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In this issue:
Helen Quinn Receives Australian Honor for Outstanding Achievement
People Today: Rumors to Be Believed
Photo of the Day
Energy Tip of the Week

SLAC Today

Wednesday - November 7, 2007

The Australian Consul-General, the Honorable David Lawson, and Professor Helen Quinn on the deck of the HMAS Sydney, with the San Francisco skyline in the background. Quinn is wearing the Order of Australia and holds the citation for the award. See another photo...

Helen Quinn Receives Australian Honor for Outstanding Achievement

On Monday evening, SLAC's Helen Quinn was awarded the Order of Australia, one of the highest civilian recognition from the Australian government, for "service to scientific research in the field of theoretical physics and to education."

Quinn, a native of Melbourne, was officially invested as an honorary Officer in the Order of Australia aboard the HMAS Sydney, an Australian frigate deployed from New South Wales and currently docked in the San Francisco Bay.

"It was exciting to be recognized in this way," said Quinn. "It's nice to have the country that I came from recognize me as someone who merits honor."

Quinn has worked on the science curriculum for California schools, is co-chair of Stanford's K-12 education initiative and was the founding president of the non-profit Contemporary Physics Education Project. She was president of the American Physical Society in 2004 and won the 2000 Dirac Medal for her scientific work. Her current research is on the differences between the laws of physics for matter and antimatter. At SLAC, Quinn has been a driving force in developing educational programs and in explaining particle physics to non-specialist audiences. She developed the SLAC Visitor Center and its related virtual visitor center website. She was also the founding president of the Contemporary Physics Education Project, which produces materials for high school and college physics teachers.

(Weekly Column - Profile)

Rumors to Be Believed

(Photo - Rich Talley)
Rich Talley.
(Click on image for larger version.)

If SLAC technician Rich Talley is a little hoarse on Monday mornings, he can perhaps be forgiven—he likely spent the weekend performing with his rock'n'roll band, Rumors.

When he's not tending klystrons for the linac, Talley plays lead guitar and sings with the three-year-old, Tracy-based band. They play covers—everything from Jimi Hendrix to Bryan Adams—as well as original songs.

Talley writes much of the music and collaborates on the lyrics. "If I get a melody that just sticks in my head and I can't get away from it, then that's what I write around," he says.

Talley has been a musician since the age of 13. Among his influences he counts Don Henley and Neil Schon of Journey.

"People say I sing like Henley and play like Schon," he says. "That's not bad."

He has played bass for the past 20 years, including two in which he toured with Tracy singer Megan Slankard. He was working at SLAC at that time, while playing over 100 shows a year in the Central Valley.

Rumors started out playing in nightclubs, but recently graduated to larger venues such as the Dougherty School Fall Festival in Dublin. They made it onto radio station KFOX in San Jose. And they've just released their first album, "Believe," which gives thanks to "All the guys at SLAC" in the liner notes.

The band's next goal: Sell 50,000 copies.

With Rumors, Talley says, "I want to take this as far as I can."

Photo of the Day

From left to right, Herman Winick, Les Cottrell, Roger Kornberg, Neil Calder, Muhammad Asghar and Arshad Ali.

The new Rector of Pakistan's National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST), Muhammad Asghar, visited SLAC on Monday with Director General of the NUST Institute of Information Technology Arshad Ali. While at SLAC, the pair met with SLAC's Phil Bucksbaum and Les Cottrell, representatives of the Stanford Medical School and Stanford's Office of Technology Licensing.

Asghar and Ali's tour of the lab coincided with a visit from Nobel Prize Winner Roger Kornberg, who was at SLAC to participate in a photo shoot.

Energy Tip of the Week

Use a microwave oven: a microwave uses only one-third the energy of a conventional oven. It therefore allows you to cut down on your consumption of electricity or natural gas. What would take an hour in a 350-degree electric oven takes only fifteen minutes in a microwave (~2.0 kilowatt-hours and 16 cents versus 0.36 kilowatt-hours and 3 cents). Although crock-pots, toaster ovens, frying pans, gas ovens and electric convection ovens are all better than a large electric oven, a microwave is two to nearly four times more efficient than any of these alternatives.

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