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In this issue:
Public Lecture: Hunting the Elusive Higgs Boson
Safety Today: In Case of Emergency
Uwe Bergmann Demystifies X-Rays

SLAC Today

Tuesday - December 11, 2007

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Image courtesy of SLAC InfoMedia      

Public Lecture:
Hunting the Elusive Higgs Boson

For over 40 years, physicists have been trying to track down a hypothetical particle called the Higgs boson. This particle could explain how particles can have mass and why one of the basic forces, the weak interaction, is in fact so incredibly weak.

So far, the Higgs boson has escaped detection, even at the most powerful particle accelerators. The next big chance to "bag" this particle will come when the Large Hadron Collider turns on next year at CERN. 

In this evening's public lecture, "Hunting the Elusive Higgs Boson and the Origin of Mass," SLAC's Lance Dixon will discuss the theoretical case behind the Higgs and the search for it. The lecture will take place tonight at 7:30 p.m. in Panofsky Auditorium. All are invited to attend.
Learn more...

(Column - Safety Today)

In Case of Emergency

When paramedics arrive on the scene of a serious accident, they are sometimes unable to communicate with unconscious victims. One way to combat this is for the 80% of Americans who carry cell phones to store emergency contact information in their phonebook under the name ICE (In Case of Emergency). 

The ICE program was conceived in the mid-2000s and promoted by British paramedic Bob Brotchie. Brotchie found that when he arrived on the scene of accidents, his patients often had cell phones but he didn't always know which number to call. He thought it would be a good idea to create a nationally recognized name to identify the emergency contact person.

Emergency service personnel and hospital staff can quickly reach the right emergency contact by simply dialing the number stored as "ICE." For more than one contact name, you can simply enter ICE1, ICE2 and ICE3.

Uwe Bergmann Demystifies X-Rays

(Photo - Uwe Bergmann)Superman's x-ray vision allowed him to see through walls, tree trunks and Lois Lane's overcoat—but truth is far more fascinating than fiction. X-rays have revolutionized science and medicine, allowing the visualization of proteins, chemical reactions and ancient mathematical texts.

This winter, explore the science and applications of this fascinating form of light with Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory (SSRL) Senior Staff Scientist Uwe Bergmann. Bergmann will be teaching a five-week Stanford Continuing Studies course called "The World Under X-ray Vision," beginning on January 9, 2008.

"I'd like to introduce how we can use x-rays to learn about the world, and in particular about nature," said Bergmann. "I want to keep it very general, and it doesn't require any special background in the sciences."

Bergmann has worked with x-ray imaging since 1990 and is currently developing novel synchrotron based x-ray techniques. This will be his first Continuing Studies course, although he taught as a graduate student and gave a Cantor Arts Center public lecture last year. "I'm quite excited about the course," he remarked. "I've always liked the idea of giving lectures to general audiences."  Read more...

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