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In this issue:
From the Director: The Office of Science Has a Budget
Higgs Terriroty Continues to Shrink
Happy Birthday, Dear Web
Service Awards Dinner Celebrates Multi-decade SLACers

SLAC Today

Friday - March 13, 2009

From the Director:
The Office of Science Has a Budget

(Photo - Persis Drell)

And what a budget it is! After three years of disappointment, where promising numbers in the President's budget would give way in last minute negotiations to disappointing appropriations, the budgets for science this year have delivered on the hopes raised back a year ago when President Bush's fiscal year 2009 budget was first announced.

The fiscal year 2009 budget cycle was completed Wednesday when President Obama signed into law the $410 billion Omnibus Appropriations Act for 2009. Most important for our laboratory, the budget for the Office of Science, the source of most of our funding, is up 18.8% to $4.8 billion from $4.0 billion in FY 2008.

This is great news!

It will still be a few days or even weeks before we get all the details of our laboratory budgets. However our planning numbers are excellent. Both the Office of Basic Energy Sciences and the Office High Energy Physics within the Office of Science have significant increases that will strongly support our programs for the future.

I look forward to sharing the details with you as I receive them!

Higgs Territory Continues to Shrink

(Image - Fermilab Higgs exclusion data)
Scientists from the CDF and DZero collaborations at DOE's Fermilab now have excluded a mass for the Higgs particle between 160 and 170 GeV/c² with 95 percent probability.

The CDF and DZero experiments at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory have excluded a significant fraction of the allowed Higgs mass range established by earlier measurements. But they have not yet caught a glimpse of the elusive particle.

Scientists knew from previous measurements that the Higgs boson must weigh between 114 and 185 GeV/c2—the units that scientists use to measure the mass of particles. The new Fermilab result carves out a section in the middle of this range: the Higgs boson cannot have a mass in between 160 and 170 GeV/c2—if it exists at all.  Read more in Symmetry Breaking...

Happy Birthday, Dear Web

The default SLAC Web page in 1991. (Click on image to view other early SLAC Web pages.)

Twenty years ago this month, the World Wide Web was born. In March 1989, CERN scientist Tim Berners-Lee wrote a proposal for a "large hypertext database with typed links." It wasn't for another 33 months, however, that this Web would reach outside the European physics laboratory CERN. When it did, it stretched straight to SLAC.

In December of 1991, SLAC physicist Paul Kunz traveled to CERN on a business trip and, while he was there, met with Berners-Lee. The two discussed the fledgling Web, which at the time consisted of little more than a few pages describing the project and a Web version of the CERN telephone directory. But Kunz, like Berners-Lee, saw an opportunity.  Read more...

Service Awards Dinner Celebrates Multi-decade SLACers

(Photo by Brad Plummer. Click for larger image.)

Last night's Service Awards Dinner at the Stanford Faculty Club honored SLAC staff with 20, 30, 40 or even 50 years of service to the lab. Human Resources Director Larry Young acted as master of ceremonies. He and lab Director Persis Drell presented the awards, including a special chair to honor SLAC physicist Greg Loew's 50 years at the lab.

(Photo - 2009 Service Awards dinner)
From left: Carmella Huser, Greg Loew, Norma Lyon, Lisa Mongetta and Lee Lyon at the dinner. (Photo by Brad Plummer. Click for larger image.)

With a guest talk by Acting Associate Laboratory Director for Engineering and Technical Support Karen Fant, and entertainment from jazz ensemble Leonard's Jazz Band, the group celebrated Loew's 50 years at SLAC and nine 40-year awards, 18 30-year awards and 41 20-year awards.

Congratulations and thank you to all!

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