SLAC Today is available online at:
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In this issue:
A Bunch of Electron Chicanery
Dorfan Today: The Importance of Review and Policy Committees
Why All the Dust at Sand Hill and 280?
Safety First

SLAC Today

Monday - November 20, 2006

The first bunch compressor for the LCLS, being installed during the current shutdown. This quadrupole magnet is situated on the downstream end of the bunch compressor nearest the electron gun. (Click on image for larger version.)

A Bunch of Electron Chicanery

As the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) takes shape over the next few years, one of the key issues occupying the minds of physicists is controlling the size and shape of the electron pulses used to generate the x-ray laser light.

Optimal operation of the LCLS will require achieving pulses of electrons that are tightly bunched. This will both ensure that the machine operates the way it was designed and give researchers a means of taking data on an extremely short timescale.

During the current shutdown, technicians have been busy installing the first of two hardware systems onto SLAC's linac that will shorten the length of the electron bunches. Called "bunch compressors" or "magnet chicanes," these devices consist of a series of magnets and drift tubes that divert the electrons flowing through the linac along a bent path that travels out away from the accelerator a short distance and then back.  Read more...

(Director's Column - Dorfan Today)


Jerusalem, Israel
On Dec 1 and 2, 2006, the SLAC Policy Committee (SPC) convenes for its semiannual meeting. Fifteen preeminent professionals, drawn from around the world, with expertise in photon science, particle physics, particle astrophysics, accelerator science, ES&H and management will assess our recent performance and future plans. The SPC is Stanford University's oversight committee and hence their advice and evaluation are made orally to Provost Etchemendy and Vice-Provost Arvin at the close of the meeting and soon thereafter in a written report to President Hennessy. But in doing so, the SPC provides us at SLAC with invaluable guidance and feedback on all aspects of SLAC operations and future planning. External peer review is a crucial part of maintaining excellence and we are extremely fortunate to have people of the caliber of our SPC generously giving time from their very busy schedules to visit us twice a year. Meetings of this kind also serve to foster long-lasting personal relationships that enhance our scientific vitality and often spawn collaboration. The meetings are a forum for exchanging ideas, which provides an opportunity for the SPC members to take back to their institutions new ideas, techniques and lessons learned.
Read more...

Why All the Dust at
Sand Hill and 280?

(Photo - new hotel)
A hotel and several office buildings are currently under construction at the intersection of Sand Hill Road and I-280. Above is an artist's conception of the hotel and restaurant. (Click on image to see larger version of the hotel and restaurant as well as an aerial view of the new complex.)

What's the bustle near Sand Hill Road and I-280? Crews are grading the 21-acre Stanford lot to prep it for the construction of a 120-room Rosewood hotel as well as four office buildings totaling 100,000 square feet.

The planned low-rise buildings have been designed to blend in with the surrounding landscape, and the area is separated from SLAC by existing office buildings, so chances are you won't hear much of the work. If you drive past the lot regularly, you'll be able to see the hotel slowly take form; construction is expected to be completed by Fall 2008.

Safety Firsts

SLAC's injury rate goal from the Department of Energy is less than one injury for every one hundred people over the course of a year. What are the implications of this for an individual?

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