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December 17, 2010
    From the Director: A Year of Achievement
This morning Secretary Chu made an announcement that affects Department of Energy labs and facilities. We are seeking clarification, and I will have an all-hands meeting early in the New Year to discuss the secretary's message and its implications for SLAC with all of you. Meanwhile, as another year draws to a close, I do not want the Secretary's message to in any way diminish our pride in the achievements at this lab this year. What a year it has been for SLAC!

December 10, 2010
    From the Chief Operating Officer: Board of Overseers Input
I thought you might be interested to receive a short briefing regarding the SLAC Board of Overseers' feedback to the Operations Directorate, from the November meetings.

December 3, 2010
    From the Director: The SLAC Management Plan
Starting last spring, the associate lab directors and I felt it would be good to write down and codify our management strategy. Our plan is completed and we are soliciting input from the broader laboratory.


November 19, 2010
    From the Director of Particle Physics and Astrophysics: Future Directions in Non-Accelerator Physics
Over the past decade or more, SLAC has been developing a growing effort in non-accelerator physics, particularly following the creation of the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology in 2002.

November 12, 2010
    From the Director: The Return (Again) of the Scientific Policy Committee
The Scientific Policy Committee met last week as part of a week-long series of meetings to provide input to our Board of Overseers—the BoO.

November 5, 2010
    From the Director of Photon Science: Building for the Future of Photon Science
As the Photon Science Directorate grows significantly over the coming decade, we must accommodate an increasing level of experimental science on the SLAC campus if we are to achieve our long-range goals.


October 29, 2010
    From the Director: "Pause" 2010
In August, all of us at SLAC, in our different work groups, took time out to reflect on both successes and ways to improve the conduct of our operations and communication throughout the lab. Work groups across the lab identified ways to improve things under their control, and also identified things that the directorate and lab as a whole should address.

October 22, 2010
    From the Director of SSRL: Ready for the Next User Run
With the SPEAR3 storage ring exceeding its original design specifications, SSRL is extremely competitive among the best synchrotron sources in the world, and we at SSRL are now poised to explore its full potential.

October 15, 2010
    From the Director: Politics and SLAC Don't Mix
I encourage all of you, as responsible citizens, to be part of our electoral process. But remember that however you choose to support your favorite political initiatives and candidates, you may not use any SLAC resources in the process. It is against the law.

October 8, 2010
    From the Director of LCLS: LCLS II and Beyond
When the Linac Coherent Light Source was planned and built, LCLS and SLAC management already envisioned how it could be expanded.

October 1, 2010
    From the Director: Photon Science Scores a Hat Trick!
I've used the title twice before but good things seem to come in threes so it is very appropriate. Three of Stanford and SLAC's photon scientists were recognized in the past week with national awards. We can all be very proud.


September 24, 2010
    From the Acting Director of the Accelerator Directorate: X-band Accelerator Technology—Where It Could Be Going
While direct laser and plasma wakefield acceleration could provide extremely high gradients that could revolutionize the world of compact accelerators (1 GeV/m and 10 GeV/m, respectively), the timeline for their practical application is fairly far in the future. Normal conducting high gradient RF technology, on the other hand, is already highly developed and its practical applications are imminent.

September 17, 2010
    From the Director of Photon Science: Transition
In today's director's column, I would like to inform you that I have decided to step down as associate laboratory director for the Photon Science Directorate at SLAC.

September 13, 2010
    From the Director: Three Years
Three years have gone by in what sometimes feels like slow motion, and at other times feels like lightning speed. Persis Drell, Paul Golan and Bill Madia each sat down to comment on where we are and where we are going.

September 10, 2010
    From the Director: Tragedy in San Bruno
Like many of you, I spent Thursday night glued to the television, horrified by the terrible events unfolding in San Bruno.

September 3, 2010
    From the Director: No Project is an Island
What do the successful Facility for Advanced aCcelerator Experimental Tests at SLAC (FACET) CD2/3 review, project completion of Linac Coherent Light Source on time and under budget, CD-0 for LCLS-II, good progress on the Research Support Building project, and CD-0 for the new Science and User Support Building (SUSB) have in common? The success of each has contributed to the success of the others. It is a great illustration of what it means to be "One Lab."


