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In this issue:
People: A Summer Exploring SLAC Research at CERN
PEP Celebrates 30 Years
A New Forum for Funders of Astroparticle Physics

SLAC Today

Wednesday - September 8, 2010

People: A Summer Exploring SLAC Research at CERN

From left: Stanford graduate students Max Swiatalow and Spencer Gessner spent the summer working at CERN with SLAC post-doc Emanuel Strauss, and fellow graduate students Katie Malone, David Miller and Dan Silverstein. The group gathers after lunch at the CERN cafeteria. (Photo by Calla Cofield.)

There is an office on the campus of the European Nuclear Research Facility, CERN, that bears the SLAC logo. The red letters are a token of team spirit put forth by the far-from-home SLACers who work there. The room itself is long and narrow, and is bordered by what seems to be a single, lengthy table. Seven people normally share the office: one SLAC staff member, four postdocs and two graduate students. SLAC physicist Charlie Young, one of the SLAC ATLAS group leaders, makes eight. He isn't located at CERN full time, but he's there often enough that conditions in the office are considered snug.

So when three new Stanford graduate students arrived at CERN—to attend the summer session that Young and his SLAC-based colleague Dong Su have organized for the past five summers—the result was an office so crowded that people often sat in whatever desk space was available. Bad as it may sound, it was a blessing in disguise for the summer graduate students. The close quarters encouraged conversation between the students and the other SLACers, rather than keeping talk limited to occasional meetings.  Read more...

PEP Celebrates 30 Years

Speakers at the 1980 PEP storage ring dedication included Presidential Science Advisor Frank Press, Stanford President Donald Kennedy, U.C. President David Saxon, and Douglas Pewitt of the Department of Energy. (Image courtesy Joe Faust, via Jean Deken in the SLAC Archives and History Office.)

Last Sunday marked the 30th anniversary of the Positron Electron Project storage ring dedication. Construction of PEP began in October 1976, and the storage ring was completed in 1980. Built by a team from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and SLAC, the colliding beam storage facility circulated beams of electrons and positrons in opposite directions inside a vacuum chamber.

In the intervening 30 years, PEP was upgraded for the SLAC B Factory, and today is the possible future site of PEP-X, a synchrotron light source that would utilize the PEP tunnel, the high-power radio frequency accelerating system, and support utilities to create a steady stream of high average brightness X-rays.

A New Forum for Funders of Astroparticle Physics

Last week, a working group of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development's Global Science Forum convened at SLAC. It brought together representatives from agencies across the globe that fund research in astroparticle physics. "In this meeting, we sought to organize for the next three years at least, a venue for funding agencies from all over the world, under the auspices of OECD, to better communicate at the global level on astroparticle physics," said Michel Spiro, chair of OECD's working group on Astroparticle Physics and president of the CERN Council. "This new venue would form a new way for funding agencies to exchange information and plans, and create a new type of relationship with OECD."


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