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In this issue:
Linear Collider Funding Group Meets at SLAC
Public Lecture Tonight: Archaeopteryx

SLAC Today

Tuesday - January 25, 2011

Linear Collider Funding Group Meets at SLAC

FALC members are joined by SLAC Director Persis Drell, Particle Physics and Astrophysics Director David MacFarlane, and Accelerator Division Director Norbert Holtkamp for lunch on Saturday. (Photo by Lori Ann White.)

The Funding Agencies for Large Colliders, or FALC, met at SLAC Saturday as part of the group's continuing efforts to shepherd progress toward a next-generation linear collider. FALC members represent funding agencies and governments from around the world. The focus is on communication, explained Walter Davidson, director of the National Research Council of Canada and the current chair of FALC.

"Any future linear collider will be of such magnitude—funding and otherwise—that it must be truly international," he said. The group tracks such issues as "where and how—questions of governance, questions of funding," Davidson noted. "Currently, where [a next-generation collider] is going to be located is becoming more important."

The group keeps an eye on how technical advances might affect funding, and how scientific advances might affect the finished product. Case in point: the Large Hadron Collider. How the large collider fares in its search for the Higgs boson may strongly influence the technology used to build the next big linear collider. Should the Higgs prove beyond the reach of the LHC, the demands on its successor, whether linear or not, will grow substantially. 


(Poster by SLAC Information Management and Portal Services.)

Public Lecture Tonight: Archaeopteryx

Tonight at 7:30 p.m. in Panofsky Auditorium, SLAC lightsource scientist Uwe Bergman will present a public lecture, "Archaeopteryx: Bringing the Dino-Bird to Life."

Some 150 million years ago, a strange creature died in a tropical lagoon that today is located in Bavaria, Germany. In 1861, a single feather of this creature was discovered. Not long afterward, a complete fossil was found with the same bird-like feathers but dinosaur-like anatomical features. Darwin had just published "On the Origin of Species." Could this fossil be the missing link that Darwin's supporters hoped to find? Recently, two of the now eleven discovered Archaeopteryx fossils, and that first feather, were brought to SLAC. Here, using the intense X-ray beam of the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource, researchers searched for the chemical remains of the original living creatures.

This lecture will explain how the studies attempt to bring the original dino-bird "back to life." The event is free and open to all.

For SLAC staff, Bergmann will present a lunchtime reprise of his talk from noon to 1 p.m. on Wednesday, January 26, in Kavli Auditorium.

For more on Archaeopteryx, see "Reanimators: Walking the Dino Dead" (available via the SLAC intranet) in the January 22 issue of New Scientist.




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