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In this issue:
A New Era for SPEAR3
Researchers Take Part in European Particle Accelerator Conference
Stanford University Holds 'Camp EDAY'

SLAC Today

Friday - June 30, 2006

Till Straumann, who engineered the fast orbit feedback system at SSRL, demonstrates the power supplies that control the correction magnets. (Click on image for larger version.)

A New Era for SPEAR3

SPEAR3 entered a new era on June 14 as engineers flipped the switch on a system designed to deliver rock-solid beam stability by cancelling the effects of outside vibration. Called "Fast Orbit Feedback," this system has been under development since SPEAR3 was conceived.

The electron beam coursing through the SPEAR3 storage ring is inherently tricky to stabilize as it speeds within the vacuum pipe. This floating ring of electrons, barely thicker than a human hair, is easily perturbed by things like nearby traffic or even weather. 

The most disruptive elements to beam stability are the insertion devices—banks of magnets called wigglers and undulators—that are placed along the storage ring and used to excite the electron beam to produce x-rays. Users mechanically open and close these devices to adjust their x-ray beams, causing vibrations and magnetic field changes
that disturb the electron beam all around the ring. Read more...

Researchers Take Part in European Particle Accelerator Conference

(Photo - Scotland) The 2006 European Particle Accelerator Conference was held in Edinburgh, Scotland.

More than three dozen SLAC physicists have been presenting their work this week at the tenth European Particle Accelerator Conference, held in Edinburgh, Scotland. The biennial EPAC conference highlights the latest advances in particle accelerators.

The SLAC researchers are giving talks and presenting posters on the lab's accelerator-based programs, from PEP-II and SPEAR3 to the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) and advanced accelerator research. Their topics also include research and development on future accelerator projects, such as the International Linear Collider (ILC), the South Arc Beam Experimental Region (SABER) project and a super-B factory. The papers submitted to the conference include many SLAC authors, including many who stayed stateside this week.

In one poster, SLAC researchers Yunhai Cai, John Seeman, Kiran Sonnad and Ulrich Wienands explained how simulations show that luminosity of the PEP-II B-factory can be doubled from its present peak value. (See related paper here.)

"We in PEP-II are following up the good news from the beam-beam simulations by adding hardware upgrades this fall so that we can take advantage of this potential gain," said Seeman, head of the PEP-II and Linac Accelerator Systems. "The upgrades include two new RF stations in the High Energy Ring (HER) and several new higher power vacuum chambers near the interaction region."

Stanford University Holds 'Camp EDAY'

EDAY, or Engineering Day, is the School of Engineering's annual alumni event. This year it is geared to families, not only of alumni but also of faculty, staff and students. On July 15 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., the Arrillaga Alumni Center will become "Camp EDAY," where faculty and alumni will create an "enthusement" park for those aged 10 and up who are interested in science and engineering.

"For alumni, their children and the broader Stanford community, this is a chance to learn about great research on hot topics such as technology and the environment," says Beth Curran, director of alumni relations and communications for the School of Engineering. "It will also give teens an inside look at some of the things they might study in college."

The keynote speaker is Carl Rosendahl, an electrical engineering alumnus and chief executive officer of Uth TV, an online outlet for videos, photos and other artworks produced by and for teens. Rosendahl is also the founder of PDI, a computer graphics company that merged with Dreamworks SKG to produce Shrek and other films.

The rest of the day is organized into themes that let people indulge their curiosity in four tracks: environment, technology, life sciences, and college and careers.

The tech track features talks about design of easy-to-use gadgets, the workings of cell phone technology and "Stanley," the robot car that drives itself. In the environment track attendees can get up to speed on global warming, sustainable building and coastal pollution.

The college and careers track, in turn, will feature a panel of female alumni with exciting careers, a session on entrepreneurship and an outdoor design project by faculty and students from the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design. Meanwhile, the life science track will cover preventing sports injuries and making electronics that resemble the human brain.  EDAY website...

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