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In this issue:
Cosmic Science at the 36th SLAC Summer Institute
The Five-minute ATLAS
SSI Takes SLAC 1-0

SLAC Today

Thursday - August 21, 2008

Cosmic Science at the 36th SLAC Summer Institute

Attendees enjoy snacks during an SSI poster session. (Photo by Martin Sanchez.)

Friday, August 15, the 2008 SLAC Summer Institute wrapped up two weeks of lectures, topical conferences and social gatherings. Attendees complimented the high quality of this year's lectures—focused on the theme of cosmic accelerators—according to SSI Coordinator Thanh Ly. Almost half of SSI's 20 speakers delivered more than one talk, allowing them to explain their work in added depth.

To kick off the 10 days of talks and activities, institute attendees were given a detailed introduction to cosmic accelerators and their history from Jonathan F. Ormes of the University of Denver. His talk titled "The High Energy Universe" centered on the questions "What did we know and when did we know it?" and "What do we want to know but don't?" Ormes identified cosmic ray science as "a tree with many branches," and pointed out its role in studying the sun, X-ray and gamma-ray astronomy, high energy events in the universe and more.

Attendees gathered in the Panofsky Auditorium breezeway for breakfast each day to fuel up for the morning's lectures. After a break for lunch, participants attended open discussions or short topical conferences. These included an update on the status of the Gamma-ray Large Area Space Telescope, the newest results from BABAR and other updates from international collaborations and experiments. The lectures are available on the 2008 SSI Web site lecture page.

Students presented their own work during two evening poster sessions. Attendees also relaxed over group dinners, social hours and even a soccer game. "The informal discussions [at SSI] are great," said University of Pennsylvania/Syracuse University physicist Mark Trodden, who gave a lecture on exotic acceleration mechanisms. "I was surrounded at one point by maybe 20 students and they were just peppering me with questions. They're very bright young people and they bring up things I haven't thought of."

The Five-minute ATLAS


Manchester University physics student Tim Head has created a time-lapse movie showing construction of the 7000-ton A Toroidal LHC ApparatuS detector, known as ATLAS, from its foundations in concrete to its final 45- by 25-meter majesty. Set to the steady rhythm of Ravel's famous "Bolero," the short film spans work from October 2003 through August 2008, compressed into just five minutes.

The 2500-physicist, 37-country ATLAS experiment will seek new physics in the collisions of protons inside the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. The LHC is scheduled to circulate its first proton beam on September 10. SLAC scientists are contributing to ATLAS with work on the pixel detector, trigger and more. (See "SLAC's ATLAS Team at CERN Gears Up" and ATLAS @ SLAC.)

Head built his film sequence using footage from an ATLAS webcam, the ATLAS eye. You can see ATLAS live at its home on the French/Swiss border through the experiment's four webcams.

SSI Takes SLAC 1-0

(Photo - SSI soccer game)
SLAC players gave SSI attendees a run for their money in the August 13 game, but SSI prevailed. (Photo by Thanh Ly. Click for larger image.)

A group of scientists collaborated on something other than physics at the SLAC Summer Institute on the evening of Wednesday, August 13, as a team of SSI attendees defeated a SLAC team 1-0 in the annual SSI/SLAC soccer game.

The SLAC team dominated possession of the ball at first, but a long goal midway through the first half gave the SSI team a lead it never relinquished. SLAC created a number of good opportunities—including a series of excellent shots in the final minutes—but SSI’s tenacious defenders were able to hold strong throughout the game.

Afterward, the competitors relaxed on the green and soothed any mild bruises on their shins and egos with an assortment of refreshments.

The SLAC team poses for a photo. (Photo by Thanh Ly. Click for larger image.)

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