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In this issue:
A Photon–Photon Collider?
Safety Today: Safe Computing—Virus Protection
New Lab Logo Items Now Available
Preparations Underway for SC08

SLAC Today

Tuesday - November 11, 2008

A Photon–Photon Collider?

(Hirotaka Sugawara)
Former Director of Japan's KEK laboratory and former International Committee on Future Accelerators Chairperson Hirotaka Sugawara has proposed the HEP community build a photon-photon collider prior to building the ILC. (Image courtesy KEK.)

Should the International Linear Collider be the next big project for high energy physics? Or should a smaller, less expensive collider be the next step? Former Director of Japan's KEK laboratory and former International Committee on Future Accelerators Chairperson Hirotaka Sugawara proposes that the HEP community build a photon-photon collider prior to building the ILC. When asked "Why the rush?" he replied, "Why should we wait?"

Two major factors could answer Sugawara's question. First, whether the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN successfully detects the Higgs boson in a low-energy range and, second, whether or not international support for the ILC falls short of the six billion dollar price tag.

The concept of a photon collider has been explored by physicists for about a decade now, with possible implementations considered for a variety of accelerator facilities, but most recently for the ILC. A photon collider was being thought of as an upgrade of rather than a precursor to the ILC, capable of exploring a range of physics in complementary ways to either electron-positron or proton-proton collisions, the two avenues pursued by the ILC and LHC. Sugawara wants to reverse that order and build a photon-photon collider first.  Read more in symmetry breaking...

(Column - Safety Today)

Safe Computing—Virus Protection

By now, almost everyone at the lab knows not to click on unexpected attachments received in e-mail messages, particularly those from unknown persons. However, it still happens. Here are some tips to keep your computer safe.

• Avoid temptation. Do not click attachments you didn't request, including links and images sent via instant messages. Confirming someone meant to send you a file before opening it can save many hours of lost productivity and prevent irrecoverable data loss.

• Avoid, too, the temptation to install programs found on the Internet. Viruses are often hidden in executable programs. Download applications only from trusted Web sites at home and use only authorized programs at work.

• Always run antivirus software. It runs in the background and typically prevents viruses and worms from wreaking havoc.

Anti-virus software helps to protect from known viruses but cannot always protect from new ones. The antivirus signature files must be updated at least daily. For your SLAC-managed computer this is generally handled by Scientific Computing and Computer Services and your desktop administrator. Laptop users traveling for extended periods should get updates by connecting back to the SLAC network or through download from the vendor's Web site. On home computers, run full scans often. If you have children using the computer, do it at least once a week.

Sophos Anti-Virus 7 is available to all regular and emeritus Stanford University faculty and staff, including SLAC, as defined in Guide Memo 23.1, Definitions. You need a SUNet ID to download the software. If you are eligible, but do not have a SUNet ID, you can sign up for one here. With your SUNet ID, you can download the software online . The software is available for both Macintosh and Windows computers. If you are not eligible, here is a CNET review of products you might want to buy. There are also free anti-virus programs available: see this review from About.com. Computer Security does not make any specific recommendations for home use.

If you have any questions or comments, please contact Computer Security.

New Lab Logo Items Now Available

(Logowear)
Friends of the Linear Accelerator model the new SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory logowear. (Photo courtesy of Doug Kreitz.)

You asked, and the Friends of the Linear Accelerator have come through! Come by the Stanford Guest House to see the new T-shirts, crew-neck and hooded sweatshirts and sweatpants sporting the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory's new logo.

Volunteers led by FOLA's Doug Kreitz spent several hours this weekend unpacking and folding the new logowear, which went into Guest House inventory yesterday. Additional items, including coffee mugs, are coming soon.

Your purchases of these items not only give you a chance to show off your lab pride, they also support FOLA's purchases of benches, display cases, picnic tables and other enhancements for the lab.

The Guest House also has a limited remaining stock of mugs and other "collector's" items with original Stanford Linear Accelerator Center designs. Get them while they last!

Preparations Underway for SC08

(SC08 Participants)  Yemi Adesanya, Alf Wachsmann, Ralf Kaehler and Randy Melen in front of a small demo version of their 25-monitor SC08 display. (Click for larger version.)

The International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage and Analysis, also known as SC08, begins this Saturday in the Lone Star State, and SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory representatives are raring to go. 

This year, SLAC will again team up with Stanford University and local industry representatives to wow visitors with high-tech displays. The booth will feature a staircase of 25 cinema display screens—each measuring 30 inches—showing photos and animations including visualizations prepared by researchers at the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology.

SLAC's presentations will highlight how computing is used at the lab to achieve scientific goals in photon science, particle physics and particle astrophysics.

Stay tuned for more on the laboratory's involvement in SC08.

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