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In this issue:
From the Director of SSRL: Looking to the Future
Persis Highlights SLAC Science at Women in Science Speaker Series
RSB Coffee, Donuts, and Q&A Next Tuesday
Seen not Far from SLAC: LCLS End-of-Run Party
New Issue of Symmetry Online

SLAC Today

Friday - May 20, 2011

From the Director of SSRL:
Looking to the Future

(Photo - Chi-Chang Kao)

We in SSRL management were recently informed that the FY11 operating budget for the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource would be better than the relatively grim scenario we had anticipated. We are grateful for the efforts made by everyone in the complex budget process. The new budget, although still very tight, will allow SSRL to complete the 2011 run as planned and to begin to invest in new capabilities, in particular new undulator beam lines to enable new science.

The experience of this year's budget process highlights the importance of the sustained effort made by the user community, through organizations such as the National User Facility Organization, NUFO, and the Synchrotron Neutron User Group, SNUG, in communicating the impact of science and technology on the nation's economy, and the essential role the Department of Energy Office of Science plays in supporting the nation's research infrastructure. With that in mind, I encourage you to participate in this year's NUFO annual meeting. The meeting, jointly hosted by SSRL and the Linac Coherent Light Source, will be held here at SLAC on June 27-29, 2011. The theme of this year's meeting is "NUFO Encourages Access & Awareness."


Persis Highlights SLAC Science at Women in Science Speaker Series

At a luncheon given in her honor by the American Committee for the Weizmann Institute of Science last week, SLAC Director Persis Drell highlighted the evolution of research at the lab and described work at its flagship facility, the Linac Coherent Light Source—the world's most powerful X-ray free-electron laser.

Why does the LCLS use X-rays to examine matter? Drell flashed a slide onto the screen at the Stanford Park Hotel meeting room: an X-ray taken of her son, years ago, after he swallowed a quarter. We're familiar with the way conventional X-rays penetrate the human body to reveal bones, organs, even coins; but the LCLS's ultra-intense, short-wavelength X-ray laser pulses go far beyond that, showing scientists where the atoms in a material are—its structure—and where their electrons are, which together determine the material's properties and functions.  Read more...

(Photo - donut)

RSB Coffee, Donuts, and Q&A Next Tuesday

The Research Support Building 52 project is scheduled to begin soon and construction next to Building 50 will impact office workers nearby. The RSB team will host a Coffee Klatch at the Building 50 Library on Tuesday, May 24 between 10:30 and noon. In addition to coffee and donuts, the team will provide information about the new construction and ongoing renovation with Buildings 28 and 52, and answer your questions one-on-one.

Swing by and catch up on construction progress!

 (Photo by Kelen Tuttle.)

Seen not Far from SLAC: LCLS End-of-Run Party

Last Friday, SLACers associated with the Linac Coherent Light Source gathered at Burgess Park in Menlo Park to celebrate the completion of Run 3, which ended on March 8.

(Image: Thomas White, DESY.)

New Issue of Symmetry Online

The new issue of Symmetry focuses on what may be the ultimate killer app for particle physics technology—the light source. These large, versatile machines harvest the light given off by accelerating particles and wield it, Swiss-Army-knife fashion, to perform all sorts of research—materials, energy, biology, drug discovery, you name it.

In "Shedding Light," Lori Ann White traces light sources from their humble origins in the 1970s — when experiments took place in little sheds grafted onto accelerator rings used for particle physics experiments — to the explosion of research taking place today and the latest light source technology, the free-electron laser.

Read more from Symmetry Breaking...




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