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In this issue:
SLAC Celebrates Kids Day
Dorfan Today: Stay Tuned
SLAC Bids Farewell to SULI Students
First ATLAS Conference Begins Today at SLAC
Safety Firsts

SLAC Today

Monday - August 20, 2007

SLAC Celebrates Kids Day

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

This morning at 8:00 a.m., 250 children descended on SLAC for Kids Day '07.

"The site will be pleasantly overrun with kids in green t-shirts and their escorts all day long," said Kids Day Organizer Stephanie Carlson. "It should be exciting, both for the kids and for the staff."

The children, each sponsored by a SLAC employee or user, will spend the day at a series of workshops ranging from astrophysics to magnetics, from cryogenics to metrology. Kids Day will also include science talks by Nobel Laureate Martin Perl and Stardust researcher Sean Brennan.

"It's an exciting day for all these kids," said Carlson. "Many thanks to all the SLAC volunteers who made
today possible."

(Director's Column - Dorfan Today)

Jonathan is currently away from the lab, celebrating his daughter's wedding. Dorfan Today will return next week.

SLAC Bids Farewell to SULI Students
Josh Lande Receives
Ernest Coleman Award


The 2007 SULI group at last Friday's barbecue. (Image courtesy of Diana Rogers. Click on image for larger version. More photos are online.)

They came, they saw, they conquered physics experiments. This year's Summer Undergraduate Laboratory Internship (SULI) program ended last week for many of the students, culminating in two days of presentations on their work and a barbecue Friday afternoon. Though each contributed to SLAC experiments, one student stood out to both SLAC physicists and his SULI peers.

Josh Lande, a senior in physics at Marlboro College, is this year's recipient of the Ernest Coleman Award for Scholarship and Citizenship. The award, named after one of the first directors of the SULI program's predecessor, is nominated by the summer interns themselves. The recipient is chosen based not only on scientific achievement, but also on the support and help given to other interns. And Lande is no exception.

"He's been fantastic," beamed SLAC beamline scientist Sam Webb, who mentored Lande's summer project. "He's accomplished twice as much as we expected."

During his eight week project, Lande developed a software program to calibrate and analyze x-ray diffraction in beamlines at the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory (SSRL). According to Webb, scientists can start using Lande's program at SSRL right away.

Although his software is impressive, the award is based on more than scientific achievement. Prior to this summer, Lande has taken five trips totaling 14 weeks to help rebuild several areas along the Gulf Coast in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. But perhaps more revealing are the comments from other SULI students. "Outgoing, friendly, helpful and engaging," are just a few of the adjectives used to describe Lande.

Overall, the summer has been a great success for SLAC, all of the SULI interns, and especially for Lande.

"The project had lots of challenges, and I seem to have overcome them all," said Lande. "It has been a very rewarding summer."

First ATLAS Conference Begins Today at SLAC


A simulated event of the collision of two protons in the ATLAS Experiment. (Image courtesy of CERN)

The detector for the A Toroidal LHC ApparatuS (ATLAS) experiment, part of the Large Hadron Collider nearing completion at CERN, contains over 1,800 miles of cables, three complex detectors, and weighs over 15,000,000 pounds. The computer software that analyzes the annual 3,200 Terabytes—3,200,000,000 Megabytes—of raw recorded data is about 5,000,000 lines long. To help scientists learn how to fully utilize this staggering level of data, SLAC is hosting the First ATLAS Physics Workshop of the Americas this week.

Although there have been previous North American physics workshops, this one made a point to include South American colleagues.

As a Department of Energy laboratory, SLAC considers supporting the user community and fostering collaboration to be part of its job, said Charlie Young, one of the leaders of SLAC's ATLAS team.

"The workshop helps people who feel they need support to get going on analysis," Young continued. "Attendees are mainly students and young postdocs from North and South America, although anyone is welcome to come."

The four day conference includes a review of the physics at the new energy frontier and a detailed explanation of how every piece of the detector works. The conference also ensures everyone is aware of the calibrations needed before data can be used for actual analysis. In addition, there will be tutorials on using the ATLAS software and harnessing all the power from the GRID computer network.

"You have to understand the detector's performance before you can look for new physics," said Young. "This workshop will help everyone be ready when the data comes in."

Safety Firsts

At SLAC, we have about two injuries a month, which translates to a Total Recordable Cases (TRC) rate of 1.3 for FY07. Most of these injuries are relatively "minor"—slips, trips, falls and material handling injuries (like sprains). As hard as we all work to be careful, our injury rate remains pretty flat, raising the question, "Is this about as low an injury rate as we can expect?"

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