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In this issue:
Thin Coats Galore
People Today: Chris Ramirez Helps Keep SSRL Connected
Accelerators Overtake Researchers

SLAC Today

Wednesday - October 8, 2008

Thin Coats Galore

(Photo - ceramic windows)
Windows of various sizes and power ratings, including klystron windows, are coated at the Klystron Coating Lab. (Photo by Dale Miller.)

A refrigerator-sized machine inside SLAC's Klystron Coating Lab hums and clangs as it deposits a few layers of titanium nitride molecules onto a cylindrical piece of ceramic for Argonne lab's Advanced Photon Source. Since 1985, the coating lab has been applying similar thin films to klystron microwave windows and other components used in accelerator labs from around the world.

Klystron windows provide a seal for the vacuum inside the klystron—a device that powers a linear accelerator. These white ceramic disks are called windows because they are designed to transmit the microwave energy generated inside the klystron without much absorption or reflection.

"Klystrons always have difficulties with windows breaking. The higher in power you go, the harder it is to make a window that doesn't destroy itself," said Dale Miller, the principal technician at the lab. One process that destroys these windows is called multipacting. Electric fields near the windows crash electrons into the surface of the window. These impacts eject electrons that can then be accelerated into the window or other klystron surfaces and jar more particles loose. The energy created by this cascading effect eventually breaks the window.  Read more...

(Weekly Column - Profile)

Chris Ramirez Helps Keep SSRL Connected

Chris Ramirez stands in front of a tower of cables that connect SSRL to the network. (Photo by Calla Cofield. Click for larger image.)

In 1997 Chris Ramirez had the opportunity to work for SLAC as a summer student through the Woodside High School Technology Program. Sorting nuts and bolts with the SLAC electronics group, he says, he never anticipated that the summer job would lead to a career in computer networking at a science laboratory.

More than ten years later, Ramirez's view has changed. He has moved through the ranks to become a full-time technician with the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory Computer and Networking Group. "[Working at SLAC] has changed my ambitions and goals," he says. "No one in my family ever worked in science. But working to support scientists from all over the world has been an incredible life experience."

Ramirez and the group administer, upgrade and contribute to the design of the SSRL network. They are in charge of everything from installation of new copper and fiber optics cables, to network configuration and management of all network equipment. They ensure that data stored on the SSRL servers is always accessible to remote users around the world.  Read more...

Accelerators Overtake Researchers

(Photo - the Accelerators softball team)
The Accelerators: (standing, from left) Clayton Shum, Natalie Cramar, Eric Miller, Matt Cramar and Ken Herman; and (kneeling) Tom Markiewicz, Abe Downey, Mike Palrang and Herman Winick. (Photo by Heather Woods. Click for larger image.)

The Accelerators bested the Researchers 30–28 to win the Drell-Richter trophy in SLAC's Annual Softball Game Sunday, October 5, at Stanford's Roble Field. Scoring was fast and furious as the Researchers sought to erase the memory of their 38–10 defeat in 2007.

Research right-fielder Ryan Auer set the tone early with an over-the-fence home run in the first inning, lending the Researchers a quick 8–3 lead. The Accelerators came back in the third inning with a three-run homer to deep left field by Ken Herman. But the Researchers answered with five runs in the bottom of the inning. The Accelerators narrowed the gap slightly in the fourth inning, and then exploded for 14 runs in the fifth to take a commanding lead. The Researchers found their bats again in the sixth inning, narrowing the Accelerators' lead to just one run. After the seventh-inning stretch, the Researchers added three more runs to recover the lead. However, the Accelerator team quickly re-grouped, scoring three runs in the top of the eighth and one more in the ninth to win.

Bill Kirk MVP Awardd

The Bill Kirk Most Valuable Player Award went to Herman Winick for Accelerators. Herman contributed a grand slam to the Accelerator barrage of 14 runs in the fifth inning, then scored the game-winning RBI in the eighth.

For more game details and photos, see the 2008 game Web page.


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