due Oct. 8

English country dancing Oct. 25 at Kuhn Barn and special workshop Oct. 15

Process Piping Design; Process Piping, Material, Fabrication, Examination, Testing - Oct. 13, 14, 15, 16

Access 2013: Level 2 / Intermediate - Oct. 21

Excel 2013: Level 2 / Intermediate - Oct. 22

PowerPoint 2013: Introduction / Intermediate - Nov. 18

Mac OS X Mountain Lion (10.8) end of life - Dec. 14

Professional and Organization Development 2015-16 fall/winter course schedule

Scheduling a meeting with the Visa Office

FY 2017 diversity visa lottery registration open

Indoor soccer

Scottish country dancing Tuesdays evenings at Kuhn Barn

International folk dancing Thursday evenings at Kuhn Barn

Norris Recreation Center employee discount


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Accelerator-based neutrino experiments dig deep to solve mystery of neutrino oscillations

This summer, Fermilab's NOvA neutrino experiment confirmed the oscillation of muon neutrinos into electron neutrinos. Pictured here is the NOvA Far Detector in Ash River, Minnesota. Photo: Reidar Hahn

The Nobel Prize-winning discovery of neutrino oscillations by the Super-Kamiokande and SNO experiments put a big crack in the highly successful Standard Model of elementary particles and their forces. The historic discovery showed that the Standard Model cannot be the complete theory of the fundamental constituents of the universe, and many questions remain: Why are neutrinos so much lighter than all other matter particles? How do neutrinos get their mass? What is the neutrino mass ordering? How are neutrinos related to dark matter? Do neutrinos and antineutrinos behave differently? And, ultimately, scientists want to know: Are neutrinos the reason matter exists?

Experiments at Fermilab and other laboratories are investigating neutrino oscillations in detail to discover the physics beyond the Standard Model. Using neutrinos created by particle accelerators and nuclear reactors, scientists make measurements that go beyond the original neutrino oscillation results based on cosmic and solar neutrinos.

At Fermilab, the Main Injector Neutrino Oscillation Search began taking data in 2005. A year later, the first MINOS result corroborated earlier observations of muon neutrino disappearance, made by the Japanese Super-Kamiokande and K2K experiments. In the following years, MINOS made detailed measurements of neutrino oscillation parameters.

The NOvA experiment at Fermilab, which began taking data in 2014, released its first neutrino oscillation results earlier this year. While researchers know that neutrinos come in three types, they don't know which is the heaviest and which is the lightest. Figuring out this ordering — one of the goals of the NOvA experiment — would be a great litmus test for theories about how the neutrino gets its mass. While the famed Higgs boson helps explain how some particles obtain their masses, scientists don't know yet how it is connected to neutrinos, if at all. The measurement of the neutrino mass hierarchy is also crucial information for neutrino experiments trying to see if the neutrino is its own antiparticle.

The planned Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment aims to determine whether neutrinos could be the reason that matter exists. It will study neutrinos as they pass 800 miles through the earth and measure whether neutrinos adn antineutrinos behave differently, and help unravel the mystery of why the early universe created more matter than antimatter. The DUNE detectors also will look for neutrinos from a core-collapse supernova. The data would allow scientists to peer inside a newly formed neutron star and potentially witness the birth of a black hole. About 800 scientists from 26 countries are collaborating on DUNE.

The long-baseline neutrino experiments at Fermilab are complemented by a suite of other neutrino experiments dedicated to the search for additional types of neutrinos and studying their interactions with matter.

Fermilab's research on neutrinos is as old as the lab itself. Its first experiment, E1A, was designed to study the weak interaction using neutrinos and was one of the first experiments to see evidence of the weak neutral current. (See the CERN Courier for more details.)

While much of the progress of particle physics has come by making proton beams of higher and higher energies, the most recent progress at Fermilab has come from making neutrino beams of high intensity. Fermilab's flagship accelerator recently set a high-energy neutrino beam world record when it reached 521 kilowatts. The laboratory is working on improving neutrino beam intensities even further for NOvA, DUNE and other neutrino experiments.

Kurt Riesselmann

Fermilab neutrino experiment MINOS first witnessed neutrino oscillations in 2006. This is the MINOS Far Detector, located in Soudan, Minnesota. Photo: Reidar Hahn
In the News

Takaaki Kajita and Arthur McDonald share Nobel in physics for work on neutrinos

From The New York Times, Oct. 6, 2015

Takaaki Kajita of the University of Tokyo and Arthur B. McDonald of Queen's University in Canada were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics on Tuesday for discovering that the ubiquitous but elusive subatomic particles known as neutrinos have mass.

