Nikita Sunilkumar Takes On the Tides
Nikita Sunilkumar. (Photo by Nicholas Bock.)
Over the course of her Student Undergraduate Laboratory Internship at SLAC, University of Southern California engineering student Nikita Sunilkumar has been working on a mystery.
The puzzle started a few years ago, when users at Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource reported trouble getting the SSRL beam to stay aligned on their samples. While the beam's position relative to its target usually fluctuates within a range of 10 micrometers, something was causing it to become
less stable, sometimes moving by as much as 100 micrometers.
As SSRL staff members tried to figure out what was happening, they realized that the problem wasn't coming from the beam's instrumentation, but instead from the foundation of the SPEAR storage ring.
To gauge the fluctuations, researchers looked at data provided by the storage ring's hydrostatic leveling system, or HLS: a series of water-filled tubes that provides real-time information on
tiny vertical movements in different parts of the building. Comparing data from the HLS to the outdoor temperature at the site, researchers identified a correlation between temperature and the movement in the building's floor.
The mystery, though, is how the two are connected—which is where Sunilkumar comes in.
Stanford OSR and SLAC staff outside the LCLS Beam Transport Hall (left to right, OSR unless otherwise noted): Caroline Jones, Theresa Tom, Csilla Caplar, James Burtnett and Vickee Flynn (SLAC Requirements Management team), Derrick Lin, Judith Torres, Kevin Vermillion, Catherine Boxwell, Chad Francis, Mei Rogers, Meredith O'Connor, Robert Loredo, Gary Podesta, Karen Hurdle, Carolyn Samiere, Mary Lee, and Mark Reichanadter and John Galayda of the SLAC LCLS team.
(Photo by Doug Kreitz.)
Seeing for Themselves
On Wednesday, July 29, a chartered Marguerite brought to SLAC 15 university staffers from Stanford's Office of Sponsored Research, or OSR. They visited to experience first-hand the Linac Coherent Light Source facility, guided by SLAC hosts and LCLS management team members John Galayda and Mark Reichanadter.
Requirements Manager James Burtnett arranged the tour at the request of Meredith O'Connor, the senior contracting officer at OSR
who signs the Department of Energy/Stanford contract for management of the lab. She and her team wanted to see some of the science that results from the partnership and contract between Stanford and the DOE.
"Thank you for making this tour a reality," O'Connor said. "Everyone was very appreciative and engaged. This is why we do our jobs. It's great to see the science."
After a stop at the Klystron Visitor's Alcove for a talk by Joe Frisch of the LCLS Physics Department, the group visited the LCLS Beam Transport Hall, walked through the Undulator Hall to the Near Experimental Hall, and listened along the way as Galayda, Reichanadter and Frisch explained the equipment. The tour ended with a talk by John Bozek,
chief scientist for the AMO, the first science instrument for LCLS, which was
moved into its experimental hutch in the NEH in June.
Reminder: SLAC Medical Department Survey Ends Friday
Friday is the final day of the SLAC Medical Department survey. The Medical Department is very much interested in employee opinion about
the quality of our services. If you haven't already, please take a moment to fill out the brief online
evaluation. The survey is completely anonymous. However, at the end of the survey, if you'd like to provide your name, you'll be included in a random drawing for one of five medical travel kits. This survey will run until Friday, August 7. Thanks for providing your input.
Breaking Ground for the LCLS Office Building
(Photo by Nicholas Bock.)
After Monday morning groundbreaking, work on the
new Linac Coherent Light Source office building
is under way. The two story, 22,000 square foot building will be located across from the Near Experimental Hall on PEP Ring Road.
It will house offices for LCLS staff, administrators and users. Construction is expected to finish
in spring 2010.