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In this issue:
New Institute Energizes Stanford/SLAC Collaboration
BaBar Collaboration at SLAC This Week
Reminder: No Political Activity on SLAC Computing Resources
Colloquium Today: How Galileo Democratized the Sky
Welcome, New SLACers!

SLAC Today

Monday - February 9, 2009

New Initiative Energizes Stanford/SLAC Collaboration

SIMES Director Zhi-Xun Shen. (Click for larger image.)

President Barack Obama has said it, Secretary of Energy Steven Chu has said it: we need to do more to combat global warming. And now a new Stanford initiative is taking action. In January Stanford launched a $100 million energy initiative supporting research in topics from science to engineering to policy that will help the US free itself from fuels that damage the environment and endanger national security. A crucial part of this effort is studying the basic science underlying the solar cells, hydrogen tanks and wind turbines that can power our society into the future.

That basic science research is happening at the Stanford Institute for Materials and Energy Science, a joint SLAC-Stanford collaboration. SIMES researchers work on the cutting edge, learning to make more powerful solar cells, glean clean-burning hydrogen fuel from a glass of water, and transfer electricity along power lines with a minimum of loss. The new initiative will provide funding for five new Stanford faculty, as well as support for post-doctoral researchers and graduate students. According to SIMES Director Zhi-Xun Shen, the initiative will bring new vigor to the already strong energy research effort at Stanford and SLAC, attracting the brightest minds in the world to the collaboration.  Read more...

(Image - BaBar and PEP-II)

BaBar Collaboration at SLAC This Week

Today more than 150 scientists from 10 countries descend on SLAC for the February BaBar Collaboration meeting. At plenary sessions today through Thursday morning, BaBarians will present and critique analyses that are nearing completion as the collaboration warms up for the winter conference season. Smaller groups will hold parallel sessions to share ongoing analysis and techniques under development, and the collaboration council will meet to discuss the group's rich future.

"It's a very lively moment," said BaBar Spokesperson François Le Diberder. "This building will be filled with people from all over Europe, Canada and the US."

For this month's meeting SLAC BaBarians have organized a tour of the BaBar detector, giving international members a rare chance to see the 1200-ton behemoth that has made their work possible. "We were taking data for so many years, but BaBar was behind a big wall where no one could see it," said BaBar physics coordinator Owen Long. "It's nice that now we can actually see it and appreciate it."

Additionally, Le Diberder is looking forward to a strong turnout for Wednesday evening's social event, where winners of "champagne challenges"—specific goals set by the analysis coordinator—will be awarded bottles of bubbly. 

Reminder: No Political Activity on SLAC Computing Resources

Whether urging your senator to fund science or asking friends to sign a petition about Federal policy, please make sure you're not using SLAC e-mail. Department of Energy computing resources, including all computers and networks at SLAC, allow only incidental personal use and must not be used for political advocacy.

(Image - colloquium poster)

Colloquium Today:
How Galileo Democratized the Sky

All are invited to Panofsky Auditorium at 4:15 p.m. today to hear Astronomical Society of the Pacific Executive Director Jim Manning present "Anatomy of a Revolution: How Galileo Democratized the Sky." A long-time telescope aficionado and astronomy educator, Manning will discuss the revolution brought about by Galileo's work and the telescope, and how astronomy buffs worldwide can participate in 2009, the International Year of Astronomy. For additional information about Manning and the talk, see the SLAC Colloquium announcement.

Welcome, New SLACers

(Photo - new SLAC employees February 5, 2009)

Eleven new staff members were welcomed at SLAC new employee orientation last Thursday, February 5. Pictured from left to right, they are: Ghimire Shambhu, Steve Edstrom, Kukhee Kim, Stefan C. B. Mannsfeld, Suzanne Nolan, Rafael Alva, Dale Yorty, Toni N. Tran, Susie Zheng, Daniel Wang and Jaime Gonzalez.

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