SLAC Today is available online at:
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In this issue:
Brian Greene to Address Congress
Colloquium - Challenges to Development in India
EPP2010 Committee Chair to Speak Today
SPIRES Author Second to None
Electrical Safety Tip: Plug It In

SLAC Today

Friday - May 5, 2006

Brian Greene will address a Congressional advisory committee on Tuesday, May 9.

Brian Greene to Address Congress

High-energy physics is about to get a boost from a high-energy physicist.

On May 9th, physicist and author Brian Greene will address the Congressional Research and Development Caucus Advisory Committee. In his talk, titled "Reaching for Einstein's Dream: The Quest for the Deepest Laws of the Universe," Greene will discuss the gains made in physics since Einstein first searched for a grand unified theory of everything.

It couldn't be better timed. The release of EPP2010, a National Research Council report, urges the federal government to build the International Linear Collider in the United States. Such a move, the report claims, would refresh the United States' commitment to physics research at a time when major research projects in the nation are phasing out.  Read more...

Colloquium Monday

SLAC Colloquium:
Challenges to Development in India

On Monday, May 1, Los Alamos National Laboratory's Dr. Rajan Gupta will present the colloquium "Challenges to Development in India: The Role of Education."

In this talk, Gupta will focus on his experiences with issues in development and education in India. He will begin by describing how HIV/AIDS education and awareness lead to a program of "students as agents of change" through the creation of multimedia presentations on societal issues.  This will lead into a discussion of how teaching health to village outreach workers led to an understanding of adolescent migration from villages to towns in search for jobs and the specter of alcoholism.  Finally, Gupta will talk about how teaching health to sex workers in Kolkata led to an understanding of their closed world.

The colloquium will take place at 4:15 p.m. on Monday, May 8 in Panofsky Auditorium. All are invited to attend.  Learn more...

Electrical Safety Tip: Plug It In

Many times a day we have to plug appliances, equipment and instrumentation into a wall socket. This activity can use a little planning, just like any other job done at SLAC.

Before plugging in, inspect the plug and the outlet, looking for defects. Don't use equipment that you know is damaged—a shortcut is not worth an electrical shock, or worse. Make sure the power is off before plugging in equipment and when you are done, turn the equipment off before unplugging it to protect yourself and the next user. And finally, when you remove the plug from an outlet, pull on the plug, not the cord.

Harold Shapiro's Talk Now Available Online

Click here to view a Real Media file of Shapiro's talk. If you are a SLAC employee and do not have Real Media Player installed on your machine, you can download it here.

SPIRES Author
Second to None

(Image - SPIRES) Which of these is not like the other?
(Click on image for larger version.)

A single mark created a new first author of a classic paper.

The paper in question is "The Universe in Expansion." It was written by Georges-Henri Lemaitre, a Belgian monk who earned his doctorate in 1920 and was ordained as a priest in 1923. His title, l'Abbé, is the French term for Abbot.

His name on the 1933 paper appeared as M. l'Abbé G. Lemaitre. Somewhere along the line, a comma snuck into his title after l'Abbé. SPIRES, the SLAC database that keeps track of literature on high-energy physics, identified it as two separate authors.

David Wiltshire, senior lecturer in the department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand, spotted the oversight.

Luckily, this mistake did not mislead anyone: no one cited the paper has having two authors. Travis Brooks, who manages SPIRES, suggests two reasons why M. l'Abbe never slipped into the "literature cited" section of any SPIRES user. "Classic references are typically reproduced by a 'cut and paste' from previously published works," he says. Either that or Lemaitre's work has become common knowledge. Says Brooks, "You don't cite Newton when you talk about gravity."

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