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In this issue:
Pulling the Strings for the LCLS
People Today: Never Too Deep
Coping with Organization Change
Conservation Tip of the Week

SLAC Today

Wednesday - March 5, 2008

Pulling the Strings for the LCLS

Yung-Yung Sung prepares a Beam Finder Wire card for transport.

Technician Yung-Yung Sung huddles over her desk twisting carbon wires—each half the diameter of a single strand of human hair—along curved grooves on a ceramic plate. Even Sung's skilled fingers can't prevent wires from skittering rebelliously out of grooves and, at times, coiling up or breaking. Fitting the wires properly takes hours, and sometimes days.

Sung's detailed handiwork is well worth the effort, however, as it completes a device vital to the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS). The palm-sized device, called a Beam Finder Wire (BFW) card, ensures that LCLS X-rays will form a concentrated beam, a tiny fraction of a millimeter wide, over a 100-meter trajectory.

"There are a lot of people making different contributions to this small—but very important—piece of hardware," Physicist Clive Field said. "Without all of them it wouldn't happen at all." Read more...

(Weekly Column - Profile)

Never Too Deep

(Photo - Mike Sullivan on the Bay)
Mike Sullivan teaches a student how to reenter a boat from the water.

During the week, SLAC programmer Mike Sullivan sleeps just a few feet above South San Francisco Bay. For the past few years he has spent his weeknights floating at Bair Island Aquatic Center in nearby Redwood City, which allows him to divide his weekdays between SLAC and rowing, or "sculling," lessons on the Bay.

"Sleeping away from home and family is difficult," he said. "But as a consolation I get to spend early mornings teaching people to scull."

Over the years, Sullivan has become a well-known figure in the sport. In the past, he has served as a coach for national programs at the University of California, Irvine, and as "relief pitcher" at Stanford when the coach went on maternity leave. However, he now spends his time introducing beginners—most of whom have never even been in a boat before—to the sport. He says this lets him enjoy teaching without the type of commitment that exists in coaching top-notch programs.

"It's immensely exciting to see people who are all so different in their mental and physical ability succeed," Sullivan said. "When they obtain the skills to safely handle the boat alone, that's when my lessons end."
Read more...

Coping with Organization Change

Rosan Gomperts, Director of the Stanford Faculty Staff Help Center, will offer the first of three "Coping with Organization Change" meetings this morning at 11:00 a.m. in Panofsky Auditorium. In addition to offering tips on how to reduce stress during workplace transitions, Gomperts will discuss what to expect emotionally and physically, how to protect work relationships and environments, and how to practice self-care.

The Stanford Faculty and Staff Help Center has office hours at SLAC all day on Tuesdays and on Thursday mornings for private consultation. To make an appointment for an individual session at SLAC, please call the medical department at x2281. If you would like to be seen away from SLAC, please call the main Help Center line at 723-4577.

Conservation Tip
of the Week

Working from home is becoming increasingly popular at SLAC and other companies in Silicon Valley, but home office equipment can run up your electricity bills. Look for ENERGY STAR computers, copiers, printers and fax machines when purchasing new equipment for your home office use. ENERGY STAR products consume about half the electricity of standard equipment. Turn off machines when not in use and make sure power management features are activated. Also, consider buying a laptop for your home office upgrade; they use much less energy than desktop computers.

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