SLAC Today is available online at:
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In this issue:
An Irresistible Force Meets Its Match
Dorfan Today: Do You Value SLAC Today? It's Crucial to Hear Both the Positive and Negative
Today's SLUO Seminar: Listening to Government
Electrical Safety Tip: What To Do if the Lights Go Out

SLAC Today

Tuesday - May 30, 2006

This x-ray collimator is one of the many components of the SPEAR3 beam containment system. SLAC researchers are currently designing an even more advanced system for the LCLS. (Click on image for larger version.)

An Irresistible Force Meets Its Match

A super-strong beam needs a super-smart containment system.

With trillions of hard x-ray photons squeezed into a needle-thin beam, the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) will pack quite a punch. "Its power density is tremendous," says SLAC's Mike Saleski. "It can bore a hole through several inches of copper and iron."

A very complex system is needed to keep the beam from straying. With this in mind, Saleski, John Arthur and other SLAC researchers have devised an advanced containment system for the electron and x-ray beams that will be generated by the LCLS.

Like the linac's current containment system, the LCLS system will use a combination of devices including collimators and stoppers. Both collimators and stoppers are used for beam containment, but whereas the stoppers move into the beam in order to shut it off completely, collimators are fixed apertures which limit the beam to a safe size (so it will stay in the beam pipe, for example).  Read more...

(Director's Column - Dorfan Today)

Do You Value SLAC Today?
It's Crucial to Hear Both the Positive and Negative

I cannot stress how important it is that we find effective ways of communicating frequently with the full spectrum of the SLAC staff. No single vehicle can achieve all the communication goals and needs of the laboratory. For very important information that each and every staff member must be assured of receiving, I will continue to use the All Hands Memo. For some news items, the public web site is appropriate. However, I continue to feel the need for a daily communication and we have picked the SLAC Today model as our vehicle for achieving that goal.

Over the past three months SLAC Today has become an important resource to the laboratory, bridging the gap between departments while offering insight into the science, the people, and the events that make SLAC such an exciting place to work. I think SLAC Today has great value, but much more important is whether you find it serves you well and effectively. Accordingly we are surveying you, the staff, to find out how you feel.

As you sit down at your computer after the long holiday weekend, you're sure to be confronted with a pile of e-mail. Sorting through them, please keep your eyes out for one in particular: the SLAC Today survey. And if you haven't already done so, I ask you to take five minutes out of your morning to complete this survey. It offers you a chance to share your views on SLAC Today and provide ideas of how to make it more useful. I encourage you to use this opportunity to influence the content and direction of this communication tool.

A survey of this kind is only valuable if we get back a very large and fully representative response. Human nature is such as to ignore responding to surveys when one feels positively about the topic and to respond eagerly when one is dissatisfied. We need both the positive and the negative comments please.

—Jonathan Dorfan

Today's SLUO Seminar:
Listening to Government

(Image - Washington) Mike Holland's talk, "Listening to Government," will take place this morning at 10:00 a.m. in the Research Office Building's Redwood Conference Room.  Dr. Holland will speak on the importance of maintaining a healthy relationship between the government and the sciences. He will also offer tips on how to communicate with the government.

Following Dr. Holland's presentation, Steve Sekula of MIT will speak on the process of communicating science to government officials. All are encouraged to attend.

Electrical Safety Tip:
What To Do if the
Lights Go Out

(Photo - exit sign)Power lines supplying SLAC suffer occasional dips and outages, especially in the hot summer months. There are a few simple rules to follow during and after a power outage:

• Power down computers and sensitive equipment. When power is restored, voltage levels can be uneven and spikes in the supply can damage sensitive equipment.

• Do not work in the dark; it is not safe. If the outage is extended, contact your supervisor about a safe work location.

• When the power comes back, do not rush to turn on systems. Ask your supervisor if there is a power outage recovery procedure for your electrical systems.

• Only a qualified worker should reset breakers. The worker should be familiar with the equipment powered by the circuit.

• Only a qualified worker should operate disconnect switches; make sure equipment is turned off on the circuit before opening or closing the switch.

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