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In this issue:
PEP-II Prepares to Deliver Higher Luminosity
Profile: O Christmas Tree!
SLAC Rings in a New Seminar Series

SLAC Today

Wednesday - January 3, 2007

PEP-II Prepares to Deliver Higher Luminosity

(Image - Vacuum chamber installation)
Oscar Guerra and Dan Peterswright put the finishing touches on the vacuum chamber installation.

The Accelerator Systems Division has completed a number of upgrades that ready PEP-II to deliver stronger currents and higher luminosity to the BaBar detector this year. In one of the projects, Mechanical Fabrication Department staff replaced five vacuum chambers near the interaction region where electrons and positrons collide in the detector. The new chambers will allow higher beam current, produce less outgassing, and undergo less movement as they warm up during operation.

With the upgrades in place, the PEP team expects not only to increase luminosity significantly, but also to reduce background radiation in the detector and make the machine more stable and efficient to operate. Congratulations to all involved on a job well done. See more images here.

(Weekly Column - Profile)

O Christmas Tree

(Photo - Ornament)
Like many particle physicists, JoAnne Hewett can trace the course of her career through her scientific publications. But for a more colorful retrospective of her work, the SLAC theorist simply decorates her Christmas tree.

About 20 years ago, Hewett, a graduate student at the time, bought a totem-pole keychain while visiting a collaborator in Vancouver. Shortly after, a sort of eureka moment struck: "I thought, hey, I could use this as a Christmas ornament," she says.

Since then, Hewett has made a habit of collecting tree trinkets whenever she travels to conferences, workshops, committee meetings, and the like. "I look for something that says to me, ahh, this is that place," she says.

Indeed, Hewett can tell you with enviable recall the place—as well as the year and event—each ornament represents. The hand-painted egg? Budapest, 1991, Beyond the Standard Model workshop. The cactus? Tucson, 2003, supersymmetry conference. The glass Santa in a gondola? Trieste, 2006, presentation of LHC lectures.  Read more...

SLAC Rings in a
New Seminar Series

As the new year begins at SLAC, so too does a new seminar series. Every other week, the Advanced Instrumentation Seminars (AIS) will feature a presentation about research-related technology and instrumentation. The goal of the AIS is to bring together people from particle physics, astrophysics, accelerator physics, photon science, and other areas to share ideas about instrumentation. "It's an opportunity to learn what other people are doing and to see how they are solving problems," says Rasmus Ischebeck, one of the series organizers.

The AIS will emphasize four general areas: detector technologies, detector applications, readout electronics, and beam instrumentation. Helmuth Spieler of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory will kick off the series on January 10 with a talk about developing detector arrays for future cosmic microwave background experiments. The seminars will be held on every third Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. in the 3rd floor conference room of the Kavli Building, and are open to all.

Personnel who have an interest in presenting at AIS should contact Ischebeck or one of the other seminar organizers: Hiroyasu Tajima, Niels van Bakel and Tim Nelson.

To join the AIS mailing list or to access additional information about the seminar series, including a schedule of upcoming presentations, visit the AIS website.

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