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In this issue:
Tracking Extraordinary Particles in the ILC
Science Today: SLAC's ATLAS Team at CERN Gears Up
SLAC Receives Award for Holiday Generosity

SLAC Today

Thursday - February 22, 2007

Tracking Extraordinary Particles in the ILC

(Image - SiD)
In this SiD tracking chip, two KPiX chips are bump-bonded to a sensor. A readout cable digitizes the signal and sends it elsewhere for later analysis.

With the recent release of the Reference Design Report, the International Linear Collider (ILC) is beginning to take shape. As the design progresses, researchers around the world are concocting new ways to detect exotic particles. Here at SLAC, a group of physicists are leading the design effort for the innovative Silicon Detector (SiD), one of four proposed particle hunters for the ILC.

"The ILC requires detectors unlike those of any previous experiment," said Physicist Tim Nelson, a collaborator on the SiD project. "To make a detector with extraordinary capabilities, we're trying really unconventional designs for the tracking system."

Tracking systems help researchers to reconstruct exotic particles based on the showers of ordinary particles into which they decay. The SiD tracker must precisely measure the momenta of charged particles from the curvatures of their paths through a uniform magnetic field, which in turn can reveal the natures of their extraordinary parents.  Read more...

(Daily Column - Science Today)

at CERN Gears Up

(Photo - ATLAS collaborators at CERN)
ATLAS collaborators Charlie Young, Andy Hanushevsky, Ignacio Aracena, Sarah Demers, Ariel Schwartzman and Claus Horn at CERN. Not pictured is Stephen Gowdy.

February 14th marked seven months of official SLAC involvement in the ATLAS experiment. ATLAS is one of several detectors that sits at a future interaction point for proton-proton collisions on CERN's Large Hadron Collider (LHC). The LHC, a 27 kilometer accelerator ring that cuts across the border between France and Switzerland and digs underneath the Jura Mountain Range, is on-track to produce collisions with a center of mass energy of 14 TeV next year. The LHC will claim the energy frontier when it exceeds the 1.9 TeV center of mass energy that is currently being produced by Fermilab's Tevatron.

Physicists trying to understand fundamental particles and their interactions will use the additional energy to investigate gaps in current theories and to probe for new particles and new physics. The 1,900 ATLAS collaborators from 37 countries will keep the five-story sized experiment running while combing data for the Higgs boson, supersymmetry, extra dimensions, mini-black holes and surprises.

In addition to being a Tier 2 computing center, SLAC is currently involved with the pixel detector, the trigger, and commissioning studies. Lab researchers are based at either CERN or SLAC, and can frequently also be found on an airplane crossing the Atlantic. Within a few years the group expects to have something new to contribute to "humanity's understanding of what the universe is made of and the forces that control it," in accordance with SLAC's mission.

SLAC Receives Award for Holiday Generosity

(Image - SHFB Award)
The Second Harvest Food Bank awarded SLAC with a Certificate of Appreciation last week.

Last winter, SLAC collected 1,481 pounds of non-perishable food for the Second Harvest Food Bank. In recognition of this generosity, the Food Bank awarded the lab a Platinum Certificate of Appreciation at their Annual Awards Event, held last week at the Mountain View Center for Performing Arts. Thank to you everyone who helped earn this recognition!

In addition, employee donations helped to fill three vans with coats and blankets to be distributed to the Emergency Housing Consortium Shelter in Santa Clara, and put gifts into the hands of 600 children involved in the Giving Tree Campaign.

Thanks to George Lee and the Linear Café staff, the lab was also able to donate food to Saint Anthony's, where they serve dinners to the under-privileged of our area.

Many thanks to the volunteers who helped with all these efforts and to the SLAC population for giving so generously.

Learn more about the 2006 Giving Drives here.

International Science Grid This Week:
Making the Earth Move

An ambitious group of more than 40 institutions, together called the Southern California Earthquake Center, is building earthquake modeling capabilities to transform seismology into a predictive science similar to weather forecasting.

To bring that vision to life, SCEC has built a set of grid-based scientific workflow tools. A series of simulations based on these tools—TeraShake 1, TeraShake 2, and the most recent CyberShake—began in 2004. They've run on TeraGrid resources across the country and are already yielding significant results. Read more...

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