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In this issue:
To Surf, or to Dance? Electrons' Extracurricular Activities Affect Superconductivity
Same performance evaluation… New performance evaluation tool!
Noontime Concert by the Cecilia String Quartet April 15

SLAC Today

Tuesday - April 6, 2010

To Surf, or to Dance? Electrons' Extracurricular Activities Affect Superconductivity

From left to right: Tom Devereaux, Makoto Hashimoto, Rui-Hua He and Zhi-Xun Shen. (Photo by Kelen Tuttle.)

Superconductors, the wonder materials that transport electricity without any resistance or energy loss, appear to be more complex than previously thought, according to research published online this week in Nature Physics by scientists at the Stanford Institute for Materials and Energy Science, a joint institute of SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University. The work provides a new understanding of how high-temperature superconductors work—with potential applications toward the design of new superconductors that work at or near room temperature, allowing them to be used in everything from electronics to smart grids that deliver energy with dramatically higher efficiency.

This is not the first time the field of superconductivity has gone through a revelation. In the 1980s—75 years after the discovery of superconductivity—scientists stumbled upon a completely new type of superconducting material. Previously, all superconductors carried current without resistance only at very low temperatures, the warmest of them operating at about -425 degrees Fahrenheit. But this new class of superconducting materials mysteriously worked up to 200 degrees warmer; still not room temperature, but far warmer than researchers previously believed possible.

"High-temperature superconductivity is one of the most important unsolved modern physics problems today," said SIMES Director and paper co-author Zhi-Xun Shen.  Read more...

Same performance evaluation…
New performance evaluation tool!

The Human Resources Department is pleased to announce the implementation of a new, Web-based performance evaluation tool we will be using for this year’s evaluations. Taleo Perform will create efficiencies in the performance evaluation process and will enhance your experience with the evaluation process. The new tool will provide the following benefits:

  • Web-based system – you can access the system at anytime from any location with internet access.
  • Automated performance evaluation and goal-setting processes
  • Automated rating calculation
  • Paper forms replaced by online forms
  • Facilitate employee/supervisor input & feedback
  • Manager & Employee can access past evaluations any time, online

HR will be providing training to all staff and supervisors on the following dates:

Apr 12–16 and 26-30: Training for supervisors
Apr 19–23 and 26-30: Training for all staff – self evaluations

You can register for a class online.

Important Dates

May 14: Employee self-evaluations due
Jun 4: Supervisors complete evaluations
Jul 7: Performance evaluation meetings between supervisor and employee completed
Sep 22: Performance merit increases in paychecks

Please contact Ramona Miahnahri (x3571) or Eric Shupert (x3518) with any questions.

(Photo - the Cecilia String Quartet)
 (Image courtesy the Cecilia String Quartet.)

Noontime Concert by the Cecilia String Quartet April 15

The Cecilia String Quartet  will present a noon-time concert on Thursday April 15 in the Kavli Auditorium. This is an exciting group that has won prestigious awards. They are working with the St. Lawrence String Quartet of Stanford as part of their Emerging String Quartet program.

They will play three works, Hugo Wolf, "Italian Serenade"; Kelly-Marie Murphy, "Another Little Piece of My Heart"; and Robert Schumann, String Quartet No.3 in A, Op. 41 No.3.

Please join us!


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