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In this issue:
From the Director: It Doesn't Get Better than This!
SLAC Physicists Honored as APS Fellows
What's in a Name? SLAC Directory and Contact Information Updates
Word of the Week: Storage Ring

SLAC Today

Friday - May 15, 2009

From the Director:
It Doesn't Get Better than This!

(Photo - Persis Drell)

Dan Lehman and a team of over 20 people from across the Department of Energy complex just concluded (ahead of schedule…always a good sign!) a review of the Linac Coherent Light Source project. They came to SLAC to look at how LCLS was doing on technical progress, project cost and project schedule. With the LCLS more than 90 percent complete and lasing demonstrated at 1.5 Angstroms, the review closeout was full of praise for the project and for the lab. Dan Lehman's words to me were: "It doesn't get better than this!"

I have never watched a free electron laser turn on, but several review committee members had been involved in previous FEL projects and knew firsthand how hard it is. They were very generous in expressing their enthusiasm for the LCLS commissioning performance and made comments in the closeout such as:

  • "Congratulations on this spectacular achievement!"
  • "This is an exceptional accomplishment. These results demonstrate the practicality of fourth-generation FEL X-ray light sources!'
  • "Extraordinary and world-class results..."
  • "Have you noticed that we have run out of superlatives to use?"

The LCLS team has earned this praise and should take at least a moment to enjoy the congratulations that are coming in from around the world. Of course, bright and early Monday morning everyone gets back to work and focuses on the completion of the project and the delivery of early science!

SLAC Physicists Honored as APS Fellows

(Photo - 2009 SLAC APS Fellows)
SLAC physicists honored as APS fellows this year (from left): Kam Moler, Thomas Devereaux, John Fox and Andrei Seryi. (Photos courtesy of those depicted.)

Four SLAC physicists have been named American Physical Society fellows this year. Accelerator physicists John Fox and Andrei Seryi were honored during a special award ceremony for new APS fellows at the 2009 Particle Accelerator Conference in Vancouver last week. Stanford Institute for Materials and Energy Science physicists Thomas Devereaux and Kam Moler were also named fellows this year, at an award ceremony at the APS March Meeting in Pittsburgh.

The APS elects less than half of one percent of its membership annually to fellowship, which it calls "a distinct honor, signifying recognition by one's professional peers."

"It's a great honor to receive an award like this because it comes from your colleagues nationally and internationally and reflects contributions that have benefited so many labs," said Fox, who has worked on accelerators at SLAC in their many incarnations, from SPEAR to PEP-II. Fox has also worked on Berkeley Lab's Advanced Light Source, the Italian phi-factory, DAFNE, and the Japanese B-factory, KEKB. Currently collaborating with CERN on instabilities anticipated in the Large Hadron Collider, Fox is also an enthusiastic teacher and won the Dean's Award for Distinguished Teaching in 2001. "I'm especially appreciative of the students I have had, who have taught me so much," he said.  Read more...

What's in a Name? SLAC Directory and Contact Information Updates

In the coming weeks, each SLAC employee will receive a request via internal mail to provide current address, telephone and emergency contact information. (See "Employee Records Update.") Please watch for the mailing to ensure that the lab has your latest information.

At the same time, one of the recent streamlining efforts at SLAC has synchronized employee and contractor names across the two main databases used at the lab. If you would like to update your name as it appears in the SLAC online directory, please send e-mail to with your update. See "Staff Name Updates" for more details.

(Photo - Aerial view of SSRL)
Aerial view of the SPEAR3 storage ring. Its high-energy electrons produce X-rays for use in a wide variety of experiments.

Word of the Week: Storage Ring

A storage ring is a circular accelerator that keeps particles racing at close to light speed for long periods of time. Sometimes two storage rings are used to feed particles to a collision point inside a detector, providing data for high-energy physics research. Storage rings also make excellent X-ray factories, like SLAC's Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource. As electrons careen around the evacuated racetrack of SSRL's SPEAR3 storage ring, they radiate X-rays that can probe hidden words in an ancient text or reveal the unusual molecular arrangement of water. Although technically a type of synchrotron, which boosts particles from low to high energies, storage rings receive their particles at the desired energy. At SSRL, a short linear accelerator and small synchrotron propel electrons from 0 to 3 billion electronvolts before they enter SPEAR3. The storage ring's single klystron kicks energy into flagging electrons as they orbit, keeping them going and those useful X-rays coming.


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