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In this issue:
BaBar and the Very Tiny Particle
People Today: All-Terrain Tiki Bar Takes Ventura
SLAC Today Survey Ends Today
The Panofsky Turkey Constant

SLAC Today

Wednesday - November 26, 2008

(Photo - woman with BaBar storybook)
Postdoctoral researcher Veronique Ziegler is one of five analysts who pulled a new particle out of a deep pool of BaBar data. (Photo by Brad Plummer. Photo-illustration: Sandbox Studio.)

BaBar and the Very Tiny Particle

In which the 500 members of the BaBar experiment buy enough time for one last adventure: capturing the bottom-most bottomonium.

King Babar, the cartoon elephant, captured the imaginations of millions of children. Despite his lumbering size he could walk upright, run, jump, dance the conga, and even do yoga.

But King Babar had the advantage of cartoon-hood, where anything is possible. His namesake, an experiment known as BaBar at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, did not.

With 500 collaborators from 10 countries and 74 institutions, BaBar had the potential to be as clumsy as any real elephant. Yet in nine years of data taking, the experiment produced more than 350 published papers and made major contributions to our understanding of how matter escaped annihilation after the big bang and formed the world we see today. BaBar had matured into an elephant of great agility and skill.

Then the storm struck.  Read more in Symmetry magazine...

(Weekly Column - Profile)

All-Terrain Tiki Bar Takes Ventura


Mike Saleski (right) and his co-pilot Jason Wu pedal along Ventura Beach, ahead of "Henry Ford goes Surfing." (Photo courtesy of Mike Saleski. Click for larger image.)

Crossing pavement, sand, water and a giant mud bog, Quality Control Manager Mike Saleski and his improbable human-powered vehicle took top honors last month in the 11th annual Kinetic Sculpture Race at Ventura, California. This was the third race and the first win for the Tiki Bar and its pilot Saleski, who manages a team responsible for personnel protection and beam containment systems on the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory linac.

Saleski welded together the Tiki Bar from scratch. "There are about eight bicycles and a go-cart in that vehicle," he said. Bike hubs and 147 gears are joined with go-cart axels, disc brakes and steering in the pedal-driven, two-person vehicle. The Tiki Bar's artistic design is based on the Polynesian-themed cocktail bars, such as the canonical Trader Vic's. Originally, Saleski had planned a mobile queen-sized canopy bed. But then he took his undecorated vehicle to the Burning Man festival north of Reno, Navada, where he used a large umbrella as shielding against the desert sun. His wife suggested using the thatch-covered umbrella for the race. Saleski added a grass-hut-style wet bar to the front, and the All-terrain Tiki Bar was born.  Read more...

SLAC Today Survey Ends Today

Midnight tonight is the deadline to respond to the SLAC Today survey. If you haven't yet, please follow the link in the announcement and reminder e-mails sent by Communications Director Rob Brown on November 13 and 24. Let us know what would make SLAC Today most interesting and useful to you.

The Panofsky
Turkey Constant

Just in time for the Thanksgiving holiday, Nicholas Panofsky shares a flavorful tidbit of Panofsky family lore.

"There was a point in time when my grandfather [SLAC Director Emeritus] WKH 'Pief' Panofsky was not satisfied with the cooking times for turkeys of '30 minutes per pound'," Panofsky wrote. "This is of course reasonable, because the time a turkey should be cooked is not a linear equation."

So Pief Panofsky derived an equation based on the ratio between the surface area and mass of a turkey. He determined that the cooking time for a stuffed turkey in a 325 °F oven is:

t = W^(2/3)/1.5

where t is the cooking time, in hours, and W is the weight of the stuffed turkey, in pounds. The constant 1.5 was determined empirically.

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