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In this issue:
People: Eddie McGee Makes Sure Safety Counts
Second Workshop on Data Preservation and Long Term Analysis in High Energy Physics May 26–28

SLAC Today

Wednesday - May 20, 2009

People: Eddie McGee Makes Sure Safety Counts

Eddie McGee. (Photo by Lauren Schenkman.)

It's a Tuesday morning, and radiological instrumentation specialist Eddie McGee has one of his charges on the examination table. An angle-poised lamp shines down on the patient, an unassuming tan metal box about the size of two stacked bricks. It's a handheld field radiation detector; the lid is open and a few wires poke out. As McGee probes for faults, he talks to the device as if it were a cranky child squirming at the touch of a cold stethoscope. Finally the device chirps—one of its internal detectors, sensitive to electrons and gamma radiation, registers a stray particle from the Earth's natural background. McGee beams. It's just one of an assortment of detectors in his charge, but as he explains, he is meticulous about keeping them in perfect shape.

"It puts a halt on everyone if these don't work," he says. "We need to conduct radiological surveys throughout the site, and that's all based on field instrumentation and documentation."

McGee is part of SLAC's Radiation Protection department, which takes a strong and multi-pronged approach to radiological safety. SLAC is home to two particle accelerators, the Linac Coherent Light Source and the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource, whose electron beams produce photons and sometimes neutrons as by-products. Beam control, extensive shielding and fail-safe interlock systems keep this radiation confined to within the accelerator housing, and ensure no one can enter while the accelerator is running. Radiation protection field operations technicians survey areas routinely with various detectors and identify areas that require added safeguards, ensuring that only staff with the right training and knowledge enter those areas.  Read more...

Second Workshop on Data Preservation and Long Term Analysis in High Energy Physics May 26–28

(Photo - SLUO members in Washington DC)

The Second Workshop on Data Preservation and Long Term Analysis in High Energy Physics will take place May 26–May 28 at SLAC. This is a follow-up to the first DPLTA workshop held at DESY in January 2009.

The data collected by HEP experiments are obtained through considerable effort and time and are in many cases unique, with many analyses yet to be completed even several years after the completion of data taking. Consideration of data preservation is critical not only for experiments that have completed or are close to completing data collection, but also for experiments in the development stage, when decisions can be made to ensure that data preservation will be possible later.

The goal of the DPLTA workshops is to bring computing experts from the major HEP collaborations together to develop guidelines and tools to ensure the preservation of essential HEP data, tools, documentation and examples that will allow analyses to be done on data samples well beyond the conclusion of data collection. A significant aspect of this endeavor is also to improve the ability to combine results from experiments and ultimately facilitate combining analyses from different experiments.  Read more...


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