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In this issue:
From the PPA Director: BaBar's Shortened Run
Biesiada Receives Award for BaBar Dissertation
Voluntary Layoff Update
Word of the Week: Damping Rings

SLAC Today

Friday - January 11, 2008

From the PPA Director: BaBar's Shortened Run

(Photo - Steve Kahn)
Steve Kahn

As you all know, one of the consequences of the budget cut we face here at SLAC is the early conclusion of the B-factory run. Persis mentioned in her all-hands meeting that BaBar started operating in a different mode just before Christmas to make the most of the shortened run. The PEP-II accelerator team and BaBar physicists have put in a huge effort to adjust their program so rapidly to the changes imposed on us and it is testimony to their resourcefulness that this plan could be implemented so quickly.

BaBar has made great contributions to particle physics and will continue to do so through the final part of its experimental run and subsequent analysis. The new plan for BaBar is designed to extract the maximum amount of physics possible in the remaining running time. Although the plan differs from the collaboration's original intentions, we anticipate a lot of interesting and significant results.

The essential difference with the new running mode is that BaBar will operate at a slightly lower energy, one that corresponds to the creation of a particle called the Upsilon(3S).  Read more...

Biesiada Receives Award for BaBar Dissertation

(Photo - Jed Biesiada)Jed Biesiada, who did his Ph.D. research on BaBar as a member of the Princeton group, has been awarded the 2008 Mitsuyoshi Tanaka Dissertation Award in Experimental Particle Physics.

The award, established in 1999, recognizes exceptional young scientists who have performed original doctoral thesis work of outstanding scientific quality in the area of experimental particle physics.

"I was extremely happy," he said on receiving the award. An advisor, Princeton's Jim Olsen, nominated him. "Jed is one of the best graduate students I've ever seen," he said.

Biesiada joins Shahram Rahatlou, the 2004 winner, as the second BaBar recipient of this prestigious award.

"It's nice to be recognized for my part in opening a new area of investigation for BaBar," Biesiada said. "BaBar is a great experiment and its excellence is implicitly recognized by an award like this." He continued by saying that the award also serves as a testament to the guidance and support of his advisors: Olsen and Stewart Smith.  Read more...

Voluntary Layoff Update

In November, SLAC announced a voluntary layoff program. SLAC Management has accepted 76 applications and these staff members are being informed of their acceptance. However, due to the recently announced budget shortfall, we have moved nearly all of the effective dates for the voluntary layoffs forward in the year. Because participants in the program have the choice of accepting or rejecting the proposed layoff dates, we will not know the final number of staff participating in the program until January 21, 2008.


Word of the Week:
Damping Rings

SLAC's damping rings, installed near the head of the linac, help keep the pulses of electrons and positrons in tight bunches. Using magnets to equalize the motions of particles with slightly different energies, these two storage rings serve to reduce the tendency of the bunches to spread out. Tighter bunches result in more efficient collisions within detectors.


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