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In this issue:
Oak Ridge Opens "Big Bang Beamline" to Probe the Neutron
Stanford Benefits OpenĀ Enrollment
Interview with Sid Drell Tonight at Stanford
SSRL Swaps "Lab" for "Lightsource"

SLAC Today

Tuesday - October 21, 2008

Oak Ridge Opens "Big Bang Beamline" to Probe the Neutron

(Photo - the Spallation Neutron Source)
The Spallation Neutron Source at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

The Spallation Neutron Source at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee has opened a neutron beamline dedicated to the study of the neutron itself.  This close neighbor of the proton may hold clues to the nature of the early universe, matter's triumph over antimatter and other compelling questions; the new Fundamental Neutron Physics Beamline is dedicated to digging them out.

An article in Physics World neatly sums it up:

"Neutrons are, of course, neutral. But the FNPB will be able to examine whether, for example, the charged quarks inside neutrons give the particle a slight dipole. Such a dipole could help explain why the universe is almost solely made from matter and not antimatter. The FNPB will also look into the decay of free neutrons—which bound in nuclei are normally quite stable—to clarify the distribution of elements shortly after the Big Bang. Finally, the the FNPB will measure the interactions between neutrons and nuclei, hopefully to shed light on so-called symmetry violation—a concept that was first outlined theoretically by Yoichiro Nambu, joint winner of this year's Nobel Prize for Physics."

Read more in symmetry breaking...

Stanford Benefits Open Enrollment

Open Enrollment begins this Friday, October 24, and runs through Friday, November 14. During this time, benefits-eligible employees can make changes to health and life insurance plans for the upcoming calendar year, and retirees can make changes to their medical and dental coverage. This is the only opportunity to make changes, unless the covered individual has a life change, such as marriage or childbirth.

A newsletter was mailed to all benefits-eligible employees earlier this month to announce open enrollment dates, new rates for medical plans, and dates and times of workshops. This information and an enrollment guide, summary of benefits, comparison of medical plans and detailed costs can be found on the Stanford Benefits Web site.

To make changes for 2009, you'll need a Stanford University i.d. number and personal identification number to access your confidential benefit information. Those who don't have computer access or need help can go to the laboratory's Benefits Office or call Stanford Benefits at 877-905-2985, option 9.

Stanford Benefits will hold a series of information workshops, both in person and via WebEx, to review your benefits and what you need to do for 2009. Click here for dates and locations. For more information, visit the Stanford Benefits Open Enrollment Web page.

Interview with Sid Drell Tonight at Stanford

Tonight, the inaugural event of Stanford University's Pioneers in Science series will provide a glimpse into the remarkable career achievements of SLAC Deputy Director Emeritus and Hoover Institute Fellow Sidney Drell. After an introduction to Drell's leadership in nuclear physics and international arms control by Stanford Associate Vice President for University Affairs Philip Taubman, Drell and interviewer Paul Costello will hold a conversation about Drell's work and impact on his field and arms policy. The audience will have a chance to ask questions as well.

The event begins at 7:30 p.m. in Stanford's Cubberley Auditorium. For further details, please see the event Web page.

SSRL Swaps "Lab" for "Lightsource"

(Image - SSRL logo)The Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory is now the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource. The new name premiered last week, during the joint users' meeting for SSRL and the Linac Coherent Light Source.


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