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In this issue:
More Evidence for a Revolutionary Theory of Water
Safety Today: SLAC Cooling Tower Chemical Storage Systems Receive Upgrades
Save the Date: 2008 LCLS/SSRL Users' Meeting and Workshops

SLAC Today

Tuesday - July 1, 2008

More Evidence for a Revolutionary Theory of Water

Recent X-ray spectroscopy studies have revealed that modern theories of the structure of liquid water are incorrect. (Click on image for larger version.)

The traditional picture of how liquid water behaves on a molecular level is wrong, according to new experimental evidence collected by a collaboration of researchers from the Department of Energy's Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC) in California, RIKEN SPring-8 synchrotron and Hiroshima University in Japan and Stockholm University in Sweden. The team, involving SLAC scientist Anders Nilsson, used advanced X-ray spectroscopy techniques to create a more detailed picture of water's molecular behavior. Published as the cover story in the April 22 online edition of Chemical Physics Letters, the findings could soon help overturn the established orthodoxy surrounding the substance most essential to life.

Water, by any measure, is strange stuff. It behaves unlike any other liquid. It has a tremendous capacity for carrying heat—which is why the Gulf Stream keeps Europe warm. Water's solid phase—ice—is less dense than the liquid, which is why ice floats; life on Earth could never have formed if oceans and lakes froze from the bottom up. Water also has unusually strong surface tension—a property essential for the capillary action at work in the roots of plants and within our cells. These strange properties are what make water essential to life.  Read more...

(Column - Safety Today)

SLAC Cooling Tower Chemical Storage Systems Receive Upgrades

(Photo - Cooling Huts)
The four chemical huts at cooling tower 1201, on the south side of the Klystron Gallery.

Last month marked the completion of an upgrade to the chemical storage facilities at the SLAC cooling towers. Cooling towers 1201 and 1202 were the last to have their chemicals moved from the old steel chemical sheds into new individual fiberglass huts. The huts are designed to withstand seismic activity, and eliminate the chances of the chemicals ever mixing. The huts have also been isolated from traffic by protective steel bollards, if they are adjacent to a roadway.

In 1999 SLAC Safety Engineer Joe Kenny identified the possible consequences of a chemical leak and mixing within one of SLAC's cooling tower chemical storage sheds. Previously, the cooling tower water treatment chemicals were stored inside the chemical sheds without seismic anchoring of their secondary containment systems. In the event of a violent earthquake (or impact from a traffic accident), the stored sodium hypochlorite and sulfuric acid could mix in the shed's containment basin, possibly creating a plume of chlorine and hydrogen chloride gases.

Such an accident was labeled as high consequence, yet extremely low possibility. Even with such a low probability of occurring, due to the potential consequences for SLAC and the surrounding area it was decided that this issue should be addressed and the chemical facilities updated. Facilities Instrumentation Supervisor Bill Choate began by replacing the chemical shed at cooling tower 1200 with individual huts that segregate the incompatible chemicals. All six cooling towers have received upgrades since then.

Towers 1701 and 101 were recently upgraded using funds from the Safety & Operational Reliability Improvement (SORI) project, initiated by Hieu Dao. This project aims to improve the SLAC infrastructure, and to provide seismic upgrades for several buildings on campus. Those Federal line-item budget funds allowed the last of the cooling towers to receive upgrades sooner than expected.

Save the Date: 2008 LCLS/SSRL Users' Meeting and Workshops

Mark your calendar and plan to participate in the 2008 Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) / Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory (SSRL) Users' Meeting and Workshops, which will be held at SLAC October 15–18, 2008. The annual event is a valuable opportunity to learn about the latest plans, new developments and exciting user research at LCLS and SSRL. It is also a great time to interact with other scientists, staff, potential colleagues and vendors of light source-related products and services.

LCLS/SSRL 2008 will begin on October 15 with presentations related to LCLS Science and Instrumentation, LCLS user access policies, updates on LCLS user operations, and a meeting of the LCLS Users' Organization. SSRL workshops will be held concurrently on this day.

The joint LCLS/SSRL session on October 16 will feature updates from SLAC, the Department of Energy and user research. It will also include a user science poster session and a keynote presentation by Persis Drell on the Future of Photon Science at SLAC. The Spicer Young Investigator Award, Klein Professional Development Award and Lytle Award will be presented on this day.

October 17 will feature presentations dedicated to SSRL, including sessions on Structural Molecular Biology, Materials and Environmental Sciences, and SSRL facility updates. The SSRL Users' Organization will meet on that afternoon.

Learn more...


Summer Edition of NewsLine Q Now Online

(Image - NewsLine Q)The latest issue of NewsLine Q is now available. NewsLine Q is a quarterly print publication for the broad scientific and academic communities who are interested in following the progress and activities of the International Linear Collider (ILC). Published by the Global Design Effort, NewsLine Q reports on the latest advancements in ILC research and development.

NewsLine Q is available online and in SLAC's Communications Office.


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