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December 11, 2006
An Exciting Week
What an exciting week it's been. The lab has been humming with activity, and everyone must have felt a bit of the buzz—whether it was in the packed meeting rooms, the intense discussions on the walkways, or at the overflowing Linear Café. At the very least, everyone is sure to have noticed the very full parking lots. All this bustle is exciting not only for the energy it brings, but also because it indicates that SLAC is at the center of international research.
December 4, 2006
Greetings from the Acting Director
As you all read in the
message from Jonathan in
SLAC Today last week, I will be assuming the role of Acting SLAC Director during the next two months while Jonathan is away on sabbatical. This includes all of the Director's responsibilities both inside the laboratory and in relation to Stanford and the Department of Energy (DOE), apart from matters that relate to Particle and Particle Astrophysics faculty and governance. This area will be the responsibility of Persis Drell.
November 27, 2006
Competing DOE Laboratory Contracts
Some of you may have read the November 17th
press release in which the Department of Energy (DOE) announced plans for competing the contracts of another three of its National Laboratories, including SLAC. You may also have seen the article in the
SF Chronicle on November 18th specifically discussing the SLAC contract renewal. The choice to compete our contract did not come as a surprise and Stanford has been taking active steps to prepare for this eventuality.
November 20, 2006
The Importance of Review and Policy Committees
On Dec 1 and 2, 2006, the SLAC Policy Committee (SPC) convenes for its semiannual meeting. Fifteen preeminent professionals, drawn from around the world, with expertise in photon science, particle physics, particle astrophysics, accelerator science, ES&H and management will assess our recent performance and future plans.
November 13, 2006
Playing Laser Jacks
Almost everyone has played the game of Jacks at sometime in his or her life. You throw the ball in the air and have to snatch up the five jacks before the ball hits the ground. You have little time and if you are too slow or too clumsyyou lose! Getting science data from the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) will be much the same: speed and technique will be everything.
October 30, 2006
SSRL Resumes Operations
Today marks the return to operations for the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory (SSRL) as SPEAR3 begins accepting users for the 2007 experimental run.
October 23, 2006
The Beat Goes On
Friday was a real "feel-good" for all of us. What pleased me the most was the sense of unity, pride and joy that we, the SLAC family, felt as we sat 1,000 strong under the tent. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our staff who made the LCLS groundbreaking such an enormous success.
October 16, 2006
LCLS Groundbreaking October 20th
As you are by now aware, excavation has commenced for the Linac Coherent Light Source project. To mark the beginning of this momentous new construction project, the biggest since the construction of the LINAC in the sixties, I would like to personally invite you to the official groundbreaking event on October 20, starting at 10 a.m.
October 9, 2006
SLAC Helps Enable Chemistry Nobel
Congratulations to Roger Kornberg for winning the 2006 Nobel Prize for Chemistry. As Kornberg stressed at the press conference on campus last Wednesday morning, many people helped with and contributed to the research projects that led to the prize. Indeed the development of the key elements and tools extended over many years starting with Kornberg's doctoral thesis.
October 2, 2006
Getting it Straight
Last week SLAC hosted the 9th International Workshop on Accelerator Alignment (IWAA06). What struck me about this conference was the diversity of the attendees. Experts from all the world's particle physics, nuclear physics and photon science accelerator laboratories came together at SLAC to share their experiences and best practices.
September 25, 2006
Space, the Last Frontier
There is no greater workplace tension than competition for the utilization of physical space. No matter what kind of organization one polls, the answer always comes back the same: space is the resource that people will fight for with the greatest passion. SLAC is no exception. However, we have a significant space crisis at the lab, and now is the time that we must confront it.
September 18, 2006
LCLS Civil Construction Begins
The topology of SLAC is changing. As of last week, LCLS civil construction moved out of the design and planning phase into the implementation phase as a team of earth moving and grading equipment began scraping down the overlook.
September 11, 2006
An Important Week Ahead
Catch your breath and hold on for a wild ride! This week will be packed with important visits, meetings and presentations that will both take stock of the research currently going on at the laboratory and will look into our future plans for operating and financing SLAC in the period after 2008.
The Kavli Institute
The Kavli Institute was in the news last week and I thought this would be a good time to look back on how far we have come in such a short time in our efforts to place SLAC at the forefront of particle astrophysics and cosmology.
In considering the success of Kids Day 2006 and this year's Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internships, I am reminded of the importance of making science accessible to the next generation.
2006 — A Bumper Year for SPEAR3
Late Friday afternoon I joined a happy and relaxed group of SSRL staff, their families and some SPEAR3 users for their annual end of run party. FY2006 has been a bumper year for our SPEAR3 facility and there was much to celebrate.
