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In this issue:
From the Director: Visit to Washington, D.C.
Helen Quinn to Receive Oskar Klein Medal
Word of the Week: Boson
Building the LCLS: Weekly Update

SLAC Today

Friday - March 21, 2008

(Photo - Persis Drell)

From the Director: Visit to Washington, D.C.

On March 13th, I had the honor, along with Steven Chu (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Director), Thom Mason (Oak Ridge National Laboratory Director) and Congresswoman Anna Eshoo, of meeting with the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, in her Capitol Hill office. This was one meeting in a full day during which Steve, Thom and I also met with House Science Committee Chairman Bart Gordon. Steve and I then went on to meet with staffers in Senator Dianne Feinstein's office, and with House Appropriations Committee members Congresswoman Barbara Lee and Congressman Mike Honda. In all the meetings, we discussed the importance of funding fundamental research in the physical sciences and strategies for supporting the America Competes funding levels for science.

The idea of the meeting with the Speaker grew out of a conversation with Steven Chu in December, shortly after the Omnibus budget was passed. In early January, I met with our local Congresswoman, Anna Eshoo, who has been a strong supporter of science generally and SLAC in particular. Congresswoman Eshoo agreed to help set up a meeting with the Speaker in early March.

The message we delivered in our conversations with the Speaker and others was simple. We wanted to thank the Speaker for her support of basic research. We know she understands how important basic research in the physical sciences is to the national, economic and energy security of our nation. We urged consideration of supplemental funding in FY08 that would include increases to science because we felt that would be a critical factor in sending a strong positive signal that the promise of the America Competes Authorization Bill is becoming a reality. We also expressed that supplemental funding in FY08 could help build momentum for FY09 and that we feel FY09 is a critical year for America Competes to take hold.  Read more...

Helen Quinn to Receive Oskar Klein Medal

(Photo - aerial of Sand Hill Road)Professor Helen Quinn of SLAC's Theory Department has been chosen as the 2008 recipient of the Oskar Klein Medal and asked to present the associated Oskar Klein Memorial Lectures in Stockholm on May 22, 2008.

The Oskar Klein Memorial Medal and Lectures are sponsored by The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, through its Nobel Committee for Physics, and by Stockholm University.

In receiving this very prestigious award, Quinn joins the company of outstanding physicists including Stanford's Andrei Linde.

The Klein Medal website notes that "Klein had a broad interest in various fields of physics but is perhaps best known for the Klein-Gordon equation and the Klein-Nishina equation. His attempts to unify general relativity and electromagnetism by introducing a five-dimensional space-time dates back to 1926 and is today known as Kaluza-Klein theory." 

Word of the Week:

Named after physicist Satyendra Nath Bose, "bosons" are a type of particle that includes photons, gluons, the Z and W particles and the famous yet hypothetical Higgs particle. All elementary particles are either bosons or fermions, depending on a quantum state known as "spin." Whereas fermions have spin that is expressed in half integers, boson spin is expressed in whole integers, or "integer spin"—a difference that causes bosons and fermions to behave in very different ways.


Building the LCLS: Weekly Update

The application of epoxy finish to the floors in the Head House and the Beam Transport Hall is now complete, and hardware installation is set to begin in the next few weeks. Building 3.1, which supplies utilities to the Undulator Hall, is currently undergoing electrical and mechanical wiring installations. Elevator installation in the Near Experimental Hall continues, and crews have begun backfilling the adit connecting to the X-ray Tunnel.


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