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In this issue:
New SSRL Instruments Zoom In on Surfaces
Fermi Large Area Telescope Team Awarded Rossi Prize
WIS 20th Anniversary Seminar and Celebration Today at Noon

SLAC Today

Thursday - January 20, 2011

New SSRL Instruments Zoom In on Surfaces

Sarp Kaya (left) and Hirohito Ogasawara with the new endstations in Beamline 13-2. (Photo by Lori Ann White.)

Two new, state-of-the-art spectroscopy instruments at the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource promise to give researchers both a broader and a deeper understanding of what happens during chemical reactions at the surfaces of materials. The first new endstation will enable experiments to take place in conditions that more closely mimic real-world conditions; the second will provide a closer look at the chemical bonds that form. The instruments—the Ambient Pressure Photoemission Spectroscopy Endstation, or APPES, and the Surface Science Endstation, or SSE—are being commissioned on SSRL Beamline 13-2.

"Ambient pressure" is the key to the APPES's capabilities. The instrument uses X-rays to knock electrons off the surface of a material in a process called photoemission spectroscopy, a fairly common technique in surface characterization. Where the APPES differs is its ability to reliably capture data from a material under a few tenths of an atmosphere of pressure. Previously, photoemission spectroscopy required ultra-high vacuum conditions so that the liberated electrons would not be scattered away by atoms in the surrounding atmosphere.  Read more...

Fermi Large Area Telescope Team Awarded Rossi Prize

Group photo at the Fermi LAT
Collaboration  meeting in September, 2009. (Photo: Fermi LAT Collaboration.)

Last Wednesday, SLAC and Stanford University astrophysicist Peter Michelson and UC Santa Cruz particle astrophysicist Bill Atwood received word that they and the entire Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope, Large Area Telescope team have received the 2011 Bruno Rossi Prize. Each year, the High Energy Astrophysics Division of the American Astronomical Society awards the Rossi Prize for recent original research in high-energy astrophysics. AAS HEAD leaders sent Atwood and Michelson word of the honor by e-mail:

The 2011 Rossi prize is awarded to Bill Atwood, Peter Michelson, and the Fermi Gamma-Ray Space Telescope/LAT team for enabling, through the development of the Large Area Telescope, new insights into neutron stars, supernova remnants, cosmic rays, binary systems, active galactic nuclei, and gamma-ray bursts.

"Both Bill and I are gratified that we were named in the citation for the award," Michelson wrote in e-mail. "However, as we said in an e-mail message to the Fermi LAT Collaboration: ... we are both keenly aware of the myriad contributions made by members of the collaboration that includes scientists, engineers and technicians, and by the community at large. It was the team work and effort that has made the Fermi Mission and the Large Area Telescope the success we are now enjoying."

The prize, named in honor of cosmic ray researcher Bruno Rossi, is awarded "for a significant contribution to High Energy Astrophysics, with particular emphasis on recent, original work," according to the HEAD website. It includes a cash award, citation and an invitation for the recipient to give a lecture, often a plenary talk at the January meeting of the American Astronomical Society. Potential awardees are nominated by HEAD members each fall; final selection is made by the HEAD executive committee.

WIS 20th Anniversary Seminar and Celebration Today at Noon

SLAC CFO Linda RakowToday, the Women's Interchange at SLAC celebrates 20 years of organizing monthly public seminars on topics of particular interest to women—and men, too. At noon in Panofsky Auditorium SLAC Chief Financial Officer Linda Rakow will present "From There to Here," discussing her personal history, education, career path and how she sees her role at SLAC. Immediately following Rakow's talk, join in for the WIS 20 Year Celebration. Everyone is welcome—bring your lunch and a friend!

Women's Interchange at SLACWIS was founded in January 1991 to provide an open, informal forum to address issues of interest and concern to women; to promote the visibility of women at SLAC; and to share information among all SLAC departments, cultures and job classifications. At today's event, if you find your photo in our WIS photo album, covering many WIS events from 1991 to 2010, you will be entered into a raffle for a prize.




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