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In this issue:
Scheduled Power Outage at Building 50 This Weekend
SLAC Hosts Visitors from the Chinese Academy of Sciences
Symmetry Explains It in 60 Seconds: Discovery

SLAC Today

Thursday - April 7, 2011

Scheduled Power Outage at Building 50 This Weekend

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This forty-year-old electrical equipment in Substation 8 is destined for removal. (Photo by Lori Ann White.)

The next step in a series of improvements to SLAC's computing infrastructure takes place this weekend as preparations are made to completely refurbish Substation 8, located on the fourth floor of Building 50.

A feeder cable from Substation 7 will provide power to the building while the 40-year-old electrical equipment is replaced, said Norm Ringgold, head of the Computing Division's IT Operations and Infrastructure group. Just replacing the old equipment will increase power capacity by at least 10 percent, he added. More gains will be realized from improved technology—for example, the new transformers can run at higher temperatures.

In order to replace the equipment, power to Building 50 will be shut down for much of Saturday and Sunday as the line from Substation 7 is hooked up. This line will keep Building 50 running during the upgrade to Substation 8.

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Left to right: Professor of Chemical Engineering Wei Ge, Uwe Bergmann, Yongxiang Lu, Deputy Director of CAS Bureau of International Cooperation Juhghua Cao, Director General of CAS BIC Yonglong Lu, Consulate general staff member Husheng Xue and Fanjin Deng, assistant to President Lu. (Photo by Brad Plummer.)

SLAC Hosts Visitors from the Chinese Academy of Sciences

Surrounded by instrumentation in the Atomic, Molecular and Optical science hutch in the Linac Coherent Light Source's Near Experimental Hall, Chinese Academy of Sciences President Yongxiang Lu and his colleagues pause for a photo commemorating Lu's first-ever visit to Stanford University and SLAC. During their visit to SLAC on April 1, the group first received an overview of SLAC's science from LCLS Deputy Director Uwe Bergmann, who then, accompanied by Director of Communications Farnaz Khadem, took them on a brief site tour of the Klystron Gallery Visitor's Alcove and the Near Experimental Hall's experimental stations.

Shortly after becoming president of the Academy, Lu launched what became known as the "Knowledge Innovation Project" to reform the scientific agency and help bring it through what was then a series of severe budget cuts. One of the most notable results of this initiative was a partnership with the Shanghai municipal government to build the new Shanghai Synchrotron Radiation Facility—a third-generation machine just completed in 2009. President Lu and his colleagues were very interested the LCLS and Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource at SLAC, and more broadly how we communicate the value of SLAC science to our stakeholders.

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(Image: Sandbox Studio.)

Symmetry Explains It in 60 Seconds: Discovery

Discovery is the process of uncovering something new. It can be a surprise, like learning that you enjoy an exotic food, or the result of determined effort, like finding a shorter route to work.

Physicists have high standards for what observation or result constitutes a scientific discovery. It must be reproducible by other scientists and experiments, to ensure that it did not arise from a miscalibration of the experimental apparatus or an incorrect interpretation of the data. Scientists must also eliminate the possibility that the result is just a statistical fluctuation in the data.

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