May 7, 2004




What’s a Nice Field Like Particle Physics Doing in a Universe Like This?

By Judy Jackson

The quarks. The leptons. The bosons, the mesons, the hadrons, the so-forth-and-so-ons.

Particle physicists spent the 20th century discovering, in incredible depth and with amazing precision, the particles that make up the world and the forces that determine how it works.

Then they went and changed the Universe.

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New Speed Limit on Magnetic Switching

By Davide Castelvecchi

The speed of magnetic recording—a crucial factor in a computer’s power and multimedia capabilities—depends on how fast one can switch a magnet’s poles. Using SLAC’s linear accelerator, or linac, a team led by Hans Christof Siegmann (ESRD) and Joachim Stöhr (SSRL) found the ultimate speed of magnetic switching is at least 1,000 times slower than previously expected. The collaboration included Ioan Tudosa and Christian Stamm (both ESRD), Frank King (PE), Alexander Kashuba (Landau Institute for Theoretical Physics, Moscow) and researchers from Seagate Technology, the world’s largest manufacturer of hard drives.

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Researchers at SSRL Map New Antibiotic Target

By Kate Metropolis

Addressing one of the world’s pressing health problems, scientists working at SSRL have now obtained detailed information about an enzyme that plays a key role in bacterial self-defense.

After the penicillin family of antibiotics was discovered and developed in the 1940’s, illness and deaths from infectious disease declined dramatically.

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PEP-II’s Luminous Life

By Mason Inman

Just as proud parents mark their children’s height on the kitchen wall, SLAC staff marked a major achievement in the life of PEP-II on April 12.

“We’ve delivered a total of 200 inverse femtobarns to the BABAR detector since the start of the project,” said Michael Sullivan (AD).  An inverse femtobarn is a measure of the number of particle collisions in a period of time.

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A Bird in the Nesting Box is Worth Two in the Bush

By Mason Inman

SLAC’s trees are about to bear strange fruit. Hanging nesting boxes to house bluebirds will soon be installed around the site. Bluebirds like to set up housekeeping in tree cavities but their numbers have been declining in recent years due to a lack of suitable trees.

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Project M Reports Now On-Line

By Jean Deken

The Stanford University Physics Department ‘Project M’ reports dating from 1956 to 1962, including those produced by the Microwave Lab and the then-named High-Energy Physics Lab (HEPL), are now available on-line. Called Project M from 1956-1960, the collaboration was renamed ‘The Stanford Linear Accelerator Center’ in 1960. The ‘M’ in the project name was for ‘Multi-Gev’ or ‘Monster.’

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The Stanford Linear Accelerator Center is managed by Stanford University for the US Department of Energy

Last update Tuesday May 04, 2004 by Emily Ball