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In this issue:
The United States and the LHC
Gone in 20 Picoseconds
Auditorium Changes Ease Presentations
Spare the Air Today

SLAC Today

Friday - September 1, 2006

symmetry: The United States and the LHC

The giant CMS detector takes shape at CERN. The US CMS collaboration designed the $44-million hadron calorimeter, which will measure the energy of particles produced in collisions at the center of the detector. (Image courtesy of Fred Ullrich, Fermilab.)

The United States has contributed the energy and expertise of hundreds of scientists and engineers, and more than half a billion dollars to the construction of the LHC particle collider and two of its experiments at the European laboratory CERN. Together with researchers from around the world, U.S. scientists are looking forward to a decade of discovery.

The construction of the Large Hadron Collider in Europe ranks with the largest scientific projects ever undertaken. When complete, the 27-kilometer ring-shaped particle collider will delve deep into the mysteries of the universe.

Scientists from the United States have played an integral role throughout the project.

"The United States is making important contributions to the LHC," says CERN's Emmanuel Tsesmelis, who is responsible for non-member-state relations.  Read more in symmetry...

Gone in 20 Picoseconds

(Photo - Christian Haakonsen)Imagine that you are given roughly three months to complete a project. Then your boss comes in and asks if you can speed things up—not by just a couple of weeks or even months. You have precisely 100 times less than your original deadline, squeezing the amount of time in three months down to one day. Picture yourself in this situation, and you will have a renewed respect for the massive requirement of the electron source R&D group for the International Linear Collider—shortening the electron pulses from two nanoseconds to 20 picoseconds.

Generating and shortening bunches for the ILC polarized electron source is exactly how Christian Haakonsen, an undergraduate at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, spent his summer at SLAC as part of the Department of Energy's Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internship (SULI) program. Undergoing possibly the shortest crash course in accelerator physics, Haakonsen worked closely with SLAC physicist Axel Brachmann to learn the intricacies of the baseline design for the electron source. "This is a whole new field to me," Haakonsen said. "I had never done anything like this before, and I am very pleased with the experience." Read more...

Auditorium Changes Ease Presentations

(Photo - Presenter's area)
The new Panofsky Auditorium presenter's area.
(Image courtesy of Rod Reape)

Recent changes to Panofsky Auditorium make it easier to deliver talks.

A new, faster workstation can hook up to the house sound system. At the podium, a presenter can advance slides at a new 15-inch flat screen and use a built-in laser pointer as needed. And there are now several USB ports, a multi-card reader, and inputs for 3 laptops.

Still, with all these improvements, Rod Reape from SLAC's Audio-visual Services says presenters do not need to do anything differently; the equipment will work in the same way as always, just with a few more options.

The idea of bringing nothing more than a memory stick to a presentation has gone over well. "A lot of people have been really happy that they don't have to drag their laptops all the way over," Reape says.

Spare the Air

(Image - spare the air)Today is a Spare the Air Day in the San Francisco Bay Area. Ground-level ozone air pollution is forecast to exceed 100 AQI (Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups) due to clear skies, hot temperatures and light winds.  More information...

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