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In this issue:
X-Rays Reveal Chemical Link Between Birds and Dinosaurs
Welcome, New SLACers!
Ultrafast X-ray Summer School Registration Open

SLAC Today

Tuesday - May 11, 2010

X-Rays Reveal Chemical Link Between Birds and Dinosaurs

Main panel: A false color image of the Thermopolis Archaeopteryx. This image is a composite blend of scans for the elements phosphorus, silicon, sulfur, and iron. The bright colors in the wing areas show how part of the feather chemistry has been preserved. Top left panel: An anaglyph made from phosphorus and iron showing detail of skull and manus claw. Top right panel: Another anaglyph, here showing fine detail of the skull using only phosphorous. (Image created by K.G. Huntley from data produced at SSRL.)

Researchers have found that a 150 million year old "dinobird" fossil, long thought to contain nothing but fossilized bone and rock, has been hiding remnants of the animal's original chemistry. Using the bright X-ray beam of the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource, located at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, an international team of paleontologists, geochemists and physicists has revealed this transformative glimpse into one of the most important fossils ever discovered: the Archaeopteryx, a half-dinosaur/half-bird species.

"Archaeopteryx is to paleontology what Tutankhamen is to archaeology. It's simply one of the icons of our field," said University of Manchester paleontologist Phil Manning. "You would think after 150 years of study, we'd know everything we need to know about this animal. But guess what—we were wrong."  Read more...

Welcome, New SLACers!

(Photo - new employees)
(Photo by Barbara Hemstad.)

SLAC welcomed nine new staff members at last Thursday's New Employee Orientation. They are, from the left:

William Ross
John Wagner
Alex Nguyen
Yuhua Liu
Magdalena Montes-Loera
Anne Marie Martinez
Ling Ho
Bruce Klein
Frank Schiavoni

Join us in congratulating our new staff as they embark on their pathway to success at SLAC!

(Poster by SLAC InfoMedia Solutions.)

Ultrafast X-ray Summer School Registration Open

Physicists, biologists, materials scientists, chemists, and more: pack your shorts and sunglasses−summer school is right around the corner. Registration is now open for SLAC's 2010 PULSE Ultrafast X-ray Summer School. The workshop will take place June 21–24 in Kavli Auditorium. This annual event, in its fourth year, takes on new significance this year with the recent turn on of the Linac Coherent Light Source.

The four day program, hosted by the PULSE Institute for Ultrafast Energy Science, will give students and post-docs the opportunity to train in ultrafast science techniques, including studies that use the LCLS's X-ray free electron laser. Experts from around the world will introduce participants to new opportunities and provide tutorials in ultrafast laser science, X-ray interactions with atoms, attosecond science and ultra fast materials science, among other topics.

"Students attend from around the world and have an opportunity to interact with the speakers and become familiar with the user facilities on the SLAC site," said Aaron Lindenberg, the event's co-chair. "These students will become the next generation of users at the LCLS."

This program also offers social activities, such as a barbeque and nature hike. For more information and to register online, please see the Ultrafast X-ray Summer School 2010 Web site.

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