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In this issue:
From the Director: One Year
Welcome New SLACers
Fall HIP Registration Open
Word of the Week: Beta Decay
Building the LCLS: Weekly Update

SLAC Today

Friday - September 12, 2008

From the Director: One Year

(Photo - Persis Drell)

On Wednesday, September 10, 2007, President Hennessy appointed me acting director of SLAC to serve until a new director was named. We all know how that turned out! And though the 'acting' next to my name was not removed until December, even from the first day, I knew that my job was to help to build the SLAC of the future. And for the last year, together, that is what we have been doing together.

On that first day, I knew that SLAC had to go forward as one lab. Our scientific vision for the long term future had to be developed as one lab. We had to embark on an improvement initiative for the support activities that fully enabled the science mission at SLAC as one lab. The vision of one lab has been and continues to be the strategic context within which to make the tactical decisions to move the lab forward.

In retrospect, when I took on this challenge I had no idea of the magnitude of the challenges we would face. I am incredibly impressed with how the laboratory has met those challenges and made significant progress towards our future. At this time of year, I cannot resist asking: So how have we done in the last year?  Read more...

Welcome New SLACers

(Photo by Brad Plummer. Click for larger image.)

Ten new employees completed orientation yesterday, including (front, from left) Michael Renteria, Lori Pirri, Angelica Burdios, Dao Xiang, Francois Le Diberder; (back, from left) Ron Anderson, Robert Stephen Jack, Richard Mondell, Bjoern Braeuer; and Jesus Domingues (not pictured).

HIP Registration Open

Registration has begun for fall quarter Health Improvement Program classes. This quarter includes some exciting new offerings and some new aspects of existing classes.

Benefits-eligible Stanford University employees, benefits-eligible family members and University retirees who have completed Steps 1 and 2 of the BeWell Employee Incentive program can register online. There is a $20 fee for group fitness classes.  For more information and to register, visit the HIP website. There you can download and print the complete schedule of classes, or search for the specific class that you want.

A schedule of HIP classes to be held at SLAC beginning 9/22 is available on the Environment, Safety and Health Web site.

For a full list of HIP Healthy Living classes, pick up a class schedule at the HIP office (211 Quarry Rd.) on the main campus or view the PDF online.

Word of the Week:
Beta Decay

Beta decay is a type of radioactive decay in which an unstable atom emits an electron or a positron. This alters the charge of the parent atom without changing the number of particles in the nucleus. Beta radiation is typically not very energetic, with emitted particles lacking sufficient energy to travel far through most materials. For this reason, dosimeters worn at SLAC have a small plastic window on the front, called the "beta window." It is made of a thin material through which beta particles can pass, allowing them to be detected.

Building the LCLS: Weekly Update

Construction highlights from the Linac Coherent Light Source this week include:

• Removal of Turner Construction fences and portable toilets around the Beam Transport Hall in the Research Yard. (Personal protective equipment still required.)

• Commencement of undulator girder installation in the Undulator Hall.

• Backfilling and compacting mechanical, electrical and plumbing trench at the Access Tunnel.

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