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In this issue:
All Hands Meeting Today
Profile: SLAC's Labor Pool Gets the Job Done
Panofsky Fellow Helps Win 2007 Gruber Cosmology Prize

SLAC Today

Wednesday - July 18, 2007

(Image - Jonathan Dorfan)

All Hands Meeting Today

Please join me for today's All Hands Meeting. After each session there will be time for light refreshments and conversation with the Directorate, Bob McCallum and Kyle Turner.

7:00 - 8:00 a.m.     Owl Shift

8:30 - 9:30 a.m.     Last names starting A-G

1:30 - 2:30 p.m.     Last names starting H-P

3:00 - 4:00 p.m.     Last names starting Q-Z and swing shift


All talks will take place in Panofsky Auditorium.
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(Weekly Column - Profile)

SLAC's Labor Pool
Gets the Job Done

(Image -Labor Pool)
SLAC's labor pool (from left): Alvaro Regalado, Anthony Renteria, Ronald Pacheco and Roosevelt Robinson. (Click on image for larger version.)

Over his 30-year stint as a SLAC employee, Roosevelt Robinson has seen SLAC transformed through the construction of the two-mile-long linear accelerator as well as the current Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) project. But what hasn't changed is Robinson's job helping to move items around the site and lending a helping hand wherever it is needed.

"SLAC has grown and I've witnessed the changes," Robinson said in an easy southern accent. "But as it has changed, we've continued to provide a useful service."

Robinson is a member of SLAC's four-person labor pool. Their jobs range from moving computers and boxes to setting up parties and conferences. Occasionally forklifts are needed to complete a job, but the team typically sticks to objects that can be moved by hand. Though their tasks vary from day to day, the unit always stays busy.

"The job is challenging but rewarding," said Anthony Renteria who also works in the labor pool. "You get to work with and meet a lot of great people."

If computers, tables or other objects need to be relocated or conferences need to be set up, Renteria, Robinson, Ron Pacheco and Alvaro Regalado are the men for the job. Just call x8901 to have the request routed to the group. It will be scheduled based on priority and the order received.

"Feel free to call with any miscellaneous jobs," said Robinson. "We'll be there with a friendly smile and helping hands. And if we don't respond right away, it's because we're hard at work already. But don't worry, we'll get the job done."

Panofsky Fellow Helps Win 2007 Gruber Cosmology Prize

(Photo - Saurabh Jha)It was a crazy result that was hard to accept. Yet, two teams, racing neck and neck, simultaneously came to the same conclusion. And because of their work we’ve come to realize that most of the universe is dark energy. As a result, the universe is likely to just keep expanding, faster and faster.

This year's Gruber Cosmology Prize has been awarded to Brian Schmidt and his High-z Supernova Search team—which includes the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology's Saurabh Jha—and Saul Perlmutter and his Supernova Cosmology Project. The two groups will receive the prize for their discovery that the expansion of the Universe is accelerating.

The two teams expected to find that the universe would either expand then contract, or it would continue to expand then slow down over the millennia. But to find out, they needed to be able to measure the speed at which distant objects were traveling away from us—now and at various times in the distant past. And to do this they needed standardized light sources—very bright ones that would be visible to Earth-based telescopes despite being billions of light years away and billions of years old.

The standard light sources they used were exploding stars—in particular Type Ia supernovae. But finding them wasn't easy. Then the analyses over the results turned up very surprising results. "The data wasn't behaving as we thought it would," said Schmidt. "There was a lot of nervous laughter," said Perlmutter. For both teams it was not what they were expecting. For months they both tried to figure out where they had gone wrong, searching for any tiny source of error. But the data was right. The accepted model of the universe was wrong.

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