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In this issue:
From the Director: Comments on Charting the Path Forward for Particle Physics
Employees Honored with Service Awards
Word of the Week: Zone Plate
Building the LCLS: Weekly Update

SLAC Today

Friday - February 29, 2008

From the Director:
Comments on Charting the Path Forward for Particle Physics

(Photo - Persis Drell)

Last week, the High Energy Physics Particle Physics Project Prioritization Panel (P5) visited SLAC. P5 is charged with identifying and evaluating the scientific opportunities and options that can be pursued at different funding levels for the field of Particle Physics, and with providing advice on a new 10-year plan for U.S. particle physics. In brief remarks to the panel, I offered some personal views based on my unusual vantage point; I am a particle physicist quasi particle astrophysicist who is lab director of a multi program laboratory. What follows is a transcript of my remarks.

We are all still reeling from the chaos of the December budget process, and I believe it has done terrible damage to our optimism for the future of particle physics in the U.S.  Ironically, this comes at time when the field or particle physics has never been more exciting scientifically. We find ourselves confronted with unanswered questions that probe the very fundamental nature of the Universe we live in, and we have, within our reach, the experimental tools to make progress in answering those questions. The primary challenge, front and center, for our community is not so much "Will particle physics thrive in the next decade?" It will!! The question is rather: "Will the U.S. continue to play a leadership role in the field?"  Read more...

Employees Honored with Service Awards

Last night's Service Awards Banquet.
(Photo courtesy of Brad Plummer. Click on image for larger version.)

Yesterday evening, SLAC honored 42 employees at the annual Service Awards banquet and ceremony, held at the Stanford Faculty Club. Director Persis Drell, Director Emeritus Jonathan Dorfan and Human Resources Director Lee Lyon were on hand to offer their thanks to these long-serving employees and to distribute the awards.

The honorees were:

50 Year Service Award:
Perry Wilson.

40 Year Service Award:
Elliott Bloom, Carolyn Burton, Arthur Candia, Roger Cottrell, Frank Rothacker, Domingo Sanchez and Thomas Weber.

30 Year Service Award:
Richard M. Boyce, SueVon Gee, Diana Gregory, Joan Hennes, Keith Jobe, Glen Kerr, Thomas Knight, Dwight Ost, Helen Quinn, C. E. Rago,  Roosevelt Robinson,  Bennett Smith, Michael L. Smith and Daniel Wright.

20 Year Service Award:
Richard Dubois, Lisa Dunn, Henry Ethier Jr., Patrick Frank, Allan Freese, Jeffrey Garcia, Patrick Grygutis, Michael Horton,  Theodore Lavine, Thomas Markiewicz, Dianne Morris, Michael Nalls, Clive O'Connor, Sandra Pickrom, Burl Skaggs, Richard Strozinsky, Richard Swent, Curtis Troxel, Diedre Webb and Sharon West.

Word of the Week:
Zone Plate

A zone plate is a kind of lens, made up of concentric rings that vary between clear and opaque, that is used to focus light. Unlike typical visible light lenses, which use refraction to bend rays of light, zone plates use interference of light transmitted by different rings to create the focal image. Because X-rays pass easily through most materials and therefore cannot be refracted using traditional optical lenses, zone plates are one of several types of X-ray optics used to create very small X-ray beam focal spots. The new SSRL X-ray microscope at Beamline 6 uses a tiny zone plate that is only twice the diameter of a human hair.


Building the LCLS: Weekly Update

This week on the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) construction site, crews within the X-ray tunnel have completed installation of the final shotcrete and mudslab in preparation for pouring the final concrete floor. The Central Utilities Plant Substation is undergoing installation of the final electrical terminations and testing. The Beam Dump and Front End Enclosure have now been covered over with soil, and the final grade has been established. Work continues on rebuilding the parking lot adjacent to Building 750.



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