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In this issue:
People: Paul Jackson, Blogging a Physicist's Life
Recent Awards to Photon Science Faculty
SLAC to Host Geant4 Tutorial
Around SLAC: Cooling Tower

SLAC Today

Wednesday - September 9, 2009

Paul Jackson, Blogging a Physicist's Life

Paul Jackson.
(Photo courtesy Paul Jackson.)

SLAC physicist Paul Jackson works at CERN on the Large Hadron Collider's ATLAS detector. In his free time, he runs marathons, hikes the European countryside and travels around the world to attend conferences. He's also the lead singer for an all-ATLAS band. The name of the band? AWESOME [sic].

It all makes life as a particle physicist sound pretty sweet.

Jackson is also a regular contributor to Quantum Diaries, a blog where scientists from around the world share their experiences in high energy physics. His goal in the work isn't to write about physics per se, but instead to write about what it's like being a physicist.

"A lot of people have an interest in physics these days, but don't really understand what it means to be a physicist," Jackson said. "So rather than just filling people in on the work I've been doing each week, I've been trying to give them an idea of the physics lifestyle."  Read more...

Britt Hedman and Edward Solomon.

Recent Awards to Photon Science Faculty

Two SLAC and Stanford scientists received honors from their peers this summer. The International X-ray Absorption Society named Deputy Director of the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource Britt Hedman co-recipient of the IXAS Edward Stern Outstanding Achievement Award, together with Professor Frank de Groot of Utrecht University, Netherlands. This award is given every three years for outstanding accomplishments across X-ray absorption spectroscopy disciplines, including experimental and theoretical studies.

Edward Solomon, professor of the Stanford Department of Chemistry, was elected to the first class of American Chemical Society Fellows for excellence in chemistry. The honor is given to members who "share a common set of accomplishments, namely true excellence in their contributions to the chemical enterprise coupled with distinctive service to ACS or to the broader world of chemistry," according to ACS Immediate Past-President Bruce Bursten, who championed creation of the program. A ceremony to recognize the fellows took place on Monday, August 17.

Read more in the August 2009 SSRL Headlines...

SLAC to Host Geant4 Tutorial

(Image - Geant4 simulation)
This Geant4 simulation shows the path particles (red and blue) take after they scatter off of a thin foil (yellow) and before they are recorded by a detector (green). (Image courtesy Joseph Perl.)

SLAC employees and users are invited to register for the SLAC Geant4 Tutorial 2009, to take place at the laboratory November 2–6. Geant4, a toolkit for simulating particles as they pass through and interact with matter, is currently used by SLAC's ATLAS, BaBar, Enriched Xenon Observatory, Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope and International Linear Collider groups.

"Geant4 was originally developed to simulate high energy physics experiments, but now it's used very heavily not only in high energy physics but also in nuclear, aerospace and medical physics," said Software Developer Joseph Perl, a member of the SLAC Geant4 team. "I encourage anyone at SLAC interested in Geant4 to register for the tutorial."

The four day hands-on course will cover all aspects of Geant4, from basic installation through advanced topics. Although general registration for the tutorial is full, a few spaces are still available for SLAC employees and users. To register, please contact Joseph Perl.

(Photo by Nicholas Bock.)

Around SLAC:
Cooling Tower

The charm of these squat pods comes not only from their distinctive shape, but from their scarcity of features to hint at their intended purpose. They're cooling towers, though, and there are six of them—a big one at Interaction Region 12 and five smaller units stationed at various points around the lab. The devices, pleasantly reminiscent of Buckminster Fuller's Dymaxion House, are used primarily to provide cool water for air conditioning units. For HVAC staff, their (relatively) small size can make them convenient creatures to have around, providing portable backup in case of interruptions to a main cooling system.


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