SLAC Today is available online at:
http://today.slac.stanford.edu
In this issue:
2006 - 2007 Colloquium Season Begins: Tom Abel to Speak on Galaxy Formation
Dorfan Today: LCLS Civil Construction Begins
LSST Holds Camera Conference
Family Day Photos
Safety First

SLAC Today

Monday - September 18, 2006

A computer simulation of galactic formation. (Click on image for larger version.)

2006 - 2007 Colloquium Season Begins
Tom Abel to Speak on Galaxy Formation

The 2006 - 2007 Colloquium Series begins this afternoon with Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology researcher Tom Abel's talk "Making Galaxies: One Star at a Time."

Abel will present the rich physics of the formation of the galaxy's first objects, and will explain how calculations using supercomputers aids this research.  He will also discuss the formation of the earliest magnetic fields, the first super-massive black holes, and the first planets in the universe.

The talk will end with a discussion of the expanding computing infrastructure at SLAC and scientific visualization at the Kavli Building's Schwob Computing and Information Center. These resources are helping to answer fundamental questions about the beginning of structure in the universe.

The colloquium takes place at 4:15 p.m. today in Panofsky Auditorium. All are invited to attend. Learn more...

(Director's Column - Dorfan Today)

Civil Construction Begins

(Image - LCLS Construction)
Civil construction for the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) officially began last week. Click here to view more images.

The topology of SLAC is changing. As of last week, LCLS civil construction moved out of the design and planning phase into the implementation phase as a team of earth moving and grading equipment began scraping down the overlook. The familiar lumps and hollows of the landscape are being transformed amid the dust and rumble of heavy machinery flattening a massive swath of land in preparation for the excavation spoils that will be removed as the tunnel is dug. SLAC has officially entered a new and exciting chapter in its history.

In the next few weeks tunneling will begin on the research yard side of the overlook hill. This activity can be observed from the comfort of your desk by logging on to the webcam mounted on building 121 specifically for this purpose (available here). Starting in October, the shape of the overlook hill will change noticeably as LCLS excavation proceeds. When excavation is complete, roughly 180,000 cubic yards of earth will have been removed and deposited at three sites. Two of the sites will be on the overlook, one to the north and one to the south of the LCLS beam path approximately 50 feet below and a third site that is just west of the PEP ring road near IR12. Read more...

LSST Holds Camera Workshop at SLAC


The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST)

Camera specialists from around the country will meet today and Tuesday to continue the development of the world's biggest digital camera. The 3 foot by 9 foot device will be the main instrument on the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST), which is planned to start operations in 2012 in Northern Chile. The telescope will scan the entire night sky every three nights and will be used to study a range of astronomical phenomena from dark matter to near earth objects.

High energy physics community members with an interest in the LSST are invited to today's 9 a.m. session to hear how they might make a contribution.  The agenda is available online.

Safety Firsts

Most people at the lab say that they learn from seeing the number of injuries we have at SLAC every year. Yet there are a few non-SLAC examples that indicate that few people actually learn from daily accidents much more serious than those at SLAC. Can you name one?

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