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In this issue:
SSRL to Aid New Energy-Research Center
Welcome New SLACers!
Colloquium Today: Nuclear Power without Nuclear Proliferation?

SLAC Today

Monday - June 8, 2009

SSRL to Aid New Energy-Research Center

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The Center for Inverse Design will use quantum theory to identify and design materials.

The Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource at SLAC will play a key role in a new effort to make solar power more efficient and inexpensive.

SSRL will contribute to the Center for Inverse Design, or CID, a project headed by the Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado. CID is one of 46 DOE-funded Energy Frontier Research Centers. The EFRCs, announced by the White House April 27, will investigate ways to wean the U.S. energy economy off fossil fuels.

As its name suggests, CID will take an unconventional approach to materials design. Traditionally, scientists looking for materials or structures with certain properties—such as highly efficient solar cells— empirically test many possibilities before finding something suitable. Instead of relying on such trial-and-error methods, CID will use quantum theory and powerful computers to identify and design materials with the desired properties and—in favorable cases—synthesize them in the lab.

"The goal is to fundamentally change the way we make materials," said SLAC physicist Michael Toney, one of CID's 12 principal investigators and supervisor of its work at SSRL.  Read more...

Welcome New SLACers!

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(Photo by Doug Kreitz.)

New SLAC staff attending the new employee orientation on June 4 included (from left to right):

  • Dan Sneddon
  • Congcong Huang
  • Chaofeng Huang
  • Chris Ford
  • Alan Hansen
  • Partha Natampalli
  • Janet Argyres
  • Inah Choi

Welcome to SLAC!

Colloquium Today: Nuclear Power without Nuclear Proliferation?

(Image - SLAC Colloquium banner)

Concerns about global warning, energy security, and the costs of alternative energy sources have led to renewed interest in the growth and spread of nuclear power. This potential "renaissance" of nuclear power could occur, however, at a time in which the global threat of terrorism is rising and in which fears about the new states seeking nuclear weapons is growing. Stanford Professor of Political Science Scott Sagan will examine the security challenges that must be met to prevent the spread of nuclear power from leading to the further spread of nuclear weapons or nuclear terrorism. Potential "solutions" to these problems include a new global approach to enhance physical protection of sensitive nuclear materials and new interpretations of key articles of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.

Scott Sagan is Professor of Political Science at Stanford University and Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies. His talk will take place at 4:15 p.m. today in Panofsky Auditorium. The colloquium is free and open to all.

Next Monday, SLAC head of accelerator physics for the Linac Coherent Light Source Paul Emma will present "LCLS Commissioning and First Lasing at 1.5 Angstroms."

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