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In this issue:
Simulating a More Efficient Linear Collider
Senate Staff Visit Highlights SLAC Science
Volunteers Needed for Graduation Tours
Energy Summer School Application Deadline Extended
May 2009 Symmetry Magazine Now Online

SLAC Today

Thursday - May 28, 2009

Simulating a More Efficient Linear Collider

(Image - ILC cavity)
An electromagnetic mode contributing to wakefield effects in a superconducting ILC cavity, as calculated by SLAC's Advanced Computations Department team. Reds, oranges and yellows indicate strong fields, greens and blues weaker ones. (Image: Greg Schussman.)

Scientists around the world are working hard to hammer out a workable blueprint for the next big particle accelerator, the International Linear Collider, by 2012. A group at SLAC is doing its part, running supercomputer simulations to maximize the accelerator's performance and keep its costs down on the proposed multi-billion-dollar collider.

The team, from SLAC's Advanced Computations Department, or ACD, is researching how to minimize the effects of charge "wakes" in the ILC, which will smash electrons and positrons into each other. As bunches of these particles race down accelerator tracks, electromagnetic wakes rise behind them. These wakefields can make the going rough for bunches to come, causing some particles to stray off course. As a result, beam quality can suffer and heat can build up inside accelerator cavities, potentially degrading their performance.

The more powerful the accelerator beam, the greater the potential wakefield effects. And the ILC's beam will be powerful, generating collision energies of about 500 billion electronvolts—ten times what SLAC's linac is capable of producing.

"Wakefields are an important issue for the ILC," said SLAC physicist Kwok Ko, head of ACD. "Controlling them is key."  Read more...

Senate Staff Visit Highlights SLAC Science

(Photo)
John Galayda, Persis Drell, Doug Clapp and Bill Madia tour the LCLS Undulator Hall. (Photo by Brad Plummer.)

Senate Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee Clerk Douglas Clapp paid the lab a visit yesterday to learn about lab programs and see SLAC's science facilities. Clapp's tour de SLAC featured a firsthand look at the SLAC linac and the Linac Coherent Light Source, including the Undulator Hall. He toured the site together with SLAC Director Persis Drell, LCLS Director for Construction John Galayda and Stanford's Vice President for SLAC William Madia.  

(Photo)
In the LCLS Near Experimental Hall. (Photo by Brad Plummer.)

"It was a great visit," Persis said. "Doug seemed very interested in the lab and what we do." In his role with the Senate Energy and Water Appropriations Committee, Clapp has been instrumental in helping to set priorities in funding for the Department of Energy in general and the Office of Science in particular.

"I was particularly pleased that because we had a ROD—a Repair Opportunity Day—we were able to show Doug the LCLS undulators, which are such a technical tour de force," Persis said. "He seemed pretty impressed."

Volunteers Needed for Graduation Tours

(Photo - Juneteenth 2006)
Commencement tour buses make their way down the SLAC linac. (Image: Diana Rogers.)

Each year, the friends and families of about 2,000 graduating Stanford students converge on Palo Alto. For nearly four decades, SLAC tours have been a part of their visits. This year's commencement tours take place on Saturday, June 13.

The Communications Office is once again looking for volunteers to lead informal tours. "We've got hundreds of very excited grads signed up so far," said event coordinator Thanh Ly. "Now all we need are enthusiastic SLACers to help spread the word about our science."

For more information or if you are interested in leading a tour, please contact Thanh Ly. An informational meeting will take place at 2 p.m. on Thursday, June 4 in the Orange Room. Bring your friends!

(Image - Energy Summer School banner)

Energy Summer School Application Deadline Extended

The deadline to apply for the Energy Summer School has been extended to June 8. Please note that all auditor spaces are now filled, so applications for auditors are no longer being accepted. For more information and application details, please see the Energy Summer School Web site.

May 2009 Symmetry Magazine Now Online

In the new issue of Symmetry, read about how scientists find ways to stand out in collaborations with hundreds of thousands of members, the recently upgraded "charm factory" in Beijing, CERN Director-General Rolf-Dieter Heuer, a guide to the Standard Model of particle physics through Nobel Prizes, a gallery of Da Vinci-style drawings of the latest particle physics experiments, and the discovery of the Van Allen radiation belts.

See the full table of contents here.

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