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In this issue:
Physicists Size Up the 'Unitarity Triangle'
Dorfan Today: Why Love LUSI
Summer of Science Public Lectures Offered

SLAC Today

Monday - June 26, 2006

The Unitarity Triangle. Graphic source: CKMfitter collaboration. (Click on image for larger version.)

Physicists Size Up the 'Unitarity Triangle'

B factory experiments at SLAC and the High Energy Accelerator Research Organization (KEK) in Japan have reached a new milestone in the quest to understand the matter-antimatter imbalance in our universe.

Experimenters have leaped from inference to direct knowledge of the proportions of the B unitarity triangle. Not just a simple geometric shape, this triangle summarizes knowledge of the rare processes that contribute to the universe's partiality for matter over antimatter.

The area of the triangle visually depicts the amount of difference, or asymmetry, between the decays of B particles and their antimatter counterparts, anti-B particles.  Read more...

(Director's Column - Dorfan Today)

Why Love LUSI

The Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS)'s unprecedented ability to produce high-intensity, laser-like x-ray beams will allow researchers to create images of atomic-size structures with new levels of resolution. Because of the short duration of the x-ray pulse, one will, in addition, be able to capture these atomic structures in motion, that is to capture a sequence of images that chronicles the structure's temporal behavior. With intelligently designed and built instrumentation, it will be possible to reconstruct images of three-dimensional atomic arrangements and track changes in the conformance of the structures.

Six such instruments are planned for the initial phase of the LCLS. The LCLS Ultrafast Science Instruments (LUSI) project will construct four of the instruments, each one optimized for a different aspect of the LCLS science agenda. Similar to how BaBar provides the tools to measure the results from PEP-II collisions, or how SPPS brought together a group of specialists to build a dedicated experiment to use the photon beam at the FFTB, the LUSI project will create and manage the construction of four instruments—each of which, as their respective names suggest, is designed to take advantage of a distinct experimental technique. Thus LUSI comprises: The Coherent X-ray Imaging Instrument, The X-ray Pump/Probe Instrument, The Soft X-ray Scattering Instrument and The X-ray Photon Correlation Spectroscopy Instrument.

With conventional x-ray sources, like our own SPEAR3, biological molecules must be crystallized if they are to be imaged in great detail. With the LCLS beam and the proposed design of The Coherent X-ray Imaging Instrument, there is no requirement for a "freezing" of the molecules, thus opening the way to the imaging of the many molecules that cannot be crystallized.   Read more...

SLAC Photo Presented to Saudi Energy Minister

(Photo - Energy Ministers) (Click on image for larger version.)

Secretary of Energy Samuel W. Bodman (right) presents a photograph of SLAC's linear accelerator to H.E. Ali I. al-Naimi, the Saudi Arabian Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources. Al-Naimi is a Stanford alum.

Summer of Science Public Lectures Offered

(Logo - Stanford) Can environmental damage be reversed? Will we ever be able to predict earthquakes? What issues need resolving to make the most of stem cells? Stanford's Office of Science Outreach, the Cantor Center for Visual Arts and Stanford Continuing Studies invite the public to explore these topics and more at a science lecture series at the Cantor Center this summer. Parking, museum entrance and lectures are free.

"The general public is being called upon to understand increasingly complex scientific issues that underlie public policy controversies such as the energy crisis, environmental pollution, global warming and stem cell research," said Patricia Devaney, director of the Office of Science Outreach. "This lecture series is designed to inform and inspire our community about the wonders of science."

Visitors can explore the Cantor Center starting at 5 p.m. and then wander outside to hear scientists talk in lay terms about their research starting at 7 p.m. Although lawn chairs will be provided, visitors are welcome to bring their own chairs or picnic blankets. They can bring their own picnics or purchase an organic buffet BBQ dinner (about $12, cash only, with both meat and vegetarian options) and beverages and desserts at the Cool CafĂ© in the museum from 5 to 8 p.m.  Learn more...

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