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In this issue:
People: Chao-Lin Kuo Heads South
LCLS Issues Second Call for Proposals
SLAC Blood Drive Today
March 2009 Symmetry Explores the Smaller Quanta of Scientific Progress

SLAC Today

Wednesday - April 1, 2009

People: Chao-Lin Kuo Heads South

Chao-Lin Kuo in Antartica. (Photo courtesy of Chao-Lin Kuo. Click for larger image.)

To get to the South Pole, first take a commercial flight to Christchurch, New Zealand, then catch a special military flight to McMurdo Station, a large outpost on the Antarctic coast. From there it's a three-hour flight to Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station. The research complex is home to between 50 and more than 200 inhabitants, depending on the season, as well as several scientific projects and one candy-striped pole.

"When I landed, I saw this completely blue, almost dark sky—because the atmosphere is so transparent there," recalled Chao-Lin Kuo of his first trip in 2000. Kuo is an astrophysicist with the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology. The dry, rarified air of the South Pole is ideal for the instruments he and his collaborators use to collect ancient photons. This light tells the story of the origin of the universe. It is all around, but invisible to the human eye.  Read more...

Energy Secretary Chu Announces Funding for Environmental Cleanup

Energy Secretary Steven Chu yesterday announced $6 billion in new funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to accelerate environmental cleanup work and create thousands of jobs across 12 states. Projects identified for funding include $8 million for work at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. Read more in the full DOE news release.

(Image - LCLS experimental station map for AMO and SXR)
Locations of the AMO and SXR instrument hutches within the LCLS Near Experimental Hall. (Click for larger image.)

LCLS Issues Second Call for Proposals

The Linac Coherent Light Source is quickly approaching completion, with first laser light anticipated this summer. With construction on the Atomic, Molecular and Optical science instrument and Soft X-Ray beamline underway, the LCLS team has released a second call for scientific proposals. Researchers are invited to submit proposals for experiments to be conducted between March and July 2010 on these two experimental stations. Proposals must be submitted by May 15, 2009.

More information about the call for proposals and detailed descriptions of the instruments are available on the LCLS Web site. Specific questions about the AMO science instrument should be directed to John Bozek and about the SXR beamline to Michael Rowen.

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SLAC Blood Drive Today

The SLAC Blood Drive takes place today from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. in the Panofsky Auditorium lobby. Appointments will be given priority, but walk-ins are welcome. To make an appointment, visit the Stanford Blood Center Web site. Click on "Find a Blood Drive" and search by sponsor code "0136."

March 2009 Symmetry Explores the Smaller Quanta of Scientific Progress

They aren't always headline news, but incremental advances are central to progress in physics and other sciences. More often than not, small steps make possible the big leaps forward. The March 2009 issue of Symmetry magazine celebrates this stepwise movement with stories of discovery in particle physics, weather measurement, rare isotopes and more.

The new issue is online now and coming soon to print.

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