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In this issue:
ANITA Spreads Her Wings
Safety Today: Safety Training Updates
Road Delays and Closures Today
Richard Lee Lecture
Safety Seconds

SLAC Today

Tuesday - January 9, 2007

ANITA Spreads Her Wings

A helium balloon carrying ANITA lifted off from Antarctica last December.
(Click on image for larger version.)

A one-time visitor to SLAC, the Antarctic Impulsive Transient Antenna (ANITA), recently took to the frigid skies over Antarctica to begin a two-month mission looking for cosmic ray neutrinos.

On December 14, scientists tethered the 20-foot-tall probe to a high-altitude helium balloon and released it into the atmosphere. ANITA is now circling the south polar continent at an altitude of more than 100,000 feet—three times as high as a passenger jet. The probe's array of antennas is tuned to scan for the radio signals produced when cosmic rays neutrinos strike the Antarctic ice.

Before traveling to Antarctica, ANITA first got its bearings during calibration tests at SLAC. In early June of 2006, a team of collaborators tuned the antennas with a series of experiments conducted in End Station A using a 10-ton block of ice to simulate the Antarctic environment. Researchers then blasted the ice with pulses of electrons from the linac, producing a cascade of Cherenkov radiation, which included both radio waves and visible light.

(Column - Safety Today)

Safety Training Updates

(Photo - Safety Training)
Teacher Matt Padilla (SSRL) discusses hazard communications with Jerry Minister.

If the New Year brings renewed promises to replace cookies with rice cakes, there's no better time to reaffirm commitments to safety training. 

Some refresher safety classes are required by SLAC policy, and many, including radiation refresher training, are also required by law. Increasingly, web-based re-training and re-certification classes are being offered, so attending a class may be as easy as staying put!

In addition, regular classroom instruction is offered in Building 3 for classes including Basic Crane and Rigging and CPR recertification. A few computer-based classes are also available at satellite stations around the SLAC campus for classes that aren't yet online.

Re-training and re-certification cycles and classes vary among training topics. To find out which courses require updating, please check the ES&H training course catalog.

Employees with comments or suggestions about staff training are encouraged to fill out a training evaluation survey.

Road Delays and Closures Today

Drivers may experience slight delays along Loop Road today as construction workers paint the curbs and new crosswalks between the Guest House and Building 50. In addition, the cafeteria parking area will be closed as crews paint a new disabled parking area.

In addition, the south side of Sector 19 will be closed this morning from about 8:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. to allow a crane and heavy equipment to move through. Thank you for your patience as this work is completed.

Richard Lee Lecture

Theoretical physicist Richard Lee of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory will present a talk this afternoon on proposed experiments that use free electron lasers (FELs) to study high-energy-density matter. The presentation will take place in the Kavli Auditorium at 1:00 pm.

Safety Seconds

In yesterday's edition, I noted that polonium, which has been in the news lately, is an extraordinarily fierce emitter of radiation. It may be in the news less frequently, but smoking is another form of radiation exposure. Smoking one pack of cigarettes per day delivers between 3,000 mrem and 20,000 mrem to a smoker's lungs each year, and a lesser dose to those around them. As a reference, most SLAC employees are limited to a maximum work-related dose of 100 mrem per year.

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