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George Ott obituary

George Ott, Electrical Engineer in High Energy Physics from 10/01/1967 until his retirement on 11/30/2007, passed away on February 12, 2018. He was 78 years old. He worked on many experiments, most notably CDF and CMS. One of his last efforts before he retired was the responsibility for an extraordinarily challenging project to provide the power and control of the new state-of-the-art Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) experiment calorimeter trigger electronics being built for the Large Hadron Collider at the CERN laboratory in Geneva, Switzerland. The task involved the circuitry for and installation of 20 redundant fail-over high-power (7 kW) supplies controlling 10 7’ racks of completely custom electronics that had to be monitored remotely over the Internet. Mr. Ott devised a system of 50 custom trays of fans with very high airflow that were precisely monitored for any malfunction. He also developed and installed a system of temperature monitors distributed over each rack. All of this is remotely monitored as well as having local shut-off protection. Mr. Ott worked on the design, assembly, and production of this system. His work on this was very creative and innovative. There was no turnkey or prepackaged solution possible given the very difficult requirements and complexity of the project. Mr. Ott had to take the initiative and break new ground in developing his solution. The result was outstanding. George traveled to CERN and installed this system in the CMS underground cavern.

George was a happy, magnanimous person, always willing to help with anything. He will be missed.

First measurement of the cosmic-ray spectrum with HAWC

With this first measurement, HAWC reveals fine structure in the cosmic-ray energy spectrum at the TeV scale.


Cross section for neutrino energies between 6.3 TeV and 980 TeV measured by IceCube

The new measurement determines the cross section for neutrino energies between 6.3 TeV and 980 TeV, energy levels more than an order of magnitude higher than previous measurements.

Photo: Martin Wolf/ IceCube NSF

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HAWC sheds new light on origin of mysterious antimatter excess

By catching and counting particles of light streaming forth from these nearby stellar engines, the HAWC Collaboration has showed that these two pulsars are very unlikely to be the origin of the excessdespite being the right age and the right distance from Earth to contribute. Positrons from these sources simply haven’t spread far enough to reach Earth in sufficient numbers. The results are published today in Science.

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UW awarded $12.5 million to study astrophysical plasma here on Earth

The U.S. Department of Energy has awarded $12.5 million to the University of Wisconsin–Madison to develop an integrated facility that will expand the frontier of astrophysical plasma research.

“The vision for this new user facility is that roughly half of the research will be done by outside scientists who come here and establish a collaboration with us,” says Cary Forest, a professor of physics at UW–Madison and the lead researcher for WiPPL. “It’s like having a much bigger team to do things that we never imagined we’d be doing.”

Photo credit: Jeff Miller

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Prospective Undergraduate Majors in Physics

Are you interested in majoring in Physics? Come to P.U.M.P., an informational meeting for Prospective Undergraduate Majors in Physics. Tuesday, October 3rd at 4:30pm, Chamberlin Hall 2241.

ART+ MASS, Aug 21, 5:30pm


MMoCA will present ART+ Mass on Monday, August 21 in conjunction with Forward Fest. This event will offer a dialogue on art as a lens and tool for exploring and documenting new discoveries in particle physics. The panel will feature:

  • Artist Sonja Thomsen, whose immersive lobby installation at MMoCA is meant to transform a viewer’s encounters with light, space, time, and movement. Thomsen’s interest lies in “creating spaces that highlight the inaccessible. There should always be a place for wonder; it is a direct line to new knowledge.”
  • Professor Wesley H. Smith. Bjorn Wiik Professor of Physics at UW-Madison, who has been deeply involved in work on the Large Hedron Collidor used to discover the Higgs Boson particle. The so-called “God particle” is believed to be responsible for giving matter mass and shaping the very early universe.

ART+ website