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In this issue:
From the Director of LCLS: LCLS under the Microscope
Word of the Week: WIMP versus MACHO

SLAC Today

Friday - February 11, 2011

From the Director of LCLS:
LCLS under the Microscope

(Photo - Joachim Stöhr)

We in SLAC management haven't yet seen the written report, but the verbal closeout of the Department of Energy's first review of the Linac Coherent Light Source as a national user facility couldn't have been much better. The reviewers were particularly complimentary about the reliable and flexible linac operation by the accelerator staff and the experimental support of the users on the experimental floor. Their praise singled out the hard-working instrument scientists. Members of the review team mused whether the rapid LCLS evolution and the early LCLS success may be accompanied by burnout of our scientists. I certainly have the same worries and one of our goals this year is to hire additional support for the instrument teams.

The review took place on Monday and Tuesday of this week. The review team was led by Peter Lee from the Scientific User Facilities Division of DOE's Office of Basic Energy Sciences, who assembled 12 scientists from around the country to look at all aspects of LCLS operations. The review covered accelerator and X-ray operations, user support, instrument installation, commissioning and status, as well as budget management and interactions between LCLS and the other directorates of SLAC. The review team also conducted conference calls with members of the LCLS User Executive Committee and the LCLS Scientific Advisory Committee.

In preparation for the review many people contributed to a website that was established by John Arthur and Andrea Chan (SLAC internal). 

Read more...

(Image - brane and dark matter)

Word of the Week: WIMP versus MACHO

MACHOs, or Massively Compact Halo Object, is the name given to astronomical objects—such as dwarf stars or lone planets stripped from their suns—that are too dim to easily detect. MACHOs were considered a candidate for dark matter, the mysterious substance that makes its presence felt only through gravity, but even the faintest red or white dwarf emits some detectable energy. MACHOs have never been found in sufficient quantity to account for all the unseen matter necessary to explain observed galaxy growth and behavior.

Currently the largest component of dark matter is generally considered to be some form of WIMP, or Weakly Interacting Massive Particle, even though WIMPs have never been detected. The Cryogenic Dark Matter Survey is one attempt to find WIMPs.




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