From the Director of SSRL:
The Next User Run
The past few months have been an extremely busy time at the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource. Not only have we been taking care of numerous shutdown activities and getting ready for users to start up again, but we have been working out the details to transition the SSRL Accelerator Division as a core team in the new Accelerator Directorate, as well as moving into the new financial system. To my pleasant surprise, not only have we all accomplished these varied tasks on a fast time scale but we have also learned how to better work together as a lab and develop a vision of the next steps we must take.
I can attest to Persis' recent comment about the creation of the Accelerator Directorate that "we didn't break anything." The SPEAR3 core team is now firmly planted in the directorate and the startup of SPEAR3 has gone very smoothly with the Beamline, Accelerator and Radiation Protection groups coordinating their activities to make sure that a high-quality beam is delivered safely to users during the coming weeks.
Symposium Honors Roger Blandford
Saturday, October 17, the Kavli Auditorium filled near capacity for a
symposium celebrating the 60th birthday of astrophysicist Roger Blandford,
director of the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology.
The event, entitled "Exploring
the High Energy Universe," featured presentations
by Blandford's colleagues, exploring the numerous (and
much-cited) scientific advances, richness of professional activities, and
congeniality of a remarkable career to date. A dinner at the nearby Rosewood
Sand Hill Resort capped off the celebration.
Attendees reported a lively symposium filled with reviews of ambitious science
and reminiscences about an outstanding scientist. SLAC astrophysicist Greg Madejski
recalled a comment heard during a coffee break:
"How could this symposium not be a great success? Roger is so
accomplished—yet so kind (and those attributes don't always go together).
Everyone wanted to be a part of it!"
For more attendee perspectives, see the online
event guest book.
PeopleSoft Downtime Today through Monday
PeopleSoft Financials will be unavailable today at noon through Monday at 8 a.m. This weekend, the project team will be establishing PeopleSoft on new hardware that will provide the user community with greater reliability and better application performance. This project is part of a lab-wide effort to provide a more robust financial systems infrastructure.
Word of the Week: Pauli Exclusion Principle
An atom of nitrogen contains two electrons in its first energy level and five in its second—two in an "s"
orbit, two in a "p" obrit and a lone electron in another "p"
The Pauli Exclusion Principle, formulated by Wolfgang Pauli in 1925, says
that all particles in a quantum system must be in non-identical states. It
applies only to a class of particles called fermions, which includes protons,
neutrons, electrons, quarks and neutrinos. An example of the principle is each electron around an atomic nucleus
having a unique orbital state. Two electrons with opposite spins can occupy each orbit and the electrons space themselves outward from the center.
This subatomic rule has consequences in some gigantic objects. The enormous density in a white dwarf star—a million times that of the sun—squeezes together all electrons so closely that they try to occupy the same
state. The electrons stack up, exerting a pressure that counteracts gravity’s crushing pull and holds the star stable.