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In this issue:
From the Director: April 22, 2010—A Good Day for SLAC
BaBarians Talk Physics in Cincinnati
Fifty Years Ago in April

SLAC Today

Friday - April 30, 2010

From the Director:
April 22, 2010—A Good Day for SLAC

(Photo - Persis Drell)
(Photo by Linda Cicero.)

On April 22, 2010, as was described in the announcement in SLAC Today, we sent X-rays to the far experimental hall for the first time. The final technical milestone of the Linac Coherent Light Source construction project was met. This is a big deal for the project and for the lab.

We knew that we would be trying for the milestone the week of April 19. The beam line was ready and as of the beginning of the week, the final Personnel Protection System work was being completed. At the 8 a.m. Main Control Center meeting on April 22, the planning for achieving the milestone was reviewed. PPS, which had been on the critical path, was ready, with all the protection systems for personnel and equipment completed and tested. Radiation physics, which would be surveying the new beam line, hutches and far hall areas that had never had beam before, to ensure that radiation shielding was adequate, was ready. All of the other systems required to get the Linac and LCLS running were tested and ready. It was clear we had a good chance to hit the milestone that day.

We also knew of another major milestone event the week of April 19. We knew that on Thursday, the Director of the Office Science Bill Brinkman would convene his advisory board, the ESAAB, to consider CD-0 for the expansion of the LCLS, LCLS II. A CD-0, or critical decision 0, is the first step in a project, where the Office of Science in the Department of Energy clears the way for scientific and technical teams to officially begin work on detailed plan and design. For us, this would be the first step toward a major upgrade of LCLS.  Read more...

(Photo)
The BaBar collaboration met last weekend at the University of Cincinnati. (Background image courtesy University of Cincinnati. BaBar logo TM & © Nelvana.)

BaBarians Talk Physics in Cincinnati

Last weekend, BaBar collaborators gathered in Cincinnati, Ohio, for a BaBar physics analysis meeting, informally called a "BaBar Physics Jamboree." The more than 40 on-site BaBarians were joined by another 40 telephone attendees for in-depth discussions of the collaboration's latest analyses and results.

"This meeting was quite interactive," said BaBar Physics Analysis Coordinator Mike Roney. "There were lots of lively discussions and a very nice collaborative spirit."

Organized by Deputy Physics Analysis Coordinator Steven Robertson and University of Cincinnati physicists Brian Meadows and Mike Sokoloff, the "physics only" meeting gave BaBarians a chance to thoroughly vet recent physics analyses that have not yet been made public. In nearly 60 closed-door presentations over the course of two and a half days, researchers prepared for the June BaBar collaboration meeting and the July International Conference on High Energy Physics, at which many of these results will be announced.

"There was so much discussion that almost all the sessions went beyond schedule," said Roney.

(Photo)
Sandstone & Tile: the winter 2001 edition of this Stanford Historical Society publication contains a personal account of Project M's origins. (Image: SLAC Archives & History Office.)

Fifty Years Ago in April

In April of 1960, participants in the proposed "Project M," a two-mile linear accelerator to be located at Stanford University, were in the middle of a long and arduous battle to make the project a reality. The effort suffered a blow that month, when initial plans to approve and fund it were rejected. But April was also a historic and happy time for the project, as it was the month when the team selected the official site for Project M, and the future home of SLAC.

One year earlier, in the spring of 1959, President Eisenhower announced his support for Project M at a black tie dinner honoring American scientists. He emphasized the benefit it could bring to America. But Eisenhower, a Republican, hadn't told the Democratic congress about his announcement beforehand, and it fanned the flames of partisan politics surrounding the nascent project. Eisenhower's public support put Project M in the national spotlight, and the following year saw members of its planning group testifying before congress and facing tough questioning. Those men included Edward Ginzton, the Project M Director, Wolfgang "Pief" Panofsky, key Project M proponent and SLAC's first director, and Robert Moulton, who was hired to evaluate Stanford's financial position and ended up playing a pivotal role in Project M's creation.

By January of 1960, potential sites for Project M were up for discussion. Two proposed locations would have taken the project far away from its roots at Stanford, or even out of California. Another would have placed it on Stanford property south of the Junipero Serra Freeway.  Read more....

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