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In this issue:
SLAC to Interpret ATLAS Data as Tier 2 Computing Center
Profile: There's No Place Like Dome
Lightsource Collaborators Meet in France
Science Bowl Photos Now Available Online

SLAC Today

Wednesday - February 21, 2007

SLAC to Interpret ATLAS Data as Tier 2 Computing Center

SLAC's ATLAS team includes (left to right): Wei Yang, Booker Bense, Charles Boeheim, Leonard Moss, John Bartelt, Randal Melen. Not pictured are Richard Mount and Lance Nakata.

Last summer, SLAC officially joined the collaboration working on ATLAS (A Toroidal LHC ApparatuS), one of the detectors being built for the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). Recently named a Tier 2 Computing Center, the lab now takes on an integral role in the global effort to analyze the onslaught of data expected from ATLAS once the LHC comes online later this year.

"This is the most exciting high energy physics you can do at this time," said Richard Mount, director of Scientific Computing and Computing Services and principal investigator of the lab's Tier 2 project. "The computing challenge is to thoroughly and rapidly analyze huge amounts of data. SLAC will try hard to play a major role in the success of ATLAS physics analysis."

SLAC is one of the few dozen Tier 2 institutions around the world and one of only five in the U.S. At the moment, the main role of a Tier 2 institution is to run simulations. Once the LHC turns on, the lab's role will expand to interpreting the data to glean a deeper understanding of physics at high energies.  Read more...

(Weekly Column - Profile)

There's No Place
Like Dome

(Photo - Jennifer Carson)
Jennifer Carson stands outside one of her two geodesic domes. (Click on image for another view.)

Imagine lying in bed, staring at dozens of stars through peek-a-boo windows in your personal observatory. It's what GLAST Physicist Jennifer Carson does every night in her skylit geodesic dome home, where a whinnying horse makes the only noise she hears.

"I've never lived anywhere dark enough to see so many stars," Carson said. "It's incredibly peaceful."

Carson snatched her hideaway last year after seeing a newspaper ad for the property in the "Skylonda" area of Woodside. She rents two of the three domes that a Stanford Professor designed and his students helped build on eight acres of land.

A deck, sheltered by an umbrella of Redwoods and Douglas Firs, connects the dome where she sleeps to the one where she cooks.  Each stucco dome has a bathroom, a high ceiling, and lots of space. The 30-year-old buildings were designed to have low environmental impacts, and with skylights peppered on the wooden interiors, it's hard not to feel connected with nature.

"It's a lot like living outside. Its appeal is in its serenity," she said. Carson relaxes by stargazing, hiking nearby, and gardening in her yard—when it doesn't require fending off foraging deer from the neighboring woods.

The domes are a dream for nature lovers, but others will have to wait their turn. "I love it here," Carson said. "I'll be here for a while."

Lightsource
Communicators
Meet in France

(Image - LSO Communicators)
A multinational collaboration of communication officers, including SLAC Photon Science Communicator Brad Plummer, met February 8 and 9 at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility in Grenoble, France. Members of the collaboration met under the aegis of Lightsources.org, an organization devoted to centralizing and distributing news and information from lightsource facilities around the world.

Collaborators discussed ways to strengthen participation within the growing collaboration, which currently includes about half of the world's 50+ synchrotron and free-electron laser laboratories. Last year the organization distributed more than 170 press releases covering a variety of topics including physics, chemistry, biology and materials science. About 60,000 visitors a month currently visit the website.

Sign up for Lightsources.org's news releases and science highlights here.

Science Bowl Photos
Now Available Online

(Photo - Science Bowl winners)
The 2007 SLAC Science Bowl winners.

Whether or not you attended this year's DOE Regional Science Bowl, you can relive the experience by browsing hundreds of photos of the event. Thanks to SLAC Photographer Diana Rogers, the photos are now online and are accessible from the Science Bowl website.

Once again, thank you to this year's Science Bowl sponsors and supporters: Sun Microsystems, Cisco Systems, Robert Half International, Google, The Classical Archives and Stanford University.

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