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In this issue:
From the Director: Safety and Security Briefing
America's Accelerator Future
Daylight Saving Time Ends Sunday
Word of the Week: Color Charge

SLAC Today

Friday - October 30, 2009

From the Director:
Safety and Security Briefing

(Photo - Persis Drell)
(Photo by Linda Cicero.)

I would like to start by congratulating you—the laboratory staff. Together we have made major strides forward in both safety and security. I want to congratulate each one of you for contributing to our progress.

We have just completed the safest year as a laboratory since we have been keeping records. While we had only four accidents where someone had to miss a day of work due to an injury, I think we will all agree that any accident is one too many.

I believe the improvements in the safety culture at our lab come from:

  • Better understanding of roles and responsibilities in the lab
  • Better work planning and control processes and the growth of a culture of "plan it right or don't do it" at the lab
  • Our shared commitment to having the same high standards for safety performance as we have for our science. It isn't safety or science. It's safety and science.

However, I believe we can and must do better.

We had two incidents in the past six months that are clear pointers to where we have work to do. On April 3, a graduate student user at SSRL had a glass sample holder explode when he removed it from a liquid nitrogen dewar, peppering his face with glass. On September 24, a Stanford graduate student got a small burn to his retina in the periphery of his vision while aligning a laser.  Read more...

America's Accelerator Future

Director of the DOE Office of Science William Brinkman addresses the Accelerators for America's Future symposium in Washington, DC. (Photo: Symmetry Breaking.)

The next big thing in particle accelerators may not be so big, and it might not have anything to do with research into the subatomic secrets of the universe. Instead it could offer a better way to slice silicon into chips, treat cancer, stop terrorist attacks, tap new sources of energy, reduce the world's growing burden of nuclear waste or turn air pollutants into fertilizer.

More than 400 people are in Washington, DC this week to draw up a list of possibilities for the Office of High Energy Physics in the Department of Energy's Office of Science, which builds and operates America's major research accelerators and funds research on accelerator technology. Called "Accelerators for America's Future," the meeting kicked off Monday with an all-day symposium and continued Tuesday and Wednesday with invitation-only working groups focusing on industrial applications and production, national security, energy and the environment, medicine and biology, and discovery science. They'll report their findings later.  Read more in Symmetry Breaking...

Daylight Saving Time Ends Sunday

Don't forget, you get an extra hour of sleep this Sunday morning. Daylight Saving Time ends Sunday, November 1, at 2 a.m. Time to "fall back," set the clock back one hour (officially from 1:59 to 1:00 a.m.), and take an extra 60 minute's snooze or leisurely brunch.

Word of the Week: Color Charge

Video by Brad Plummer and Nicholas Bock.

Science writer Nicholas Bock juggles the definition of "color charge" in this video installment of the Word of the Week....

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