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In this issue:
From the Director: The 2008 Nobel Prize in Physics
Fire Weather Watch: Red Flag Warning
Influenza Vaccine
B Factory Symposium Dinner Deadline
Word of the Week: CP Violation

SLAC Today

Friday - October 10, 2008

From the Director: The 2008 Nobel Prize in Physics

(Photo - Persis Drell)

It happened that the Nobel prize in physics this year was announced on the same day that our new chief operating officer, Sandy Merola, was holding all-hands meetings for the Operations Directorate. Sandy invited me to talk to his staff at the beginning of the meeting, and the Nobel announcement was a wonderful backdrop for my comments.

It is easy for SLAC particle theorists to rejoice at the honor bestowed on their longtime colleagues Yoichiro Nambu, Makoto Kobayashi and Toshihide Maskawa. BaBar experimentalists and PEP-II accelerator team members can also take great pride in this year's prize; work at the SLAC and KEK B Factories was instrumental in validating Kobayashi and Maskawa's predictions, and contributed to the award.

Speaking to the Operations Directorate highlighted for me the fact that everyone at the lab, and especially those who work in the mission support areas of operations and of engineering and technical support, can take some personal pride in this year's Nobel. The success of the B Factory relied on the dedicated work of the SLAC professionals in human resources, business services, information technology, facilities and other operations functions, along with the klystron, power conversion, controls and the other technical functions in ETS.

This year's Nobel prize is an excellent chance to remember that everyone who works at SLAC contributes to the science mission. Everyone. And while we take pride in our science leaders, we must honor and be every bit as proud of the effective and energetic leadership in the lab's mission support activities. We must nurture and reward the operations and technical staff just as we do the scientific staff. We can execute the mission of the laboratory only with the help of the strong mission support functions that sustain it.

Fire Weather Watch:
Red Flag Warning

The National Weather Service has declared a Red Flag Warning for the entire San Francisco Bay region, due to an expectation of strong and gusty northerly winds. The warning is expected to span from Thursday evening to Saturday evening, abating through Sunday. According to the forecast, "A combination of strong winds and low relative humidity will create explosive wind-driven fire potential."

Please advise your colleagues and guests of our local weather condition and ask them to avoid any potential spark or flame-producing activities anywhere near dry vegetation. Thanks for your assistance in keeping SLAC safe from fire.

Influenza Vaccine

Influenza vaccine is available now to SLAC employees in the Medical Department. It is recommended that anyone who wants to reduce his or her chances of getting the flu should be vaccinated.

Vaccination is the best form of protection against influenza, a serious disease that can affect people of any age. In an average year, influenza is responsible for more than 200,000 hospitalizations and 36,000 deaths in the U.S.

Please call the Medical Department (x2281) with questions or to schedule an appointment.

B Factory Symposium Dinner Deadline

Monday, October 13, is the last day to sign up for the dinner at Ming's Chinese Cuisine, which will follow the B Factory Symposium on October 27. Please visit the event Web site to register for the symposium and sign up for the dinner.

Word of the Week:
CP Violation

Charge-parity violation describes one mechanism behind an inequality in the behavior of matter and anti-matter. Until the 1950s, theory suggested that the behavior of subatomic particles would maintain a certain balance, or symmetry. In 1964, a surprising observation was made in the way particles called K mesons decayed, in which they clearly violated symmetry in the characteristics charge and parity—that is, they violated charge-parity symmetry. SLAC's BaBar experiment made major contributions to the understanding of this CP violation by studying the behavior of B mesons and their antimatter counterparts, anti-B, or B-bar mesons.


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