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In this issue:
LCLS Tunneling Achieves Major, Final Milestone
Safety Today: Lack of Sleep Disrupts Emotional Controls
Stanford Photon Science Professor Elected to AAAS

SLAC Today

Tuesday - January 15, 2008

LCLS Tunneling Achieves Major, Final Milestone

LCLS Director of Construction John Galayda addresses onlookers in the Far Experimental Hall just after tunneling crews punched through the final few feet of earth connecting in from the X-ray Transport Hall.

Yesterday morning a crowd of about 60 onlookers, bedecked in hard-hats and reflective vests, witnessed the final tunneling break through for construction of the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) in the dimly lit cavern of the Far Experimental Hall (FEH). Crews working in the X-ray Transport Hall punched through the final few feet of earth and into the FEH in dramatic fashion—a crescendo of rumbling gathered until the spiked teeth of the road header gouged a gaping hole through the front wall of the FEH, devouring a sign strung across the spot for the occasion. A short time later, miners on the other side waved their congratulations to the group.

Although much finishing work remains to complete the tunnels before LCLS hardware installation can begin, Monday's break through means that the entire LCLS tunnel complex is now physically connected.

Department of Energy Site Office Deputy Manager Hanley Lee said that joining the tunnel and FEH is an important step not just for the LCLS, but for SLAC's future. "I know you probably wish you could have done it all by yourself," Lee said, addressing Director of LCLS Construction John Galayda, "but I know you had a pretty big team behind you to make this possible."

"Today represents a very big milestone in the final steps toward completing the tunnels for the LCLS project," said SLAC Director Persis Drell. "It's a huge step toward a future program of LCLS science that will define this laboratory in a major way. I would particularly like to mention the professionalism of the SLAC staff, and to thank and acknowledge John Galayda—this, for John, is a very special day."

Stay tuned to SLAC Today for a complete video account of the occasion. In the meantime, you can watch a teaser video from yesterday's proceedings (RealPlayer required). And don't forget, you can monitor the ongoing construction progress using the LCLS Dashboard and the two LCLS webcams.

(Column - Safety Today)

Lack of Sleep Disrupts Emotional Controls

Most of us know that sleepless nights can unhinge your emotions. Now scientists have a better idea of why this happens. They've shown that lack of sleep strongly activates the brain’s emotional centers and weakens the brain circuits that keep your emotions under control.

Scientists know that lack of sleep can interfere with your health in many ways. It can disrupt your learning and memory and your ability to fight disease. But they've understood much less about how sleep and emotions are connected in the brain.

NIH-funded researchers scanned the brains of 26 healthy adults while they looked at 100 images. At first, the images were neutral—like a chair or a bowl of fruit. Later, they became more unpleasant and disturbing—like a dirty toilet bowl or a burn victim.

Some participants had a good night's sleep before the brain scan. Others had been kept awake for about 35 hours straight—about how long you'd be up if you stayed awake all night and into the next afternoon without naps.

Read more in NIH News in Health...


Stanford Photon
Science Professor
Elected to AAAS

Christopher E. D. Chidsey, Associate Professor of the Department of Photon Science and of the Department of Chemistry, has been elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) for his distinguished contributions to understanding molecular electronics and its applications to energy efficiency, and for his commitment to improving teaching and learning. AAAS is the world's largest general scientific society, and election as a fellow is an honor bestowed upon AAAS members by their peers.

Molecular electronics is an interdisciplinary field of research spanning physics, materials science and chemistry that uses nanometer-sized building blocks and offers molecular-level control of electronic properties. This field provides important insights into advanced energy capture, transduction and storage as well as applications in information processing and chemical and biological sensing. The photon science centers at SLAC and Stanford provide key capabilities to study the electronic properties of matter at the molecular level.


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