From the Director of LCLS:
LCLS II and Beyond
When the Linac Coherent Light Source was planned and built, LCLS and SLAC management already envisioned how it could be expanded. Design sketches dating back to 2004 show the futuristic concept of multiple tunnels piercing through the hill at the end of the linac and ending up in additional underground experimental halls. The three-kilometer linac itself, the centerpiece of SLAC, also lends itself
to LCLS expansion. It consists of three, one-kilometer sections that can each be fed by a beam injector. LCLS takes advantage of this modular linac design. The electron beam energy required for X-ray production in the Undulator Hall can be achieved by use of only the last third of the linac. The LCLS electron beam is therefore not produced at the beginning of the linac, but by an injector that is located in a vault at the two-kilometer point, leaving the first two thirds of the linac unused. While over the next five years the front part of the linac will be the home of the FACET project, we are already making plans to incorporate it afterwards into our envisioned LCLS expansion.
Fifth Generation Lightsource Workshop Honors LCLS Pioneer
Workshop attendees with Pellegrini and family front and center. (Photo courtesy Robert Palmer.)
dedication of the Linac Coherent Light Source is less than two months in the past, but the free-electron laser community is already actively planning for the future,
as demonstrated by "Towards a Fifth Generation Light Source,"
a two-day workshop held on Santa Catalina Island last weekend. The workshop drew a sizable crowd of SLAC and SLAC-affiliated scientists, who made up almost half of the more than 50 attendees. They gathered for two purposes: to discuss possible future directions for fifth-generation lightsources, and to honor one of the key people responsible for the only fourth-generation hard X-ray free electron laser, or FEL, currently in operation—physicist Claudio Pellegrini, who played a vital role in the development and construction of the LCLS and who is retiring from the University of California, Los Angeles at the end of this year.
Pellegrini himself opened the workshop with "What is a Fifth Generation Light Source?"
Word of the Week: Graphene
Graphene is at once one of the strongest, lightest and most conductive materials known to man. Made up of a single layer of carbon atoms arranged in a honeycomb-like pattern, graphene is touted as a favorite candidate to replace silicon in many electronic devices. Electrons can skate unimpeded across the flexible and transparent surface of graphene up to 100 times faster than in silicon at room temperature.
Although just "discovered" in 2004, graphene exists naturally as the layers within graphite, or pencil lead.
Researchers Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov began to peel away these layers until left with a single sheet of graphene; this and subsequent work garnered Geim and Novoselov the 2010 Nobel Prize in Physics,
awarded earlier this week.