SLAC Today is available online at:

In this issue:
FACET: Toward the Tabletop Accelerator
Noontime Concert Today
A Poem for Silicon Valley
Recycling Tip of the Week: Waste from Home

SLAC Today

Thursday - July 2, 2009

FACET: Toward the Tabletop Accelerator

Computer simulation of the two bunch energy doubling experiment at FACET. The front of the drive bunch (blue) ionizes a lithium vapor to create the plasma, then the core of the bunch drives the wake in the plasma (green contours). The witness bunch (red) will ride the wake and be accelerated to twice it's initial energy in about one meter. (Image courtesy of the FACET team.)

A new experimental facility aims to shrink the size—and costs—of future particle accelerators. The Facility for Advanced Accelerator Experimental Tests, or FACET, will leverage decades of leading accelerator science at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory to develop next-generation technology. Initial research and development for the project got a boost this spring, in the form of $2 million of support from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

The FACET team dreams of linear accelerators that are much more compact than the existing SLAC linac—even thousands of times more compact. "You could take our entire two-mile linac and double its energy in just one additional meter," said project manager Andrei Seryi. Though this new concept is still theoretical, FACET will use part of the SLAC linac to test the principle that will make it possible: plasma wakefield acceleration.

Here's how it works: The linac zips a compressed bunch of electrons about a tenth of a millimeter long down its length. A small piece of metal called a notch collimator splits the bunch in half, leaving two identical bunches. The first bunch, called the "drive bunch," rams into a cloud of gas, stripping its atoms of electrons and creating an ionized gas, or plasma. Read more...

(Photo - Afiara Quartet)

Noontime Concert

Don't forget to come to Kavli Auditorium today at noon to hear the Afiara String Quartet! Begun in 2006 at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, the group was recently named The Juilliard School's new Graduate Resident String Quartet. Their name is derived from the Spanish word "fiar," meaning "to trust," and they regard chamber music as a conversation between friends. Come share in that conversation!

A Poem for Silicon Valley

Did you know that Santa Clara County has a poet laureate? San Jose State University Professor Emeritus Nils Peterson was appointed Silicon Valley's first poet laureate on March 24. Just days later he sent out a call for local residents to submit lines for a new county poem.

The 100-line piece debuted on June 23, a six-part collage of sights, sounds and smells of Santa Clara County. A section called "Our Lives" features a line from SLAC's own Technical Information Services Director, Pat Kreitz.

"It was a surprise that they liked my entry," Kreitz said, "because outside of English classes in high school, it's the first line of poetry I've ever written." Her longstanding work in library services shone through in a well-formed line about technology and communication. 

You can see or hear the complete poem, including Kreitz's contribution (hint: it begins "Talk slows...") here: A Family Album, Santa Clara County, 2009.

(Image - ISEMS leaves)

Recycling Tip of the Week:
Waste from Home

Do not bring in waste from your home for recycling or disposal at SLAC. There are many convenient options now for recycling household wastes in the Bay Area. is a great resource for helping you find centers in your area for both recyclables and hazardous waste. You can also call your city, county, or waste hauler for more information.

If your item is still in usable condition, think about giving it away to someone who could use it. Try You can join a local user's group at no cost and unload your unwanted items quickly and easily to your neighbors around the corner. You can also browse for freebies up for grabs.

Please direct questions on SLAC's recycling program to Micki DeCamara (x2348).


Access (see all)

  • No Access Notices Today

(see all | submit)

 Lab Announcements

Community Bulletin Board


Lab Training (calendar | register)

Upcoming Workshops & Classes

News (submit)

dividing line
(Office of Science/U.S. DOE Logo)

View online at