By Jonathan Dorfan
Thank you all for coming to the All Hands talks last week. I enjoyed the
opportunity to describe the direction that SLAC will be moving in the
next few years. I hope the presentation conveyed my personal excitement,
commitment and enthusiasm for the wonderful new scientific opportunities
that lie ahead. Never before have we had the opportunity of making
historic contributions over such a wide range of scientific disciplines.
I greatly appreciate the very positive e-mail responses that I received
after the talks.
Photo by Diana Rogers
The size of the SLAC photon science program will grow dramatically over
the next three years, and soon the bulk of our funding will come from
the Basic Energy Science (BES) division of the Office of Science. Thanks
to the BES-supported LCLS and SPEAR3, our Lab will be at the forefront
of understanding of both the ultra-small and the ultra-fast in the
disciplines of materials, physical, chemical, biological, environmental
and medical sciences. This combination of facilities will make SLAC the
world’s premier photon science laboratory. The Ultra-fast Science Center
at SLAC, a partnership of the DOE and Stanford University, will provide
the intellectual focus for much of the work done at the LCLS and will
guarantee that the research at the LCLS is fully maximized and of
stellar quality. With the large investment in LCLS, including the
anticipated major upgrades in ~2012, the DOE has provided a long and
stable future for our Laboratory, one that will produce a scientific
revolution in the ultra-fast world.
Although the future in particle and astroparticle science is less
certain, it is equally as exciting. The B Factory has three more years
of data taking ahead and has major discovery potential for understanding
the matter/antimatter mystery. While the facility will shut down for
data taking at the end of FY08, data analysis by the BaBar collaboration
will continue for several years thereafter. The world HEP community has
made the International Linear Collider (ILC) its highest priority and
the science case is overwhelmingly compelling. Recent worldwide and U.S.
events make me increasingly confident that the ILC will be built. SLAC
staff will play a vital role in designing, building and operating the
accelerator and the detector(s). The Kavli Institute is expanding
rapidly, already attracting the best young minds in particle
astrophysics and cosmology to SLAC. The Kavli building, which will be a
world center for understanding the revolutionary new concepts that
underpin our mysterious Universe, will be completed early next year.
Stanford’s large investment in the Ultra-fast Science Center and the
Kavli Institute are important examples of the University’s increased
investment in SLAC.
We thank the DOE and Stanford University for the confidence they are
expressing in us. As our two key stakeholders, they understand that SLAC
possesses many unique core competencies—including our most exceptional
asset, you the staff. The spectrum of talent at SLAC covers a wide range
of scientific, technical and engineering skills backed up by excellent
administrative personnel, all with a particularly strong capability for
generating scientific breakthroughs. Our staff includes people who
provide scientific and technical leadership both nationally and
internationally and this leadership abounds in all the key scientific
program areas of SLAC: photon science, particle physics,
particle-astrophysics, accelerator science and computing.
Maximizing the benefits to the Nation of the increasing investments by
our primary stakeholders, accommodating to the rapidly changing balance
of the program elements within SLAC and insuring the safest possible
workplace for our staff and users requires a new management structure at
SLAC. I am engaging the senior management in this issue and I will be
sure to keep you informed.
We have an exciting future ahead, filled with opportunities for
scientific breakthroughs in many disciplines. The innovative initiatives
I described above, the intellectual capital in our SLAC staff and our
ability to work with the international user community to ‘mine’
breakthrough-science, will allow us to exploit them to the full. Welcome
to a fantastic ride!