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In this issue:
From the Director: A Year of Achievement
Tiny 3-D images from Stanford and SLAC Shed Light on Origin of Earth's Core
Catch the Lunar Eclipse Next Monday
Holiday Shutdown Reminders

SLAC Today

Friday - December 17, 2010

From the Director: A Year of Achievement

(Photo - Persis Drell)
 (Photo by Brad Plummer.)

This morning Secretary Chu made an announcement that affects Department of Energy labs and facilities. We are seeking clarification, and I will have an all-hands meeting early in the New Year to discuss the secretary's message and its implications for SLAC with all of you.

Meanwhile, as another year draws to a close, I do not want the Secretary's message to in any way diminish our pride in the achievements at this lab this year. What a year it has been for SLAC! The transformation we started three years ago is taking off in ways I could never have predicted. The pace and continuity of our progress is impressive and is applauded by everyone from the Scientific Policy Committee to the Department of Energy. And yet, with an attitude I admire and want to encourage, you are pushing to achieve more and to progress faster. We are far from done. Cosmologists talk about the accelerating universe, driven by dark energy. We at SLAC are the accelerating laboratory, driven by your energy!  Read more...

Tiny 3-D images from Stanford and SLAC Shed Light on Origin of Earth's Core

(Image - silicate material mixed with iron)
Silicate material mixed with iron shown at low pressure, with iron forming small, discrete spheres (lighter-colored areas) inside the silicate. (Image courtesy Wendy Mao.)

A new method of capturing detailed, three-dimensional images of minute samples of material under extreme pressures is shedding light on the evolution of the Earth's interior. Early results suggest that the early Earth did not have to be entirely molten to separate into the rocky crust and iron-rich core it has today. Researchers at Stanford University and SLAC are leading the group pioneering the technique, which could lead to a wide variety of new experiments.  Read more in Stanford Report...

Catch the Lunar Eclipse Next Monday

Bay Area residents can catch a total lunar eclipse late Monday night, December 20, through early Tuesday morning. Starting around 10:30 p.m. the Earth will pass between the sun and the full moon, casting a growing shadow on the moon over the course of several hours. The total eclipse will occur shortly after midnight, with the shadow completing its pass across the moon at about 2 a.m.

Unlike a solar eclipse, in which the sun is obscured by the passing moon, a lunar eclipse is completely safe to view with the naked eye. It is also visible without the aid of expensive equipment—although binoculars or a telescope could enhance the view—and can be seen even in the presence of surrounding city lights, given a clear sky.

Several local observatories are hosting viewing parties for curious sky-gazers:

Chabot Space & Science Center, Oakland, 9 p.m.
Lawrence Hall of Science, Berkeley, 8 p.m.

Holiday Shutdown Reminders

Work and Site Access during the Holidays

As you are all aware, SLAC will shut down over the winter holiday, beginning at the end of business on Friday, December 17, and returning to normal operations on Monday, January 3. The shutdown period is intended to give employees a chance to take time off and enjoy the holidays. We in the senior management hope you are able to rest and regenerate during this time in order to return in 2011 for another exciting and eventful year at SLAC.  Read more...

Preparing Your Office for the Shutdown

To reduce energy consumption, the Facilities Division recommends the following five easy steps employees can take before leaving for winter break:

  • Turn off lights.
  • Shut down computers and monitors.
  • Unplug all portable heaters, speakers, printers, copiers, fax machines, coffeemakers, toasters and microwave ovens.
  • Close windows.
  • Close fume hood sashes (lab buildings).

Windows users should expect that a security patch could be released during the holiday break. Upon your return, any updates or patches may result in temporary computer slow-down and a possible reboot. Please plan accordingly if you have a critical task requiring the immediate use of your computer upon return from the break.

Have a safe and enjoyable holiday season!


Happy Holidays!


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