Physics Slam IX – Virtual

Join us for this Fermilab favorite – brought to you in a whole new format!  Master of Ceremonies Chris Miller will again host five contenders as they compete for the title of Slam Champion!  YOU get to choose who has the most compelling presentation!

Just announced – this year’s competitors! More info coming soon!

Lauren Biron – The Golden Particles
You’re invited! Put on your fanciest outfit and join us for an evening to remember at the first annual Golden Particles, the award show celebrating the smallest things in nature and the biggest research efforts in particle physics over the past year. Who will take home the most coveted accolades in the particle physics award world? Lauren Biron is a senior science writer at Fermilab. You may also know her from that one tweet you loved/hated/didn’t understand, since she also runs the Fermilab social media accounts. This is her first time hosting a fake awards show, but hopefully not her last.

Elena Gramellini – The Silent Thread
Neutrinos are the most abundant massive particles in the universe, and yet one of less understood. In a strange way, they connect everything we know exists. And yet, since they interact so little, we need to build extremely big neutrino experiments just 
to “see” them…  Neutrinos are a silent thread: they’re everywhere, they’re produced from many different sources and they’re responsible for some of the most exciting phenomena in our universe… Can we “experience” them? Elena Gramellini is a Lederman Fellow at the Fermilab. She is an experimental particle physicist focused on new physics in neutrino detectors.  She works for the LArIAT, MicroBooNE and LILAr experiments in the context of Liquid Argon Time Projection Chambers which is the technology for the next generation of accelerator neutrino detectors in the US. She is a dog lover and enjoys spending time with her German Shepherd, Sigma.

Walter “Wally” Levernier – The Importance of Prairie Restorations
Prairies that predate settlement in Illinois are all but gone and those remaining are very fragmented.  How are ecologists able to preserve this natural ecosystem?  During this presentation we will look at efforts of prairie restoration at Fermilab and why it matters for the plants and animals that call prairies home. Wally Levernier is the lead ecologist at Fermilab.  He has over 18 years of experience in planning and managing natural areas in the Chicago Region.  In his spare time he enjoys spending time in nature including hiking, birding, and photography.

Jimmy McLeod – Listen Up!: Why Personal Stories and Current Events Matter in the Quest for EDI
What happens when you mix a global pandemic with centuries of identity-based pain and fear? Many people feel compelled to affect change, but we must first understand how others experience the world. In a year that would have been challenging enough, 2020 exposed societal injustices presenting some of the most important social movements in American history. This session will examine the professional journey of Jimmy McLeod and how social unrest has impacted Equity Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) work at Fermilab and beyond. Curiosity is a theme throughout this talk, and it is essential when displaying empathy and creating an inclusive environment. Jimmy McLeod is a proud Cleveland, OH native with more than ten years of deliberate and impactful equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) experience. He joined Fermilab’s EDI team in July 2020. After spending most of his professional career in the higher education space, Jimmy used his enthusiasm for helping and developing others to transition from education to corporate EDI. Since 2015, Jimmy has facilitated organizational development through leadership training, consulting, workshops, keynote presentations, and curriculum building, to name a few. He is passionate about EDI work and wants to leave our society more empathetic and inclusive than he found it.

Adam Schreckenberger – Muon g-2: What If? For years, the physics world has held on with bated breath for a new result to emerge from the clutches of Fermilab’s Muon g-2 Experiment. Millions upon millions of muons have entered the storage ring, renowned for traveling over an ocean and up a river. Now the public can remember it for something more than the giant hunk of metal that crawled along I-88. What is a muon? Can we describe spin and what g-2 is in the span of ten minutes? 140 parts-per-billion, you say? Those are all valid questions. Then again, so is “What if?”  Adam Schreckenberger is a postdoctoral researcher working for the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. During his 7+ years of postdoc research, he has been stationed full-time at Fermilab. Having grown up near the laboratory, he developed an interest in particle physics research as a teenager, and he has had the pleasure of contributing to accelerator projects, a dark matter search, several neutrino experiments, and Muon g-2. While not pondering just how imaginative the Universe can be, Adam likes to dabble around in fiction writing and some good ol’ guitar strumming.