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In this issue:
New Study Predicts Material for Super-efficient Transistors
Reminder: Watch That Laptop
Public Lecture Tonight: Angels & Demons

SLAC Today

Tuesday - May 12, 2009

New Study Predicts Material for Super-efficient Transistors

(Photo - Xiao-Liang Qi)
Xiao-Liang Qi. (Photo by Lauren Schenkman.)

New work by condensed-matter theorists at the Stanford Institute for Materials and Energy Science at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory points to a material that could one day be used to make faster, more efficient computer processors. In a paper published online Sunday in Nature Physics, SIMES researchers Xiao-Liang Qi and Shou-Cheng Zhang, with colleagues from the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Tsinghua University in Beijing, predict that a room temperature material will exhibit the quantum spin Hall effect. In this exotic state of matter, electrons flow without dissipating heat, meaning a transistor made of the material would be drastically more efficient than anything available today. This effect was previously thought to occur only at extremely low temperatures. Now the race is on to confirm the room-temperature prediction experimentally.  Read more...

Reminder: Watch That Laptop

Part 1 of 2: Protecting Government Equipment

Unfortunately, the portability that makes laptops so useful also makes them attractive to thieves. SLAC Security and Property Management have compiled a set of reminders for all SLAC staff who use a laptop computer or other mobile data device. Included are good-sense tips for preventing theft, specific requirements to protect government computer equipment and the data stored on it, and the procedures to follow when taking these devices off-site.

Whether in the office, a vehicle or on travel, never leave your laptop or other mobile devices unattended. Lock them in a cabinet, desk drawer, or with a cable lock when you can't keep them with you. And keep them out of sight—a laptop bag on the passenger seat of a car is a major temptation to any thief, especially in the relative anonymity of a large parking garage.

Read more tips on the Laptop Security Web page.

The next article in this two-part series will cover the procedures for taking a laptop (or any other equipment) off-site for business use, and the restrictions on the type of data that can be kept on these devices.

Public Lecture Tonight: Angels & Demons


On May 15, Sony Pictures Entertainment will release  Angels & Demons, a major motion picture based on Dan Brown's best-selling novel. Starring Tom Hanks and directed by Ron Howard, the film focuses on an apparent plot to destroy the Vatican using antimatter made at the Large Hadron Collider and stolen from the European particle physics laboratory CERN.

Tonight at 7:30 in Panofsky Auditorium, SLAC physicist Norman Graf will discuss the real science behind Angels & Demons. Graf's talk is one in a series of public lectures across the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico to share the science of antimatter and the Large Hadron Collider, and the excitement of particle physics research.

Tonight's event is free and open to all. For details and directions, see the SLAC Public Lecture Web site.


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