SLAC Today is available online at:
http://today.slac.stanford.edu

In this issue:
Introducing the New Office of Planning and Assessment
Your Feedback Counts for the SLAC Safety and Security Fair
Safety and Security Fair 2010 Video Now Online
SLAC Theory Group Alum Featured on PBS Web Series
Seen around SLAC: Accelerator Screen

SLAC Today

Wednesday - November 3, 2010

Introducing the New
Office of Planning and Assessment

(Photo - Craig Ferguson and Steve Williams)
Director of the new Office of Planning and Assessment, Craig Ferguson (left), and Deputy Director of OPA Steve Williams.

In order to focus and improve SLAC strategic planning, self-assessment and continuous improvement activities, on October 15 SLAC created the Office of Planning and Assessment, or OPA, led by Craig Ferguson and reporting to the Director's Office. As a first step in creating the needed functionality, the Integrated Performance Management organization has been moved into OPA. I'd like to thank Steve Williams, who has led IPM at SLAC, for agreeing to serve as deputy director of OPA. Read more... 

Your Feedback Counts
for the SLAC Safety and Security Fair

Win a $10 Starbucks card from the SLAC Environment, Safety and Health Division!

Last week's Safety and Security Fair sessions were well attended, with a total of 1150 SLAC staff coming to the Panofsky and Kavli Auditoriums for talks on safety, health, computer security, bicycle safety and more.

SLAC's Environment, Safety and Health Division invites your feedback on the event to help with planning for next year. Please fill out the online evaluation to let ES&H know what worked and where we can improve. The ES&H Division will be awarding a $10 Starbucks gift certificate to each of five lucky winners in a random drawing of staff who complete the survey. Please complete it soon; winners will be announced Thursday, November 11.

Safety and Security Fair 2010
Video Now Online

Even if you weren't able to attend Friday's Safety and Security Fair, you can still catch the useful tidbits of information (and even the occasional laugh) by watching a session online. The video is just over an hour long, and includes talks on staying safe and healthy, avoiding computer scams, what to watch out for when traveling overseas and more.  See the video...

SLAC Theory Group Alum Featured on PBS Web Series

(Photo)
Stephon Alexander.
(Photo by Teresa Robinson for Symmetry magazine.)

Stephon Alexander, one-time member of the SLAC theory group, may be on the threshold of his fifteen minutes of fame. The associate professor of physics at Haverford College is the subject of the latest installment of The Secret Life of Scientists and Engineers, a Web-based series produced by the same people who bring the program Nova to the screen. His segment goes live today.

Alexander's life as a scientist focuses on such areas as dark matter, dark energy and quantum gravity, while his secret life is spent in jazz clubs playing tenor saxophone with a band. His segment of the program includes blog posts and videos about both his lives. Visitors to the site can post questions for Alexander, as well.  Read more...

Al Baker (left) and Kenneth Brobeck set up a real-time accelerator information screen in the Klystron Gallery Visitor's Alcove. (Photo by Lauren Rugani.)

Seen around SLAC: Accelerator Screen

In the Klystron Gallery Visitor's Alcove, SLAC tour participants can touch a full-scale replica of an accelerator section and see the powerful microwave sources that impart energy to the electrons zipping down the SLAC linac. Now, they can also "watch" the beam in real time, much as the staff in the Main Control Center does, thanks to a newly installed 52-inch screen.

Accelerator Systems Area Manager Al Baker enlisted the help of Systems Software Engineer Kenneth Brobeck to program the screen so that it is available at any time of day. The live feed shows up by default, and with the click of a mouse the view can be changed to static shots of all other screens in the MCC, which are updated every five minutes.

The live screen displays many beam parameters, including the lengths and energies of the Linac Coherent Light Source's X-ray pulses, the energy of individual photons and the number of photons in each bunch. It also shows the various components of the linear accelerator and LCLS, from the electron injector to the undulator magnets that "wiggle" the speeding electrons to generate X-rays. Viewers can see the energy of electron pulses increase as they travel down the linac toward the LCLS.

"But just looking at the screen doesn't tell you what any of it means," Baker said. So he also installed a poster that sits just below the screen and explains the various symbols on it. "This way, anyone who comes in here can tell what the beam is doing," he said.

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