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In this issue:
Postcard from the LAT
Dorfan Today: SSRL Resumes Operations
NOVA to Feature GLAST
Change a Light Campaign Ends Tomorrow
Safety First

SLAC Today

Monday - October 30, 2006

(Image - Arizona postcard)

Postcard from the LAT

By the time the Large Area Telescope (LAT) begins orbiting the earth next fall, it will already be a seasoned traveler. Between its birth at SLAC and its launch into space from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the instrument will have logged thousands of land miles, crossing the country three times as scientists and engineers prepare it for its mission.

The LAT has already finished two legs of that land journey, and is currently residing in a clean room facility at General Dynamics in Gilbert, Arizona, where the Gamma Ray Large Area Space Telescope (GLAST) observatory is being assembled. The LAT is the primary component of GLAST, an observatory that will detect gamma rays in space. GLAST's mission is to probe the nature of dark matter, the collapse of massive stars, and radiation from massive black holes.  Read more...

(Director's Column - Dorfan Today)

SSRL Resumes Operations

Today marks the return to operations for the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory (SSRL) as SPEAR3 begins accepting users for the 2007 experimental run. This year's run promises to be as exciting as ever, with a series of upgrades installed over the last 2 months which are designed to bring us closer to continuous operation of SPEAR3 at its full design current of 500 mA.

More than 2,000 scientists from around the globe are involved in research at SPEAR3. Their research encompasses a broad spectrum of topics in the physical and life sciences, with physics, chemistry, biology, environmental and medical science as main areas of focus. This research is carried out using SPEAR3's eleven x-ray beamlines. Each beamline can provide x-rays to about three stations (hutches), where the researchers place their specially-prepared material samples to analyze their structure. The highly talented SSRL staff help the researchers configure the beamline station that is best matched to the type of x-ray analysis needed for their experiment, and provide scientific and technical support. This year, about one thousand distinct experiments will be conducted at SPEAR3, which amounts to about five experimental start-ups per day.  Read more...

Change a Light Campaign Ends Tomorrow

There are just two days left in the Change a Light campaign. To date, the Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science has achieved 90% of its total goal of 2,744 pledges. But we're not there yet! Visit the Change a Light website and pledge to exchange your incandescent bulbs for compact fluorescent bulbs on behalf of the DOE Office of Science.

NOVA to Feature GLAST

The Public Broadcasting Station (PBS) will show NOVA's "Monster of the Milky Way" tomorrow evening at 8 p.m. The show focuses on the black hole at the center of our Galaxy and features interviews with SLAC researchers working on the Gamma-ray Large Area Space Telescope (GLAST) project. More information is available at the NOVA website.

Safety Firsts

Commercial airline pilots have to adhere to "sterile cockpit" rules to prevent accidents. It seems unlikely that this term refers to liberal disinfectant usage. Do you know what it means?

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