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In this issue:
Springtime for the Linac: The West End Reawakens for FACET
eShop Snack and Learn Session Next Wednesday
Physics Geek Gift of the Week: The Particle Zoo

SLAC Today

Thursday - December 3, 2009

Springtime for the Linac:
The West End Reawakens for FACET

Uli Wienands points toward Main Control Center monitors that indicate beam is now flowing through the first two thirds of the linac. (Photo by Brad Plummer.)

Winter may be just around the corner, but the first two-thirds of SLAC's linear accelerator just woke up from a 20 month hibernation.

After PEP-II and the BaBar experiment shut down in April 2008, the damping rings and Sectors 0 through 20 of the linac went into a so-called "minimum maintenance state" in which the vacuum and cooling water were left on, but just about everything else—including the klystrons and more than 1000 electrically powered magnets—was turned off.

Thanks to significant effort by many in the SLAC community, an electron beam once again began humming through Sectors 0 through 20 last week.

"This is a super achievement," said Uli Wienands, director of the S0-20 Division in the Accelerator Directorate. "We are learning a lot and are working on a list of issues to address during the upcoming downtime, but basically, the gun, accelerator and north damping ring are working."

Beginning in November 2010, the first two-thirds of the linac will provide beam to FACET, the Facilities for Accelerator Science and Experimental Test Beams, located in the linac tunnel at Sector 20. There, researchers will test next-generation particle accelerator concepts. (For more on FACET, see "Crashing the Size Barrier" in the October issue of Symmetry magazine.) 

Read more...


eShop Snack and Learn Session Next Wednesday

The SLAC Procurement Department, together with Pacific Supply & Safety and Staples Advantage, invites all SLACers to a Snack & Learn productivity seminar, Wednesday, December 9 from 9–11 a.m. in Kavli Auditorium. The session will include training and discussions of the eShop system for online office supply purchases. Please RSVP today, Thursday, December 3 to Mark Homen.

 (Photo by Lauren Knoche. Plush particles by The Particle Zoo.)

Physics Geek Gift of the Week: The Particle Zoo

If you are like me, you avoided Black Friday like the Black Plague—4:00 a.m. shopping in stores packed to capacity, no thanks. But now the pressure is on to find those perfect holiday gifts for family and friends. What are you going to get for you favorite physics geek? Don't worry, SLAC Today has you covered, counting down to the holiday break with weekly physics-friendly holiday tips.

This week's Physics Geek Gift of the Week resides in The Particle Zoo. Great for all physics geeks large and small (age 5 and up), these handmade plush toys come in shapes, colors and weights that illustrate the "personalities" and relative masses of the particles. The Particle Zoo is bound to have your favorite particle—or antiparticle—be it a quark, lepton, nucleon, theoretical tidbit, or even the whole Universe. That's right; you really can hold the Universe in the palm of your hand.


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