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In this issue:
Keith O. Hodgson Elected to the National Academy of Sciences
Energy and Water Management 101 at SLAC
Seen Around SLAC: HELEN Has a New Home

SLAC Today

Wednesday - May 4, 2011

Keith Hodgson Elected to the National Academy of Sciences

(Photo - Keith Hodgson)
(Photo by Diana Rogers.)

SLAC Associate Laboratory Director for Photon Science and Chief Research Officer Keith Hodgson, who also serves Stanford University as the David Mulvane Ehrsam and Edward Curtis Franklin Professor of Chemistry and as Professor of Photon Science at SLAC, has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences. He joins 71 other new members—including seven others from Stanford—and 18 foreign associates, the NAS announced yesterday.

"I was thrilled to hear of Keith's election to the National Academy of Sciences," said Persis Drell, director of SLAC. "He has made major contributions to our use of high-intensity synchrotron radiation for diffraction studies of proteins, as well as phasing by anomalous scattering methods," a technique used to recover vital information lost during the process of X-ray diffraction. "This is a well-deserved honor."  Read more...

Energy and Water Management 101 at SLAC

Why is SLAC engaged in managing our energy consumption? The obvious reasons are that we want to reduce our costs and carbon footprint and to comply with the Department of Energy policies. Through reduction of energy and water costs, monies can go into the real reason SLAC exists—to conduct exciting scientific experiments that can benefit the world.

The less-obvious benefits include:

  • Improved comfort: through assessment, monitoring and trending of the environmental conditions within the spaces we work, we can more precisely know where problems exist and plan for immediate remedies or make longer term plans for improvement.


Half of HELEN is eased into the Bldg. 750 pit. (Image courtesy Greg Hays.)

Seen Around SLAC: HELEN Has a New Home

A 30-year-old laser built to simulate the conditions at the heart of a nuclear explosion arrived at SLAC last week, where members of the Linac Coherent Light Source's Laser Science and Technology Department want to put it to a more peaceful use.

The High Energy Laser Embodying Neodymium, or HELEN, is a neodymium-doped glass laser originally commissioned at Britain’s Atomic Weapons Establishment in 1979 in a ceremony presided over by Queen Elizabeth. But now that AWE [] has a new, more powerful laser of its own called Orion, HELEN needed a new home, and LCLS scientists were only too happy to oblige.

"I'm very excited about this laser," said LCLS laser physicist Greg Hays, whose job it was to bring HELEN safely over from England. It may be 30 years old, he said, but it will still pack a punch in the kilo-joule range once it's up and running: "It's essentially the grandfather of the National Ignition Facility” at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, which is the world's largest and most energetic laser, with a goal of achieving nuclear fusion and energy gain in the laboratory for the first time. []

The laser will probably be focused on the target chamber for the LCLS’s Matter in Extreme Conditions instrument. But that’s a few years out; so for now, HELEN will stay in two shipping containers in Building 750.




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