Neutrinos are the second most abundant subatomic particles in the universe, after photons, which carry light. Their existence was predicted in 1930, but for decades they remained some of the most enigmatic elements of astrophysics.

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In the News

Proof that neutrinos change identity bags physics Nobel

From Science, Oct. 6, 2015

A weird identity shifting among ghostly particles called neutrinos has won the 2015 Nobel Prize in physics for the leaders of massive underground experiments in Japan and Canada. Takaaki Kajita of the University of Tokyo led researchers working with the Super-Kamiokande detector in a zinc mine 250 kilometers northwest of Japan's capital that made its key discovery in 1998. Arthur McDonald of Queen's University in Kingston, Canada, led the team working with the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (SNO) in a mine in Canada that confirmed and expanded on the Super-Kamiokande result in 2001.

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Fermilab congratulates the 2015 Nobel Prize winners, Takaaki Kajita and Arthur McDonald, and their colleagues on the Super-Kamiokande and SNO experiments!

In the News

Metamorphosis in the particle world

From Nobelprize.org, Oct. 6, 2015

Takaaki Kajita (left) and Arthur McDonald win this year's Nobel Prize in physics for demonstrating neutrino oscillation. Photos courtesy of Takaaki Kajita (left) and K. MacFarlane. Queen's Univ/SNOLAB (right)

The Nobel Prize in Physics 2015 recognizes Takaaki Kajita in Japan and Arthur B. McDonald in Canada, for their key contributions to the experiments which demonstrated that neutrinos change identities. This metamorphosis requires that neutrinos have mass. The discovery has changed our understanding of the innermost workings of matter and can prove crucial to our view of the universe.

Around the turn of the millennium, Takaaki Kajita presented the discovery that neutrinos from the atmosphere switch between two identities on their way to the Super-Kamiokande detector in Japan.

Meanwhile, the research group in Canada led by Arthur B. McDonald could demonstrate that the neutrinos from the Sun were not disappearing on their way to Earth. Instead they were captured with a different identity when arriving to the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory.

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In Brief

symmetry explains Takaaki Kajita's 1998 demonstration of neutrino oscillation

Takaaki Kajita first presented evidence of neutrino oscillations in 1998.

Want a pithy explanation of the Nobel Prize-winning work of Takaaki Kajita? Check out this 2010 symmetry article on how Kajita and his colleagues on the Super-Kamiokande experiment found evidence for neutrino oscillations.

Construction Update

Digging has begun for Short-Baseline Neutrino Far Detector Building

Workers have completed digging for the future home of the ICARUS detector. Photo: Reidar Hahn

Excavation work began in July for the Short-Baseline Neutrino Far Detector Building, which will house the refurbished ICARUS detector.

Tuscany Construction Inc. has completed the excavation for the below-grade portion of the work required to locate the detector on the existing Booster Neutrino Beamline. Next up is the start of concrete work, scheduled to begin this month.

The building, scheduled to be complete in the fall of 2016, is part of the Short-Baseline Neutrino program, which consists of three liquid-argon neutrino detectors sitting in the Booster Neutrino Beam, with the ICARUS detector as the far detector, the MicroBooNE detector as the intermediate and the new SBND as the near detector in the program.

Steve Dixon

In Brief

Flu shot signup begins today

Full-time Fermilab employees may now register to receive a flu shot at the Fermilab Medical Office. Visit the ESH&Q website to sign up. Registration is required and will be open until all slots are filled. Walk-ins will not be seen for flu shots.

The Medical Office will administer vaccines on Oct. 20, 21, 22 and 28 between 8:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. and on Oct. 29 between 8:30 a.m. and noon.

Photo of the Day

Linear fit

nature, bird, sky, contrail, jet
Birds fly beneath a jet trail, appearing to form a linear fit. Photo: Sudeshna Ganguly, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
In the News

Nobel Prize in physics goes to Takaaki Kajita and Arthur B. McDonald for work on neutrinos

From The Washington Post, Oct. 6, 2015

The Nobel Prize in physics was awarded Tuesday to Takaaki Kajita of the University of Tokyo and Arthur B. McDonald of Queen's University in Canada. Kajita and McDonald are honored for their contributions to observations on the oscillations of neutrinos, which show that neutrinos — previously thought to be massless — indeed have mass.

"This year's prize is about changes in identity among some of the most abundant inhabitants in the universe," the committee said during a news conference.

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