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ATLAS Shrunk
TeV Particle Astrophysics 2009 Registration Deadlines
SLAC Safety Note: Watch Out for That Tr...

SLAC Today

Tuesday - June 9, 2009

(Photo - a piece of the ATLAS model)

(Photo - a piece of the ATLAS model)

(Photo - a piece of the ATLAS model)
(Photos: DESY carpenters.)

ATLAS Shrunk

Carpenters working at particle physics labs are used to jobs their colleagues in private industry wouldn't dream of tackling. But a request to build a wooden replica of the world's largest particle detector took even the carpenters at the German laboratory DESY by surprise.

Scientists asked them to build a model of the 7000-metric-ton ATLAS detector from CERN's Large Hadron Collider at 1/25th actual size—two meters wide and one meter in diameter.

The intricate work took seven months.

To fit tools, paint and their hands into the model, the crew had to assemble it from the innermost layer outward. "Sometimes we wished we could just weld things together as though it were the real thing," said head carpenter Werner Biegger.

The team of five had to work out a complicated choreography of tasks to make sure everything could be reached and painted in just the right order. And that's not just one coat of paint: "Foundation, priming, more foundation, sanding down, first coat, sanding down, second coat, then finishing layer," Biegger recited.

In the finished product, bright-blue muon chambers surround the ATLAS detector like the planks of a wine barrel. Six aluminum magnet coils curve around the inner subdetectors, and a plastic workman balances on the outer beam pipe. The coil and the toy are the only non-wooden parts.

"We wanted to make everything as realistic as possible," Biegger said. "That's why we chose aluminum for the coils; no lacquer on wood could do that job."

The model made its public debut in October and is now touring the country, showcasing the beauty of ATLAS and helping scientists explain how it works. Requests for other models are already trickling in.  

TeV Particle Astrophysics 2009 Registration Deadlines

(Image - TeV Particle Astrophysics conference poster)

This week is the last chance for early registration to attend TeV Particle Astrophysics 2009 at SLAC. Starting on Monday, June 15, the registration fee will increase to $350. The focus of this July 13–17 conference is to understand what can be learned from both the LHC and a broad range of astrophysical experiments that address some of the most pressing questions in physics today, including the nature of dark matter and the origin of cosmic rays. The meeting will provide an occasion for theorists and experimentalists to discuss the latest and upcoming results in these fields and to consider new strategies, technologies and collaborative efforts.

A block of rooms at a special rate has been reserved at the Stanford Guest House on the SLAC campus, with a room registration deadline of June 11. Further details and conference registration are available on the conference Web site. Please direct any questions to Thanh Ly (x4496).

SLAC Safety Notes

Watch Out for That Tr...

SLAC vehicle accident statistics, Jan–Mar 2009. From a total of 17 accidents for the period, up from an average of 9.25 per quarter in the previous year.

Driving is a great chance to clear your mind and focus on the here and now.

A surprising number of accidents, particularly between backing vehicles and stationary objects, have taken place around SLAC lately. Please do your part to keep safe and set aside that tough computation, engineering problem or person-to-person matter for non-driving time.


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