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LCLS Beam Demonstrates Groundbreaking Flexibility
Seen around SLAC: 'One Lab' Mug

SLAC Today

Wednesday - March 2, 2011

LCLS Beam Demonstrates Groundbreaking Flexibility

(Photo - SLAC Main Control Center)
Operators in SLAC's Main Control Center have been able to adjust the LCLS beam to fit each experiment's needs. (Photo by Kelen Tuttle.)

In the first 18 months of Linac Coherent Light Source operation, the electron beam that drives the X-ray laser has exceeded expectations—so much so that SLAC's accelerator operators can offer impressive flexibility in crafting the beam to suit experiments, often changing its performance in mere minutes.

This flexibility has been a revelation to scientists who are used to working at synchrotrons, where 20 or 30 experiments are under way at a given time and the beam operates the same way 24/7. "At synchrotrons, there's little, if any, communication between users and the control room unless something goes wrong with the beam," said XPP Instrument Scientist David Fritz. "You either have beam or you don't."

The LCLS today runs much more like a "laser in the lab," where experimenters can request variations in photon wavelength, per-pulse energy and pulse duration—sometimes on an hourly basis as they explore new scientific possibilities.  Read more...

(Photo - 'One Lab' mug)
One "lab." (Photo by Lori Ann White.)

Seen around SLAC: 'One Lab' Mug

Set in motion at last December's Holiday Party by SLAC Santa Frank Topper, the One Lab mug with its alert canine mascot is currently making the rounds as an informal, practical—and somewhat tongue-in-cheek—pat on the back for SLACers who embody the One Lab concept through word or deed. For example, Lisa Christensen with the Accelerator Engineering Systems Engineering Controls Configuration group recently received the mug from Bill Allen of the Accelerator Operations and Safety Division.

(Photo - Lisa Christensen)
Lisa Christensen toasts SLAC. (Photo courtesy Bill Allen.)

"I thought of Lisa because she is always helping others with their work in a warm, cheerful and professional manner," Allen wrote via e-mail. On many occasions, he wrote, when someone phones in a request and does not know how to find Christensen's office, "she ventures out to help them on 'one lab' turf."

Topper listed the unofficial mug rules as: "Use the mug for coffee—one time—and pass it on." Photos of the handoffs are at the discretion of giver and the givee, as is notifying SLAC Today—we always welcome story ideas, and are open to featuring future mug shots.

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