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In this issue:
Lights, Camera, Render
Safety Today: San Mateo County Inspector Impressed with Improvement
Welcome New SLACers
Nobel Week Webcasts
Around SLAC: The Library Gets a New Ride

SLAC Today

Tuesday - December 9, 2008

Lights, Camera, Render

Image - simulation of galaxy formation
Scientists at the KIPAC Computational Physics Department simulate the birth of a galaxy. The red plumes represent ionized hydrogen gas that condenses into bright white glowing stars. (Image courtesy of the Ralf Kaehler. Click for larger image.)

A red plume of hydrogen gas streams in three dimensions across a movie screen that almost spans the width of a dark conference room. Within the plume a brilliant white spot forms. The spot expands and quickly explodes into an orange and red cloud. Soon this cloud dissipates and a new bright dot grows elsewhere on the screen. In less than a minute, the movie has told the story of a young galaxy forming.

Three-dimensional movies of galactic birth are just some of the stunning visuals at the Schwob Computing and Information Center, a resource at the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology's Computational Physics Department. The center allows scientists and visitors at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory to visualize the physics of the evolving universe.

"The idea is to understand how the universe works," said KIPAC computational department member Ralf Kaehler, who produces the astrophysics videos. "These are visualizations of simulation data that follow the laws of physics, not some imaginary models as are often used in science TV shows or documentaries."  Read more...

(Column - Safety Today)

San Mateo County Inspector Impressed with Improvement

The report arrived last week with positive marks across the board for the San Mateo County Environmental Health Division's annual inspection of hazardous waste and materials management at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. The inspector was impressed with the improvement in housekeeping at the lab.

The inspector looked at waste accumulation areas, hazardous materials cabinets, tiered permitting units, container labels, fire extinguisher/eyewash tags, secondary containments, hazardous waste treatment facilities, general housekeeping and environmental program documentation. The areas inspected over four days in November were in good order, and record keeping, equipment inspections, signage and documents such as the Facility Emergency Plans were thorough and up-to-date. In addition, employees demonstrated good understanding of waste requirements and practices. Environment, Safety and Health training for roles that generate hazardous waste was 100% compliant.

Thank you to the waste and hazardous materials custodians as well as the ES&H Coordinators in the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource, Mechanical Fabrication Department, Facilities Department, Klystron Department and the Environmental Protection Department at SLAC for your good work. Thank you in particular to Yoli Pilastro for leading pre-inspections, and to everyone who worked with Pilastro to make sure issues were addressed promptly.

Further kudos to the Waste Management group: the inspector noted that the Centralized Hazardous Waste Management Area was "perfect." Wow!

For more information on managing your hazardous waste visit the ES&H hazardous waste manualal.

Welcome New SLACers

(Photo - new SLAC employees Dec 4, 2008)
(Photo by Sharon Haynes. Click for larger image.)

At last Thursday's new employee orientation, the lab welcomed new SLACers (from left) Jing Wang, Qin Liu, Carol Lam, Andy Haas, Andrew Yeh, Larry Young, Elie Grunhaus, Mila Telnova, Paul Mortenson and Rita Rhoads.

Nobel Week Webcasts

This is Nobel week, when great minds from around the globe travel to Stockholm, Sweden, to don black-tie attire and celebrate some of mankind's top achievements. You can watch this year's ceremonies online, as a webcast on this Wednesday, December 10. If you're not up for the 7:30 a.m. PST live webcast, you can wait and download the video, which promises to post after the ceremony.

The Nobel Web site will also provide video of the 2008 prizewinner lectures, including the December 8 talks on symmetry breaking and CP violation by 2008 Nobel laureates in physics, Yoichiro Nambu, Makoto Kobayashi and Toshihide Maskawa.

Around SLAC: The Library Gets a New Ride

The SLAC Library staff gathered to see their newly painted vehicle yesterday. (Photo by Brad Plummer. Click for larger image.)

The SLAC Library has a new set of somewhat-used wheels. With a bright new coat of red paint and crisp white lettering from the SLAC Paint Shop, the repurposed electric car will help library staff tote books and other information around the lab, according to library manager Ann Redfield. "If anyone orders a book from us," she said, "we just deliver it to their desk."


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