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In this issue:
When Speeding Bullets Seem Slow
Stanford Offers New "Quit Tobacco" Program
SCCS Help Desk Moves

SLAC Today

Friday - August 31, 2007

(Top left) A mathematical depiction of the outermost electron in a carbon dioxide atom. Additional frames show a simulation of what happens to the atom, over the course of 120 attoseconds, when an electron is ejected by a strong laser pulse and then recollides with its parent ion.

When Speeding Bullets Seem Slow

Science at SLAC is changing. It's an evolution driven by new tools and techniques—advances in laser science are enabling researchers to peer deeper than ever before into the world of ultra fast phenomena. In the August 9 edition of the journal Science, SLAC's director of Photon Ultrafast Laser Science and Engineering (PULSE) Center, Philip Bucksbaum, describes the future of this new, ultra fast or "attosecond" science.

An attosecond may seem like an impossibly brief sliver of time—one attosecond is as short, compared to a full second, as one second is short compared to the age of the entire universe (about 14 billion years, or 400 quadrillion seconds). But within a few tens or hundreds of attoseconds, many processes occur that are fundamental to the world we live in. Metals, for example, are reflective because of the attosecond response of their electrons to light. Electrons also rearrange within atoms in a few attoseconds, motions that ultimately form the basis of all chemistry.  Read more...

Stanford Offers New "Quit Tobacco" Program

If you smoke, now is a good time to quit.

Stanford Benefits has partnered with the Health Improvement Program (HIP) to introduce the Quit Tobacco Program. This program is aimed at providing faculty and staff with a number of ways to quit using tobacco.

Starting September 1, free education and counseling support will be provided by HIP. Three options are available: one-on-one sessions, group counseling sessions and a web-based program. As part of the program, Stanford Benefits will provide participants with a free supply of either nicotine patches or gum to aid progress.

In addition, Stanford's medical plans offer various programs, workshops, support groups and access to over-the-counter and prescription medication to their members—all aimed at helping members quit tobacco use. Individuals enrolled in a Stanford medical plan are encouraged to use the program that best fits their needs. Check with your medical plan for details and program costs.

More information will be sent to employees from their medical plans. Details of Stanford's Quit Tobacco Program will also be available starting September 1 on the Stanford Benefits website under "BenefitSU News."

SCCS Help Desk Moves

Tyler Adams at the new Scientific Computing and Computing Services Help Desk.

Nobody likes to move. Everything has to be cleaned, packed, transported, unpacked, set-up and cleaned again. The whole process can take weeks or even months. Luckily for SLAC's Scientific Computing and Computing Services Help Desk employees, their recent move was short: only a few hundred feet to the front lobby of the Computing Building. And like many moves, it has been for the better.

"I think we all like it out here," said Help Desk computer whiz Tyler Adams. "There's more room and its nice having windows. It doesn't feel like we're stuck in a cave."

The move began about three weeks ago to make room for new BaBar data storage tape silos, and is still in progress. Although all of the computing hardware has made the journey, a few cubicle walls and other office necessities still need to be shuffled. In the meantime, the Help Desk workers are doing what they've always done: providing top-quality computer support for the entire lab.

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