Hot Graphics Cards Fuel Supercomputing

9G

A portion of a nearly $5 million grant received as part of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding under the auspices of the Department of Energy's US Quantum Chromodynamics collaboration was used to purchase 200 GPUs and associated hardware for a new computing cluster dubbed "9G."

 

The hottest video games on the market often have the most realistic graphics. And the key to such remarkable video is a device called a graphics processing unit, or GPU. Now, scientists at Jefferson Lab are using the power of GPUs to study some of the most fundamental problems in the universe.

"The reason graphics processors are so powerful is so that they make your game look realistic. They need to be able to compute and draw lots of things – at least thirty times a second," said Chip Watson, manager of Jefferson Lab's High-Performance Computing group in the Information Technology Division.

This fast computation can also be applied to "drawing things" that are too small to see directly, such as the sub-atomic particles studied by nuclear physicists at Jefferson Lab. Interestingly, GPUs owe their ability to render realistic graphics to physics.

"One of the things game programmers found is that they couldn't realistically depict something on the screen unless they computed the equations of motion for things. So, the gamers need lots of physics to make the games nice," Watson explained..... more


Open House Draws 7000

Open HouseThe event is held every couple years to raise community awareness about Jefferson Lab and the research conducted at the laboratory. However, it isn't uncommon to have visitors from across Virginia and from other states come to Newport News for the event.....more

 

Top Small Business Award

Small Business Award Top Guard Security, Inc., a woman-owned corporation based in Hampton, has been recognized as Jefferson Lab's Outstanding Small Business Subcontractor of the Year....more

 

Hall A Upgrades Electron Spin Sniffer

Fabry-Perot About 10 out of every trillion electrons that enter Jefferson Lab's Experimental Hall A are getting hijacked. But there's no cause for alarm – the hijacked electrons are actually helping researchers increase the precision of their experiments....more


Below the Fold:

Hot Graphics Cards Fuel Supercomputing

A portion of a nearly $5 million grant received as part of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding under the auspices of the Department of Energy’s US Quantum Chromodynamics collaboration was used to purchase 200 GPUs and associated hardware for a new computing cluster dubbed “9G.”.

The hottest video games on the market often have the most realistic graphics. And the key to such remarkable video is a device called a graphics processing unit, or GPU. Now, scientists at Jefferson Lab are using the power of GPUs to study some of the most fundamental problems in the universe.

"The reason graphics processors are so powerful is so that they make your game look realistic. They need to be able to compute and draw lots of things – at least thirty times a second," said Chip Watson, manager of Jefferson Lab's High-Performance Computing group in the Information Technology Division.

This fast computation can also be applied to "drawing things" that are too small to see directly, such as the sub-atomic particles studied by nuclear physicists at Jefferson Lab. Interestingly, GPUs owe their ability to render realistic graphics to physics.

"One of the things game programmers found is that they couldn't realistically depict something on the screen unless they computed the equations of motion for things. So, the gamers need lots of physics to make the games nice," Watson explained.

In gaming systems, those equations of motion describe how a ball arcs through the air, how raindrops splash and how a roundhouse punch will fell an enemy troll. Analogously, there are quantum mechanical equations that describe the motion of sub-atomic particles – a typical problem that nuclear physicists are interested in rendering virtually.

In the past, such renderings were made using ordinary central processing units, or CPUs, wired together to act like one, big supercomputer. Two such "cluster computers" consisting of several hundred CPUs serve as supercomputers at Jefferson Lab.

Last fall, when Watson was preparing to purchase the components of Jefferson Lab's next cluster computer, a new series of GPUs and associated programming tools came on the market. These new tools made it possible for experienced computer programmers to convert the equations that apply to sub-atomic particles into a form that could be processed by the GPUs.

Watson used a portion of a nearly $5 million grant received as part of ARRA (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act) funding under the auspices of the Department of Energy's USQCD (US Quantum Chromodynamics) collaboration to purchase 200 GPUs and associated hardware for a new computing cluster dubbed 9G.

"They're installed in 65 nodes. Collectively, those 65 nodes have considerably more processing power than the thousands of computers that our collaboration has deployed at Jefferson Lab, Brookhaven and Fermilab," Watson said.

A key challenge to making the new cluster work was unlocking its power. That's where the programming tools were needed. It turns out that the GPUs won't run on the same computer code that runs JLab's other two clusters. To run the physics problems on GPUs, it took two collaborators six months of working with the new programming tools and additional integration work by Jefferson Lab staff to rewrite the computer code. The new code optimizes the critical part of the physics problems to run on the new cluster.

"They're a bear to program, but they are definitely worth the effort," Watson said. "A single GPU, in a head-to-head computing match-off, will match the performance of eight of our older cluster nodes."

The switch to GPUs will provide more than 100 Teraflops of computing power versus the 17 Teraflops that the laboratory would have generated had it exclusively purchased ordinary CPUs. That equates to about six times the computing power for the same investment.

Watson, however, is quick to point out that ordinary CPUs aren't out of the picture altogether as the new cluster carries out some of its processing with ordinary CPUs.

The collaboration has ordered an additional 336 graphics processing units, or GPUs, with delivery expected midsummer..

"There's a small bit of our software that uses, maybe, 95 percent of the clock time, so we can push all that into the GPU. The GPU runs it 20 times faster. But you still have the five percent you didn't accelerate. So even though the GPU is 20 times faster, your program is only running 10 times faster," Watson said. The remaining five percent is parsed on the ordinary CPU(s) in the cluster.

"The GPUs themselves are pretty cheap, but I still have to put them into an expensive box. So, four GPUs cost $1,600. The box into which I put it is more than twice that," Watson said. The expensive box is a rack-mounted computer case in which the GPUs are installed.

Watson said the laboratory is still getting more bang for the buck, since one box with four GPUs in it costs only 50 percent more than a single computer. "To put it another way, $6,000 ends up giving me the performance of something over $100K. It's just an enormous gain," Watson added.

It will also open up new realms of exploration for computational nuclear physics, according to Robert Edwards, a senior staff scientist in Jefferson Lab's Theory group. He and his colleagues aim to use the new system to compute the excited states of multi-quark particles. These excited states occur when ordinary particles, such as protons and neutrons, are given extra energy. Such states form a so-called spectrum of particles, some of which are studied in experiments at Jefferson Lab and elsewhere.

