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In this issue:
ILC Update: Detector and Accelerator Reviews
EXO: Finding 1 atom in 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000
Automatic Requisition Approval Workflow in PeopleSoft: Replacing BIS Requisition System

SLAC Today

Thursday - May 7, 2009

ILC Update: Detector and Accelerator Reviews

(Image: Symmetry magazine.)

More than 200 scientists gathered in Tsukuba, Japan, last month for TILC09, a joint physics and detector workshop and design meeting for the proposed International Linear Collider. Nearly 10 percent of attendees had SLAC name badges. The lab was well represented in two key review bodies operating at the April 17-21 conference, and will continue to play a strong role in ongoing design and review activities.

"SLAC has been a major player in the ILC's design from the beginning," said Tor Raubenheimer, the assistant director for SLAC's Accelerator Research Division.

At TILC, Raubenheimer and SLAC physicists Jonathan Dorfan and Tom Himel participated in an 11-member Accelerator Advisory Panel, which carried out an in-depth technical review of ILC design and management. The AAP will report its findings and recommendations, which are advisory rather than binding, this weekend at a May 9–10 meeting in Vancouver  Read more...

EXO: Finding 1 atom in 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000

(Photo - the EXO detector in the clean room)
One half of EXO's detector being constructed in a clean room. (Image: Symmetry Breaking)

Physicists are used to dealing with rare events and very small quantities, but rarely do they tackle a challenge of the kind facing the Enriched Xenon Observatory, or EXO. To find what they're looking for, not only will they try to find a rare event, but to be sure they will need to find a single barium atom in the 10 ton bath of liquid xenon–1028 atoms.

The EXO collaboration, involving SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, Stanford University and many other partners, is looking for a never-before-observed process called neutrinoless double beta decay. In their case, this means watching for an isotope of xenon decaying into barium, giving off two electrons (the double beta decay), but without giving out any neutrinos. A beta decay process gives off one neutrino, so how could this even be possible? It only works if the neutrino is its own antiparticle, so that the two beta decays each have a neutrino which essentially cancel each other out, like matter and antimatter annihilating. And the possibility that process exists is the reason for the experiment.

If neutrinoless double beta decay is observed, it means the neutrino must be its own antiparticle, a key unknown in the study of neutrinos. If the neutrino is indeed its own antiparticle, it has all kinds of implications for the structure of the Standard Model and the relationships between the fundamental particles.  Read more in Symmetry Breaking...

Automatic Requisition Approval Workflow in PeopleSoft: Replacing BIS Requisition System

On May 8, Business Information Technology, in collaboration with the Office of Strategic Financial Planning and Acquisition Management Department, will be deploying an automatic requisition approval workflow system in PeopleSoft. The Office of Strategic Financial Planning and Acquisition Management Department has established a set of common SLAC-wide approval rules based on cost accumulator ID (AID, also called the charge number or work order number). Business IT has implemented these approval rules into an automated workflow in PeopleSoft, and posted SLACspace documents containing the workflow flowchart and roles and responsibilities.

To log on to PeopleSoft on line system, Please use this link.

With this new system in place, PeopleSoft will automatically route the approvals to the appropriate person based on the AID selected on the requisition. Please note this approval system will eventually replace the BIS requisition system. Business IT hopes to replace BIS requisition system by the end of May. A firm date will be provided in the near future.

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