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In this issue:
Scanning the Microworld: SSRL's New Hard X-ray Microprobe
ILC Newsline: Cost Estimating the ILC Reference Design
Photo Correction
Safety Near Gate 17

SLAC Today

Friday - January 12, 2007

Scanning the Microworld: SSRL's New Hard X-ray Microprobe

SSRL beamline scientist Sam Webb prepares to place a sample into the new hard x-ray microprobe.

Toxins like arsenic occur in soil in many parts of the world, and certain species of ferns are known for their ability to soak up these poisons. But characterizing just how they do it can be a tricky process. Now, thanks to a new microprobe at SSRL's beamline 2-3, unlocking the secrets of how plants collect and store arsenic is getting both easier and more accurate.

Researchers have long used x-rays as a tool for studying environmental contaminants. Microprobes enable researchers to peer into the chemical structure of materials and map out the locations of compounds within a sample, such as where contaminants adhere to grains of soil. Unlike other x-ray techniques that look only at overall compositions of a sample, the microprobe allows a sample to be moved around, creating detailed picture of where compounds lie. As the x-rays scan point by point, an image emerges that shows precisely where each elements of interest resides.

The tools of the trade for x-ray researchers are often collections of instruments rather than a single, monolithic apparatus like a large microscope. The microprobe at beamline 2-3 brings together several commonly used devices, but does so in a way that gives researchers a suite of new capabilities, optimized for conducting environmental research.  Read more...

ILC Newsline: Cost
Estimating the ILC
Reference Design

One of the most important goals of the ILC Reference Design is to understand enough about costs to provide a reliable indication of the project's scale and as importantly, to provide information and tools that will help guide the engineering design phase. It is a formidable challenge to prepare reliable cost estimating for a conceptual design that lacks detailed engineering designs, an agreement for the division of responsibilities and an industrialization plan. Nevertheless, because it is so important to have good cost information as early as possible, we have spent enormous effort over the past year developing costing methodology, gathering costing data, vetting cost estimates and making tradeoffs to optimizes cost to performance. Over the coming months, our design and cost estimates will undergo a series of reviews and revisions. The first of these reviews occurred at SLAC, just before Christmas, where we conducted what was basically an "internal review" of the complete ILC costing. In order to make this first review as realistic and valuable as possible, we invited a group of experienced external reviewers to participate. The external review team spent several days of their valuable time scrutinizing our cost estimates and then giving us some very valuable outside reactions and comments. Read more...

Safety Near Gate 17

Over the past few months, traffic through Gate 17 has increased significantly. This is an area with much pedestrian traffic, especially near SSRL and Building 120.  ES&H and the PSD Safety Office ask drivers to be especially observant in this area, always giving right-of-way to pedestrians, carefully observing the 10 m.p.h. speed limit and obeying all stop signs.

Photo Correction

From left to right: Aundra Richards, Santa Chatterji, Henry Tran, Keith Hodgson and Handly Lee.

The photo that ran in yesterday's edition under the headline "Lab Receives DOE 'Best in Class' Award" was misplaced. The photo (reprinted above) actually shows Acting DOE Site Office Manager Aundra Richards presenting Keith Hodgson with the DOE's Laboratory Accreditation Program (DOE-LAP) certificate, which renews for two years the accreditation for SLAC's dosimeter program. We apologize for the confusion, and will run an article detailing the DOE-LAP certificate in next Tuesday's edition of SLAC Today.

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