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In this issue:
Pass the Salad—and a Piece of History
Safety Today: Open Enrollment Ends Tomorrow
Limited Parking in Lot C Tomorrow
FOLA Offers Annual SLAC Logowear Sale
Safety Seconds

SLAC Today

Tuesday - November 14, 2006

Pass the Salad—and a Piece of History

The only remaining piece of the Princeton-Stanford Electron-Electron Collider is a stainless steel bowl that served as a spare part. The bowl's twin is visible at the intersection of the two storage rings, where it formed part of the vacuum chamber in the machine's collision region. (Image courtesy of Stanford University. Click on image for larger version.)

For years, whenever former SLAC director Burton Richter and his wife needed to serve a salad, they pulled out their large, stainless steel bowl. But when their recent move to a smaller residence prompted them to thin out their belongings, they decided it was time for the salad bowl to go—and Richter thought the perfect place for it was SLAC.

That's because the bowl isn’t technically a salad bowl at all, but the last remnant of the first colliding-beam machine ever built, the Princeton-Stanford Electron-Electron Collider. The machine, designed by Richter and his colleagues, forever changed the way particle physicists do particle physics.

In the early years of accelerator-based research, fixed-target machines, which fire a single beam of accelerated particles at a stationary target, were standard technology. 

But in the mid-1950s, Richter and a group of Stanford and Princeton collaborators led by Princeton's G. K. O'Neill became interested in developing a new machine that would use two particle beams instead of one. The beams would be made to collide into each other as they circled in opposite directions in separate, intersecting storage rings. In 1958, the group secured funds to build such a collider at Stanford's High Energy Physics Laboratory, and with that, says Richter, "we started off to revolutionize the world." Read more...

(Column - Safety Today)

Open Enrollment
Ends Tomorrow

Open Enrollment, the time in which Stanford employees can enroll, review, or change their health and life benefits, comes to a close tomorrow. For anyone who hasn't yet updated their benefits elections, now is the time!

The 2007 benefits offerings are different from the 2006 offerings, so all employees are encouraged to explore their options. Most notably, Stanford will no longer offer medical coverage through Only@Stanford, the 3-Choice Medical Plan or Lumenos. These plans will be replaced with a Blue Shield PPO and a Blue Shield High-Deductible PPO. In addition, Express Scripts will terminate and prescription drugs will be covered directly through the medical plans.

Log onto BenefitSU to browse tailored information on each of the plans. The website also presents other important information, including changes to domestic partner eligibility and changes in the costs of various medical plans. Employees can also view a PowerPoint presentation listing this year's changes here.

The benefit elections on file as of midnight on Wednesday will stay in effect until the end of the 2007 calendar year, unless a major life event (for example, a birth, a death or a divorce) requires a mid-year change.

Employees who choose not to go through the enrollment process this year will have the same benefit plans, covering the same dependents, as they have now. Their monthly contribution will be adjusted to reflect 2007 costs.

Limited Parking in Lot C

Due to the Guest House renaming ceremony, Parking Lot C will be closed until 12:30 p.m. tomorrow. Learn more...

FOLA Offers Annual
SLAC Logowear Sale

(Photo - Logowear)
Kingston Chan shows off his SLAC logowear.
(Click on image for larger version.)

Beginning this week, the Friends of the Linear Accelerator (FOLA) will take orders for Lands' End items embroidered with SLAC and LCLS logos. This annual sale offers everything from duffel bags to winter jackets.

The sale will take place in the lobby of the Guest House every lunch hour (Noon – 1:00 p.m.) starting on Thursday, November 16th, and continuing through Tuesday, November 21st.

Employee volunteers will be on-hand to guide shoppers through the latest Lands' End catalog and help place orders. All logowear will arrive in early December, in plenty of time for the holidays.

For more information, contact Daphne Mitchell at x5377 or

Safety Seconds

In yesterday's edition, I wrote that the crash of the Concorde airliner in 2000 was entirely preventable. In June of 1979, an identical problem occurred: a tire exploded, tearing a large hole in the wing and allowing fuel to pour from the plane. Miraculously, in 1979 the fuel did not ignite. No corrective action for this and other similar incidents was ever taken.

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