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In this issue:
From the Operations and ETS Directors: The Effect of Staff Reductions on SLAC Support Services
Stanford, Palo Alto to host 'U.S. version of the Tour de France'
Word of the Week: Virtual Particle
Building the LCLS: Weekly Update

SLAC Today

Friday - February 15, 2008

From the Operations and ETS Directors:
The Effect of Staff Reductions on SLAC Support Services

Due to the difficult FY08 budget, support services at the lab have been diminished. A list of specific services affected by the staff reduction can now be found online (locked).

"The cutbacks will have an effect on all of us," said Persis Drell. "These were excruciating decisions to make. Yet I am confident that the SLAC community will come together to work through this challenging period."

Both the Engineering and Technical Support (ETS) and Operations Directorates are committed to providing support services to meet customer needs and maintain the lab's compliance responsibilities.

ETS and Operations will succeed in this commitment by partnering with requestors to develop solutions that recognize the realities of the situation and meet customer needs. Emphasis will be placed on defining, managing and meeting customer expectations. This approach will demand that we all remain flexible and think creatively about how to get the job done well and on schedule.

Reduction in service options or longer lead-times may be experienced in some cases; in others, services have been severely cut or eliminated. In all cases ETS and Operations will search for options or solutions to meet your needs and to discuss alternatives. Several support areas will require transition plans or phased reductions; those plans are currently in process. By working closely with customers while maintaining a focus on finding a solution, ETS and Operations will support the laboratory science mission without exception.

Stanford, Palo Alto to Host 'U.S. Version of Tour de France'

(Photo - Tour of California 2007)
Racers arrive in San Jose on February 21, 2007, during last year's Tour of California. (Image courtesy of the Stanford Report.)

On February 17, some of the world's best professional bicycle racers will be moving very fast (35 mph or more) through downtown Palo Alto and around the Oval on the Stanford campus, providing spectators free admission to a spectacle most often seen in Europe.

"The Amgen Tour of California really is the U.S. version of the Tour de France," said Frank Scioscia, a Stanford development officer who has managed professional cycling teams and rode for the Stanford team as a student.

The Tour is an eight-day endurance fest with daily stages of 15 to 135 miles, beginning with a sprint in Palo Alto on Sunday, February 17, and ending in Pasadena 650 miles later on Sunday, February 24. This year's event has attracted 17 teams from Europe and America, each with eight riders. The race will be broadcast by the Versus television network.

Read more in the Stanford Report...

Word of the Week:
Virtual Particle

A virtual particle is a particle that exists for a limited time, and is a quantum mechanical phenomenon produced as a property of empty space. According to the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, a virtual particle can blink into and out of existence as long as it adheres to certain conservation laws. Essentially, such a particle can blink into existence out of nothing as long as it doesn't stick around for more than the tiniest fraction of a second—the more massive the virtual particle, the less time it can exist.

Building the LCLS: Weekly Update

- LCLS roadheader operations for all tunnel excavation work is now complete. The total excavation is approximately 1,800 linear feet and just under 30,000 cubic yards. The work was accomplished using four crews with two roadheaders, which have now left the site.

- X-Ray Tunnel: Subgrade inspections and mud-slab pours will continue through March 12. Crews are currently working on laying out the final shotcrete at the west end.

- Central Utilities Plant: Crews are currently working on sprinkler system installation in the grade service yard/Near Experimental Hall parking lot. Please note that the parking lot area for building 750 is being revised beginning yesterday, February 14 (please watch for stop signs/pedestrians crossing in this area).


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