SLAC Today

Wednesday – March 1, 2006

(Image of a semiconductor melting)
An SPPS experiment observed the earliest stages of a semiconductor melting using x-ray scattering. Image by SLAC's Simon Engemann and Aaron Lindenberg.

SLAC’s First Ultrafast X-Ray Facility Retires

By generating the world’s shortest bunches of electrons and turning them into ultrafast pulses of x-ray light, the Sub-Picosecond Pulse Source observed a previously unseen world where atoms and materials move too quickly for synchrotron x-ray beams and are too small for ultrafast visible light lasers.

After a series of runs during the past three years, the remarkable experiments conducted with SPPS are coming to an end March 20 to make way for construction of its successor, the Linac Coherent Light Source.

“It’s been extremely successful both scientifically and technically looking toward LCLS. Our only regret is that it’s ending,” said SPPS head Jerry Hastings.  Read more...

(Weekly Column - Profile)

Sean Brennan: Physicist on the Slopes

SSRL’s Sean Brennan will spend a healthy chunk of his winter looking at the effects of particles moving at high speeds in very cold environments. Meanwhile, he will try to counteract negative effects garnered from the loss of control over moving bodies.

And he hopes to do it all on a fresh layer of powder.

Sean Brennan

At least 14 days a year, Brennan straps on a pair of Atomic skis and a red jacket to troll for crashing skiers and boarders as a ski patroller at Sugar Bowl Ski Resort near North Lake Tahoe.

"For me, recreation should involve totally focusing on something other than my work," he said. "It’s very difficult to be responding to a wreck and be thinking about physics." 

A wilderness Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), Brennan’s job is to respond to accidents, administer first aid and transport victims down the hill. Brennan said there are some similarities between picking up wayward photons for a microprobe and picking up wayward skiers.

Marshall and Mehta Receive Mentor Awards

SULI awardees

Philip Marshall of KIPAC and Apurva Mehta of SSRL have been named "Outstanding Mentors" for DOE's Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internships (SULI) 2005 program at SLAC.

In addition to plaques signed by DOE Secretary Sam Bodman commemorating their achievement, Mehta and Marshall received the encouraging and appreciative words of Jonathan Dorfan, Hanley Lee of the DOE Site Office, and SLAC Education Contact Mike Woods.

“SLAC’s primary purpose is of course R&D,” said Woods. “But education is extremely important as well.  SULI is a great program and we applaud the mentors for taking the time to make this program useful.”

Apurva mentored Matt Bibee of UC San Diego and, together with Samuel Webb, Abhik Kumar of Austin College.

Phil's summer students were Marissa Cevallos of CalTech and Lowry Kirkby of Oxford University. 

All four students published papers chronicling their research at SLAC.  Their papers, along with those of all 2005 SULI students, are available online as pdf documents.

Events (see all | submit)

(see all | submit)

 Lab Announcements

Community Bulletin Board

News (see all)

dividing line
(Office of Science/U.S. DOE Logo)

View online at