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In this issue:
Researchers Test LAT in D.C.
Profile Today: Pat Kreitz, Library Scientist
symmetry magazine: KEK's Ambitious Future

SLAC Today

Wednesday - June 28, 2006

SLAC researchers pause for a photo after installing the LAT on top of NRL's Vertical Vibration Fixture. (Click on image for larger version.)

Researchers Test LAT in D.C.

SLAC's involvement with the Large Area Telescope (LAT) didn't end the day it left the lab. In mid-May, when the telescope arrived at the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) in Washington, D.C., SLAC employees were there to greet the instrument. The crew was part of a larger SLAC contingent that will regularly spend time in D.C. during LAT's pre-launch testing.

At NRL, the LAT will undergo tests of vibration, electromagnetic interference, acoustic shock and temperature extremes. The LAT has already passed the first two of these tests. The vibration test subjected the instrument to vibrations that are in excess of the levels it will experience during the rocket launch, while the interference test ensured that the radio waves the LAT emits will not upset the spacecraft, and vice versa. For the acoustic test, NRL will use a facility that blasts the LAT with high intensity sound through the four octaves at 147 decibels to prove that the acoustic shock of takeoff will not harm the instrument. (By comparison, the threshold of human pain is 120 dB.) Finally, the LAT will be subjected to temperature extremes in a vacuum to simulate the harsh environment of space.  Read more...

(Weekly Column - Profile)

Pat Kreitz:
Library Leadership

(Photo - Pat Kreitz) After 12 years at SLAC, library guru Pat Kreitz is getting schooled.

"It should be a lot of fun," she says. "I like solving problems."

Kreitz, SLAC's Director of Technical Information Services, was recently honored by being selected to receive a scholarship to the three-year doctoral program in Library and Information Leadership at Simmons College, Boston. Library science faces a gap between people retiring from the profession and those starting out; the Simmons program aims to train promising leaders based on research evidence rather than hyped anecdote. She will fly to Boston three times a year to meet for intensive classes; the rest of the assignments and discussions are online.

Applying to the school was a whirlwind. Kreitz learned of the program at the start of February and took the GRE test on Valentine's Day. "I was writing my statement of purpose while my kids were on the ski slopes," she recalls.

Only five people were selected for this program from a nationwide pool of over thirty applicants. Kreitz points to the community effort that helped her earn this coveted spot: Michael Peskin helped refine her statement of purpose, and Jonathan Dorfan, David Leith and Persis Drell wrote letters of recommendation.

A scant few weeks into the program, Kreitz has already applied management and leadership techniques to her work at the lab. Her degree will also help her determine the optimum way to deliver information in the future.

symmetry magazine: KEK's Ambitious Future

(Photo - ATF) A 45-minute train ride north of Tokyo, Mt Tsukuba stands over a conglomerate of semi-rural agricultural fields dotted with a mix of hamlets and high- tech industry. In the middle of this diverse landscape is one of the world's leading particle physics laboratories, Japan's High Energy Accelerator Research Organization (KEK).

KEK is the scientific home for about 700 staff members. In addition, 4000 visitors per year from within Japan and from overseas use the high-energy physics and X-ray light source facilities. A highly collaborative institution, KEK is currently increasing its ties within Japan and abroad to other laboratories, universities, and industry partners as it expands its research efforts. KEK is in the process of building a new proton accelerator facility at its Tokai campus, an hour's drive northeast of its Tsukuba campus; is upgrading some of its existing facilities; and plans a suite of far-reaching experiments for the future.

A turning point
Growing out of nuclear physics research cyclotrons and synchrotrons in the 1950s and 1960s, KEK began its life as Japan's national laboratory for high-energy physics in 1971. During its history, it has built electron, positron, and proton accelerators, used for research ranging from nuclear and particle physics to materials and life sciences.  Read more...

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