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In this issue:
Rare Minerals Illuminate 17,000-year Old Questions
Science Today: New Release of Lucretia Beam Dynamics Simulation Software
Toohig Fellowships in Accelerator Science
Photo: LCLS Walls Begin to Take Shape
Geant4 Workshop Comes to SLAC

SLAC Today

Thursday - March 15, 2007

Rare Minerals Illuminate 17,000-year Old Questions

(Image - Cave Painting)
The Great Bull of Lascaux.

Scientists learned it straight from the bull's muzzle: cave painting shows evidence of ancient trade. In collaboration with French museums and research facilities, Stanford researchers have found evidence of scarce manganese oxide mineral exchange between prehistoric peoples of the French Pyrenees. The results of their study, concerning the mineral composition of the 17,000-year old "Great Bull of Lascaux" lithograph in Dordogne, France, were published in the November 2006 edition of the 13th International Conference on X-Ray Absorption Fine Structure.

"This cave painting is among the world's oldest and most exquisite," said collaborator and Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory (SSRL) researcher and Faculty Chair Gordon Brown. "Archeologists have been concerned about the interpretation of this rock art and its pigments since it was discovered." Read more...

(Daily Column - Science Today)

New Release of Lucretia Beam Dynamics Simulation Software


Results of a simulation of the SLAC Sub-Picosecond Photon Source (SPPS) performed with Lucretia.

On February 13, The SLAC International Linear Collider (ILC) Division released a new version of the Lucretia beam dynamics simulation package. In addition to a few bugfixes, the latest version has several new features: improvements to its tools for performing beamline layouts, so that users can now specify the coordinates of the end of a beamline rather than the beginning; tools for performing simple, fast estimates of the effect of synchrotron radiation on the beam parameters; and more convenient and effective tools for calculating the properties of a beam or a beamline.

Lucretia is a Matlab-based simulation package for the study of single-pass electron beamlines such as linacs, bunch compressors, and final-focus systems. It combines the power of Matlab's mathematics, graphics, and scripting capabilities with core accelerator physics tools designed for the study of advanced electron accelerators such as the ILC. For more information see the Lucretia webpage.

Toohig Fellowships in Accelerator Science

Have a recent Ph.D. and are wondering what's next? Interested in particle accelerators—and maybe have some experience in the field? Consider applying for a Toohig fellowship! These two-year fellowships are named in honor of the late Tim Toohig, an accelerator physicist and Jesuit priest. They were created for studies and activities concerning the LHC, soon to be commissioned at CERN, and are funded through LARP, the U.S. LHC Accelerator Research Program. For details, visit www.toohigfellowship.org or read the announcement. This is a prime opportunity for a recent Ph.D. to get involved with one of the most exciting particle accelerators being built. Please contact Uli Wienands with questions.

Photo: LCLS Walls
Begin to Take Shape

(Photo - crane)
Click on image for larger version.

This week, crews working on the Near Experimental Hall (NEH) for the Linac Coherent Light Source are using this 183 foot-tall Liebherr crane, visible from all over SLAC and off site, to lower rebar and wall form panels in to place. The crane will return in a couple of weeks after the concrete walls for the NEH have been poured to remove the wall panels.

Geant4 Workshop Comes to SLAC


A Geant4 workshop held at Jefferson Lab last May was well attended by professionals and students from nuclear and high-energy physics, as well as from industry and healthcare.

A four-day hands-on tutorial for the Geant4 simulation toolkit will take place at SLAC May 14 through 18.

Geant4, which simulates the passage of particles through matter, was originally designed to help understand High Energy Physics detectors. More recently, the software has also been applied to space and medical science.

"SLAC and CERN are the two biggest groups helping to develop this software," said SLAC Software Developer Joseph Perl, who helped develop Geant4. "Our publications have been among the top cited papers in the past few years, and we're excited to share our work with the larger SLAC community."

The workshop lectures will cover all aspects of Geant4 from basic installation through advanced topics and will be interspersed with examples that build a progressively more complex application extendable to real use. All are invited to attend, whether or not they already have familiarity with Geant4.

"But sign up soon," said Perl. "Similar workshops have filled up in the first 48 hours, and we expect this one to do the same."

Registration for the workshop opens today. Learn more and register here.

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