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In this issue:
From the Director: The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act
Video: SLAC at AAAS 2009
Physics a Hot Topic at AAAS Meeting
Dehmer Announces DOE Accelerator Workshop
Quake-proofing SLAC Computing

SLAC Today

Friday - February 20, 2009

From the Director: The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

(Photo - Persis Drell)

Last week Congress passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. This bill is intended to provide a stimulus to the U.S. economy in the wake of the recent economic downturn. It includes federal tax cuts, expansion of unemployment benefits and other social welfare provisions, and domestic spending in education, health care, infrastructure and science. Of direct relevance to SLAC, the bill contains a $1.6 billion investment in the Department of Energy Office of Science.  Read more...

Video: SLAC at AAAS 2009

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The 2009 meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science finished up earlier this week in Chicago, Illinois. The annual conference is a chance for scientists and journalists from around the world to meet up and talk about the latest goings on in just about every field imaginable. Physics was a hot topic this year, thanks in part to last year's startup of the Large Hadron Collider. Science writer Calla Cofield talks to participants from SLAC who took part in the event. See the video...

Physics a Hot Topic at AAAS Meeting

This year's meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, or AAAS, reflected a recently increased public interest in physic-s due in good part to the recent startup of the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. Several physicists and science writers from SLAC and Fermi national labs helped make tough physics topics accessible to scientists working in different disciplines, journalists and the general public.  Read more...

Dehmer Announces DOE Accelerator Workshop

The Department of Energy is planning to host an accelerator science workshop in late 2009 to gather input toward "developing a national accelerator research and development stewardship effort," according to Office of Science Deputy Director for Science Programs Patricia Dehmer. Dehmer announced plans for the workshop at the 2009 AAAS meeting in a session on the future of accelerator science in the U.S. In her presentation, Dehmer said that the workshop would focus on "uses of accelerators throughout society, the desired performance characteristics of these and future accelerators, and the R&D efforts in the private and government sectors." The workshop is intended to host scientists as well as representatives from industry. Dehmer said it will be organized by Dennis Kovar, the associate director of High Energy Physics. The DOE has announced no other details about the workshop at this time.

(Photo - Randy Melen in the server room)
Randy Melen points to the divide between old and new flooring in the Building 50 server room. (Photo by Lauren Schenkman.)

Quake-proofing SLAC Computing

The second floor of Building 50 will be a hive of activity this Saturday. A 20-person team from Scientific Computing and Computing Services will unplug 40 Windows servers, 10 Unix servers and 80 disc arrays, and move them to racks that stand securely on earthquake-proof raised flooring.

The move is part of a larger endeavor to give some of SLAC's vintage buildings a seismic makeover. Up until a few years ago, the hundreds of servers and storage disks in Building 50 rested on raised flooring supported by pedestals that had been simply glued into place—not up-to-date with current seismic codes. For the last five years, SCCS has been reshuffling a few server racks at a time so that contractors could tear up the outdated tiles and install new, earthquake-safe pedestals and tiles.  Read more...


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