These calculations require input from supercomputers, which generate a kind of snapshot of the landscape of space-time as it appears to quarks, gluons and other particles.

"The GPUs are allowing us to take these large snapshots from these large computers and push to much more realistic parameters," Edwards explained. "These GPUs can tell you how a quark or another particle propagates. And then we can tie the quarks together to make these exotic varieties of particles."

What comes out is a description of the properties of these exotic particles.

Edwards said that the types of calculations that are being performed with the GPUs are so arduous for ordinary processors, they were practically impossible before. But now, thanks to the installation of GPUs with the appropriate programming tools and connections, he and his colleagues are moving forward.

"We had to have the GPUs tied together, and that's the breakthrough that allowed us to do the calculations," Edwards said. "Because of the significant increase in performance provided by this technology, we are now able to undertake calculations that we would not otherwise have been able to do."

In the meantime, Watson and his group are getting ready to install more GPUs at Jefferson Lab. They have ordered an additional 336 GPUs with delivery expected midsummer.

 

Jefferson Lab Open House Great Success, Draws 7000

Robert D. McKeown

Visitors walk through Hall C, the experiment area open to the public for the May 1 Open House at JLab.

Jefferson Lab's Celebration of Science Open House on May 4 drew a turnout estimated at 7,000 visitors.

The event is held every couple years to raise community awareness about Jefferson Lab and the research conducted at the laboratory. However, it isn't uncommon to have visitors from across Virginia and from other states come to Newport News for the event. Groups from a number of local and regional schools and universities attended, as did a group of high school exchange students from Russia.

The JLab open house is especially popular with area students as it gives them the chance to go inside many of the facilities that normally are not accessible. Visitors at this year's event were able to see a portion of the CEBAF accelerator, one of the halls that receives electron beam for experiments (Hall C), the Machine Control Center, the Free-Electron Laser, the construction site for JLab's newest experiment hall (Hall D), the Test Lab, and CEBAF Center. CEBAF displays under tents included the 12 GeV Upgrade, the future Hall D and Experiment Halls A and B.

In addition to a range of JLab displays, demonstrations and hands-on activities set up in CEBAF Center, more than 20 outside businesses, universities and museums took part in JLab's open house – presenting a range of high-tech or science-related exhibits or demonstrations. Popular attractions included Northrop Grumman's 3-D simulator, Old Dominion University's Modeling and Simulation Center and the Virginia FIRST Robotics Team. This record number of organizations enhanced event programming and brought new visitors to JLab.

This was JLab's first open house to permit visitors to walk between all of the tour stops; and was the first open house the lab posted on Facebook and Twitter.

Three hundred twenty-five lab staff and users provided more than 1,500 man-hours on May 1 in support of the event.

Many visitors completed a written survey to guide future open house events. On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being highly satisfied, the average event satisfaction rating was 8.6. The most visited tour stop was CEBAF Center, followed by the Experiment Halls and the Accelerator Tunnel. The most common responses to the question "What needs improvement?" were: More hands-on activities; more tunnel access and extend the hours of the event.

In response to the question "What did you like about the event?" visitors wrote:

  • Accelerator tunnel tour was extremely well done. Everyone was extremely friendly and willing to answer questions.
  • I felt as though the volunteers seemed passionate and kind when they discussed their subject matter.
  • The scientists patiently explaining what they are doing. Seeing all of the equipment. The posters are helpful too – I read quite a few of them. I wanted to go to the tunnel and FEL but ran out of time. I will come again. Loved it.
  • Loved the liquid nitrogen experiments and demonstrations. Learned so much about what you do at Jefferson Lab – better understanding of science and technology. Everyone was so helpful. Complicated science was explained at layman's terms. Thank you. We will come again!
  • There were plenty of hands-on activities, discussions and demos. Staff did a great job explaining things.
  • I enjoyed learning about this interesting facility in my own city.
  • My 8 year old enjoyed looking, playing and learning. I liked how helpful everyone was.
  • Scientists are cool people!
  • Chance to see groundbreaking and historically significant equipment/facilities AND ASK questions.
  • I loved all the science and experiments. I especially loved the giant computers.
  • Very interesting and helpful. It made me want to be a physics major.
  • The scientists were energetic and passionate about explaining. They were welcoming and brought info to our level – not condescending, boring or dry.
Open House
 

JLab Recognizes Security Firm as Top Small Business Subcontractor for 2009

Small Business of the Year

Mike Dallas, Jefferson Lab's chief operating officer, presents Nicole Stuart, Top Guard president with the Jefferson Science Associates/Jefferson Lab Outstanding Small Business Subcontractor Award for 2009. She is flanked by Chris Stuart, Top Guard vice president and Major Alton Dugger, Top Guard's site supervisor at Jefferson Lab.

Top Guard Security, Inc., a woman-owned corporation based in Hampton, has been recognized as Jefferson Lab's Outstanding Small Business Subcontractor of the Year.

Nicole Stuart, Top Guard president; Chris Stuart, vice president, Major Alton Dugger, Top Guard's site supervisor at Jefferson Lab and several top guard officers, attended an awards ceremony at the laboratory on April 16. They received the Jefferson Science Associates/Jefferson Lab Outstanding Small Business Subcontractor Award for 2009.

Department of Energy officials, senior Jefferson Lab management, and Procurement and Facilities Management & Logistics staff gathered to congratulate Top Guard as Mrs. Stuart accepted the award plaque from Mike Dallas, Jefferson Lab's chief operating officer.

"Top Guard makes a significant contribution to the laboratory in carrying out its security responsibilities," Dallas said. "The company's consistent day-to-day performance enhances the quality of work life for Jefferson Lab staff and visitors."

Addressing Top Guard management, he added, "Your efforts are much appreciated here. Small businesses such as yours are a valuable commodity; about 50 percent of our procurements are through small businesses."

"This is a tough competition," noted Danny Lloyd, the lab's small business program manager. "Jefferson Lab subcontracts a broad range of services and Top Guard is one of several hundred small businesses that work with the laboratory. Using the lab's established criteria for the award, the award committee reviewed the nominations and made the winning selection.

op Guard was first awarded the laboratory's security services subcontract in 1986, during the lab's initial construction phase. "Over the years, the firm has transitioned with Jefferson Lab, and has received no fewer than four multi-year subcontract awards," noted Mike Lewellen, Lab Security Services subcontract manager. The firm provides 24/7 security at the lab and handles a range of associated responsibilities.

