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In this issue:
FACET Passes Critical Decision 1 Review
H1N1 Influenza: What Is It and How Do I Protect Myself?
Stanford Report Launches Daily E-mail Today
Colloquium Today: From Ostwald to Tesla—New Insights into the Catalysis of Fuel Cells

SLAC Today

Monday - September 21, 2009

FACET Passes Critical Decision 1 Review

(Photo - SLAC's linac)
The FACET project will use the first two-thirds of SLAC's two-mile linac to study advanced accelerator technology. (Photo by Shawne Workman.)

On September 10, the FACET project received approval of Critical Decision 1, CD-1, from the Department of Energy, following a successful review in July. The CD-1 approval will move the project through its initial scope, schedule and budget definition phase, and into development of a detailed engineering design.

FACET will generate extremely intense beams with peak currents of roughly 20 kA and energies in excess of 20 GeV. "These beams will be used to study many aspects of beam physics, plasma physics and materials science, however the primary goal for FACET is to understand plasma acceleration," said Tor Raubenheimer, head of SLAC's Accelerator Research Division. "In plasma acceleration, the electric field in a plasma wave is used to accelerate charged particles, such as electrons and positrons, and accelerating fields can be generated that are more than 1000 times higher than in the SLAC linac." 

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H1N1 Influenza:
What Is It and How Do I Protect Myself?

(Photo - H1N1 flu virus)
H1N1 influenza virus.
(Image: CDC.)

With the beginning of fall and the start of school, it's time to prepare for flu season. This year, the new strain of influenza virus H1N1, formerly called "swine flu," deserves added caution. During the past several months, the experience in the Southern Hemisphere's flu season has indicated that H1N1 cases have a severity comparable to seasonal flu. However, SLAC and Stanford are preparing information and health support resources to help the community have a healthy season and to be prepared in the case of a more serious outbreak of the H1N1 virus.

For full details and information about this strain, symptoms, guidance, protection and more, the best reference is the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) 2009 H1N1 Flu Web site.

According to the CDC, the single best way to protect against the flu is to get vaccinated each year. Unfortunately the H1N1 strain is not susceptible to the normal seasonal flu vaccine, so a vaccine is under development for H1N1. The latest projections are that it will become generally available for the public late in October. In the meantime, SLAC's Medical Department will be administering the seasonal flu vaccine, for SLAC employees only, beginning in early October. An announcement will be made when the seasonal flu vaccines are available. Please be aware that certain people should not get a flu vaccine without first consulting a physician; these people are listed on the CDC Web siteRead more...

Stanford Report Launches Daily E-news

(Image - Stanford Report eNews)
Stanford Report eNews. (Image: Stanford News Service/University Communications.)

Today, the Stanford Report launches daily e-mail distribution of university news, events and more. After 41 years as a weekly print newspaper, the Report launched its first Web edition in 1997. Two years later, the online version went to daily updates, while the print newspaper continued weekly. This summer, the publication became all-electronic after its final print issue on June 17. After a "beta" test of six weekly e-mails, Stanford Report eNews begins daily e-mail delivery today, with continued availability of Stanford news online.

"We're excited about launching the eNews daily for the entire community," said Elaine Ray, Stanford director of campus communications, who led the team that created the publication. "We hope it serves as a main portal of information for faculty, staff and others."

SLAC and Stanford staff, faculty, postdocs, as well as emeritus faculty and staff will receive the e-mails automatically. Anyone who is interested can subscribe, following the links on the Stanford Report eNews Web page. Community members can also suggest story ideas online.

Colloquium Today: From Ostwald to Tesla—New Insights into the Catalysis of Fuel Cells

(Image - SLAC Colloquium banner)

Today at 4:15 p.m. in Panofsky Auditorium, University of Houston and Technical University Berlin researcher Peter Strasser will present, "From Ostwald to Tesla—New Insights into the Catalysis of Fuel Cells."

Following his "energetic imperative," Wilhelm Ostwald called upon the science and engineering community of his time to develop more efficient electrochemical galvanic cells rather than combustion heat engines for energy conversion and power generation. With this demand, he was about 100 years ahead of his peers.

Since Ostwald's time, both electrochemical battery storage cells and electrochemical fuel cells with their distinct fields of application have seen recurring waves of attention. Materials research on either type of cell has yielded impressive new insights and components over past years. Recent highlights include high-energy Li-ion batteries for use in full-electric vehicles as well as low Pt Polymer Electrolyte Membrane fuel cells, or PEMFCs, in fuel cell hybrid cars. But both of these still face formidable technical challenges and hence require attention by fundamental science and engineering, for example, to develop more active and stable electrocatalysts. 

In this presentation, Peter Strasser will briefly review the status of battery and fuel cell research and will then focus on his group's recent progress in the materials science and surface catalysis of fuel cell electrocatalysts, to a large extent obtained by use of synchrotron X-ray analytical techniques for the investigation of novel nanostructured catalyst materials. Strasser's group has been able to clarify the extraordinary catalytic performance characteristics of a new class of nanoparticle catalyst, and recently developed X-ray scattering techniques to monitor and understand complex fuel cell catalyst stability behavior in-situ.

The colloquium is free and open to all.


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