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In this issue:
SLACerMan Says: Watch that Main Gate!
Two-hundred Safe Days
Recycle, Reuse, Re-accelerate

SLAC Today

Thursday - January 14, 2010

SLACerMan Says: Watch that Main Gate!

(Image: SLAC InfoMedia Solutions.)

SLAC's Main Gate is a congested and tricky traffic spot, with cars, pedestrians and bicycles coming and going in so many directions. In the first of three videos for SLAC Vehicle Safety Month, superhero and safety expert SLACerMan illustrates the literal "ins and outs" of navigating SLAC's main entryway safely and in a timely manner. 

See the video...

Two-hundred Safe Days

SLAC staff and contractors celebrate 200 injury-free days of construction on the newly-errected LCLS office building, shown in the background. (Photo by Raimond Cuadrado.)

Last week, SLAC staff and contractors celebrated 200 injury-free days on construction of the new Linac Coherent Light Source office building, Building 901, with a barbeque lunch planned and hosted by the contractor for the project, Rudolph & Sletten, to show appreciation for the hard and safe work to their employees and subcontractors. The group held similar event at 100 days injury free, and are now shooting for 300 days, according to SLAC Project Manager Lori Plummer.

"This is a reflection of the great teamwork between lab staff, Rudolph & Sletten staff and all of the subcontractors on the B901 project," Plummer said. "We're looking forward to a safe and productive 2010, with completion of Building 901 this spring."

Recycle, Reuse, Re-accelerate

(Photo - SLAC linac)
The two-mile-long linear accelerator at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory is the second-longest building in the world. After 42 years of contributing to particle physics experiments, its particle beams are being redirected to two new projects: the world's most powerful X-ray laser and a test bed for advanced accelerator technology. (Photo by Peter Ginter.)

Chugging along in the background, old physics machines are the workhorses behind many cutting-edge projects, from the world's most powerful X-ray laser to the Large Hadron Collider and a lab that tests microchips bound for Mars.

It's always the new stuff that makes the news. Consider the Large Hadron Collider, the enormous ring beneath the Swiss-French border that has swamped magazine covers, newspaper stands, and even movie screens in the lead-up to its first particle collision. Amidst all the buzz about innovation, you might think scientists can't discover new physics without a brand-new machine.

But a corps of durable, versatile, and carefully maintained accelerators from the 1970s, 60s, 50s and even 40s proves that time-tested accelerators can still spawn cutting-edge science.

Upgraded, adapted, and sent off on new missions, these veteran accelerators represent recycling and reuse on a grand scale, saving hundreds of millions of dollars while freeing money for projects at the forefront of experimental physics. In fact, in some cases they've been absorbed into those new projects. Old-school machines feed into Fermilab's Tevatron collider; the world's most powerful X-ray laser, at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory; and even the LHC, which surpassed the Tevatron as the world's most powerful particle accelerator just 10 days after its successful restart in November. 

Read more in Symmetry magazine...


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