"During 2009, Top Guard's on-site team exceeded Jefferson Lab's expectations in providing an essential support service to the lab. The team has fully adopted the laboratory's commitment to safety, and implemented many creative ways of keeping safety in the forefront of their employees' minds, as well lab staff and visiting scientists," he continued.

"Top Guard staff holds high regard for environmental, safety and health concerns. The staff has a customized safety calendar that provides a Jefferson Lab specific safety tip for each day. This safety tip is briefed at the start of each shift to promote safe practices. During National Safety Council Awareness Month in June, approximately 3,000 'Safety First' mints and 'Think Safety' lollipops were handed out by Top Guard officers."

"The team is conscientious and works diligently to provide a pleasant, safe and secure environment for staff, the many Virginia, U.S., and international dignitaries that visit the lab, visiting researchers, and the many day visitors who come to the lab for work, conferences, workshops and public events."

Photo Caption: Mike Dallas, Jefferson Lab's chief operating officer, presents Nicole Stuart, Top Guard president with the Jefferson Science Associates/Jefferson Lab Outstanding Small Business Subcontractor Award for 2009. She is flanked by Chris Stuart, Top Guard vice president and Major Alton Dugger, Top Guard's site supervisor at Jefferson Lab.

 

 

Hall A Upgrades Electron Spin Sniffer

Open House Poster

Sirish Nanda led the Fabry-Perot cavity upgrade.

About 10 out of every trillion electrons that enter Jefferson Lab's Experimental Hall A are getting hijacked. But there's no cause for alarm – the hijacked electrons are actually helping researchers increase the precision of their experiments.

The researchers capture the electrons using the lab's Compton polarimeter, a device on which Hall A staffers and users have just finished the first phase of an extensive upgrade.

We have had a Compton polarimeter in operation for almost 12 years. In phases, we are upgrading almost all of it," explains Sirish Nanda, the senior staff scientist who led part of the upgrade effort.

Several institutions have been involved in the upgrade, which began in 2005. Researchers from the Laboratoire de Physique Corpusculaire de Clermont-Ferrand in France, Carnegie Mellon University, Duke University, the University of Virginia, Syracuse University, Old Dominion University and Jefferson Lab are all contributing to the effort.

"What I'm focusing on is our accomplishment on the Fabry-Perot cavity, which is pretty much the heart of the upgrade," Nanda says.

The Fabry-Perot cavity is the part of the device that deflects electrons from CEBAF's electron beam. In the upgraded cavity, the electrons are deflected using a green-light laser beam.

"The electrons interact with the amplified laser beam – lots of green-light photons. Some of the electrons will scatter from these photons, that process is called Compton scattering," Nanda explains.

Two other important components of the polarimeter, an electron detector and a photon detector, each collect the "scattered" electrons and the photons from which the electrons scattered, respectively. When combined into a calculation, these two measurements allow scientists to precisely determine the polarization, or spin, of the electrons in the beam in the moments before it is used in an experiment.

"Compton polarimetry is non-intrusive for the experiment. We are barely tickling the beam," Nanda explains. "With Compton polarimetry, you can continuously measure the polarization. Not only that, you measure the actual, absolute polarization of the electron beam."

Open House Poster

A large group contributed to the the upgrade effort, including (from left) Alexandre Camsonne, Sirish Nanda, Joyce Miller, Abdurahim Rakhman, Sue Witherspoon, Al Tobias, Alan Gavalya and Mohamed Hafez.

Precise knowledge of the polarization of the electrons in the beam increases the precision of the data for experiments that use polarized beam.

Nanda says upgrading the Fabry-Perot cavity was a tricky task. He and his team worked for four years before finally seeing the major success that would ensure a stable device. The difficulty arose because of the distance between two mirrors inside the Fabry-Perot cavity. The laser beam builds up in power as it bounces between these two mirrors. In order to work properly, that distance must remain constant, despite the many vibrations, noises and temperature variations in Hall A.

"The distance between the two mirrors is about a meter. It must be controlled at the atomic scale, as in a few Angstroms. It's not doable in a brute-force manner," Nanda says. "So, we have some clever electronics that compensate for the changing lengths. In this case, it's a feedback with the laser itself to keep changing its frequency. So whatever happens to the system, we constantly tune our input to follow."

These clever electronics have allowed the team to far surpass the power goal it had set for itself. While team members had wanted to get at least 1.5 kilowatts of green laser light between the mirrors, they managed to get 5 kilowatts in their lab setup. The system that the team installed in Hall A should routinely achieve 2 to 3 kilowatts.

The lead radius experiment in Hall A, called PREx, is the first to benefit from the Compton polarimeter upgrade. But Nanda says the device will be used in experiments well into the future.

"It's adding to the capabilities of Hall A. And it serves a broad range of experiments, from 1 GeV up to 11 GeV."

 

JLab Earns HRSD Gold Award

HRSD Gold Award

Pictured is the 2009 HRSD Gold Award that Jefferson Lab received on April 15. The plaque will be mounted on the VARC lobby wall with the other HRSD pretreatment excellence and pollution prevention awards that JLab has earned over the years.

Jefferson Lab has been recognized again for its environmental stewardship, recently earning a 2009 Hampton Roads Sanitation District Pretreatment Excellence Gold Award.

Gold awards are presented to businesses that had perfect industrial wastewater permit compliance for a full compliance year (2009).

The Hampton Roads Sanitation District held its annual awards luncheon on April 15 in Portsmouth. During the event, HRSD recognized businesses and industry for exemplary permit compliance and outstanding Pollution Prevention measures. A letter from HRSD reads, in part:

"Congratulations …for exemplary permit compliance and outstanding pollution prevention measures. …[B]usinesses pretreat their industrial wastewater before discharging it to HRSD's system. Their efforts help protect our waterways and other natural resources."

"Honoring businesses for their outstanding efforts provides deserved recognition and an incentive to maintain compliance and prevent pollution beyond environmental regulations… therefore, it is with great pleasure that we are able to recognize and honor your environmental excellence."

JLab representatives attending the awards event included Jennifer Williams and Brett Lewis from the Environmental, Health, Safety and Quality Division and Patty Hunt from the Department of Energy's Thomas Jefferson Site Office.

