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In this issue:
ICFA Sharpens Focus on the Energy Frontier
New Structure in Environment, Safety and Health
California Science Teachers Tour the Lab

SLAC Today

Monday - November 3, 2008

ICFA Sharpens Focus on the Energy Frontier

ICFA Chair Albrecht Wagner (left) and ICFA members. (Photo by Calla Cofield. Click for larger image.)

"Particle physics is at a crossroads," said Chairperson Albrecht Wagner of the International Committee for Future Accelerators, in the opening moments of the ninth ICFA Seminar last Tuesday in Kavli Auditorium. "The Standard Model stands triumphant," Wagner said, "yet incomplete."

Evidence from past and present particle accelerators supports the Standard Model of the fundamental particles that make up matter, to a breathtaking precision, many physicists say. But observations from cosmology make a convincing case for additional matter—in large quantities—not accounted for. The Standard Model, it seems, provides pieces that fit elegantly, but do not complete, the particle physics puzzle. The next discoveries, Wagner said, will require experiments at energies beyond those of previous accelerators, into the extremely high energies present moments after the Big Bang. To reach this TeV energy scale, he said, physicists worldwide must concentrate their efforts at very few, very large accelerators.

Those large, international accelerators were a central subject at this year's ICFA Seminar, which took place at SLAC from October 28 to 31. ICFA hosts the seminar every three years to bring together strategic decision makers and leading scientists from governments, funding agencies, laboratories and universities around the globe to discuss progress and future plans in high-energy physics.  Read more...

New Structure in Environment, Safety and Health

Environment, Safety and Health Director Craig Ferguson announced last week that the ES&H Division has a new structure, effective November 1.

"The new organization will help align ES&H functions and enhance service across the lab with the goal of better enabling the lab's mission," Ferguson said.

Brian Sherin, formerly the Chemical and General Safety Department head, will serve as deputy director for ES&H going forward. Sherin will also manage the new Risk Management and Response Department to focus on fire, emergency management, site security (effective December 1), medical needs and incident investigation.

The laser safety program will now reside in the Radiation Protection Department to leverage the two functions' similar approach to hazard evaluation and controls. The director-appointed safety officers will continue to report to Craig Ferguson in his capacity as chief safety officer.

According to Ferguson, "The reorganization also creates stronger ties with the directorate ES&H coordinators to provide a  positive and deliberate flow of information and feedback for improved ES&H support to line organizations. Further, the aligning of safety training and publishing functions will streamline receipt and packaging of requirements and feedback to improve safety training and requirements delivery."

See the ES&H organizational chart for more details. Please contact Craig Ferguson (x3106) or Brian Sherin (x5082) with any questions.

California Science Teachers Tour the Lab

Members of the California Science Teacher Association learn about SLAC physics. (Photo by Susan Schultz.)

Saturday afternoon, 25 science teachers from across the state of California toured SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory for the first time. These teachers took a break from the California Science Teacher Association annual meeting in San Jose to visit the lab and enjoy a guided tour to learn more about SLAC science.

The group of teachers represented all grade levels including elementary, middle, and high school. Graduate student Joe Tuggle presented an overview of various SLAC research projects then escorted the teachers to the Visitor's Alcove at the linac. After the tour, SLAC physicist Aaron Roodman shared his recent public lecture talk on antimatter with the teachers. The teachers asked lots of questions and are eager to bring their students to SLAC for a field trip in the near future.


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