Bright Future for PEP-II and Babar
I am now back from the ICHEP conference in Moscow where results from SLAC's high energy physics research made a leading contribution. Throughout my travels I kept a close eye on the performance of the B-Factory from various hotel and conference rooms, and I was delighted to see that PEP-II achieved several major milestones in the past few days.
Overlooking the Moscow River at Leninsky Avenue 32A stands an immense, modern building that houses the Russian Academy of Sciences. At 8:45 a.m. this morning, its main entrance was clogged with 1100 particle physicists eagerly making their way to the first morning session of the XXXIII International Conference on High Energy Physics (ICHEP06).
Communications: Results of the Today Survey and an All Hands Recap
Maintaining excellent communication at all levels within the lab is vital. All of us have important information to transmit to our co-workers; doing it thoughtfully and effectively strengthens us as an organization.
HEPAP Endorses B-factory Running in FY2008
I write this as I journey home from two days in Washington DC, where I attended the July 6-7 High Energy Physics Advisory Panel (HEPAP) meeting.
Summer Students at SLAC
My family and I wish you and your family a happy and restful 4th of July celebration.
The Summer Solstice passed just a few weeks ago, and with it came waves of new faces at SLAC: the summer students.
Why Love LUSI
The Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS)'s unprecedented ability to produce high-intensity, laser-like x-ray beams will allow researchers to create images of atomic-size structures with new levels of resolution.
All Hands Talks Postponed
I apologize that I have to postpone the All Hands talks scheduled for today.
Félicitations au LAL
Accelerator-based science is possibly the most collaborative of all the major fields of "big" science.
Raymond Orbach Confirmed as Under Secretary of Science
On May 26, the U.S. Senate unanimously confirmed the appointment of Dr. Raymond L. Orbach to the newly created position of Under Secretary for Science in the Department of Energy. I am pleased to extend congratulations on behalf of the entire SLAC community to Dr. Orbach.
Do You Value SLAC Today? It's Crucial to Hear Both the Positive and Negative
I cannot stress how important it is that we find effective ways of communicating frequently with the full spectrum of the SLAC staff.
GLAST: One Step Closer to Launch
When a large truck, whose interior is atmospherically controlled, rolled out of the SLAC gates on May 11, it marked an important moment for SLAC and its worldwide collaborators. The truck carried the Large Area Telescope (LAT), an instrument that owes its existence to particle physics detectors and the people who know how to make them.
New SLAC Brochure Released to Washington
Early next week, you will each receive a colorful brochure describing SLAC, its current programs and our plans for the future.
Living the "I" of the ILC
It's a small pre-enactment of things to come when the International Linear Collider (ILC) is built: an international collaboration spending all hours of the day and night in the control room and the experimental hall, working with an high-energy beam with bunches each comprised of 20 billion electrons and of length roughly equal to ten times the diameter of a human hair (namely about 300 microns).
A Visit to Washington
As outlined in my Today column of April 17th, last week was the time to visit the Administration and Congress to discuss the upcoming 2007 appropriations process and to update Washington on the main elements of the SLAC program.
Planning the Future of Particle Physics
Competition for U.S. federal funds to support major scientific endeavors has never been keener. Each major field of science must present compelling scientific arguments, backed by sharp-edged peer review and strong community support, to justify their federal budgets. This is as it should be—"entitlement" is no way to run a scientific railroad.
Keeping Washington Informed
Next week Persis Drell, Keith Hodgson and I will be visiting Washington DC. As an institution whose support comes from the taxpayers, it is our duty to provide those in the Administration and Congress with a clear understanding of how we are administering this public trust.
Case Closed... Successfully
I want to congratulate the Accelerator Division, BABAR, MFD, the SLAC shops, and the many others who contributed to getting PEP-II running again at high luminosity.
"Just One Look, That's All it Took"
If you look to the right side of this page, you will discover a new section called "Access," where with just one look you can immediately learn what restrictions exist at SLAC regarding vehicular and foot traffic.
SLAC / Stanford Contract
Following authorization by Congress in September 1961, the Stanford Trustees, in April 1962, entered into an historic agreement with the Federal Government.
The ILC – The Pace is Heating Up
Realizing the International Linear Collider (ILC) involves a grand and novel vision—designing one of the most complex and challenging scientific installations ever conceived by splitting up responsibilities amongst groups scattered all over the world, each relying on their own funding agencies and using different costing and engineering procedures.
Making Education a Priority
Is there a crisis in science education in the US? Some people think so.
Live from New Delhi, India
NEW DELHI, INDIA March 5, 2006 – I have just returned from a two-hour visit to the exquisite Indian Presidential palace including an exhilarating discussion with the Indian President, Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam.
Welcome, SLAC Today!
This newswire will arrive in your e-mailbox every morning from now on, keeping your finger on the pulse of the laboratory. I will be writing a weekly column for SLAC Today to keep you up to date with current activities and future plans.