Contact ESH&Q's Bill Rainey, ext. 7898, or email wrainey@jlab.org, with information regarding any pollution prevention improvement underway in 2010 that could qualify for an HRSD or other award or recognition.

HRSD serves a population of 1.6 million in 17 cities and counties in southeastern Virginia.


Spring, Summer Weather Brings Out Wildlife, Insects

Bogdan Wojtsekhowski

This image was taken of a snapping turtle at JLab. ESH&Q and Facilities Management and Logistics urge everyone to take extra care when working in areas that either mimic or overlap the natural habitat of reptiles

Jefferson Lab shares its grounds with an array of wild creatures, and recent construction has disturbed the natural habitat of many. Likewise, some of these critters can be disruptive to lab operations and dangerous if confronted – especially when they choose to enter indoor workspaces or undermine structures.

For example, groundhogs dig holes in accelerator shielding. Occasionally, poisonous snakes make their way into buildings. Stinging insects and spiders can be present indoors and out.

The Environment, Safety, Health and Quality Division and the Facilities Management and Logistics Department urge everyone to take precautions when working in areas that mimic or overlap the natural habitat of native creatures especially when working on the Accelerator Site during the summer when many of these creatures are most active.

  • These precautions include:
  • Never reach into a dark area. Always fully illuminate the area and check for spiders, insects (and other pests), sharp objects, and other hazards;
  • Be extra careful around all pipes and under the gas-flow handles on gas-storage bottles and overhanging eaves on buildings – paper wasps are known to make nests in these locations;
  • Avoid and report areas where stinging insects or biting insects are present, such as bees and wasps, or biting flies and mosquitoes;
  • Be observant around asphalt, concrete slabs and wide metal pipes, which provide warm spots for snakes to sun themselves, and
  • Stay clear of tall grasses, water in ditches, and rotting wood, which can hide snakes and ticks and other potential hazards such as holes.

If you should come across any wildlife in circumstances that cause you concern, alert Mike Lewellen at ext. 7169 or lewellen@jlab.org as soon as feasible and follow up by putting in a FM&L Work Request. Do not confront or corner wildlife – FM&L retains the services of a pest control company and can safely deal with your concern.

If you are stung or bitten, report to Occupational Medicine and then contact Lewellen to notify him of the location and conditions. Prompt medical care can help prevent infection and complications that could result in unnecessary pain and lost work.


Virginia Notes Upsurge of Lyme Disease Cases

Over the last several years there has been an upsurge of Lyme disease in Virginia. It is important to remember that ticks become more active with warmer weather, increasing the risk of tick-borne disease. While several types of tick-borne disease are found in Virginia, Lyme disease is the most common tick-borne infection reported.

Since 2000, Virginia has witnessed a steady increase in the number of Lyme disease cases. Most cases occur during the late spring and early summer with illness presentation in June, July and August. Common symptoms of Lyme disease include: fever, headache, fatigue, "bull's-eye" rash, muscle aches and stiff neck.

Lyme disease is preventable. Information about Lyme disease and how to reduce the risk of contracting it is available on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention webpage, at: http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/lyme/index.htm. According to the CDC, adhering to the following practices can decrease the risk of contracting this infection:

  • Protect yourself from tick bites,
  • Control the tick population in your environment,
  • Consult a doctor after a tick bit, and
  • Know the early signs of tick-borne illness.

The Virginia Department of Health also provides information on preventing tick bites and tick-borne illness at:

An informational brochure provided by the Virginia Cooperative Extension and Virginia Tech is available at: www.tidewateratc.com/Tick%20Brochure.pdf.


In Their Own Words With Theorist Christopher Thomas

Christopher Thomas came to Jefferson Lab in October 2008 as a theory postdoctoral fellow and is a member of the Hadron Spectrum Collaboration.

I was born and raised in Bristol, United Kingdom, the oldest of three sons. I was always attracted to science and interested in how things work. I read a lot of science books, even outside of the classroom. Originally, I was attracted to aspects of chemistry, being fascinated by the structure of atoms and how they are built up. But by the time I was in secondary school I had discovered quarks and my course toward physics was probably set by then.

I earned my bachelor's and master's degrees in natural sciences at Cambridge and then my Ph.D. in theoretical particle physics at Oxford. My thesis was on "Strong and Electroweak Properties of Hadrons." While at Oxford, I also taught particle physics, mathematical methods and other topics through giving tutorials to undergraduates.

As a teen-ager, I got involved with a British Red Cross youth group through which I learned and was certified in first aid. I continued with this pursuit throughout my time at Cambridge with St. John Ambulance, and then at Oxford, where I was a member of the first aid unit and helped provide first aid coverage at events on campus.

I came to Jefferson Lab in October 2008 as a theory postdoctoral fellow and have really enjoyed working with Jo Dudek, Robert Edwards and David Richards as part of the Hadron Spectrum Collaboration. We use Lattice Quantum Chromodynamics to calculate the spectrum and properties of mesons, performing calculations on the large computers here at the lab. One of our goals is to calculate the photocouplings of exotic mesons, work which is relevant to the GlueX experiment, a central feature of the 12 GeV Upgrade. It is satisfying being able to relate theory to experiment.

I had been to the United States just once before coming to the lab, and since then I've had a chance to see more of the country, including Seattle, Denver and the Washington, D.C. area. Most recently I was invited to give a plenary talk on "Lattice QCD, Photo Couplings and Radiative Transitions" in Tallahassee, Fla., for the XIII International Conference on Hadron Spectroscopy. And over the years, conferences have also taken me to China, Italy and Switzerland.

The biggest shock of coming to Newport News from Oxford is the fact that I have to drive everywhere. I was much more accustomed to an environment where biking and walking were the norm. I like to hike, particularly in mountains, an activity I pursued throughout my time in university.

In addition to research, I am one of the organizers of Theory Center seminars. I'm enjoying my time at the lab and especially the energized environment and interactions with the many people who work here and visit. It's a great place to be at this time in physics.

As told to Judi Tull
Feature writer


Kitchen Confidential With Chef Adrian Durant

Adrian Durant

Adrian Durant has been the executive chef for JLab’s Quark Cafe since October 2008.

No job is too small for Chef Adrian Durant, no kitchen technique too complicated. Executive Chef of JLab's Quark Cafe since October 2008, Durant can go from minced onions to macédoine with a quick flip of his 12-inch Forschner chef knife.

