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In this issue:
SLAC to Propose New Facilities for Accelerator and Detector Research
People Today: Home is Where You Make It
GLAST's Delta II Rocket Begins its Long Journey
Conservation Tip of the Week

SLAC Today

Wednesday - February 13, 2008

If FACET is approved, the access shaft at Sector 19 would be used to lower large components for the project into the accelerator tunnel.

SLAC Proposes New Facilities for Accelerator and Detector Research

SLAC has always been at the forefront of developing new accelerators, and doesn't intend to stop now. At a Department of Energy review onsite February 19 and 20, the Particle Physics and Astrophysics directorate will present its case for building facilities to pursue new concepts for future accelerators and detectors.

The proposal, called FACET—Facilities for Accelerator Science and Experimental Test Beams at SLAC—would be one of two test beam facilities in North America, and the only program in the world with the capabilities to study high-gradient plasma wakefield acceleration.

"This facility will enable us to study new acceleration techniques that could transform the way particles are accelerated with possible application to future linear colliders and compact radiation sources," said Tor Raubenheimer, head of Accelerator Research.  Read more...

(Weekly Column - Profile)

Home is Where
You Make It

It is said that accelerator builders are like the cathedral builders of the middle-ages—both have specialized talents and flock to the next big project. This characterization fits SLAC Associate Laboratory Director Lowell Klaisner well.

Klaisner's passion for "the nuts and bolts" of science has led him across the nation. Along this journey he has contributed by building instruments that make research possible.

"I get a great amount of satisfaction from enabling physicists in their life work," Klaisner said. "The feeling of contributing to a worthwhile effort marks all of the projects I've been involved in."

Klaisner's first job as an electrical engineer on the Zero-Gradient Synchrotron, with Argonne National Laboratory, meant leaving California—his home for the previous 21 years. From Argonne he moved to Fermilab, where he was one of the lab's first 100 employees.

After the success of the Booster Synchrotron at Fermilab, Klaisner and a friend founded a business manufacturing computer-based instruments. The seven-year venture led to a position with a space and commercial aviation company, then to a role managing another company's engineer department. But, for reasons outside of his control, he was laid off.

Klaisner didn't miss a beat. Plans for the Super Conducting Collider were in place, so he phoned a buddy at SLAC looking to make contacts for the Texas-based project.

"He and I talked for a little bit," Klaisner said, "then he said, 'By the way, my boss just quit. Maybe you'd like that job.'"

Klaisner's move to SLAC signified more than a homecoming. He served as chief engineer for PEP-II, which he noted exceeded all of the expectations surrounding it. He also served as GLAST project manager during that instrument's construction.

"I'm proud of what we have accomplished here," he said. "SLAC is as close to home as it gets."

First Stage of GLAST's Delta II Rocket Arrives in Cape Canaveral

The United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket's first stage arrived at Cape Canaveral last week.
(Image courtesy of NASA.)

The first stage of the Delta II rocket that will be used to launch the Gamma-Ray Large Area Space Telescope (GLAST) into space in May has arrived at Hangar M on the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS) in Florida. It joins the second stage, which is already at CCAFS.

"This first stage, along with the second stage and the solid rocket motors, will provide the ride that the GLAST observatory needs to reach its mission orbit," said Kevin Grady, the GLAST Project Manager at Goddard Space Flight Center. "With the arrival of this launch vehicle hardware at the Cape, the beginning of this extraordinary high energy physics era in space is just a handful of months away."

GLAST is a powerful space observatory that will explore the most extreme environments in the universe, where nature harnesses energies far beyond anything possible on Earth. It will search for signs of new laws of physics and what composes the mysterious Dark Matter, explain how black holes accelerate immense jets of material to nearly light speed and help crack the mysteries of the stupendously powerful explosions known as gamma-ray bursts. The satellite will observe these powerful forces with the onboard Large Area Telescope, which was integrated at SLAC.

GLAST is scheduled to be launched on May 16 from Launch Pad 17-B on CCAFS. After on-orbit checkout, NASA is planning to rename the observatory, based on public suggestions

NASA's GLAST mission is an astrophysics and particle physics partnership, developed in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Energy, along with important contributions from academic institutions and partners in France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Sweden, and the United States.

More information about GLAST is available on the NASA website.

Conservation Tip
of the Week

If your home has single-pane windows, as almost half of U.S. homes do, consider replacing them. New double-pane windows with high-performance glass are available at most building supply outlets. You can select windows that are gas filled and have low-emissivity (low-e) coatings on the glass to further reduce heat loss.


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