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In this issue:
SuperB Moves Forward
SLAC Hosts First Meeting of LCLS Instrument Users
Around SLAC: The Bubbler

SLAC Today

Monday - March 16, 2009

Researchers from around the world have proposed building a SuperB factory in Italy. (Image courtesy of Symmetry magazine.)

SuperB Moves Forward

The BaBar and Belle B factories proved so successful that they have spawned a study for a successor: the SuperB factory. The proposal in Italy to build such a machine, which would produce electron–positron collisions 100 times more intense than the BaBar B factory's PEP-II storage ring, is gaining momentum, and SLAC researchers are major players in the research and development efforts.

"There are many ways in which SLAC could be involved in SuperB in the future," said David MacFarlane, Deputy Director of Particle Physics and Astrophysics at the laboratory. "SLAC has key expertise to bring to this project, based on our experience building and operating the PEP-II collider and BaBar."  Read more...

SLAC Hosts First Meeting of LCLS Instrument Users

(Image - AMO user group in the LCLS Undulator Hall)
The first AMO users toured the LCLS last week as part of the First AMO Beamtime Preparation Meeting. (Photo by Brad Plummer. Click for larger image.)

Even though the Linac Coherent Light Source's Atomic, Molecular and Optical science instrument has yet to be assembled, the first AMO users were already on site last week for the First AMO Beamtime Preparation Meeting.

In two days of intense discussions and presentations, LCLS staff members shared the most up-to-date information about the AMO instruments, and the experimenters shared what they will need to perform their research—everything from beam and instrument specifications to places to eat and sleep during their time at the lab.

"This was an opportunity for everyone to very clearly communicate their expectations in advance of data taking," said AMO Instrument Scientist John Bozek. "It's been exhausting—I've given seven talks in two days—but it's been extremely worthwhile and useful."

The first AMO experiment is slated for September, with the first data-taking run to continue through December. In that time, the instrument will host 10 experiments studying phenomena ranging from strong field physics in atomic samples to imaging rare gas clusters and biological nanocrystals.

(Photo - the bubbler)
(Photo by Lauren Schenkman. Click for larger image.)

Around SLAC: The Bubbler

It won't win any awards for being high tech, but it sure works. For 10 years, bubblers like the one pictured here allowed BaBar physicists to check, with a glance at the mineral oil-filled chamber, that gas was flowing as it should from detector parts that use gas ionization to trace particles. This simple technology got a slight upgrade in 2002, when Bill Gary and his collaborators from U.C. Riverside built a digital tracking system so BaBar physicists could monitor gas flow from the main control room. "Old technologies are great because they're less likely to break down," Gary said.

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