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In this issue:
New Molecular Observatory at SSRL Opens for Business
Dorfan Today: What a Week!
Reminder: Colloquium on the International Linear Collider Today
Safety Firsts

SLAC Today

Monday - March 26, 2007

New Molecular Observatory at SSRL Opens for Business

Gordon Moore, just after unveiling a plaque at the newly dedicated Molecular Observatory for Structural Molecular Biology at Beamline 12. (Click on image to see larger version. Photo courtesy of Diana Rogers.) View more photos of the dedication here.

Last Friday, a group of distinguished guests gathered at the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory (SSRL) before a crowd of one hundred scientists and staff for the official dedication of the new Molecular Observatory for Structural Molecular Biology at Beamline 12. Dignitaries included Stanford President John Hennessy, Caltech President Jean-Lou Chameau and Intel co-founder and philanthropist Gordon Moore.

"The new beamline being dedicated today will enable Caltech scientists and SSRL's users to address problems at the cutting edge of structural biology research," said Photon Science Director Keith Hodgson. "We are very grateful to the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation for their visionary investment."

Just as astronomers use specialized observatories to study distant galaxies, chemists and molecular biologists need advanced tools for studying nano-scale structures—in some ways as inaccessible as the far reaches of the cosmos. Now, thanks to a collaboration among Stanford University, the California Institute of Technology and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, researchers have a new tool for studying in great detail the molecules that make up living systems. The new molecular observatory will help unlock the secrets of organic molecules on the atomic level with an unprecedented degree of precision.

Read a full story about the new beamline here.

(Director's Column - Dorfan Today)

What a Week!

What a week we just completed! SLAC bustled with a stream of important and influential visitors, most of whom were seeing SLAC for the first time. This slew of visits came in the same week that the hungry "roadheader" began tunneling its way from behind the Collider Hall toward the LCLS Far Hall. (View the webcams here and here.) The President of Affholder, Inc., Bruce A. Frost, the contractor that is overseeing the tunneling, visited SLAC last Thursday to discuss construction safety with LCLS management, and to affirm his personal commitment to safe work on the LCLS site.

I really look forward to hosting colleagues from the Department of Energy (DOE), from our contracting partners and other worldwide institutions, knowing that these visits give our guests an opportunity to experience the laboratory first hand. They get a chance to "feel" the excitement of the lab and to encounter its wonderful staff and user community. Visits of this kind allow them to put faces with names and experience facilities and infrastructure that otherwise remain mere descriptions in formal documents. The visitors can experience for themselves the unique attributes that distinguish SLAC from our sister laboratories.  Read more...

Reminder: Colloquium on the International Linear Collider Today

(Logo - ILC)
This afternoon's colloquium, "The Reference Design for the ILC, Costs and What's Next," takes place at 4:15 p.m. in Panofsky Auditorium. There, ILC Global Design Effort Director Barry Barish will present a 30-minute introduction to the ILC's features and design status. This will be followed by a panel discussion on the future of the project, moderated by Marty Breidenbach and featuring Barish, Jonathan Dorfan, Tor Raubenheimer, Burt Richter and Abe Seiden. The colloquium can also be viewed here via live streaming video. Learn more...

Safety Firsts

(Photo - George Bernard Shaw)George Bernard Shaw is quoted as saying "We learn from history that we learn nothing from history." (Cynics always tend to make the "famous quotations" lists.) A large percentage of our injuries at SLAC remain slips, trips, and falls; sprains and strains; and cuts and bumps. From a simplistic perspective, we do not seem to be learning.

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