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In this issue:
A New Era of Synchrotron Science at SLAC: PEP-X
People Today: Headline Two
Kay Ganapathi: Heritage at Home
Karen Fant Presented with First Director's Safety Award
Conservation Tip of the Week

SLAC Today

Wednesday - July 2, 2008

A New Era of Synchrotron Science at SLAC: PEP-X

(Image courtesy of SLAC InfoMedia.)

Science at SLAC stands at the edge of an evolutionary leap. After a half-century of high-energy physics, SLAC's scientific focus is shifting, with the decommissioning of the BaBar detector and PEP accelerator and the approaching completion of the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS). Among the wide diversity of scientific pursuits underway at SLAC, photon science—using very bright, energetic X-rays to probe the properties of matter—will soon constitute the major work of the laboratory.

That evolution is made possible by SLAC's long history of learning from the past and building on its achievements. In 2009, the LCLS—the world's first hard X-ray free-electron laser, which uses a portion of the historic two-mile linear accelerator as its backbone—will turn on, generating ultra-fast pulses of X-rays a billion times brighter than any source in the world.

Now, following that tradition of building on the past, scientists at SLAC are envisioning the future beyond the LCLS. By capitalizing on hardware and infrastructure already in place—namely, the recently decommissioned PEP-II facility—a new synchrotron storage ring project, "PEP-X," would catapult SLAC even further beyond the research capabilities available at existing photon science laboratories.  Read more...

(Weekly Column - Profile)

Kay Ganapathi:
Heritage at Home


Ganapathi works as an ECAE application support engineer for the Mechanical Design Department.

Many people at SLAC know Kausalya (Kay) Ganapathi because of her involvement with the annual SLAC Diwali festival. It's a celebration of Indian culture, language and of course, food. She first helped organize the festival in 2004 to bring together SLAC employees with Indian heritage, and to invite others to learn about the country and its culture. Ganapathi says the festival is just one of many ways she is building a bridge between her home in the Bay Area and her roots half way around the world.

Ganapathi earned a bachelors degree at Menlo College, even though she had already earned a degree in India. Ganapathi has a great love of learning, and a desire to be independent. She went on to earn a Masters Degree in Business and Information Technology. She earned both degrees while working full time and raising her children. "There were a few sleepless nights," she says with a light sigh. "But I tried not to work all the time. I am very thankful for all the support that my husband provided at home and the cooperation of my supervisor, without whom, I wouldn't have made it," she says.

Ganapathi says California is her home: she's spent more of her life here than in India, both her daughters were born here, and she has found her career here. Yet she feels that so much of who she is comes from her upbringing in India, where her parents taught her lessons she wishes to pass down to her own children.

When her daughters were 8 and 4, Ganapathi moved back to India with them for four years. "To go to a country and really experience the culture and the background and the language is so different than to read about it in a book or see it on television," she said. "We want our children to understand the values we want to impart on them. To let them know that how you live is more important than what you teach."

Both of Ganapathi's daughters have always been interested in traditional Indian activities. Her eldest daughter does traditional Indian dancing on a professional level. (She has performed at the Diwali festival the past two years.) Her youngest daughter sings traditional Indian music. Ganapathi is involved with both these activities, assisting her children with costumes and taking them to performances. Yet she is also aware of the connection between her children and their American identities. She says, "I tell my children to work hard but take time to have fun. I've taught them to have a balance in their lives. My formula to a happy life is have a little religion, have a little culture, but always remember to have respect for each other."

Ganapathi also teaches Sunday school at the Chinmaya Mission: a Hindu mission in San Jose. She has taught Kindergarten through 5th grade for 20 years, continuing to embrace the Hindu culture and share it with children. "It's like a regular school, so it takes a lot of preparation. It keeps me very busy. But I enjoy teaching. It makes you feel young."

Karen Fant Presented with Safety Award

(Photo - Persis Drell and Karen Fant)
Persis Drell presents Karen Fant with the safety award.
(Click on image for larger version.)

Yesterday morning, nearly 80 people gathered outside Building 24 to honor and cheer Mechanical Fabrication Department Head Karen Fant, who is the recipient of a special safety recognition award from the director.

"It's really a pleasure to present this award today," Persis Drell said before presenting Fant with the award. "Karen's attitude toward safety is very progressive. She has created innovative programs to motivate her staff and takes a cheerful, positive solution-oriented approach to safety."

In addition to serving as the safety head for her department, Fant also works on several lab-wide safety initiatives including the Work Planning and Control committee.

"It's wonderful to recognize one of our finest leaders and safety ambassadors," said Director of Environment, Safety and Health (ES&H) Craig Ferguson. "Karen is a role model for all of us managers and supervisors, both for her work in her own department and across the lab. She leads by example, truly demonstrating that safety is a value here at SLAC."

Fant's award, a black box with what looks like a sheriff's star on the front, is a gift from her colleagues. Every group in Fant's department contributed to the creation of the award. The box was fabricated by the Precision Assembly Group, anodized by the Plating Shop, and engraved by the Machine Shop. The award also showcases a flange like those used in the accelerator, and a star from a Ford Model A. This star, donated by Karen Holtemann, has been rigged by the Mechanical Fabrication Department Machine Maintenance Group to flash a red light in its center every time it registers noise.

After thanking the crowd for this unique award, Fant said, "I could not do this without each and every one of your support. Every one of you has taken safety to heart, and we've seen dramatic changes in our safety record as a result."

Congratulations to Karen Fant!

Conservation Tip
of the Week

Enjoy this coming Fourth of July holiday and help contribute to protecting and conserving our landscape by observing some simple, common-sense safety tips.

The first Fourth of July celebration was held in 1777 and by the early 1800s a tradition of parades, picnics and fireworks were firmly established as part of American Independence Day culture. Since John Hancock's first signing of the Declaration of Independence, the original 13 colonies have grown from 2.6 million people to over 304 million people today. Given the population and potential for personal and property injury, it becomes ever more important that we recognize firework safety in our celebrations (particularly in this very dry season).

To help enhance our public safety, the National Council on Fireworks Safety makes these following recommendations:
• Use fireworks outdoors only.
• Obey local laws.

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