"It doesn't matter what I'm cooking," he says, "as long as it looks good, tastes good."

Canadian – make that French Canadian – by birth, Durant grew up in Montreal where fine food was always on the menu.

"It was always gourmet at home," he says. His Austrian mother added even more continental flair to the family cuisine. The family moved to Pennsylvania when he was eight, but still goes back to Canada most summers. There was never much doubt about his career path. As a teen-ager, he worked summertime landscaping jobs, but winters inevitably found him indoors, working as a cook.

When the JLab position opened up, Durant, with years of head chef experience behind him, was ready for a change. In the restaurant world, hours are long, the pace grueling.

"I decided to do something a little more life-related," he explains, "instead of spending every New Year's Eve doing inventory at one-thirty in the morning."

Quark Cafe, while still demanding, offers a friendlier, more stable environment. "I really enjoy the family atmosphere here," he says. "Having a real relationship with our customers is great."

He has nothing but high praise for his Quark Cafe colleagues.

"We have an outstanding team here," he says. "I couldn't wish for a better group to work with." Grill cook Patricia Barry and sous chef Craig Tegenborg work particularly closely with him on meal preparation and to-order cooking. Utility specialist Sandra Graham anchors the catering service and cashier Queen Simon covers the front of the house. But the fine print on everyone's job description includes "whatever needs doing."

"Everyone pulls together to get a job done," Durant says. "We can be doing a meal and catering prep, and a delivery comes in that needs to be broken down and put away – everyone knows what needs to be done and does it. I'm proud of the team and proud to be a part of it."

Working closely with Quark Cafe manager Gaye Davenport, Durant oversees menus, food orders, recipe selection, inventory management and culinary staff training. Menu planning is an extra challenge at Jefferson Lab, he points out. There's a wide variety of tastes, from vegetarian to down-home to upscale, plus the many countries and cultures represented among the lab's staff, users and visitors.

At 20, Durant enrolled at the New England Culinary Institute in Burlington, Vt. NECI attracted him because of its small class size: There were six people in his. Working at The Inn at Essex (a hotel outside Burlington), students learned every aspect of running a restaurant, from baking and planning banquets to wine service and even cleaning out grease traps.

At NECI, six months of rigorous classes alternated with an even more grueling six months of hands-on work in real restaurants. Durant's first internship was at Harvest Restaurant, off Harvard Square in Cambridge, Mass.

Quark Cafe staff recently gathered for a group photo; pictured in the front row, left to right, are: Food Services Director Gaye Davenport, Queen Simon, Sandra Graham and Executive Chef Adrian Durant and in the back row, l. to r.: Patricia Barry, Craig Tegenborg and Albert McClinton.

Quark Cafe: Serving the JLab Community

Quark Cafe is open Monday through Friday except holidays. Breakfast is served from 7-10 a.m. Lunch is available from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Snacks and beverages are available until 2 p.m.

The cafe is located on the north end of the first floor CEBAF Center lobby. Breakfast and lunch menus change daily. Combo specials include entrée, side and drink. All items may also be purchased a la carte.

Catering services for the JLab community are available through Quark Cafe. Contact Staff Services ext. 6930 to make arrangements.

The cafe has expanded its vegetarian selections over the past year. Meatless "flexitarian" choices are now routinely available at lunch.

Got feedback you'd like to give? There's an electronic comment card available on the Quark Cafe menu webpage: https://www1.jlab.org/ul/cafeteria/menu.cfm.

Bonus hours: Recharge Wednesday
Quark Cafe is currently open from 3-4 p.m. every Wednesday. Stop by for the weekly snack special or recharge with one of the many regularly available treats. Selections include fresh fruit, chips, granola bars, cookies, candy, yogurt, espresso, fountain drinks and more.

"That was my first high-end restaurant experience," he says. "We'd get in thousand-dollar cheese orders, still packed in ash and straw. It really opened my eyes to what I had gotten myself into."

With two dining areas, one fine dining, one bistro-style, and daily-changing menus, the Harvest Restaurant catapulted Durant into the fast-paced, controlled chaos of the restaurant kitchen. He loved it, serving as garde manger, or "keeper of the food." His duties there mainly focused on prepping and presenting cold foods.

Durant served his second internship at the Four Seasons in Newport Beach, Calif., and stayed six years. As "rounds cook," he filled in for other chefs on their days off, gaining a priceless breadth and depth of experience. He also learned a lesson that has never left him.

"You can learn anything from anyone," he says, "and sometimes it's a very unexpected source. I was making guacamole, peeling and cutting very precisely, when one of the dishwashers offered to help. I turned my nose up at the offer and kept doing it my way, which was tedious and time-consuming. He kept asking and eventually I said OK. José cut the avocado in half and mashed it right through a steel-mesh square. Quick. Simple. I was humbled."

While in California, Durant crossed paths with a former colleague, later chef to the College of William and Mary's president. This colleague recruited Durant to start the college's first catering department. For seven years Durant first developed and then ran all of the college's catering, and fed notables such as Margaret Thatcher, Henry Kissinger, Judge William Rehnquist and Jackie Chan.

He enjoys the freedom Quark Cafe offers to develop new menus, try out new recipes and use fresh, seasonal produce.

"I like the flexibility," he says. "It keeps the job interesting and fun."

He hopes to try out lettuce wraps this summer. Or maybe gazpacho. Or an outside barbecue. Or seared scallops over spinach with a grapefruit vinaigrette. The ideas keep spilling out.

Durant's passion for things culinary continues at home. He watches television restaurant shows "Hell's Kitchen" and "Kitchen Nightmares," and regularly devours cooking magazines for new ideas. He's also the main at-home cook. During the week, he sticks to simple foods that can be prepared in 20 minutes or under. On weekends, he's likely to tackle something more involved such as smoked chicken, or wild mushroom risotto made with mushrooms hand-picked, dried and shipped to him by his mother. His favorite meal? Grilled T-bone with caramelized onions and blue cheese. "I love to grill in the summer."

Does he miss the excitement of a bustling restaurant kitchen? Sure, he admits, every now and then. But he enjoys his stable, weekday work schedule – rare in the food business. And having evenings and weekends at home is more than a fair trade for having to be at work by 6 a.m.

