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In this issue:
SIMES Researcher Shoucheng Zhang Awarded Europhysics Prize
Summer School Explores the Ultrafast
SULI and Star Students Arrive
Quartet Concert Next Thursday

SLAC Today

Thursday - June 24, 2010

SIMES Researcher Shoucheng Zhang Awarded Europhysics Prize

(Photo - Shoucheng Zhang)
Shoucheng Zhang. (Photo by Lauren Schenkman.)

SLAC and Stanford physicist Shoucheng Zhang was awarded the Europhysics Prize on Monday by the European Physical Society Condensed Matter Division. Zhang, a researcher at the Stanford Institute for Materials and Energy Research and a Stanford physics professor, was notified of this prize last Wednesday.

The Europhysics Prize is one of the more prestigious European physics awards. Zhang received this award for his theoretical prediction of the quantum spin Hall effect and topological insulators. He observed that top scientific awards usually involve the collaboration of many researchers not named in the prize.

"The best prizes are the reflection of the community of research," Zhang said. He received this award along with four scientists from other institutions.

Zhang also noted that the quantum spin Hall effect and topological insulators are very hot areas of research within condensed matter physics right now. He published a new paper on the topic just weeks ago.

"There are new discoveries coming out," he said. "This is a very broad effort within SLAC."  Read more...

Summer School Explores the Ultrafast

(Photo- PULSE Ultrafast X-ray Summer School attendees 2010)
Attendees of the PULSE Ultrafast X-ray Summer School 2010. (Photo by Lauren Rugani.)

The PULSE Ultrafast X-ray Summer School wraps up today with a poster session in the Panofsky breezeway, where more than 70 graduate students and postdocs will present their mock proposals for a future experiment using the Linac Coherent Light Source. The participants gathered on the SLAC campus this week to learn about the burgeoning field of ultrafast X-ray science.

"We want the students to leave with a vision of how ultrafast science and the revolutionary new X-ray sources at SLAC can be used to solve important scientific problems," said UXSS co-chairman Aaron Lindenberg, who is also a PULSE researcher. Speakers from SLAC and abroad introduced the students to the forefronts of ultrafast research in areas such as imaging, high energy density physics, chemistry, magnetism and X-ray-atom interactions.

"These are the next generation of ultrafast researchers. They get to ask questions while they have the experts in front of them. It really gets them thinking, and that's the goal," said Ken Schaefer, a visiting professor from Louisiana State University and co-chair of the program.

Students from developing countries are encouraged to attend, and the organizers work with several organizations to help offset the often prohibitive travel costs for them. This year, South African graduate student Wisdom Sibanda, from the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, received a $2000 travel fellowship from the American Physical Society. He is among the first recipients of the award from the APS Early-Career Physicists Training-Travel Grant Program, which was established in 2009. Other students received travel grants from the U.S. Department of Energy and the Turkish Accelerator Center in Ankara.

To check out the students' LCLS experiment proposals, stop by the Panofsky breezeway tonight between 5:30 and 8 p.m. The event is free and open to all.

SULI and STAR program participants kicked off two months of research on Monday morning. (Photo by Kelen Tuttle.)

SULI and Star Students Arrive

A summer of science began on Monday for this year's 20 SULI students. SULI, or Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internships, is a Department of Energy program that offers undergraduates from around the country the chance to conduct eight or nine weeks of scientific research at a national laboratory. At SLAC, the program includes work on a laboratory project, a series of physics and engineering lectures and social activities with the other SULI students.

Also beginning their summers at SLAC are four Science Teachers and Research program participants. These students, who have expressed interest in becoming science teachers, will spend the next eight weeks working as any other researcher at SLAC while also thinking of ways to translate scientific research into inspiring lessons for kindergarten through twelfth graders.

This year's students are "quite enthusiastic and inquisitive," said Stephen Rock, who directs the SULI program with assistance from Education Director Apurva Mehta. This week, Rock said, the students are learning about SLAC science as a whole, touring the laboratory and beginning research projects with their mentors.

"Often this is their first time in a research environment and their enthusiasm is infectious," Mehta said. "For many of the SULI students this experience has proven to be pivotal in their career decision, and as a result several of them have ended up coming back to SLAC and Stanford as graduate students."

SULI Program Manager Eric Shupert added: "This is a great group, who will be working on everything from the Linac Coherent Light Source to Super CDMS [Cryogenic Dark Matter Search]. Please help welcome them to the laboratory."

The Calliope Quartet. (Photo courtesy the Calliope Quartet.)

Quartet Concert Next Thursday

On Thursday July 1 SLAC will have the pleasure of a concert by the Calliope Quartet. This is a dynamic group formed in 2009 at the Cleveland Institute of Music, where they were selected to be part of the school's Intensive String Quartet Seminar. This summer, the quartet participated in the Juilliard String Quartet Seminar and continued their studies with a chamber music residency at the Banff Centre. They are currently studying at the St. Lawrence String Quartet Seminar. The members are Schuyler Slack, Cynthia Black, Julia-Sophia Bellingrath and Timothy Kantor.

The concert will begin at noon in the Redwood room of Building 48 and will last one hour. 

Please join us for some great music.


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