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In this issue:
A New Path of Conduction for Future Electronics
Kids Day Registration Ends Friday
Save the Date: SLUO Annual Meeting September 17
Around SLAC: 55 Loaves of Bread, 17 Pounds of Cheese

SLAC Today

Wednesday - July 22, 2009

A New Path of Conduction for Future Electronics

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Schematic representing trajectories of electrons "dancing" along the edges of a device. Red arrows correspond to electrons with "spin up"; blue, "spin down." An electron injected from one leg of the "H" can end up in the other without bumping into other electrons or defects in the bulk of the material, and hence without any resistance, by traveling unimpeded along the edge. (Image: Shou-Cheng Zhang.)

Last month, researchers from SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University made headlines when they revealed experimental evidence of a topological insulator: a material that could revolutionize computer processors by allowing electricity to flow without resistance. This week in Science, the theorists along with an experimental group in Germany report additional details about the way these topological insulators conduct electricity. Using the topological insulator mercury telluride, the paper shows that an electric current sent through these materials goes against conventional physics knowledge and travels far away from its input points, to the outer edges of the material.

"This is another manifestation of this new state of matter, which is totally different than anything we're familiar with," said co-author Shou-Cheng Zhang of the Stanford Institute for Materials and Energy Science, a joint Stanford/SLAC institute. The current generation of microprocessors dissipate a lot of energy as heat, Zhang said, as result of electrical resistance. "It's one of the greatest obstacles facing the information age today. The current experiment proves that there is a possible motion of the electrons that does not dissipate energy in the traditional way."  Read more...

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Registration Ends Friday for SLAC Kids Day 2009

SLAC Kids Day 2009 will take place on Friday, August 14. Preregistration is required and registration ends at 5:00 p.m. this Friday. To register your kids (or your friends' kids), see the Kids Day Registration page.

Save the Date:
SLUO Annual Meeting September 17

The SLAC Users Organization will convene the 2009 SLUO Annual Meeting on Thursday, September 17. The meeting will take place in Kavli Auditorium from 8:00 a.m. to 6:30 pm., followed by a reception in the Panofsky Breezeway.

The SLUO Annual Meeting is an invaluable opportunity to learn about the vision of agencies that fund SLAC science, the plans of the lab, and the latest developments and science opportunities in SLAC's Particle Physics and Astrophysics directorate, from deep underground science to the cosmos. It is also a great time to learn about new projects, interact with other users and potential new colleagues, and discuss future collaboration between SLAC and the university physics community.

The morning sessions will review local and national plans for PPA, with presentations from SLAC Director Persis Drell, as well as representatives from the Department of Energy Office of Science and the National Science Foundation. The afternoon sessions will center around accelerator science and accelerator-based physics at SLAC. The goal of the sessions will be to exchange ideas on how to push the current limits of accelerator technology to respond to the most demanding physics projects and to discuss a formulation for SLAC involvement. The SLUO Executive Committee expects these sessions to contribute input to SLAC management as it considers the direction for the evolution of SLAC's accelerator science and accelerator-based physics program.

For additional information and registration, please see the 2009 SLUO Annual Meeting Web site.

Around SLAC:
55 Loaves of Bread, 17 Pounds of Cheese

(Photo - making many, many sandwiches)
(Photo by Nicholas Bock.)

Linear Café staff were working double time last Monday to prepare 275 sandwiches for attendees of the Low Temperature Detectors Workshop. According to Café Head Chef Paulo Barron, who also helped orchestrate a continental breakfast and after-hours reception for the workshop, the sandwiches required 55 loaves of bread, more than 50 pounds of meat and 17 pounds of cheese.

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