By Judi Tull
Feature writer


JSA/JLab Program Empowers, Enriches Teachers of Science

Teachers take a hand at a science activity presented at Jefferson Lab’s Teachers’ Night held April 21. The event focused on physical science activities that teachers of fourth- through eighth-grade classes can use in the classroom. Nearly 40 teachers, participants in the JSAT program, shared their favorite or most-effective classroom activities with the 100 visiting teachers.

Throughout the school year, from fall to spring, 20 selected 5th, 6th and 8th grade science teachers from across the region gather in Jefferson Lab’s Science Education classroom in the VARC building to engage in a program designed to increase their knowledge of the physical sciences and strengthen their teaching skills.

Since 2008, the JLab Science Activities for Teachers (JSAT) program has offered participants hands-on learning,
a chance to network with other teachers and a wealth of materials and activities to take back to their classrooms.

Led by the lab’s Science Education administrator, Lisa Surles-Law, the classes meet in the evenings, every other week, alternating by grade level. This highly successful and sought-after program is funded by a grant from the JSA Initiatives Fund. The program
addresses the National Science Education Standards and the Virginia Standards of Learning. Each teacher who attends at least 80 percent of the sessions receives a stipend of $400 at the end of the school year. Participating teachers also earn three Professional Development Points for each session they attend.

JSAT was created to address a demand in the local teaching community. The coursework is similar to the four-week DOE Academies Creating Teacher Scientists (ACTS) program held at the lab each summer, and includes a basic course in physics, lectures on current research, physical science classroom activities and the completion of a team-based research project under the guidance of Jefferson Lab staff.

“Jan Tyler and Sally Fisk really wanted to reach more teachers and arm them with the know-how and confidence
to fully engage their students in science education,” Surles-Law noted. “This program is a way to do that. We invest in these teachers, and help them become enthusiastic champions of science in their schools.”

Teachers must apply to be admitted to JSAT, providing information on their teaching experience and writing an essay on how the JSAT program will help them reach their teaching goals. This year 43 teachers were accepted into the program. Those who are not formally admitted into the program receive a thumb drive containing all the core materials, which they may use at their schools.

Program participants receive instruction in the physical sciences and how to improve their teaching methodology. They also take home the materials they’ve used in each training session and complete kits of hands-on activities to share with their students, such as the ones for the PhysicsQuest competition, sponsored by the American Physical Society.

“This program is a valuable resource for teachers of all experience levels,” Surles-Law said. “Teachers network with one another, share ideas and try out the teaching activities before doing them with their students. We’ve found that this program has a far-reaching impact: teachers become empowered and begin to positively influence entire school science programs.

” As in the ACTS program, teachers are limited to attending three years of instruction, and many of them seize the opportunity to take part every year that they can. Their enthusiasm is palpable, and, despite having worked a full day at school, many of them drive from as far away as Southside Hampton Roads, Gloucester, Richmond and Henrico County because they find the program so valuable.

JSAT teachers assist the lab with hosting the annual “teacher night.” They invite their fellow teachers to come to the lab to see hands-on demonstrations of classroom projects, pick up teaching materials and learn more about the program.

Surles-Law also points out that the learning, networking and access to the lab’s vast and varied resources doesn’t stop at the end of the course. “They can call us with questions, borrow things, and ask for help,” she said. “Once you’re part of the Jefferson Lab community, you’re always able to stay connected
and involved.”

By Judi Tull
Feature writer


Program Excites Teachers: What They Get, Take Back to Classroom, Share With Fellow Teachers

Ray Yoh has had a long association with teacher enrichment programs at Jefferson Lab. He is a “graduate” of JLab’s Academies Creating Teacher Scientists program and the earlier Physics Enrichment for Science Teachers program. Yoh became a volunteer teacher in the JSAT program three years ago. Here he talks with teachers in the JSAT program.

Wednesday nights in the Jefferson Lab Science Education classroom were abuzz with excitement and enthusiasm during the 2009-2010 school year. Teachers gathered there to take part in JLab’s Science Activities for Teachers program. Teachers would start arriving around 5 p.m. as science education administrator Lisa Surles-Law and volunteer teacher Ray Yoh got the evening’s lessons ready.

Cindy Chung, a special education teacher at Langley Elementary School, talks with her tablemate, Elizabeth Blevins, a 6th-grade teacher from Davis Middle School in Hampton. Both women have taken the class before and both have returned to expand their own knowledge so they can enhance their students’ science experiences.

“One of the most beneficial aspects of JSAT for me is that it helps me bring real excitement to teaching science, and that encourages interest and excitement in the kids, too,” Chung explained.

For Blevins, it’s a way to enhance what she already knew. “This really helps me move ahead,” she said. “I’ve re-learned a lot that I’d forgotten, and one of the best parts is that we learn from each other. I’m excited every time about coming here, even at the end of a long day.”

For Leala Otarota, the program has special meaning. She teaches 8th grade at The Academy of Life and Learning, which is part of the Williamsburg/James City County public school system. Her students are academically challenged, with most of them reading at least two grades below their regular grade level.

“My kids struggle,” she said. “Everything I learn here, and the materials I’m provided with, I take back to them and use. This has been an unbelievably rich and rewarding experience.”

Otarota talks on as she sets up Petri dishes with nuts, screws, bolts and washers for a lab on elements, compounds and mixtures that she’ll do at her school. She’ll take the sets back to her students so they can experience hands-on learning that wouldn’t have been available to them otherwise.

“We all learn best by doing,” says Surles-Law as she watches Otarota work. “And our teachers have a great time doing this. They take that excitement about science back to their schools, and share it with their peers. This program creates educational ripples throughout our communities. It doesn’t end here.”

Otarota and the other teachers all comment on the wealth and breadth of materials that Jefferson Science Associates/JLab supplies them with as part of the program. “The generosity and support provided through this program and the people who do this program are amazing,” she said.

For Paula Collet, who teaches 5th graders at West Side Elementary School in Isle of Wight County, her first year in the JSAT program has brought a wealth of not only learning but also much-needed classroom equipment and supplies. Mostly, though, she gets to share the sheer enthusiasm that’s generated here. “I leave here so energized,” she said, “and I take that energy back with me. The kids get excited too, and I’m always aware that that feeling is possibly just what the child sitting in the back of the room needed to spark a real passion for science in them.”

