SLAC Today is available online at:

In this issue:
A Science to Art, an Art to Science
Resource Fair to Highlight Stanford Staff Programs, Services and Facilities
Symmetry Looks at the Practical Side of Particle Physics

SLAC Today

Thursday - March 3, 2011

A Science to Art, an Art to Science

(Photo - Attic pottery)
An Attic black-figured amphora, currently in the British Museum, of the type that will be studied here at SLAC. (Photo by Marie-Lan Nguyen.)

What do lithium ion batteries and 2500-year-old Greek pottery have in common?

One answer is surfaces. And surfaces are where chemistry happens.

SSRL staff scientist Apurva Mehta is careful to emphasize the plural—surfaces. Often, many, differing surfaces exist on one sample, which means a variety of chemical reactions can occur on one material. According to Mehta, such material is "hierarchically heterogeneous." In other words, it displays different behaviors depending on the size scale.

"There's a whole class of materials with structure at all different levels," Mehta explained," and something happening at every level that's important." He offered soil as an example. "Soil has large rocks, small rocks, porosities. Depending on the size of the soil particles, contamination in groundwater trickling through that soil moves at different rates, reacts at different rates, and reacts with different materials." For scientists to understand what happens in total, Mehta said, they have to know what happens at all levels, on all surfaces.  Read more...

Click to view the event flyer.

Resource Fair to Highlight Stanford Staff Programs, Services and Facilities

Stanford's Human Resources Department will host a Staff Resource Fair on Thursday, March 17, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Tresidder Student Union, Oak Lounge, as part of the Onboarding @ Stanford program. The fair is intended for all staff members, and will be especially useful for new employees who may not be aware of the richness and sheer volume of services, facilities, programs and plans available to them.

Exhibitors at the fair will include Stanford BeWell, Health Improvement Program (HIP), Payroll, the Stanford Bookstore, Stanford Federal Credit Union and many more. The event is free. Registration is not required, but staff who pre-register by March 14 using STARS in Axess and confirm their attendance at the Fair will be entered into prize drawings. To register, log in to Axess using your SUnet ID, click the STARS (Training) tab, and enter the following course code in the Search Catalog field: TOD-1225.

Symmetry Looks at the Practical Side of Particle Physics

The February 2011 issue of Symmetry magazine is now online. (Image: Sandbox Studios.)

You might wonder:  What does the dripping faucet on the cover of our February issue have to do with particle physics?  The answer:  accelerator technology.  Invented for high-energy physics experiments, it's been adopted for many uses in medicine and industry, and purifying waste water is one of them.  But there are a lot of obstacles along the way to commercializing these applications;  our lead feature explores ways to get around this "Valley of Death" between the lab bench and the market.

Also in this issue:

Plus commentary, Explain it in 60  Seconds environmentally friendly food packaging (yep, it also has a particle physics connection), monkeys, whale talk, samurai swords and more. Here's a link to the full PDF; go here to sign up for a free subscription or get e-mail notification of future issues.




 Lab Announcements

Community Bulletin Board


Lab Training

Upcoming Workshops & Classes


dividing line
(Office of Science/U.S. DOE Logo)

View online at