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In this issue:
BaBar Submits 300th Paper
Puddles Near Café A Result of Aging Drainage Pipes
ILC NewsLine: Getting the Interaction Point Right

SLAC Today

Friday - August 17, 2007

BaBar Submits 300th Paper

The BaBar collaboration is making the most of its elephantine data set. The collaboration submitted its 300th paper for publication, in Physical Review Letters, last week.

The rate of publication is prodigious. Just three summers ago, BaBarians published their 100th paper. The 300th paper concerns the search for a very rare decay process where a B meson turns into a state containing K, tau and mu particles. It's possible this decay could break the bounds of the Standard Model, but the results reported in this paper found no evidence for that.

BaBar researchers have been busy this summer, presenting nearly 50 new measurements at the Lepton-Photon conference going on this week in Daegu, Korea and at the European Physical Society conference held in July in Manchester, England. Six plenary talks in Korea focused on results from BaBar and Japan's counterpart experiment, Belle. Some of the conference results included data from the current PEP-II/BaBar run.

Puddles Near Café
A Result of Aging Drainage Pipes

One of the two sink holes scheduled for repair in the coming weeks.
(Photo courtesy of George Kuraitis.)

Buried just below ground, crisscrossing the SLAC site, there is a network pipes that serves as a water drainage system. When operating correctly, the system is barely noticeable by people walking, biking or playing soccer above. But when damaged or obstructed, sidewalks can flood, puddles can fill, and sinkholes can form.

"The drainage system is over 40-years-old," said George Kuraitis, a Facilities Coordinator in the Conventional and Experimental Facilities (CEF) Department. "And it is going to need some work from time to time."

Last winter, two sink holes formed near the main quad—both roughly a foot across and two feet deep. The pipe responsible is scheduled for repairs in the coming weeks.

Both sink holes were the result of the same problem: the drainage pipe no longer connected to the catch basin at the south east corner of the Kavli Building's patio. One sink hole formed near the catch basin from the gathering water. The second formed in the grassy area just above SLAC's entrance, where water from the catch basin flows. Orange cones and yellow tape now mark the sites where temporary fixes were administered.

While investigating the catch basin, Kuraitis took the opportunity to evaluate the rest of the drainage system within the main quad. When the pipe was flushed and examined, a blockage was found about 15 feet up the line, and a broken connection was found about 100 feet farther on. Once repairs begin, each site will be finished within a month, hopefully keeping sidewalks and fields frequented by SLAC soccer enthusiasts dry during the next rainy season.

"This is just the first step towards updating SLAC's drainage system," said Kuraitis. "We're doing everything we can to keep the grounds as pleasant as possible."

Getting the
Interaction Point Right

A model of displacements within an ILC detector.

Like the rest of society, the ILC community is split into larks (early to bed, early to rise) and owls (working late, sleeping late), though scientists seem to often fall into the owl category. Workshop organizer Andrei Seryi sure is an owl. Nevertheless he is up at 5 and in the lab at 6 a.m. many days per week these weeks, holding phone meetings with the rest of the world. Some hundred specialists are already extremely busy preparing for the ILC interaction region engineering design workshop, or IRENG07, at SLAC in September. Their goal: to have all the facts together to take important decisions for the ILC's interaction region.

Getting everybody together at reasonable times means that the Americans have to rise early, the Asians have to stay up late, while the Europeans can sip a cup of afternoon coffee during the meeting. This timing has become standard procedure for ILC phone conferences and video meetings, though schedules rotate sometimes. Four different working groups for IRENG07 have formed and meet regularly. They discuss complicated issues with far-reaching consequences: the push-pull concept, adopted early this year as reference design, is a big challenge for detector and cavern design.

"We have to study carefully all the integration aspects of the interaction region," says Seryi. "How can we make the push-pull operation reliable and fast and not disturb the detector, especially its internal alignment? We are looking for answers to these questions." The workgroups feature many members who already have a lot of experience in planning and realizing other projects like LHC detectors and caverns, TESLA or XFEL. They know about pitfalls nobody would think of, have experience with cranes and moving and lowering huge slices of detectors far underground. Their expertise is spread over the different workgroups A (overall detector design, assembly, detector moving, shielding), B (IR magnets design and cryogenics system design), C (conventional construction of IR hall and external systems) and D (accelerator and particle physics requirements).
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