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In this issue:
SLUO Annual Meeting Highlights SLAC Value
Bob Siemann Has Passed Away
LSST Workshop Moves Camera Forward

SLAC Today

Monday - September 22, 2008

SLUO Annual Meeting Highlights SLAC Value

SLUO annual meeting attendees listen to Mike Holland speak on Thursday. (Photo by Calla Cofield. Click for larger image.)

The SLAC Users Organization held their biggest meeting of the year in Kavli Auditorium last Thursday. The SLUO Users Meeting filled every seat with users from around the world. SLAC Director Persis Drell's morning speech set the tone for the day's events. "This is the most exciting time for particle physics in my career," she said. "Particle physics will thrive in the next decade. The question is, how will the U.S. continue to play a leadership role?" She said she hoped the roundtable discussions scheduled for later in the day would begin to address this question and the prime focus of the meeting: how national laboratories including SLAC can better support users working in the U.S. and internationally.

Policymakers are also examining this question, as noted by the three speakers who followed Drell: Mike Holland, program examiner of the Office of Management and Budget Energy Branch; Joseph Dehmer, director of the National Science Foundation Division of Physics and Dennis Kovar, associate director of the Department of Energy's Office of High Energy Physics. In a video speech, Congresswoman Anna Eshoo expressed the importance of laboratories such as SLAC in America's economic competitiveness.

"These speakers were invited to inform users of the priorities of Washington agencies, and their plans for high energy physics," said SLUO Chairperson Gerard Bonneaud. "This kind of meeting will have an impact on agency budgets and priorities that include high energy physics."  Read more...

Bob Siemann Has Passed Away

(Robert Sieman)

Bob Siemann, a central leader in SLAC accelerator research for seventeen years, passed away last week. His legacy to SLAC includes a strong academic research program in advanced accelerator research, and many grateful recipients of his rigorous and enthusiastic mentorship.

"Bob was truly a great accelerator physicist. He was widely respected throughout the high energy physics community for his capability in accelerator physics as well as his intellectual integrity," said head of Accelerator Research Tor Raubenheimer. Siemann was elected chair of the American Physical Society Division of Physics of Beams in 1995, and was a fellow of both the APS and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He was also a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

Siemann completed his bachelor's degree in physics at Brown University, and his doctorate at Cornell University. His first association with SLAC was as a research associate, 1969 to 1972. After a year as a physicist at Brookhaven National Laboratory, he joined the faculty of Cornell, where he grew from assistant professor to full professor and a recognized leader in his field. He joined SLAC in 1991, and helped bring in a new Stanford academic program in advanced accelerator physics.  Read more...

LSST Workshop Moves Camera Forward

(Photo - workshop participants)
Workshop attendees met on the third floor of the Kavli building. (Photo by Martha Siegel.)

The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope camera team held a 3‑day workshop last week, bringing roughly 40 collaboration members from around the U.S. and Europe to SLAC. Workshop attendees flowed in and out of meetings in the Kavli third-floor conference room on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday.

The workshop paused on Thursday for the SLAC Users Organization annual meeting, where camera collaborators were introduced to the organization and the important role it plays in facilitating collaboration with other users of SLAC resources.

Meeting attendees shared ideas on how to tackle some of the challenges in building the world’s largest digital camera. SLAC will lead development and construction of the camera, with contributions from numerous laboratories and universities. The collaboration is solidifying plans for camera construction and will use those plans during spring funding reviews with the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, and other international and private agencies.

The 8.4-meter Large Synoptic Survey Telescope has a wide field of view that will provide time-lapse digital imaging of faint astronomical objects across the entire sky. This will be a qualitatively new capability in telescope technology.

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