Liz Hobson, who teaches at Norfolk’s School of International Studies at Meadowbrook Magnet School, makes the trip from school and then back to her home in Chesapeake. She shrugs with a smile at the idea of a long drive after a long day.

“This is the first time I’ve come here for a program, and it’s worth every bit of the drive,” she noted with a smile. “One of the biggest benefits is that the way they teach us, I can be doing the activity the very next morning with my classes.

” For teacher Tom Conley from Crittenden Middle School in Newport News, this is his third year in the JSAT program. An educator for 30 years - 11 of those spent as a principal - Conley also mentors new teachers and passes on what he’s learned at JSAT to them.

“Of all the classes I’ve done over my years in education, this is the most useful and practical of all,” he said.

By Judi Tull
Feature writer


Teacher Volunteers Bring Experience, Knowledge to Program

Anniversary

Teacher Amanda Carmean’s first visited JLab as part of the Becoming Enthusiastic About Math and Science program. She teaches sixth-grade science at Crittenden Middle School in Newport News, and began working with the JSAT program when it started three years ago. Here she discusses an activity with JLab Science Activities for Teachers program participants.

When Ray Yoh retired from the Air Force, he chose a new career: He went to Christopher Newport University for his teacher's certificate and took a job at Peasley Middle School in Gloucester, where he taught 8th grade science for eight years. After retiring there, and enjoying a year off (during which he rode a bike across the United States), Yoh then became a science teacher at Trinity Lutheran School.

He has had a long association with teacher enrichment programs at Jefferson Lab. A "graduate" of Jefferson Lab's ACTS (Academies Creating Teacher Scientists) summer program, and the earlier Physics Enrichment for Science Teachers program, Yoh signed on to be a volunteer teacher helping teachers in the JSAT program three years ago.

"It's fun teaching people who are interested and who truly like being here," he said. "After a number of years, it's challenging for teachers to keep coming up with new ideas. This program keeps the ideas flowing and really provides them with wonderful resources."

When teacher Amanda Carmean went through the Becoming Enthusiastic About Math and Science (BEAMS) program at JLab, science education administrator Lisa Surles-Law and others couldn't help but notice her outright enthusiasm and, in Surles-Law's words, "willingness to go the extra mile." So they offered her a part-time position as a teacher in the JSAT program when it started three years ago. Carmean, who teachessixth-gradescience at Crittenden Middle School in Newport News, is full of praise for what JSAT brings to teachers.

"For a teacher, the best thing is not having to re-invent the wheel," she said. "Through JSAT, teachers are able to not only learn new and exciting ways of presenting lessons to their students, but they also get to share what works with other teachers. It's hard to find time in a normal school day to really talk to one another. This program gives them the chance to do that. Our teachers have really good ideas and we're glad to give them a setting where they can share them."

By Judi Tull
Feature writer


Website Helps Students Prepare For Virginia Standards of Learning Tests

VA SOL

This is a screen-captured image of Jefferson Lab’s Virginia Standards of Learning Practice Tests webpage.

Thousands of Virginia students flock to Jefferson Lab's Science Education website each spring to prepare for the Virginia Standards of Learning tests.

Jefferson Lab recently received 2009 SOL questions and responses from the Virginia Department of Education and has added them to the SOL archive on Jefferson Lab's website. For the first time, the website now includes high school Biology, in addition to Math 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8; Science 3, 5 and 8; Technology 5 and 8 and high school Chemistry, Earth Science, Algebra I and II, and Geometry SOL questions and responses.

"The most frequently accessed pages on the website include the Virginia Standards of Learning Science, Math and Technology Practice Tests and our 'Who Wants to Win $1 Million Math and Science Quiz,'" says Steve Gagnon, Jefferson Lab Science Education technician and webmaster. (No money is involved.)

The education website includes questions from the recently released 2009 Virginia SOL tests, as well as test questions going back to 2000.

"The SOL practice tests are a great resource for students, teachers, parents, or anyone interested in the information," Gagnon adds.

The website is set up so a person can request 5, 10, 20, or 40 random multiple-choice questions from a single category. Or if desired, the site allows teachers and students to bring up non-random sets of questions. If a teacher wants a class to review a series of specific subcategories, the teacher can have the students go to the website's SOL index page and make an assigned series of selections from the "options" offered. Then all of the students will go through the same fixed set of questions.

"This feature is very useful for classroom settings," Gagnon notes.

The interactive design of the website lets users select and submit their answer. They are immediately told if their response is right or wrong. Whether a correct or incorrect response is given, the answer page repeats the question and provides the correct answer.

"Use of this review tool climbs significantly as preparation for the annual testing period gets underway," Gagnon notes. "Use usually peaks in May with daily page hits running into the four millions."

While a significant number of students from across Virginia use these review tools to prepare for SOL tests, teachers and students from a number of other states also use these web-based resources to review for annual academic tests.

Visit the Jefferson Lab Education webpage for these and other games and activities (http://education.jlab.org/). To access the SOL practice tests or to play the $1 million math and science quiz, click on the Games & Puzzles icon.


Milestones for Late March Through Mid-May 2010

Hello

Geoffrey Arnold, Web Developer, Accelerator Division
Crystal Baker, Staff Secretary, Accelerator Division
Robert Bunton, Hall D Technician, Physics Division
Paula Collier, 12 GeV Documentation Assistant, 12 GeV Division
Gary Croke, Control Systems Scientist, Accelerator Division
Anthony DiPette, Mechanical Design Technician, Engineering Division
Mitchell Dunn, Computer Center Technical Student Intern, Information Technology Division
Cynthia Eller, DC Power Technician, Engineering Division
Stephen Ellis, Magnet Technician, Engineering Division
Brandon Holland, Powered Industrial Truck Mechanic, Chief Operating Officer Division
Graham Humble, Hall D Technician, Physics Division
Bernhard Johnson, Magnetic Measurement Mechanical Technician, Engineering Division
Michael Johnson, Control Systems Computer Scientist, Accelerator Division
Melody Jones, Documentation Coordinator, Accelerator Division
Adam Kimmel, Computer Center Technical Student Intern, Information Technology Division
Kristin May, 12 GeV Administrative Assistant, 12 GeV Division
Robert McKeown, Deputy Laboratory Director-Science, Directorate
Timothy Michalski, Senior Staff Engineer, Engineering Division
Timothy Minga, Fire Protection Engineer, Chief Operating Officer Division
Nicholas Nganga, Electronics Engineer, Physics Division
Marcelo Pena, Magnet Measurement Coordinator, Engineering Division
Christopher Soova, Hall A Mechanical Designer, Physics Division
Richard Stacy, CLAS Wire Chamber Technician-Hall B, Physics Division
DeLisa Stanfield, Legal/Audit Staff Assistant, Chief Operating Officer Division
Erik Werlau, Computer Center Technical Student Intern, Information Technology Division
Christopher Williamson, User Support Technician, Information Technology Division

Goodbye

Ross Bailes, Engineering Division
Kathleen Duff, Chief Operating Officer Division
Donald Ghilardi, Engineering Division
Jacque Ludwig, Accelerator Division

These Milestone entries, listed alphabetically, are full-time, term, casual and student actions posted by Human Resources for late March through mid-May 2010.

