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In this issue:
SSRL Reaches Out to Users after Storm-related Power Outage
Saint Lawrence String Quartet Returns February 8
Haiti Earthquake Relief Bake Sale Next Monday
Colloquium Today: Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Oil Substitutes

SLAC Today

Monday - February 1, 2010

SSRL Reaches Out to Users after Storm-related Power Outage

(Photo - Aerial view of SSRL)
Aerial view of the SPEAR3 storage ring. Its high-energy electrons produce X-rays for use in a wide variety of experiments.

Staff at the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource responded quickly after severe rainstorms the week of January 18 caused site-wide power outage at SLAC. Crews have worked to restore critical services, ensure safe working conditions, restore beam in the SPEAR3 storage ring and restart user operations. Most beamlines resumed operations early during the last week of January. Accelerator physics tests scheduled for January 25-26 were canceled and returned to users who lost beam time during the outage.

SSRL management extends their thanks to staff, especially the Facilities Division staff, for all their hard work to restore these services as safely and efficiently as possible, and acknowledge and appreciate SSRL's scientific users for their patience. SSRL staff are compiling suggestions to improve future emergency communications and coordination based on lessons learned from this recent experience. Please contact Cathy Knotts or Behzad Bozorg-Chami to share thoughts or feedback.

As a reminder in the event of future emergencies, please make a note of SLAC emergency information hotline: 1-877-447-SLAC/1-877-447-7522. SSRL users can also consult the SPEAR3 status Web site or the SPEAR3 status line at 650-926-BEAM/650-926-2326 for updated information related to SSRL, SPEAR3 and user operations.

(Photo - The St. Lawrence String Quartet)
The Saint Lawrence String Quartet. (Photo by Anthony Parmelee.)

Saint Lawrence String Quartet Returns February 8

On February 8, SLAC will have the pleasure of another noontime concert by the Saint Lawrence String Quartet. The SLSQ is an outstandingly good ensemble, and it is the quartet-in-residence at Stanford University. They have performed in venues across the country as well as abroad. We are indeed honored for them to come to us.

The concert will be held from noon until 1 p.m. in Kavli Auditorium on Monday, February 8. They will perform two string quartets of Beethoven, Opus 14 and Opus 130. The "Opus 14" is an arrangement of the Piano Sonata Opus 14, Number 1 for string quartet. Please join us!

Later in the year we will have two more noontime concerts by emerging quartets studying with the SLSQ. These are young, very talented groups. The first will be the Tokai String Quartet on Thursday, March 4, and the second will be the Cecilia String Quartet on Thursday, April 15. Their concerts will also take place in Kavli Auditorium.

Here is an extra reason to attend the February concert: a Haiti Earthquake Relief Bake Sale will take place on the Kavli Patio before and after the concert. See below for more information.

Haiti Earthquake Relief Bake Sale Next Monday

Next Monday, February 8, from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the Kavli Auditorium patio, you can buy a homemade treat and contribute to relief for the victims of last month's devastating earthquake in Haiti. Check or cash donations are also welcome, and tax deductible. The proceeds from the bake sale and your donations will be given to the International American Red Cross Haiti Relief Funds.

Please contact Ziba Mahdavi (x2846) if you would like to help or have questions.

Colloquium Today: Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Oil Substitutes

(Image - SLAC Colloquium banner)

There are numerous reasons to favor a shift to substitutes for conventional oil such as biofuels or electricity. However, a transition to oil substitutes poses economic, environmental, and political risks. These risks are complex and intertwined. In particular, the problems of oil substitution and greenhouse gas emissions are unavoidably linked. Any shortfall in conventional oil will induce the increased production of oil substitutes such as unconventional hydrocarbons or biofuels, which have different climate impact per unit of fuel produced. It would be very helpful to have tools to guide our decisions during this transition.

Today at 4:15 p.m. in Panofsky Auditorium, Adam Brandt of Stanford University's Department of Energy Resources Engineering, School of Earth Sciences, will describe his efforts to build such a tool, by modeling the transition to oil substitutes using a large-scale mathematical model of future transportation fuel production. In particular, Brandt will emphasize the uncertainties inherent in such modeling efforts and describe how models might help us despite these uncertainties.

The colloquium is free and open to all.

Next Monday, computing and electronics leader Chuck House will present "Taking Measure: Evolution of a Tools Maker."

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