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In this issue:
From the Director: Communication, Communication, Communication
Help Center Meeting to Address Traffic Accident
Supercomputing '08
New Record Time for the SLAC Run and Walk
Word of the Week: Bake-out
LCLS Hardware Update

SLAC Today

Friday - November 21, 2008

From the Director:
Communication, Communication, Communication

(Photo - Persis Drell)

On Tuesday, I completed another round of meetings with all of the workgroups at the laboratory. I met with most of the staff at the laboratory, in groups ranging in size from about 30 to more than 100 in a period of 10 days.

As I've done before, I started each meeting with a few comments about what is on my mind. Then most of each hour was devoted to Q&A from the audience. My message to the staff for this round of meetings was simple. We have a long way to go to achieve our goal of a being a smoothly and effectively functioning multi-program laboratory, but we are heading in the right direction and we are making progress.

The best part of the meeting for me is the questions, and every time I do this, the questions are different. I always say that no question is off limits. The variety this time was just great.


Help Center Meeting to Address Traffic Accident

The Stanford Help Center will offer an informal session to discuss concerns relating to yesterday's traffic accident. The meeting is open to all and will be held today from noon until 3:00 p.m. in the Kavli Building's third-floor conference room (Building 50, room 305).

The two-car collision shortly after 9:30 a.m. yesterday at the intersection of Sand Hill Road and Saga Lane took the life of a San Jose resident and resulted in closure of the eastbound side of Sand Hill Road and the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory Main Gate until just before 1:00 p.m. Two others traveling with the victim were not seriously injured. A SLAC employee, the sole occupant of the second car, sustained minor injuries.

SLAC Security and Emergency Response were first on the scene. Local emergency teams arrived minutes later. All traffic in and out of the laboratory was diverted from the Main Gate to the Alpine Road entrance.

Please remember, in case of a significant crisis, the SLAC emergency hotline number is available for information: 877-447-SLAC (7522)

Supercomputing '08

Randy Melen, Tofigh Azemoon, Yemi Adesanya and Ralf Kaehler in front of SLAC's SC08 display. (Photo courtesy of Alf Wachsmann. Click for larger image.)

This week, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory exhibits its best in research aided by high performance computing at the International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage and Analysis, also known as SC08. Hosted this year in Austin, Texas, the conference brings together scientists, engineers, researchers, educators, programmers, system administrators and managers from around the world to share the latest advances in this field.

On the conference's massive exhibition floor, SLAC presenters are partnering with several groups from Stanford University to display scientific visualizations and animations. Their "screen" is a wall of 25 cinema display monitors that stretches more than 6 feet in the air. Off-the-shelf software from Apple spreads a single image or animation seamlessly across the 25 screens, automatically accounting for the empty space along the edges of the display screens.

"This year, we also have a remote control that allows us to stop the animations as people ask questions," said SLAC Systems Software Developer Yemi Adesanya. "We can start, stop, change the speed and run the animations backwards. In the future, we hope to extend the remote controls to provide a more interactive visualization experience."  Read more...

New Record Time for the SLAC Run and Walk

Keith Bechtol and Leslie Stepanek had the top men's and women's times. (Photo by Kelen Tuttle. Click for larger image.)

Sixty-two runners and 42 registered walkers took part in the annual SLAC Run & Walk yesterday afternoon. Stanford University graduate student Keith Bechtol took home the first-place ribbon with a record-breaking time of 19:06.88. (The previous record holder was Geoff Bodwin, with a time of 19:19 set in 1980.) The first overall female winner was Environment, Safety and Health Program Manager Leslie Stepanek, who finished the 3.4-mile race in a time of 28:32.18.

The full race results will be posted on the race Web site by Monday. Many thanks to all who participated and to the more than 20 race volunteers!

Word of the Week:

Beamline 5-1's foil-swaddled monochromator. (Photo by Brad Plummer. Click on image for larger version.)

Baking out is a technique to help achieve a high-quality vacuum inside a vacuum chamber by heating it to a high temperature, liberating any contaminants stuck to the inner walls. Typically, a bake-out involves wrapping a vacuum chamber with an electrical heating element (called heat tape), followed by a layer of heavy aluminum foil as insulation. This explains the preponderance of foil-bound equipment in physics labs.

LCLS Hardware Update

Click for an interactive map of the LCLS.

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

• The full linac-to-undulator and undulator sections in the Beam Transport Hall are now under vacuum. The Beam Dump is expected to be under vacuum by the end of this week.

• A test installation of an undulator magnet on a girder assembly will occur in the tunnel this week to verify installation procedures and clearances.

• The installation of the hydrostatic level system and the wire position monitor in the Undulator Hall is expected to also be complete this week.

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