Jefferson Lab is currently seeking several qualified individuals for a wide range of engineering positions as well some scientific, administrative, student intern and information technology positions. Nearly 60 JLab employment opportunities are currently posted at: http://www.resumeware.net/jlabs_rw/jlabs_web/job_search.cfm

For more information about employment at JLab, visit: http://www.jlab.org/div_dept/admin/HR/index.html.

JLab Careers are also posted under the Popular Applications listing on JLab's internal Insight page.


DESY Celebrates 50 Years

Anniversary

On May 19, the Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron in Germany celebrated 50 years of operation as a particle accelerator/user lab both for high-energy and nuclear physics and photon science. A turnout of nearly 2000 people attended the ceremonies in a large experimental hall converted for the event. The two U.S. laboratories involved in next-generation light sources, JLab and SLAC, were invited to attend.

 

Jefferson Lab's Director Hugh Montgomery and Gwyn Williams, Free-Electron Laser Basic Research program manager, were invited, as JLab has collaborations in both superconducting radiofrequency and photon science. Montgomery was unable to attend due to previous commitments.

The photo shows, left to right: Ronald Frahm, Universität Wuppertal; Gwyn Williams; Helmut Dosch, director of the Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron; Edgar Weckert, director of DESY's Photon Science Division; Persis Drell, director of the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory; Jochen Schneider, SLAC; Wolfgang Sandner, director of the Max-Born-Institut, Berlin, and president of the German Physical Society. Sandner's lab is the leading laser basic research laboratory in Germany, according to Weckert.

 


To Reduce Electrical Load Across Virginia During Peak Summer Use, JLab Participates in Interruptible Electric Load Program; Annual Power Reduction Test Set for June 10

Jefferson Lab qualifies for electrical service under the Commonwealth of Virginia electrical power contract. This summer the laboratory is again participating in an interruptible electrical load program under the state electric contract. Dominion Virginia Power is part of the PJM Power Grid that serves Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland and Delaware, as well as parts of North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia and Ohio. This demand-side energy management helps to ensure that periods of tight electricity supply on the grid don't turn into brown outs or power outages.

"Last year we were reimbursed for participating in the program and the annual test, and are investing in energy savings projects," notes Mike Dallas, JLab's chief operating officer. "We will do the same again this year."

How the program works:
During periods of high electric demand upon two hours of being contacted JLab is to reduce its overall electric demand by an agreed to amount. Designated lab personnel will be notified via e-mail, phone, and/or pager.

The period of reduction is the shorter of six hours, until 8 p.m., or notification that the demand reduction event is over. The number of events during one year is limited. The program only applies from 12 noon to 8 p.m. workdays during the months of June through September.

To qualify for participation the lab must participate in a one hour test. In exchange for participating in the program, the lab will receive a standby payment as well as an energy payment.

How the lab responds to load reduction events/tests:
Upon notification of the annual test or an actual event, the lab will send out an e-mail to staff and users notifying them of the event and requesting that unnecessary lights and electric loads be turned off. Securing unneeded equipment in all buildings is an important part of our demand response and is everyone's responsibility. However, never secure equipment you are not familiar with, instead find someone who is familiar with it.

Individuals assigned to manage the predetermined load reductions will turn off their assigned loads. These individuals are directly contacted by the utility subcontractor via e-mail, phone, and/or pager. The predetermined load reductions include taking the accelerator from beam permit to controlled access (magnet power supplies will be turned off), securing select computing equipment and controlling operation of air conditioning equipment is selected buildings.

Those individuals/groups using systems that are electrically power intensive, such as DC power supplies, operations in the Test Lab VTA (vertical test area) or cavity test areas, should schedule their operations such that energy intensive operations do not occur during the 2-3 p.m. test time on June 10. Those operations should not start after 12 noon on that day.

At the end of the annual test or an actual event the lab will send out an e-mail to staff and users notifying them that the event has ended.

2010 Annual Test
The annual test will occur on Thursday, June 10 from 2-3 p.m.
12 p.m. noon: Notification will be sent out that the event will start at 2 p.m. All JLab staff and users will be asked to start securing loads. This work should be completed by 1:50 p.m.
2 p.m.: Event starts
Soon after 3 p.m.: Notification will be sent out that the event has concluded. Reenergize secured loads and commence planned work.

Please contact Paul Powers at ext. 7258 or Rusty Sprouse at ext 7589 with any questions.


JLab Holds 25th Annual Run-A-Round

Adrian Durant

Pictured, left to right, are: Lab Director Hugh Montgomery with 25-year participants: Sharon Parkinson, Budget officer; Heidi Derby, Project Management; George Biallas, Free-Electron Laser, and Danny Machie, Engineering.

Jefferson Lab's annual Run-A-Round was held May 12. Between 600 and 700 people participated in the event. Winner results, the official times for everyone finishing the race and photos of the event are posted on the Jefferson Lab Activities Group webpage located here. To mark the 25th anniversary of the Run-A-Round, the JAG presented special versions of the 2010 JLab T-shirt to the four lab staff members who participated in the first event back in 1985 and were taking part this year.

The On Target newsletter is published monthly by the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility (Jefferson Lab), a nuclear physics research laboratory in Newport News, Virginia, operated by Jefferson Science Associates, LLC, for the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science. Possible news items and ideas for future stories may be emailed to jlabinfo@jlab.org, or sent to the Jefferson Lab Public Affairs Office, Suite 15, 12000 Jefferson Avenue, Newport News, VA 23606