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In this issue:
Scott Receives 2008 Farrell W. Lytle Award
Climate Change and Green House Gases Emissions
B Factory Symposium Next Week
WIS Presents
SSRL Awards for Research

SLAC Today

Monday - October 20, 2008

Scott Receives 2008 Farrell W. Lytle Award

At last week's joint Linac Coherent Light Source–Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource Users' Meeting, Robert A. Scott received the 2008 Farrell W. Lytle Award for his contributions to synchrotron radiation research.

For the past three decades, Scott has been a leader in the use of X-ray absorption spectroscopy, or XAS, to study the structures of metal-containing sites inside proteins. These centers carry out the biological work of the protein. More recently, he has developed new techniques to expand the capabilities of XAS.

Besides his scientific contributions, Scott has also shared his expertise in using XAS to study biological systems with many young scientists through the years. "Bob's lectures on XAS served as a model that many of us have used for our own presentations at summer schools, such as the one that SSRL now offers," said James Penner-Hahn, professor of chemistry and biophysics at the University of Michigan.

The SSRL Organization Executive Committee has presented the Lytle award since 1998 to recognize technical or scientific achievements in synchrotron radiation research and to foster collaboration and efficient use of beam time at SRRL.

Colloquium Monday

Climate Change and Green House Gases Emissions

At the lab's first fall colloquium, Christopher Busch of the Union of Concerned Scientists will examine recent policy recommendations for the management of green house gasses in California and the western U.S. Come to Panofsky Auditorium for pre-talk refreshments at 3:45 p.m., followed by the colloquium at 4:15.

Abstract: Climate policy has advanced more quickly in California and the West than elsewhere in the United States. While many details remain to be decided, and external events such as federal action could render sub-national efforts irrelevant, two events help define the policy frameworks being developed to manage heat-trapping emissions in California. On September 23, the Western Climate Initiative released its Design Recommendations, concluding the first phase of negotiation and definition of this regional climate pact. On October 15, the California Air Resources Board released its proposed plan for economy-wide action to manage heat-trapping emission pursuant to AB 32, California’s Global Warming Solution Act. Busch will summarize the policy frameworks set out in these two documents, compare these to the Union of Concerned Scientists’ vision for fair and effective climate policy, and discuss future decisions still to be made.

For more information, see the colloquium Web page.

B Factory Symposium Next Week

Register now for the B Factory Symposium! Those who register by 5:00 p.m. tomorrow will be eligible for a complimentary box lunch.

The symposium will be held on Monday, October 27 at Stanford University’s Schwab Residential Center, Vidalakis Hall. To register, visit the event Web site.

WIS Presents

Rumored to be "as funny as David Sedaris" and "our generation's Erma Bombeck," local columnist and humorist Mary Hanna will come to SLAC Wednesday to address "How to Figure Out What You Want to Be When You Grow Up." Hanna's "first half" career spanned 20 years in public relations, nine of them as the communications manager for the City of Palo Alto. Join the Women's Interchange at SLAC to hear Hanna talk about about how to identify a "keeper" career this Wednesday, October 22, 12:00–1:00 p.m. in Panofsky Auditorum.

SSRL Awards for Research

Joseph Kline (left) and Ajay Virkar (right). (Photos by Nikola Stojanovic. Click for larger image.)

Congratulations to R. Joseph Kline and Ajay Virkar, the 2008 recipients of the William E. Spicer Young Investigator and Melvin P. Klein Professional Development awards, respectively. The awards were presented at Thursday's session of the joint Linac Coherent Light Source–Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource Users' Meeting. Both recipients studied plastics that could be used in electronic devices, such as solar cells. Plastic, or organic, semiconductors may provide a cheaper, more flexible alternative to silicon-based electronics.

While working as a graduate student at Stanford University, Kline determined how the precise arrangements of plastic polymers changed the performance of organic transistors. By understanding these effects, engineers can determine how to produce these materials for real-world applications. Kline is currently a staff scientist at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Maryland.

Virkar was recognized for his research on how thin films of carbon-based, or organic, molecules grow on different types of surfaces. As these films grow, their layers adopt different forms, which affect how quickly charge passes through the electronics. Virkar, a graduate student at Stanford, said he plans to use the $1,000 Klein award stipend to travel to Copenhagen next year and present his research at the European Conference on Molecular Electronics.

Both Kline and Virkar used a technique called grazing incidence X-ray diffraction to examine how molecules packed in their electronics. "In recent years, we have seen an increasing number of people using this technique," said SSRL's Michael Toney, who collaborated with the researchers on their experiments. "These two awards are examples of interesting uses of the technique."

The SSRL Users' Organization presents the Spicer and Klein awards annually. In honor of one of SSRL's founders, the Spicer award is given to new researchers who have contributed to or benefited from SSRL or the general lightsource community. The Klein award salutes the research achievements of a graduate or undergraduate student who has used the SSRL facilities in his or her research.


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