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In this issue:
LAT to Rendezvous with Spacecraft
SLAC Scientists Pen Magnetism Textbook
Computing Update: New Visitor Network Portal

SLAC Today

Friday - September 15, 2006

The LAT enters "Big Blue," a Thermal Vacuum Chamber at NRL. Inside, the instrument underwent environmental testing. (Click on image for larger version.)

LAT to Rendezvous with Spacecraft

The Large Area Telescope (LAT) instrument successfully survived an onslaught of outer space and launch conditions at the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) in Washington, D.C.

The instrument, assembled at SLAC and sent to NRL in May for environmental testing, will begin its journey to Arizona tomorrow morning. There, General Dynamics C4 Systems will install LAT onto the spacecraft that will keep LAT in near-earth orbit and provide it with power and communications.

LAT, the spacecraft and a second instrument make up GLAST, the Gamma-ray Large Area Space Telescope, whose mission is to map gamma rays throughout the universe and probe the nature of dark matter, the collapse of massive stars, and the powerful radiation from supermassive black holes.  Read more...

SLAC Scientists Pen Magnetism Textbook

(Photo - textbook)
Jo Stöhr and Hans Christoph Siegmann hold their new textbook. (Click on image for larger version.)

A textbook co-authored by SSRL Director Jo Stöhr and visiting professor Hans Christoph Siegmann hit shelves yesterday. The 820-page book, titled "Magnetism: From Fundamentals to Nanoscale Dynamics," covers magnetism from its discovery to its cutting-edge applications.

"It feels great to hold this book, after five years of work!" says Stöhr. Many texts cover the classical understanding of magnetism, but he saw a need for a textbook that describes advances in understanding in the last 15 years, particularly its applications to computing amid the "smaller, faster" philosophy that drives modern research.

"There has been a paradigm change in magnetism," explains Siegmann. "The field seemed to be concluded, then in the last 10 years spin has also been used as a carrier of information. The discovery spurred a revival." Today, magnetism's high-density recording is largely responsible for information management on the internet.

The book emphasizes Stöhr's area of expertise—using x-rays to study magnetic materials—and Siegmann's forte of spin-polarized electron beams. A quarter of the textbook is devoted to their fields. Overall, they aim to offer upper-level undergraduate and graduate students a comprehensive overview of magnetism, and to bring researchers in magnetic recording up to date with other contemporary developments of the broader field.

The two authors started with an idea for a 400-page textbook, but "the project grew and grew over five years," says Stöhr. "We felt we couldn't shorten it."

Computing Update: New Visitor Network Portal

When you use SLAC's wireless network, network outlets in the Guest House or outlets in certain public locations such as conference rooms, you are connecting to the SLAC Visitor Network. It is open to all temporary visitors, users, and SLAC employees and provides access to the internet but no privileged access to the SLAC internal networks or to internal computing resources.

Beginning September 20, you will see a new web page when you connect to the Visitor Network. To connect to the network for the first time after this date, you will need to open a web browser and attempt to connect to any normal internet web site (we suggest http://www.slac.stanford.edu). If your browser was already running, you may have to hit the "refresh" button.

The system is similar to what you may know from many wireless-enabled places, like hotels and coffee shops. It will intercept your initial web page request and will redirect you to a portal web page that provides basic information about the SLAC Visitor Network and asks you to provide some information about yourself. The purpose of asking you for this information is so that SCCS can locate you in the event that your computer has a virus or causes problems with the network. Before you can proceed to the internet, you will need to agree to the SLAC Acceptable Use Agreement regarding network use. After you agree, your system will be given regular internet access. Systems that are off the network for a certain period of time (currently two weeks) will have to re-register their information when they next use the Visitor Network. If you have questions about these changes, please contact the SLAC Computer Security Team.

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