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In this issue:
Roger Kornberg to Present SLAC Public Lecture Tomorrow
Nanowires as Energy Materials
symmetry: Computers Take On More Than Aliens

SLAC Today

Monday - February 25, 2008

Roger Kornberg to Present SLAC Public Lecture Tomorrow

(Poster Image)
Image courtesy of SLAC InfoMedia.

Nobel Laureate Roger Kornberg says that one of the most significant events in intellectual history was the answering of fundamental questions about human existence in chemical terms: What brings matter to life? What are our origins? What is the basis of cognitive activity?

In tomorrow evening's public lecture, From Atoms to Animals: The Vital Force in Biology, Kornberg will discuss transcription machinery, which reads genetic code to direct the formation and function of all living things. The atomic structure of transcription machinery was determined with the use of intense X-ray beams and facilities at the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory. The result is an image of this complex machinery in action, bringing genetic information to life.

The lecture will take place on Tuesday, February 26 at 7:30 p.m. in Panofsky Auditorium. All are welcome to attend.  More information...

Colloquium Monday

Nanowires as
Energy Materials

(Colloquium poster)
Poster courtesy of SLAC InfoMedia.

Inorganic nanowires have properties attractive for batteries and solar cells, including the ability to support electron and photon transport along macroscopic distances while maintaining a large surface-to-volume ratio and not breaking during structure transformation.

In this afternoon's colloquium, Stanford Professor Yi Cui will discuss his group's research into inorganic nanowires, which may soon lead to an improvement in both batteries and solar cells.

Don't miss Nanowires as Energy Materials: Batteries and Solar Cells, which will take place today at 4:15 p.m. in Panofsky Auditorium. All are invited to attend.

Computers Take On More Than Aliens

(Photo - Screensavers)
As a volunteer's computer cranks out calculations for LHC@home, it displays a screensaver with an artist’s impression of the evolving particle beam. (Images courtesy of LHC@home.)

They started out scanning the cosmos for signs of extraterrestrial intelligence with SETI@ home. They've plotted chess moves, battled malaria, and folded proteins, all from their home computers. Now, volunteers are tackling particle physics with LHC@home.

It's one of a number of distributed computing projects that allow you to download scientific data for your computer to analyze when it would otherwise be sleeping. The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence launched the first @home project in 1999 with screensaver software that searched for signs of life amid radio signals from space. Today, users can choose from more than 20 @home options.

The LHC@home software simulates particles cruising along the Large Hadron Collider ring, currently under construction at CERN, the European particle physics lab in Switzerland. In this case, all that number crunching helps scientists determine how to position the magnets that control the proton beam.

Read more in symmetry...


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