August 27, 2010
    From the Director of Particle Physics & Astrophysics: Cosmology Frontier Beckons
Over the last decade or more, it has become clear that particle physics and astrophysics are confronted by a set of mysteries whose resolution will likely revolutionize our view of both the subatomic world and the large-scale universe around us.

August 20, 2010
    From the Director: Remarks on the Dedication of LCLS
On Friday, April 10, 2009 at 10 p.m. the phone rang. I was sound asleep (lab directors go to bed early on Friday night) and as I struggled to open my eyes, the voice on the other end said "We have a laser!" And with that, the LCLS era at SLAC had begun.

August 13, 2010
    From the Chief Operating Officer: The Next SLAC Agenda
You may be aware that SLAC Director Persis Drell, with the associate laboratory directors, recently presented three SLAC objectives to the Office of Science. These objectives that define our future success are to: (a) continue to be a premier accelerator laboratory; (b) ensure our significant role in targeted areas of particle physics, particle astrophysics and cosmology; and (c) dramatically grow our role as a photon science laboratory.

August 6, 2010
    From the Director of LCLS: Take a Moment, Pause and Celebrate
Amidst the daily hustle it is sometimes good to take a break and exhale. Two such opportunities are coming up in the next two weeks for the entire lab.


July 30, 2010
    From the Acting Director of SSRL: A Successful 2010 User Run
It is that time of year again at the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource when the SPEAR3 storage ring shuts down, the users pack up and go home to analyze their data, and the support staff gear up for a busy period of upgrades and much needed maintenance activities as well as some well-deserved rest.

July 23, 2010
    From the Director: Pause
We have seen tremendous improvements in safety at the lab. We are continuing to work to improve performance in all of our mission support functions. So, I want us to take a few minutes as a laboratory and both recognize the improvements, but also reflect on some concrete steps we should be taking so that we keep improving.

July 16, 2010
    From the Acting Director of the Accelerator Directorate: A Work in Progress
It has been nearly a year since SLAC underwent the major organizational change that created the large Accelerator Directorate.

July 9, 2010
    From the Director Emeritus: Promoting International Science and Education
The call came out of the blue in October 2009—a professional recruiter asking if I would be interested in joining OIST, the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology.

July 2, 2010
    From the Director: Annual Laboratory Plan 2010
This is the time of year when SLAC management has the opportunity to present our vision for the laboratory and our plans to achieve it to the leadership in the Department of Energy Office of Science.


June 25, 2010
    From the Director: ZX Shen becomes Chief Scientist for SLAC
It gives me great pleasure to announce that Professor Zhi-Xun Shen—known to all of you as a professor of physics, applied physics and photon science, and the division director for the Stanford Institute for Materials and Energy Sciences, or SIMES, at SLAC—has agreed to serve as SLAC's chief scientist.

June 18, 2010
    From the Director of Particle Physics & Astrophysics: Evolution of the SLAC Electron Research Program
Next week the electron-based Department of Energy research program at SLAC, Fermilab, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory will be peer reviewed by an expert external committee.

June 11, 2010
    From the Director: LCLS Scores a Hat Trick!
It has been a spectacular week for Linac Coherent Light Source, and the success is threefold.

June 8, 2010
    From the Director of Photon Science: A New Initiative in Catalysis and Interfacial Science
Today I am extremely pleased to announce an exciting next step in realizing those objectives, with the arrival of Jens Nørskov and a new initiative in catalysis and interfacial science being developed and lead by Jens.

June 4, 2010
    From the Director of Photon Science: Photon Science at SLAC—A Vision for the Future and First Steps
SLAC's transition to a true multi-program laboratory progresses at a very rapid pace.


May 28, 2010
    From the Chief Operations Officer: Stanford Board of Overseers Briefing
The Stanford Board of Overseers for mission support provided their formal briefing late last week.

May 21, 2010
    From the Acting Director of SSRL: Where do we go from here?
As with other scientific facilities, the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource faces an ever-changing landscape of experimental requirements, as a result of changing national needs and discoveries that direct the focus of its extensive user communities into new directions.

May 14, 2010
    From the Director: The SPC Visits Again
Last week, SLAC had the semi -annual meeting of our Scientific Policy Committee.

