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In this issue:
From the Director: PPA Scores a Hat-Trick!
Photographer Stanley Greenberg Back at SLAC
Yoji Totsuka Has Passed Away
Word of the Week
Building the LCLS: Weekly Update

SLAC Today

Friday - July 11, 2008

From the Director: PPA Scores a Hat-Trick!

(Photo - Persis Drell)

I am not a sports fan, but I could not come up with another way to describe the achievements of the Directorate of Particle Physics and Astrophysics (PPA) this past week.

First: The Gamma-Ray Large Area Space Telescope (GLAST) had its first science data run last week, taking four days of gamma ray observations as part of their turn-on plan for the instrument. While data plots will not be public until the first light celebration in early August (when a new name for GLAST will be announced), the collaboration members use adjectives like "spectacular," "beautiful" and "outstanding" to describe the data. As a Large Area Telescope team member, I have been privileged to see some of the early sky maps. They are truly gorgeous. From a only few days of data, the outstanding power of the instrument is evident and the tremendous science potential is clear.

Second: Wednesday, BaBar announced the discovery of the ηb. For those of you who remember your quantum mechanics, this is the singlet state of the b anti-b quark bound state, analogous to the singlet ground state of the positronium atom. We have been looking for the ηb for 30 years, ever since the Upsilon resonances were first discovered. The analysis can only be described as a tour de force.  Read more...

Photographer Stanley Greenberg: Back at SLAC

(Photo - Stanley Greenberg)
Photographer Stanley Greenberg looks down the Linac Coherent Light Source beam line tunnel.
(Photo by Calla Cofield.)

Two years ago, photographer Stanley Greenberg visited SLAC to explore an undeveloped idea he had for his next project. He was taking photographs of high energy physics laboratories, and had also been to Fermilab. Since that first visit to SLAC, Greenberg's idea has taken him all over America and halfway around the world. He returned to SLAC last week to take more photographs for what has become a very grand plan.

Those earlier photos of SLAC, Fermilab and CERN helped Greenberg earn a grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to create a book focusing on high energy physics experiments. In the past two years, Greenberg has photographed more than a dozen American labs, as well as CERN in Switzerland and DESY in Germany. Later this month he's heading to Japan to photograph KEK, Super-K, J-PARC and the KamLAND Reactor Neutrino Experiment. In August he will visit the Pierre Auger Observatory in Argentina.

Yoji Totsuka Has Passed Away

Former KEK Director General Yoji Totsuka, 66, died on Thursday, July 10, KEK has announced. Yoji is remembered for his contributions to the study of neutrinos, including foundational work with Kamiokande, a large water cerenkov detector which observed neutrinos from supernova SN1987, and the SuperKamiokande detector, which led to the discovery of atmospheric neutrino oscillation.

Yoji joined KEK in 2002, and became the director general in April 2003. He received numerous awards including the Order of Culture of Japan, the Bruno Pontecorvo Prize in 2004 and the Franklin Institute Awards in 2007. Funeral services will take place in Tokyo on July 12.

Word of the Week:

Cruithne (pronounced "kreen-ya") is an asteroid with a very eccentric, horseshoe-shaped orbit around the Earth, that is sometimes referred to as Earth's second moon. Discovered in 1986 and officially named 3753 Cruithne, at closest approach it is about 30 times as far away as the Moon. That distance, along with its size (3 miles across) and composition, makes it appear fainter than Pluto. Cruithne takes 770 years to complete a single orbit, and will remain in a suspended state around the Earth for at least 5,000 years.

Building the LCLS: Weekly Update

Construction highlights for the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) this week include:

• Completing the power and lighting installations in the Near Experimental Hall Sub-Basement

• Installing domestic water and sanitary sewer tie-ins in Building 750

• Completing the wiring installation for Building 921


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