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In this issue:
SSRL Hosts School for Future X-ray Researchers
Softball League Starts Up for Summer
ILC NewsLine: Accelerator Goes Japanese Movie

SLAC Today

Thursday - May 22, 2008

SSRL Hosts School for Future X-ray Researchers

SSRL X-ray School co-organizer Sam Webb discusses X-ray absorption with students at Beamline 2-3.

The Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory (SSRL) this week played host to an international gathering of 43 students and post docs seeking to hone their experimental skills at the School on Synchrotron Radiation X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy (SR-XAS) techniques, held at SLAC on May 20-22, 2008.

This, the third annual X-ray school in synchrotron X-ray scattering techniques for environmental and materials science, provided a practical users’ guide to planning and conducting measurements using SSRL beam lines, and covered important basics such as beam line setup as well as advanced experimental applications.

Unlike the previous two X-ray schools, this week's school focused on giving students an introduction to techniques in X-ray absorption spectroscopy. The previous two X-ray schools focused on X-ray scattering, which is useful in studying both synthetic and natural materials, such as superconductors and proteins. Absorption, by contrast, is used by environmental and materials scientists to characterize the properties of new kinds of materials and to determine how certain compounds behave in different environments and conditions.

"We wanted to give students an introduction to the kind of techniques that may not trickle down from student to student in graduate schools," said SSRL researcher Sam Webb, who co-organized the SR-XAS school.

Softball League
Starts Up for Summer

Calling all softball enthusiastsit's the start of the season for the Stanford Recreational Softball League.

The SLAC team will face off with other Stanford teams starting in mid-June and running through early September. Anyone interested in playing should come to the first team practice on May 27 at 5:00 p.m. on the main lawn, located between the Central Lab Building and the Linear Cafe.

Mike Woods is taking up the reigns as head coach this year. He says the league has a wide range of abilities, and anyone can come out and play. The team will play once a week, either in a weekday practice or an evening game at Stanford's Roble Field.

Questions should be directed to Mike Woods.

ILC NewsLine: Accelerator Goes Japanese Movie


The film crew at KEK.
(Image courtesy of Youhei Morita.)

Accelerators have previously been featured in movies, including Terminator 3. But all too often, people outside of the physics world did not notice much. In this summer, cult director Takashi Miike will make the accelerator quite visible in his newest film Kamisama no Puzzle (God's Puzzle). Miike, who allegedly influenced Quentin Tarantino, is best known for his grotesque horror films including Ichi the Killer, Audition, Gozu, and One Missed Call.

Fortunately, this time the movie is not his usual line; instead, it is a sci-fi romantic comedy based on a prize-winning, bestselling novel by Shinji Kimoto. The story is about twin brothers, one a physics student and the other an aimless self-proclaimed rock musician.

Read more in ILC NewsLine...

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