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In this issue:
Argonne's Last Stand
Colloquium Monday: Physics in the Movies
Robert Moulton, Former Associate Director, Passes Away
Almanac News: Menlo Park to Install Red Light Cam

SLAC Today

Monday - May 12, 2008

Mike Zurawel with the LCLS undulator pedestals in End Station A.
(Click on image for larger version.)

Argonne's Last Stand

Installation of the first undulator pedestals for the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) is set to begin this week in the Undulator Hall. The final shipment of the stands arrived at SLAC last April from Argonne National Laboratory, where they were designed.

In all, the LCLS will use two pedestals per undulator, for a total of 66. Each pedestal is carefully designed to dampen the effects of outside vibration. To reduce the influence of slight temperature variations, the pedestals are wrapped with fiberglass blankets and filled with specially prepared sand. A removable plate atop each pedestal carries a set of electric motors and cams designed to make very fine adjustments to the exact position of the undulator—a critical parameter for the LCLS to work.

The pedestals are currently housed in End Station A as technicians make final preparations in advance of installation. "Installing the pedestals will be the easy part," says installation manager Mike Zurawel. Once the installation begins, he says, the biggest challenge will be integrating the various undulator systems and commissioning the control systems that keep all the pieces aligned and moving properly.

Last week, Argonne lead engineer Geoff Pyle and a team of representatives came to SLAC for "Undulator Week," where collaborators brainstorm about solutions to challenges that crop up. "Argonne has been incredibly helpful helping us get the pedestals ready," Zurawel says. "Last week Geoff and I sat on the floor for an hour figuring out how to adjust the positioning shims. That was fun... it was like play."

Colloquium Monday

Physics in the Movies

(Image of reef)
Image copyright Disney/Pixar.

Film making is undergoing a digital revolution brought on by advances in areas such as computer technology, computational physics, geometry and approximation theory.

In this afternoon's colloquium, Tony DeRose of Pixar Animation Studios will provide a behind-the-scenes look at the role that physics plays in the revolution. DeRose will use numerous examples drawn from Pixar Animation Studios feature films in his talk.

The colloquium takes place this afternoon at 4:15 p.m. in SLAC's Panofsky Auditorium. All are invited to attend.

Learn more...


Almanac News:
Menlo Park to Install Red Light Cameras

Red-light runners beware: Menlo Park will start a trial run of its new red-light photo enforcement system on Tuesday, May 6.

That's when cameras installed at the intersection of Willow Road and Bayfront Expressway will start snapping photos and capturing video footage of drivers who run red lights on northbound Bayfront Expressway, according to Diel Hutchins, a program manager with the Menlo Park Police Department.

For 30 days, drivers caught running red lights at the intersection will receive warnings in the mail. After the trial period expires, violators will be ticketed via mail for at least $378, Ms. Hutchins said.


Cameras will soon also be installed at the entrance to the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center.

Read the full article in the Almanac News...

Robert Moulton, Former Associate Director, Passes Away

(Photo - Robert Moulton)
Robert Moulton.
(Click on image for larger version.)

Robert Harrison Moulton Jr., who died at home last month at the age of 89, was a rare individual, a man of action and of words. He was born in Los Angeles, California to R.H. and Florence Moulton on October 30, 1918. In 1936, Moulton graduated from Beverly Hills High School, where he was elected student body president. He attended Stanford University and in 1940 graduated Phi Beta Kappa, (summa cum laude) with a degree in economics. While at Stanford, Moulton was a champion debater.

After starting in business, Moulton suddenly changed his career due to the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. He served as a lieutenant in the Navy during World War II, as did his older brother Donald and his younger brother Frank. He finished his tour as an Intelligence Officer to an Admiral in the Atlantic fleet.

After the war, he returned to work in San Francisco at his father's business. There he met, courted and married Helen Elizabeth Bowman. Their wedding took place on December 31, 1946, at her parents' hometown in Shreveport, Louisiana. Moulton was based in the San Francisco office of RH Moulton & Company, a regional firm specializing in tax-free municipal bonds. The couple later settled on the Peninsula in Menlo Park.

The Moulton family moved east in 1952 when he went to work for the CIA as an administrator in Alexandria, Virginia. He later joined the newly-formed Ford Foundation in New York City, working as Assistant to the President. He and his family returned to Stanford University in 1958. Moulton put great effort into getting SLAC approved in the late 1950s and early 1960s; this effort is detailed in a memoir he published in the Stanford Historical Society's Journal, Sandstone and Tile. He served for 17 years as an Associate Director of the laboratory. Read more...


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