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In this issue:
From the Director: Stay the Course
Still Three Physicists in Congress
LCLS Hardware Update
Word of the Week: Chirped Pulse Amplification
Around SLAC: Brazing Oven

SLAC Today

Friday - November 7, 2008

From the Director: Stay the Course

(Photo - Persis Drell)

At Tuesday's Safety and Security Briefing I took the opportunity to underscore some of the positive strides the lab has made to improve safe work practices. We as a lab have a long way to go, but we are headed in the right direction.

If I compare this year to last year, I can see the progress. At last year's security briefing, management talked about how safety excellence must be a core value at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. Last year I don't think everyone at the lab quite knew what that meant. Now we all understand that we as a lab must have the same high expectations for our safety performance as we do for our science performance.

Last year management talked about how important it was to thoroughly investigate near misses and accidents, to understand root causes and learn from any mistakes. This year I believe the message is permeating the lab that over-communication is much better than under-communication; please risk over-reporting rather than underreporting. Only by acknowledging and understanding mistakes can we make progress.  Read more...

Still Three Physicists in Congress

After yesterday's US elections, all three sitting physicists remain in Congress. The three Congressmen are: Representative Vern Ehlers, Michigan; Representative Bill Foster, Illinois; and Representative Rush Holt, New Jersey. The most recent to enter Congress was Foster, ex-Fermilab physicist, who won his seat earlier in 2008 in a special election called after House of Representatives Speaker Dennis Hastert stepped down.

See the original post on symmetry breaking.

LCLS Hardware Update

Click for an interactive map of the LCLS.

Highlights this week from hardware installation at the Linac Coherent Light Source include:

• The team is ready to install the single beam dump shielding in the Beam Transport Hall.

• The team is ready to perform magnetic measurements of the electron dump permanent magnets.

• The beam finder wire system is installed on all 33 undulator girder assemblies. Five of the 33 need repair.

Word of the Week:
Chirped Pulse Amplification

In laser science, chirped pulse amplification is a technique used to amplify an ultra-short laser pulse by temporarily stretching it out in time and wavelength before amplifying it, then re-compressing to make a very short pulse. This technique is currently state-of-the-art for amplifying pulses from the highest power lasers, and was developed as a way of preventing damage to the laser's amplifying components. The Linac Coherent Light Source drive laser uses this approach to amplify the initial laser pulse before it is used to generate a beam of electrons.

Around SLAC: Brazing Oven

(Photo by Brad Plummer.
Click for larger image.)

Technician Arnie Massoletti lowers one of the Klystron Department's brazing ovens onto its holding stand with a ceramic insulating plug after it was used to heat a container of precision-machined accelerator parts. The electrically operated oven is held at a temperature around 1100 °C.


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