May 7, 2010
    From the Director of LCLS: What is SXR?
I opened an e-mail sent at 4:43 p.m. which made me very, very happy. The e-mail signals the conclusion of a Cinderella story called SRX.


April 30, 2010
    From the Director: April 22, 2010—A Good Day for SLAC
Thursday at four minutes to 1 p.m., I had a call from John. "We got it." They had X-rays in the Far Experimental Hall. One hour later, at 2 p.m., I received several e-mails almost simultaneously. Director of the Office Science Bill Brinkman had just signed approval of CD-0 for LCLS-II.

April 23, 2010
    From the Accelerator Directorate: The LCLS Is Back!
The Linac Coherent Light Source has turned back on after a very successful downtime that began before the Christmas break. Several major projects involving groups from across the lab were completed in advance of the turn-on.

April 16, 2010
    From the Director: The World Watches as the LHC Revs Up
The recent news from the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva is impressive.

April 9, 2010
    From the Director of Particle Physics and Astrophysics: Whither Scientific Computing at SLAC
Last week a new Scientific Computing Applications Department, SCA, was established within the Particle Physics and Astrophysics Directorate.

April 2, 2010
    From the Director: "Work Group" Meetings Again
I've greatly enjoyed meeting with all of you in "work group" meetings this week.


March 26, 2010
    From the Chief Operating Officer: SLAC Subcouncils
As you probably know, the SLAC Subcouncils have been in existence for about 18 months now and have taken on a significant role in the governance of our lab.

March 19, 2010
    From the Director: Making Progress
The final report from "Team 2" is available on the Web: volume 1 and volume 2 (SLAC internal). I encourage you all to read it.

March 12, 2010
    From the Chief Research Officer: The Annual Lab Planning Process
As you may know, each year SLAC scientific and operational leadership evolves a Ten Year Strategic Plan.  Lab management is just beginning the fiscal year 2010 cycle. Since this involves many areas at SLAC and many of you will be involved in realizing the plan for FY10, I thought an overview might provide a useful perspective.

March 5, 2010
    From the Director: Mentor a Summer Student!
For most of us doing science today, it started when we were inspired by a great teacher or mentor.  


February 26, 2010
    From the Acting Director of SSRL: Deliberate, Stepwise Progress to 500 mA
At the time I wrote my last article for SLAC Today, the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource was just starting to come out of the summer shutdown having completed improvements that would enable the SPEAR3 storage ring to run with top-off injection at 500 mA. I am happy to report that in spite of rainstorms, the power outage and a water leak in a beamline mask, we have made excellent progress toward that goal over the past four months.  

February 19, 2010
    From the Director: Get Ready to Move!
Really… this is great news! Over the next three years, over half the staff of the lab (over 800 of you) will move into either new or renovated space at SLAC. Old trailers will be torn down to make way for new buildings.  

February 12, 2010
    From the Director of LCLS: LCLS Update
I would guess you are all eager to hear more and are anxious to read about some great discoveries made at LCLS. Not so fast! While the recorded data are safely stored on computer disks, the scientists are still busy analyzing them or are in the process of writing up the first results for publication. 

February 5, 2010
    From the Director: What You Told Us
In November, 722 of you on the site filled out a survey on the organizational culture at SLAC. The survey itself contained a tremendous amount of valuable information that I want to share with you now, even in advance of the Team 2 recommendations. 


January 29, 2010
    From the Accelerator Directorate: Long Maintenance Down Time for the LCLS Linac
After significant planning, a scheduled 3-month down time began in December, to allow a key maintenance period for the LCLS linac. 

January 22, 2010
    From the Director: When the Lights Went Out
A lightning strike on the 230 kV line up on Skyline disabled a major power artery for the Peninsula. SLAC had gone dark. 

January 15, 2010
    From the Director of Operations: Essential Upgrades in 2010
Happy New Year and New Decade. It seems like just to right time to focus on the Operations Directorate's firm plans for 2010 as well as our planning process for the decade.

January 15, 2010
    Budget Changes for an Evolving Lab
To finance both the loss of the LinacOps funding as well as the improvements discussed above, lab management will need to raise the indirect General and Administrative rate.

January 8, 2010
    From the Director: SLAC Science
For 2009, an absolutely unprecedented two of SLAC's programs are celebrated on the Science magazine list of top breakthroughs for the year.

Office of Science/U.S. DOE