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In this issue:
A Monster in the Machine
SLAC Today Quiz: Where in the Lab is...
Kids Day Registration Ends July 31
SCCS Rolls Out MySQL

SLAC Today

Friday - July 27, 2007

Steven Lundgren (left) and Kim Cook with their "intricate little monster," a beam collimator rotator recently built by a team effort at SLAC.

A Monster in the Machine

A team of SLAC engineers and machinists recently brought one small component, which may someday be a part of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), from paper to reality. The proposed device under development at SLAC will rotate the cylindrical beam collimators that shave off unwanted portions of the proton beam. It is no bigger than a six-pack of soda and topped with a collection of precision gears. (See a related SLAC Today article here.)

"It's an intricate little monster," SLAC machinist Kim Cook said of the device. "It took a lot of teamwork to transform a 23-pound block of stainless steel into such a complicated device."

The device is a small but important piece of the proposed collimator. When the LHC is up and running, the collimator edges will occasionally be struck by errant protons and stripped of some of their surface metal. When this hopefully rare event happens, the newly built support and gear cluster will rotate the collimator to present an undamaged surface to the beam. Read more...

SLAC Today Quiz: Where in the Lab is...

(Photo - poster)
Can you name the office where this poster recently appeared?  Click on the image for a larger version and to find out if you're right!

Kids Day Registration Ends July 31

(Photo - Kids Day 2006)
Kids Day 2006
(Image courtesy of Diana Rogers.)

Don't forget to sign your kids up for SLAC's annual Kids Day! The 300 available spots are filling up fast, and registration ends next Monday, July 30.

SCCS Rolls Out MySQL

The Scientific Computing and Computing Services (SCCS) Database Group at SLAC recently rolled out a new service to provide central support for MySQL databases across the site. MySQL is open-source database software maintained by a network of people across the world and widely used by industry giants including Google, Yahoo! and eBay. At SLAC, the software primarily provides and manages databases for research projects.

Providing central support for MySQL on-site will benefit SLAC in several ways. MySQL databases, previously scattered throughout the lab, will now have a home in recently installed, dedicated servers with room for future upgrades. This will allow better system administration, backup and security, all performed by dedicated SCCS database administrators. Additionally, a MySQL support group will provide assistance, maintenance and planning for users.

"SCCS created this centralized service so scientists don't have to manage their databases," said Arash Alavi, who was hired in December in part to bring SLAC this service. "It will allow them to focus entirely on their research projects."

For more information about the SCCS MySQL service, check out their website.

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