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In this issue:
Where the LCLS Ends: the XPP Instrument
Homestead Headed to Science Bowl Nationals
SLAC Colloquium to Address Web Science

SLAC Today

Tuesday - March 3, 2009

Where the LCLS Ends: the XPP Instrument

XPP Instrument Scientist David Fritz (center) with XPP engineers (left to right) Don Arnett, Jim Defever, James Delor and J Langton. (Photo by Brad Plummer. Click for larger image.)

After journeying more than 100 meters through undulators and diagnostic equipment, X-rays from the Linac Coherent Light Source will wiggle into the subterranean Near Experimental Hall and, beginning in 2010, zip into the X-ray Pump Probe science instrument. There they will meet a sample undergoing a reaction or in an excited state and, like a camera flash in a dark room, light the sample so that researchers can photograph it in detail.

"The X-ray Pump Probe will let us look at the placement of nuclei and the structure of electrons with better time resolution than ever before," said XPP Instrument Scientist David Fritz, who is currently leading the XPP through its final stages of design. An expert in ultrafast science, Fritz joined the LCLS team two years ago after completing his PhD thesis on SLAC's Sub-Picosecond Pulse Source project. "The XPP is the most flexible instrument at LCLS, allowing us to do many of the techniques common at synchrotrons, like X-ray diffraction and small angle scattering, but with better time resolution."  Read more...

(Photo - Homestead High School Science Bowl 2009 team)
The victorious Homestead High School Science Bowl team (from left) Jan Wu, Albert Wong, Robert Nishihara, Mehrdad Niknami and Austin Kim. (Photo by Lauren Schenkman. Click for larger image.)

Homestead Headed to Science Bowl Nationals

Congratulations to Homestead High School for winning this year's Regional Department of Energy Science Bowl at SLAC last Saturday! Heavy competition came from the event's second and third place winners—the Harker School and Menlo School—but in a decisive 11th round, Homestead's team, led by Robert Nishihara, came out victorious. Thanks to the hard work and determination of 137 competitors and coaches from across the Bay Area, as well as more than 50 SLAC volunteers, this year's event was a great success! Who's ready for Science Bowl 2010?

(Image - Colliding Web Sciences)

SLAC Colloquium to Address Web Science

The SLAC Colloquium series presents computer scientist and Web expert Bebo White with "The Emergence of Web Science," next Monday at 4:15 p.m. in Panofsky Auditorium. 

The World Wide Web has influenced just about all aspects of modern life, from the way people ask questions (Google) and shop (Amazon) to how they interact with friends and colleagues (Facebook, LinkedIn). Yet it is difficult to predict what innovative Web applications might appear in the future. The simple reason is that the Web is not just driven by technology, but also by a host of issues and needs that define 21st century society.

White will talk about Web science as a new, multi-disciplinary research effort. This field attempts to study the Web as a dynamic entity so that its past developments can be better understood and its future can be better predicted and engineered.

White, who worked at SLAC's Scientific Computing and Computing Services group until his retirement, was a participant in establishing the first U.S. Web site at SLAC in 1991. A designated "Web Science Ambassador," White is a collaborator in the Web Science Research Initiative, a joint venture of MIT and the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom, which includes Sir Tim Berners-Lee as a co-director.

The talk on Monday is free and open to all.

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