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In this issue:
Winick Awarded Sakharov Prize
Colloquium Today: Analysis of Exergy and Carbon Flows in Natural and Human Systems

SLAC Today

Monday - February 22, 2010

Winick Awarded Sakharov Prize

Herman Winick (right) and fellow Sakharov Prize winner Morris (Moishe) Pripstein, at the APS April Meeting in Washington, DC. (Photo by Calla Cofield.)

At the 2010 April Meeting of the American Physical Society last week in Washington DC, SLAC physicist Herman Winick accepted the Andrei Sakharov Prize, given to a physicist for outstanding leadership and/or achievements in upholding human rights. Also accepting the award was Joseph Birman of the City College of New York and the City University of New York, and Morris (Moishe) Pripstein, of the National Science Foundation.

Winick is a founding member of the Synchrotron light for Experimental Science and Applications in the Middle East collaboration, a synchrotron facility currently under construction in Jordan. The SESAME collaboration will consist of scientists from nine Middle Eastern countries, some of which are currently engaged in conflicts with each other, with other nations, or internally. Winick said he hopes that the SESAME collaboration, along with bringing a third-generation light source to an area which currently does not have such a facility, will foster relationships between people from these countries. And not just scientists. Winick wants to have SESAME used as an international meeting facility for topics other than science. Collaborations like these may ultimately lead SESAME scientists to take up a practice that Winick has exercised many times before: to defend their international colleagues if they are persecuted by their home governments. Winick shared the story of one such colleague during his acceptance speech.

In 2001 Winick was communicating regularly with Mohamed Hadi Hadizadeh, a native Iranian physicist whom everyone just called "Hadi." The two were working on plans for SESAME together when Hadizadeh’s emails suddenly stopped coming. Winick waited for communication, but instead heard from Hadiadeh's wife, who told Winick the Iranian government had put her husband in jail on charges of planning to overthrow the government.

"This stunned me," said Winick. "How could someone that they knew [was] dedicated to…improving conditions in Iran be punished so severely?"

Read more in Symmetry Breaking...

Colloquium Today: Analysis of Exergy and Carbon Flows in Natural and Human Systems

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Exergy is the useful portion of energy that allows us to do work and perform energy services. It declines as energy is converted from one form to another and can be all destroyed if the ultimate product is ambient heat. This talk will present an analysis of data collected on the destruction of exergy and the flow of carbon in global energy systems. These data have been summarized in a set of exergy and carbon flow charts. The major destructions of exergy, the exergy efficiency of human energy processes, and the processes most associated with atmospheric carbon emissions will be described. Using this data, one can uncover the energy transformations where improvements in exergy efficiency will have the greatest impact in reducing CO2 emissions, and then identify opportunity areas for further energy research.

Dr. Richard Sassoon is the Managing Director of the Global Climate and Energy Project where he coordinates and oversees all day-to-day operations of the Project. GCEP is a unique partnership between academia and industry led by Stanford with the mission of conducting fundamental research on technologies that will permit the development of global energy systems with significantly lower greenhouse gas emissions. At GCEP, he also leads its efforts in the area of energy systems analysis. Prior to joining GCEP, Dr. Sassoon was Senior Scientist and Assistant Vice President at Science Applications International Corporation, where he worked with the U.S. Department of Energy in strategic planning and management of its environmental research programs. He has also spent many years researching the area of photochemical solar energy conversion and storage systems. Dr. Sassoon received his B.Sc. in Chemistry from Leeds University, and his Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel.

The talk will begin at 4:15 p.m. today in Panofsky Auditorium. The colloquium is free and open to all.

On Monday, March 8, Eric Colby will present "A New Generation of Particle Accelerators."

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