From Persis, Paul and Bill:
We Need Your Help!
The incident investigation into the September 24, 2009 laser-related eye injury in a PULSE laboratory has been completed and the final report has been completed and the
final report is available to the SLAC community online (SLAC internal); we encourage everyone at SLAC to read it. It is an excellent report and it identifies things that probably exist in many other parts of the laboratory, specifically:
- inadequate supervision and oversight,
- a sub-culture where it is not always deemed necessary to "follow the rules,"
- inadequate on-the-job training and
- inadequate work planning and control
While a plan is being developed to correct the specific root causes of the laser incident, as was discussed in last week's safety and security briefings, we believe that there are broader cultural issues we need to deal with here and we are following the laser investigation with an evaluation of the operational culture at the lab, sponsored jointly by Stanford, SSO and SLAC.
A Visit from the Armenian Prime Minister
Armenian Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan (right) and SLAC Director Persis Drell exchange gifts. (Photo by Brad Plummer.)
It's not every day that secret service and motorcades are seen at SLAC; then again, it's not every day that a
prime minister visits the lab. Armenian Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan and a small delegation of advisors were welcomed to the lab late Thursday morning by
SLAC Director Persis Drell. The two exchanged gifts before sitting down with six
students from Stanford University's Armenian Students Association for a thoughtful question and answer session with the prime minister.
The entourage was then escorted on a tour of the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource and the Next Linear Collider Test Accelerator facilities.
Welcome Aboard New SLACers!
Yesterday, November 5, 2009, SLAC welcomed fifteen new employees. They are, from left to right:
Front row: Ralph Habura, Mohammad Malek, Alice Callen, Rui Qiu, Frank Hoeflich
Back row: Jim Defever, Eugene Kraft, Andrew Benwell, Matthew Wrona, Chiara Caronna, Yo Wackerman, Doug Stickney, Gary Niese, Ian Walter Evans, Marco Cammarata
Word of the Week: Planck Time
Max Planck's official Nobel Prize portrait, 1918.
Ninety-one years before Bay Area rapper M.C. Hammer introduced an unsuspecting public to "Hammertime," quantum mechanics pioneer Max Planck had his own hit with Planck time—the amount of time it takes light to travel a Planck length.
And what's a Planck length? It's a unit of measurement equal to roughly 1.6 x 10-35 meters, making one unit of Planck time
equal about 5.39 x 10-44 seconds. But for being so small, Planck time holds a lot of significance for physicists and cosmologists. According to some theories, one unit of
Planck time is the amount of time after the big bang that all four fundamental forces were combined into a single unified force.
Hammertime is less precisely defined but, according to theories generated by interns at the SLAC Communications Office, may refer to the length of M.C. Hammer's widespread commercial success—a time span of
perhaps 6.3 x 107 seconds.