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In this issue:
Tailoring the ILC
36th Annual SLAC Run and Walk Today at Noon
Science Today: A New View of Flavor in Supersymmetry Models
Changes to Business IT Services at SLAC

SLAC Today

Thursday - November 15, 2007

An artist's impression of a map of the Quantum Universe, highlighting the discovery scenarios of the ILC.
(Image courtesy of Form One.
Click on image for larger version.)

Tailoring the ILC

What's the best way to dig a 72 km-long tunnel complex and install it with 2,000 cryomodules, over 13,000 magnets and approximately 540 high-level radio frequency stations? Such is the monumental question the Conventional Facilities and Siting Group (CFS) for the International Linear Collider (ILC) seeks to answer. The Americas division of this global team includes members from SLAC and Fermilab, who work closely with their Asian and European counterparts.

Although the eventual location of the ILC has not been determined, the CFS groups are tailoring the ILC to accommodate the characteristics of a set of "sample sites"—one for each region. The primary concerns for selecting the sample site were geological stability, mechanical vibrations due to seismic activity, industrial noise from construction work and traffic, issues of sealing the tunnels from ground water and having a minimal impact on the environment.

"These are very stringent requirements," said Fred Asiri, the SLAC Group Leader for ILC CFS efforts. "We need to work closely with experts in many fields to try to find the best, most cost-effective way to accommodate the environment."  Read more...

36th Annual SLAC Run and Walk Today at Noon

The 36th annual SLAC Run and Walk kicks off today at noon, starting at Sector 30 of the Klystron Gallery. Last year, 81 runners and 37 walkers participated in the event.

This year, the course takes a detour along the North Gallery Road due to construction along the traditional route. Walkers will follow the course to Sector 15 and return along the North Access Road. Runners will follow the entire North Gallery Road and will turn around at Sector 0. A map of this year's course is available online.

Registration begins at 11:45 and the race is open to anyone with a SLAC ID. If you do not have a badge, find someone who does to escort you. T-shirts will be on sale for $12 at the registration table.

(Daily Column - Science Today)

A New View of Flavor in Supersymmetry Models

Many exciting possibilities exist for physics at the 100 GeV to 1 TeV scale, and one of the most intriguing is the possibility of supersymmetry. In supersymmetry, there is a new partner state with a different spin for every state in the Standard Model. For each gauge boson, there is a spin-1/2 particle called a gaugino; for each quark, there is a scalar quark (or squark) and for each lepton there is a scalar lepton (or slepton).

Theorists invoke supersymmetry to explain the energy scale of weak interactions. This explanation works only if the new particles predicted by supersymmetry—the gauginos, squarks and sleptons—have masses below about 1,000 GeV. However, that makes these particles light enough to create other problems. We know that the weak interactions mix different quark species. This is a mechanism for the decay of K and B mesons and, in more complicated processes, for the mixing of neutral K mesons and neutral B mesons with their antiparticles. The BaBar experiment at SLAC has measured b quark mixing in many ways and found that the Standard Model description works quite well. However, if the mass terms of squarks and sleptons mix the partners of different quarks or leptons, this can translate into a new source of quark mixing. This source, which arises from the breaking of supersymmetry, need have no relation to the source from the Standard Model weak interactions. Slepton mixing can induce new processes that are forbidden in the Standard Model, such as the decays of a muon to an electron and a photon or a tau to a muon and photon. These are not seen in experiments. BaBar has recently placed new, stringent limits on exotic tau decays.  Read more...

Changes to Business IT Services at SLAC

(Image - Organizational chart)
This organization chart shows a major change in Business IT Services at SLAC. The changes became effective on November 5th. (Click on image for legible version.)

SLAC's Business Information Technology (IT) Services recently underwent two major changes, reflecting a new approach to delivering its services to the lab.

First, IT functions within the Business Services Division (BSD) were split into three functional groups: Business Systems Technology (headed by Ernest Denys), PeopleSoft Applications (temporarily headed by Garima Srivastava while this newly created position is posted) and Data Warehouse (headed by Marshall Thompson). This new reporting relationship will enable this team to work closely together, while simultaneously functioning on parallel tracks. By clarifying roles and responsibilities to specific groups, BSD seeks to provide faster, more efficient business IT services.

In addition, BSD will now take a more formal approach to how requests and tasks are prioritized by creating project plans for every activity. Ultimately, this will result in better, more predicable outcomes.

"I ask that everyone who uses our business IT services understand that this change is quite significant, and that we are actively engaged in getting more formal processes into place," said Doug Kreitz. "In the meantime, existing work continues to be performed in the most expeditious manner possible."

The second major change to business IT services is a strengthened partnership between BSD and Scientific Computing and Computing Services (SCCS). This partnership will ensure that technical IT systems across the lab use as few customizations as possible, allow for a more robust change control process and enabling excellent technical project coordination.

"The SCCS Enterprise Systems Management Team will provide technical oversight and actively participate in technical decision-making to drive our vision of a fully integrated enterprise here at SLAC," said SLAC Chief Information Officer Michael "Gordy" Gordon.

The new organization chart became a reality on November 5th. Those requesting new projects or services in the key Business IT areas noted on this chart should contact the functional group leader directly while a more formal e-request form is being developed. An announcement about the e-request form and procedure will appear in SLAC Today when it is ready. Urgent requests should still be sent to and as appropriate.

"These changes will help us deliver the best possible business IT systems to SLAC," said Kreitz. "By working more efficiently and capitalizing on our incredibly talented and skilled IT staff in both BSD and SCCS, we will be poised to respond to all of the major changes taking place at SLAC."

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