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In this issue:
A New Lease for an Evolving Partnership
Take the Linear Café Online Survey
Reminder: "What's Hot, What's Not" at the Linear Café Today
Colloquium Today: Drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and the Deepwater Horizon Accident

SLAC Today

Monday - November 22, 2010

A New Lease for an Evolving Partnership

Stanford representatives sign the $114 million contract with the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission. Pictured are Stanford University Trustees Morris Doyle and Ira Lillick, seated, with (left to right) Dwight Adams, university business manager; Project Director "Pief" Panofsky and Robert Minge Brown, university counsel. (Photo: Stanford News Service.)

When asked how long a lifetime the proposed linear accelerator at Stanford would have, SLAC founding Director Pief Panofsky reportedly replied, "About 10 years or so, unless somebody has a bright idea, which someone here usually does."

Nearly 50 years and countless bright ideas later, SLAC and its linear accelerator are still going strong. Despite Panofsky's short-term quip, Stanford and what was then the Atomic Energy Commission set up a 50-year agreement, in which the university would provide its land to the government for free and operate the laboratory on behalf of the AEC. Recently, Stanford and the AEC's successor, the Department of Energy, agreed to extend this relationship for another 33 years.

The idea for a two-mile linear accelerator sprang from a group of Stanford physicists, including Panofsky, around 1956. They envisioned a machine that would let them hunt for the most fundamental building blocks of the universe, one that required more than 50 times the energy of the 220-foot electron accelerator already housed in a university laboratory. Because of the project's massive price tag—which at $114 million was nearly twice that of Stanford's endowment at the time—Panofsky knew it would require government funding.  Read more...

Take the Linear Café Online Survey

The Linear Cafe team thanks you for your contained patronage and support. In an effort to provide the best food and customer service the Linear Cafe can, the Epicurean Group asks for your feedback. Please take the time to fill out this survey and tell the team what you think!

Reminder: "What's Hot, What's Not" at the Linear Café Today

After filling out your survey, remember to drop by the The Linear Café today at 3 p.m. for the "What's Hot & What's Not!" session. The cafe staff is creating new and exciting menus for the coming year, and want your feedback! Come by and meet the Linear Café team, who will be offering complimentary hors d'oeuvres and beverages.

See you there!

Colloquium Today: Drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and the Deepwater Horizon Accident

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On April 20, 2010, a severe blowout and fire aboard the Deepwater Horizon caused the release of almost four million barrels of oil into the gulf and the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history. Today's talk, at 4:15 p.m. in Panofsky Auditorium, will address the role of deepwater drilling in the U.S. and global energy picture, how deepwater drilling is carried out and what went wrong in the Deepwater Horizon accident.

The speaker, Mark Zoback, is the Benjamin M. Page Professor of Geophysics at Stanford University. He conducts research on in situ stress, fault mechanics and reservoir geomechanics. He is the author of a textbook entitled Reservoir Geomechanics and was co-principal-investigator of SAFOD, the scientific drilling project that drilled and sampled the San Andreas Fault at three-kilometer depth. He is currently serving on the National Academy of Engineering committee charged with looking into the causes of the Deepwater Horizon accident.

The colloquium is free and open to all.


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