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In this issue:
From the Director of Operations: Essential Upgrades in 2010
Budget Changes for an Evolving Lab
SLAC Blood Drive Next Wednesday
Word of the Week: Plasma Acceleration

SLAC Today

Friday - January 15, 2010

From the Director of Operations:
Essential Upgrades in 2010

(Photo - Alexander Merola)
(Photo by Linda Cicero.)

Happy New Year and New Decade. It seems like just the right time to focus on the Operations Directorate's firm plans for 2010 as well as our planning process for the decade. 

Visible and helpful changes to the SLAC workplace environment will take place this year! The Operations Directorate will provide online tools for time reporting, applicant tracking and some performance tracking. There will be a larger suite of products available through online procurement, greatly cutting down on time/effort to procure. We will increase SharePoint services and strengthen the ability to search and find SLAC documents wherever they reside. We will begin to modernize the computer center with a $2M investment and see improved cell coverage for AT&T cell phones. We are implementing a staffing profile in the Office of the Chief Finance Officer and Computing to help move us in the right directions. And there will be changes in the SLAC Library offerings and services which we are still working out.

The Research Support Building project will move from a paper planning exercise into early implementation. This project will eventually create a new 53,000 square foot building and will fully modernize Buildings 28 and 41, while removing 13 of our older trailers. About 800 staff members will need to move to accommodate the needed modernization and trailer demolitions; about 120 of these moves will take place later in 2010.  Read more...

Budget Changes for an Evolving Lab

The updates to lab infrastructure and core services that I discussed above require money, of course. This is amplified by the fact that the LinacOps budget is no longer available to fund SLAC-wide infrastructure or services. To finance both the loss of the LinacOps funding as well as the improvements discussed here, lab management will need to raise the indirect General and Administrative rate.

We in Operations understand and value the magnitude of trust that has been placed in us by this increase in the overhead rate. We will aggressively deliver and demonstrate that the trust is well placed. We are One Lab and the Operations Commitment here is to deliver to SLAC what we promised.

SLAC Blood Drive Next Wednesday

Staff from the Stanford Blood Center will be at SLAC on Wednesday, January 20, for the quarterly SLAC Blood Drive. The drive will take place in the Panofsky Auditorium Lobby from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and is open to members of the SLAC Community and the general public. Please make an appointment or drop by when it is convenient for you. After donating, enjoy refreshments with other donors. 

Blood donors get the satisfaction of knowing they've helped to provide hope and life to a patient in a local hospital. And each donor will receive a coupon for a free pint of Baskin Robbins ice cream!

For more details and to make an appointment, see the SLAC Blood Drive page.

Word of the Week: Plasma Acceleration

(Image: Sandbox Studios.)

Plasma acceleration is a technique that helps particles get "up to speed" in a much shorter distance than conventional accelerators require, by driving them through ionized gas, also known as plasma. As a bunch of electrons passes through these free-floating ions, the bunch's negative charge pushes the similarly-charged plasma particles out of its path. The remaining positive ions are attracted to the negatively charged electron bunch and form a tail behind it. Now, the displaced negative free ions are attracted back to this wake of positively-charged particles, causing them to gather behind the original electron bunch. The negative charges repel, giving the bunch an extra push.

At SLAC, physicists in the Facilities for Accelerator Science and Experimental Test Beams, or FACET, are working on a type of plasma acceleration that involves at second bunch of electrons, so that energy is transferred from the first to the second bunch.

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