Jefferson Lab Weekly Briefs April 1, 2009

Jefferson Lab Weekly Briefs

April 1, 2009

12 GeV Upgrade

The plans for installation of 12 GeV equipment in the experimental halls have been reviewed. In preparation for this, hall technical and scientific staff mapped the 12 GeV schedule into detailed installation schedules typically used for hall work coordination. The review committee checked timelines, logic of task sequence and manpower requirements. Valuable recommendations were made to further streamline installation schedules, formalize involvement of support groups and assign laydown spaces, amongst others.


In Hall C, the BigCal electronics platform and surrounding concrete bunker have been removed. The removal of 2,000 signal and high-voltage cables, weighing approximately 5 tons, was also completed. With the completion of these tasks, work on extending the raised concrete floor has started. This floor will allow the High Resolution Electron Spectrometer and the High Resolution Kaon Spectrometer to be moved into position for the upcoming hypernuclear experiment (E05-115).


The second week of the scheduled accelerator down went well. Work on Gun2 high-voltage chamber vacuum continued. Cryomodules NL12 and SL07 were installed; cryomodule SL15 was removed. General maintenance items continued to be addressed. A Personnel Safety System functional certification was complete. A Low-Conductivity Water leak was found near the Free-Electron Laser building in underground piping. The excavation started over the weekend. The modification and repair of the piping will start soon.

Free-Electron Laser (FEL)

FEL staff made great progress in getting set up and taking initial run data for the Light Pseudoscalar and Scalar Search experiment last week. As a sidelight, the new Optical Transport System is proving to be much more stable against drift than the previous system. By Friday, the team was on its way toward completion of that experiment when a major underground rupture in the CEBAF/FEL low-conductivity water feed shut the FEL down. The full impact to the schedule has yet to be determined.

Theory Center

When calculating the hadronic spectrum in a lattice QCD calculation, it is necessary to extract the masses of the states from the hadronic correlators, usually by multi-exponential fitting or the variational method. In a new paper <arXiv:0903.2314 [hep-lat]>, an extension to the commonly used "effective mass" technique is derived, which uses simple analytic formulae to extract both ground and excited-state masses. These black-box methods, which do not require initial conditions or hand-tuning, provide a simple and useful alternative to current methods.

JLab's Safety Numbers

86 Days since Last Recordable Accident (JLab record: 331)
203 Days since Last Lost Workday Accident (JLab record: 676)

JLab Calendar of Events

April 14: 12 GeV Upgrade Groundbreaking
April 14: Science Series Lecture: Hurricane Hunting
April 15: Science Teacher Night
May 2-5: APS April Meeting in Denver
May 25: Memorial Day holiday, lab closed




Environment, Safety, Health & Quality

The Quality-Value-Safety triad is one of the most important aspects of our quality assurance work at JLab. When a problem or opportunity for improvement arises, all three criteria should be balanced in order to propose a feasible solution. To meet these criteria, the fundamental questions are:

  • What is the basic function? (i.e., what must it do to perform the required function?)
  • What are the secondary functions?  These support the basic function. Usually the basic and secondary functions are targets for improvement.
  • What are the quality and safety requirements to perform the function?
  • What is the value of the item expected to perform the function?
  • Are there alternatives to perform basic or secondary functions that meet specified requirements?

The Space Shuttle Challenger disaster shows the importance of using all three criteria to make a balanced decision. NASA managers had known that the contractor design of the solid rocket boosters contained a potentially catastrophic flaw in the O-rings since 1977. They continued, however, to use the design. NASA then eliminated an extinguishing system for solid rocket motors because of cost and weight, reducing the cost by about $100K-$375K per motor. The safety aspect of the Quality-Value-Safety triad was not properly addressed, a significant shortcoming with disastrous consequences.  

Computing and Networking Infrastructure (CNI)

Beware of Suspicious Holiday E-mail
We all might expect to see a few April Fool's Day messages from relatives or friends with pointers to funny news items or videos. Any holiday period is a time to be more than a bit skeptical about clicking untrusted links. Hackers will readily use the increase in general communications to deliver unpleasant surprises. Now, in particular, is a bad time due to unpatched vulnerabilities in the ubiquitous PDF reader, Adobe.

In general, this has been a tough year. One security provider ( has reported that in 2008 there was a six-fold increase in malware and a 16-fold increase in data-theft trojans (those that steal your passwords, credit card information, etc.). This increase seems to be associated with the difficult economic times. At the lab, we have seen a substantial increase in the last two months in systems that had to be rebuilt due to infections.

One good rule of thumb to follow is to always be suspicious of documents and links whose source is unknown.


Jefferson Lab On WTKR
A video news story about Jefferson Lab is now available on the NewsChannel3 WTKR website. Check out the News Video section halfway down the homepage. Click the "next" button until you see the video link for "Newport News Jefferson Labs" and click the play arrow on the thumbnail to watch the piece. You will need an up-to-date version of Flashplayer to view the piece.

Discover Magazine Reports: Spirit Sees Phenomenal Martian Vista
The Mars rovers Spirit and Opportunity have been traversing Mars for almost six years now, taking tons of images and great data. Phil Plait shares the newest, coolest Martian photos snapped by Spirit just a few days ago.

Want to Be JLab's "Biggest Loser"?
A 12-week weight-loss contest will begin Friday, April 17. Weekly, confidential weigh-ins will be taken by Occupational Medicine on Fridays, 2-4 p.m. The winner will be determined by the highest percentage of weight loss. The $20 entry fee collected from each contestant will go into the prize pot. Click the link for more details. Participants must register with Christine Wheeler (VARC, Room 76) no later than 2 p.m. on April 17.

Annual Validation of Personal Property Underway
JLab's annual property custodian validation process runs from March 23 to April 6. During this period, each custodian must "validate" all of the items on his or her inventory list and take the Property Custodian Refresher GEN 150 training. The validation link can be found on the JLab Insight page. Look for the Property Validation link in your Personal Information block on the left side of the Insight Front Page.

Food Drive Results Are In!
The JAG-sponsored food collection drive for the Foodbank of the Virginia Peninsula brought in about 570 pounds of food. In addition, monetary donations totaling $135 were also collected for the foodbank.

Last Chance to Vote for JLab's 2009 T-shirt Design
View the entries by going to the Jefferson Lab Activities Group webpage. You may only vote once. Voting closes April 3 at 5 p.m. The winner(s) will be announced at the May Run-A-Round.


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