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In this issue:
From the Director: Lehman Lauds LCLS
Adele Panofsky Gives Lab Flowering Tree
SLAC Energizes Cyclists
Word of the Week: SASE
Building the LCLS: Weekly Update

SLAC Today

Friday - May 16, 2008

(Photo - Persis Drell)

From the Director: Lehman Lauds LCLS

The Office of Science semi-annually conducts reviews of its large major projects and this week it focused on the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS). Dan Lehman, the Director of the Office of Project Assessment in the Office of Science, leads this process and he arrived at SLAC with a large team of world-class scientists, engineers and management consultants to look over all aspects of the LCLS project.

While preparation for any review, and especially a Lehman review, takes a lot of work, this is a very constructive process. All aspects of the project are reviewed, with a strong emphasis on organization and management. The review provides a reality check, and when issues are identified, it offers a broad experience base to help identify solutions. The emphasis on positive and constructive feedback is particularly helpful.

This week's Lehman review was the best I have seen for the LCLS. The committee was very impressed by the progress since their visit last July. Worrisome technical issues have been nailed; civil construction is nearing completion; and completed tunnels and vast experimental halls are beginning to fill with accelerator hardware. In addition, the commissioning of the electron beam has been very successful and the electron bunch at the end of the linac meets the specifications needed to achieve X-ray free electron laser radiation production. As the committee noted in their closeout briefing, "John Galayda and his project team are to be commended for these achievements, especially in a climate of change and uncertainty."

The entire LCLS team deserves an enormous amount of credit for all the accomplishments of the past 9 months, including our collaborators at our partner labs, Argonne and Lawrence Livermore national laboratories. I would particularly like to thank John Galayda for his dedication and hard work. I have to confess that I am more than a little jealous as the LCLS team now enters what I believe is one of the most exciting phases of the project. A little over a year from now, the project plans to deliver the first x-rays to the AMO experiment in the Near Hall and start the early science program for the first users. This next year will be thrilling for the entire lab!


Adele Panofsky Gives Lab Flowering Tree

(Photo - Jacaranda tree)
The Jacaranda tree recently planted near SLAC's main gate.
(Click on image for larger version.)

You may not have noticed it yet, but earlier this month the main SLAC entrance became just a little bit greener. A tiny sapling, donated by Adele Panofsky, wife of the late SLAC Founder Pief Panofsky, now sits under the flag poles just inside the main gate. It may be only a few feet tall right now, but over time it will grow into a stunningly large and beautiful flowering tree.

"Over the years, a great many trees have been planted at SLAC in my husband's honor, but we ourselves never gave one to the laboratory," said Adele Panofsky. "I've been thinking about this for some time, but Pief was always buzzing along with other things, and this project of mine just never happened. Now I decided to make it happen."

The tree, a Jacaranda, will grow to become as many as 30 meters tall and will produce bright purple-blue flowers. Jacarandas planted in California often bloom twice, with the most striking bloom in the spring and a lesser bloom in the fall.

"When the tree matures, it will certainly be the centerpiece of the laboratory entrance," said Facilities Department Head Liam Robinson, who coordinated the planting. "It's quite a perfect site for such a beautiful tree."

SLAC Energizes Cyclists

Volunteers set up an energizer station just outside SLAC's main gate.
(Click on image for larger version.)

In celebration of Bike to Work Day, SLAC hosted an energizer station yesterday just outside the lab's Main Gate. Volunteers offered orange juice, bagels, information and encouragement to passing cyclists. This year, 82 bicyclists and one unicyclist stopped at the station.

"It was a great turn out," said organizer Rick Challman. "Many thanks to all who volunteered and supported this year's station, including the local Safeway, Longs Drugs, Erik's Deli and Bagel St. Café."

Word of the Week:

Self Amplified Spontaneous Emission (SASE) is the process by which electrons in a free electron laser are made to emit coherent light. As the electrons travel through undulator magnets they emit X-rays, and those X-rays in turn act back on the electrons, forcing them into tighter and tighter bunches, which amplifies the emitted X-rays. The ultimate result is a state of "saturation," where coherent X-ray light is produced. This is the fundamental process behind LCLS.

Building the LCLS: Weekly Update

Construction highlights from the Linac Coherent Light Source this week include:

- Assembling concrete forms adjacent to Building 3.1 in preparation for installation of concrete utility pads.

- Installation of boiler exhaust stacks in the Central Utilities Plant.

- Installation of cable trays and grounding connections in the Beam Dump and the Front End Enclosure.


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