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In this issue:
First Soft X-rays Explore Ultrafast Magnetic Behaviors
Conference Attendance Approval Process Training Tomorrow and Friday
Reminder: Stay Sharp on Travel

SLAC Today

Wednesday - July 14, 2010

First Soft X-rays Explore Ultrafast Magnetic Behaviors

An international collaboration of researchers and students successfully completed the first user experiments on the SXR instrument at LCLS. (Photo by Lauren Rugani.)

The first user experiments on the Soft X-ray instrument at the Linac Coherent Light Source wrapped up yesterday. Research led by Andreas Scherz, a physicist at the Stanford Institute for Materials and Energy Science, and Jan Lüning from the University Pierre and Marie Curie in France looked to explain on the nanoscale how magnetic fields switch between "up" and "down" states—a key process used to store data in computers.

Researchers have been investigating this phenomenon since 1996 with a variety of experimental techniques. X-rays have been used to probe magnetic films with a resolution of tens of nanometers, while optical methods have been used to observe ultrafast demagnetization on the macroscale. But examining such magnetic behaviors on the nanoscale remained difficult.

Enter the SXR. The instrument—the second to be commissioned by the LCLS—delivers ultra-short, ultra-bright bursts of X-ray laser light that can be used to image events on the smallest and fastest scales. Previous research showed that quick pulses of infrared light can momentarily heat and destroy the internal organization of permanently magnetic materials. Scherz, Lüning and their colleagues knew that using the high-intensity, femtosecond X-ray pulses from the SXR to probe such a disordered sample could provide information about the length scales at which magnetization and demagnetization occur.  Read more...

Conference Attendance Approval Process Training Tomorrow and Friday

As part of ongoing Operations improvement efforts, the Conference Management Group has developed a new conference attendance approval system that efficiently captures information and routes it for approval. It is currently being tested by administrators across the lab. The biggest changes in the Conference Attendance Approval process will simplify authorization for everybody involved. These changes include: basic conference information being collected only once per conference, rather than from each traveler; online forms and approval to assist with status tracking and off-site entries; and auto-filled forms to save time for travelers.

SLAC's current conference approval process has been in place since early 2000 in order to comply with the DOE Conference Management Order O 110.3A.

Brief training sessions in the Kavli Auditorium have been set for Thursday, July 15, 2–3 p.m. and Friday, July 16, 9–10 a.m. This training is for likely conference attendees and those who support them—directorate administrators with travel duties and directorate business managers. The new system will be in use before the end of July.

For additional information or to comment directly, please send a note to

See also "You May Go Now: Partnering to Improve the Conference Attendance Approval Process."

Reminder: Stay Sharp on Travel

The recent FBI arrest on June 28, the July 8 guilty plea, and the subsequent deportation of the ten individuals from the Russian Federation under USC Title 18 Section 951 Conspiracy to Act as an Unregistered Agent of a Foreign Government has received much attention and many headlines.

Although SLAC's work is unclassified and public, SLAC personnel are reminded to be cautious when traveling abroad and in their professional dealings. Also, remember that activities to solicit information can be masked criminal actions, and rely upon surprise and the victim's unfamiliarity with his or her surroundings.

Education and knowledge are the first keys to success. There are numerous good sources of information on the Web to assist in gaining knowledge of a particular region where you are traveling. Listed below are some travel tip sites that can, free of charge, assist you in increasing general awareness and mitigating vulnerabilities in your security and safety when at home and abroad.

For further information or to discuss concerns please contact Ken Prewitt in the DOE SLAC Site Office.


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