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In this issue:
Tenth SuperB Workshop Assesses Potential U.S. Roles
SLAC Completes Final Item in 2006 Action Plan
Colloquium Today: What Stanford, WWII, SLAC and Silicon Valley Owe to W. W. Hansen—New Insights

SLAC Today

Monday - October 12, 2009

Tenth SuperB Workshop Explores Potential U.S. Roles

(Photo - meeting in )
Attendees of the SuperB Workshop listen to presentations in Panofsky Auditorium on the first day of the meeting. (Photo by Lauren Knoche.)

The SuperB Project Workshop and Proto-Collaboration Meeting X wrapped up on Friday following four days of presentations and break-out sessions at SLAC. The tenth SuperB workshop brought together about one hundred physicists focused on preparing a technical design for the proposed positron–electron collider.

"This is a time to get the international team together and progress further towards a technical design for SuperB," said University of Pisa and INFN physicist Francesco Forti. The SuperB project is led by Italy's National Institute for Nuclear Physics, or INFN, with collaboration from physicists around the world, including many from SLAC. The INFN has presented the SuperB Project's Conceptual Design Report to the Italian government for review. In the meantime, the members met at SLAC to discuss possible sites, computing needs, and detector and machine design.

The proposed B-meson factory would use highly focused positron and electron beams, 100 times brighter than those used in SLAC's PEP-II collider, for a higher-than-ever rate of interactions between the particles. "With the higher SuperB luminosity, you can acquire events 100 times faster and see the physics details 100 times sharper than with BaBar," said SuperB mastermind Pantaleo Raimondi who formerly worked for SLAC and now works at Frascati National Laboratory in Italy.

SLAC Director of Particle Physics and Astrophysics David MacFarlane opened the workshop with a presentation focused on the U.S. involvement with SuperB. A recent request from the Department of Energy asked SLAC to assess options for involvement in SuperB. "The request shows recognition of the exciting science opportunity and reflects a desire to broaden the base of high-energy physics at a national level," MacFarlane said. "In addition, it reflects an interest by SLAC in taking the lead role for the U.S. community in managing the U.S. high-energy physics involvement in the SuperB project, should Italy launch the project in the coming months."  Read more...

SLAC Completes Final Item in 2006 Action Plan

Wednesday, September 30, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory closed the final corrective action item laid out in the corrective action plan created in response to the 2006 Office of Independent Oversight's inspection. After nearly three years of work, SLAC has officially implemented the last of more than one hundred corrective actions which were meant to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the lab's programs in Environment, Health and Safety and Integrated Safety and Environmental Management Systems. In a tremendous show of hard work, SLAC team members completed each of the corrective actions on time or ahead of schedule.

"Completing the final corrective action in response to the OIO investigation is a major accomplishment and a key milestone for the whole lab," said SLAC Director Persis Drell. "The people involved recognized that these actions were necessary to help ES&H and ISEMS operate as efficiently and effectively as possible, and they worked hard to put them in place. It should be noted that these actions do not mean more paperwork or more regulation. In fact, they should make the ISEMS more user-friendly and more efficient.".  Read more...

Colloquium Today: What Stanford, WWII, SLAC and Silicon Valley Owe to W. W. Hansen—New Insights

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The year is 1937. The world is wracked by economic depression and the threat of war. The scene is a once moneyed but fading regional university not widely known for its physics research. Two driven young men, a physicist inventor and an airline pilot, seek out the collaboration of a new young professor to solve a problem that has baffled the best minds of the scientific world. In return for sharing patent royalties with the school, the professor secures them appointments as unpaid research assistants, the use of a laboratory room and a $100 budget. Together, they apply the professor's recently invented resonator circuit to create a new type of vacuum tube to generate microwave energy.

How did this happen, and what was its impact? This university is Stanford; these men are the Varian brothers and their good friend Bill Hansen, who would die just a decade later of beryllium poisoning. The tube, the klystron, brought funding and recognition, elevating Stanford into the ranks of respected physics and electronic research institutions.

Today at 4:15 in Panofsky Auditorium, Stanford Consulting Professor of Electrical Engineering David Leeson will present new information about Hansen's life and work. In connection with his publishing of Hansen's long-lost WWII MIT Rad Lab "Notes on Microwaves," Leeson has unearthed original source materials that cast new light on Hansen's brilliant career. Leeson holds degrees from Caltech, MIT and Stanford, and has worked on applications from radar to spacecraft. In 1968 he founded California Microwave, Inc., from which he retired in 1994 to join the Stanford faculty.

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