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In this issue:
Echoes of Future Laser Technology
Save the Date: SLAC Holiday Party, Wednesday, December 15
Seen around under SLAC: A Different World

SLAC Today

Thursday - September 9, 2010

Echoes of Future Laser Technology

SLAC accelerator physicist Dao Xiang in the NLCTA, where Xiang and his colleagues undertook the Echo-7 experiment. (Photo by Brad Plummer.)

Even as the Linac Coherent Light Source delivers X-rays with unprecedented power, marking a new era of X-ray science, a team of SLAC researchers is working to make such X-ray lasers even better. In a paper published yesterday in Physical Review Letters, the "Echo 7" team describes their success at adding an additional, elusive property to such beams: temporal coherence.

Free electron lasers like the LCLS create X-rays that are spatially coherent; in other words, the crests and troughs of each light wave at any given moment line up with one another, traveling forward in perfect synchrony. With temporally coherent light, the peaks and valleys at one moment match the peaks and valleys a certain amount of time later. 

The experiments, which took place between April and July, were based on a theory called Echo-Enabled Harmonic Generation proposed by SLAC accelerator theorist Gennady Stupakov. 

Read more...

Save the Date: SLAC Holiday Party, Wednesday, December 15

Mark your calendars now for the SLAC holiday celebration, scheduled for Wednesday, December 15, from 11:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. All SLAC employees are invited to celebrate the holiday season with a scrumptious buffet luncheon. Watch SLAC Today for further details.

If you are interested in serving on the holiday committee, contact Maria Mastrokyriakos in the Human Resources office.

Seen around under SLAC: A Different World

(Photo - crystal formation)
(Photo courtesy Ryan Kuhn.)

Moonmilk and soda straws. Popcorn and pearls. Sounds like something one might find at a fairy banquet, if the fairies were particularly retro.

These are actually different types of cave formations—what spelunkers, or cavers see when they venture underground, along with the better-known stalactites and stalagmites.

A tiny glimpse of that fantastical world has appeared under SLAC. Ryan Kuhn, from the Facilities group, found it when he descended into the subterranean world of the north adit, or access tunnel, to Stanford Linear Collider's north arc tunnel near the Stanford Guest House. Kuhn was there at the behest of the Radiation Physics Group to take core samples for testing, and decided his second descent called for a camera.

"The sight reminded me of some of the caves I've been in," Kuhn said. Though not a caver, Kuhn enjoys visiting caves, such as the Lake Shasta Caverns, that are open to the public. He admitted he was amazed at the speed with which the deposits had formed, as the tunnel dates from the late 1980s.

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