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In this issue:
The LCLS in Pictures
LHC Grid Fest Today
Word of the Week: Grid Computing

SLAC Today

Friday - October 3, 2008

The LCLS in Pictures

Hardware installation picks up speed as civil construction nears completion.

Inside the LCLS Beam Dump area. The black support girders will carry the beam pipe that angles the used electron beam into the beam dump. (Photo by Brad Plummer. Click for larger image.)

This fall, the change of seasons coincides with a change in momentum in the construction of the Linac Coherent Light Source. Since the closing weeks of summer, the LCLS construction fences came down, contractors are wrapping up the last of the civil construction and hardware installation is taking off.

Although utility work continues in the farthest sections of the facility—from the X-ray Tunnel and into the Far Experimental Hall—the electron transport sections and first of the X-ray components are coming together rapidly. Beam pipe and steering magnets are now in place through the length of the Beam Transport Hall, and undulator support hardware installation continues.

As the work moves ahead, SLAC Today will run weekly status reports on the progress of hardware installation. This week, LCLS crews are preparing to turn on the magnet cooling water system in the Beam Transport Hall. In the Undulator Hall, 25 of the 33 undulator support girders are now in place, and installation of the dump magnets is set to begin.

See the progress in this gallery of recent images taken throughout the LCLS facility.

LHC Grid Fest Today

Global view of the LHC computing grid over Europe. (Image courtesy of CERN. Click for larger image.)

Today, researchers around the globe celebrate the grand opening of the Worldwide Large Hadron Collider Computing Grid. This multi-tiered grid of 140 computing centers in 33 countries will collect and analyze the millions of gigabytes of data produced by the LHC. Technologies and policies developed for the grid will also aid research in fields from climate modeling to drug discovery.

The day-long LHC Grid Fest includes lectures and demonstrations of the grid's capabilities by members of the consortium in Geneva and at other sites across the world. As a tier 1 computing center, Fermilab is participating in the festivities through video connections with CERN and other tier 1 sites.

SLAC, a tier 2 computing center, isn't directly participating in Grid Fest. But Wei Yang, the technical lead of the SLAC Tier 2 Project, hopes that the festival raises awareness of SLAC's work in the consortium. In addition to preparing to provide computing power and data storage, the SLAC team has been testing the grid's analysis software with simulations, in anticipation of the torrent of data that the LHC will produce.  Read more...


If you have a Windows or Linux computer at home, you can be a part of the Large Hadron Collider computing grid, too. LHC@home lets you volunteer your computer's idle time, using the open-source time-sharing software BOINC.

By running an LHC BOINC application called SixTrack or Garfield, you can help run simulations of LHC particle beams or detector behavior. SixTrack results are helping LHC scientists evaluate the stability of the proton beam as it whizzes around and around the 37-kilometer LHC, to address any risk of particles flying off course into the walls of the vacuum tube, where they could damage the accelerator. Garfield results are used to hone detector design and performance, saving the LHC time and money.

Learn more and sign up through the LHC@home Web site.

Word of the Week:
Grid Computing

Grid computing is a way of using networked clusters of individual computers acting in concert to perform very large computational tasks. Also called distributed computing, this approach concentrates the processing power of geographically dispersed computers to create a low-cost, virtual supercomputer. SLAC will play a central role in processing data from the Large Hadron Collider’s ATLAS experiment as a tier 2 center on the Worldwide LHC Computing Grid, which is expected generate 27 terabytes of data per day.

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