January 21, 2005


New Imaging Technique Opens Door to Nanoscale World

By Heather Rock Woods

Researchers at SSRL and the German laboratory Berliner Elektronenspeicherring-Gesellschaft für Synchrotronstrahlung (BESSY) have crafted a technique to take X-ray images that reveal tiny variations and lightning-quick changes in materials a thousand times smaller than the thickness of a strand of hair.

Their work merited the cover of the December 16 issue of Nature magazine. The technique—lensless X-ray holography—will be valuable for researchers working with the world’s first X-ray free electron laser, the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS), slated to begin experiments at SLAC in 2009.

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Quantum Diaries Chronicles the Global Year of Physics

By Katherine Bellevin

In collaboration with the world’s particle physics laboratories, SLAC has launched Quantum Diaries, a Web site that will follow the lives of physicists worldwide as they live the 2005 World Year of Physics. In their own words, in blogs, photos and video clips and in half a dozen languages, Quantum Diarists will give readers a real-time picture of the lives of 21st-century scientists.

Four SLAC physicists—Stephon Alexander (THP), Caolionn O’Connell (ARDB), Bryan Dahmes (BABAR) and Jose Ocariz (BABAR)—are participating in this project. They are recording their experiences, thoughts, impressions, triumphs and disappointments in a ‘blog’, which is short for weblog, or a Web-based log. Check in with the team often as they share their experiences at the Lab and in their daily lives.

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EFD and SEM Merge to Form New Conventional and Experimental Facilities Department

By Vickee Flynn and Nina Stolar

In organizational changes announced in early December, the Experimental Facilities Department (EFD) from the Research Division and Site Engineering & Maintenance (SEM) from the Technical Division were merged into a new group reporting to the Director’s Office. The new department reports to Steve Williams, named special assistant to the Director.

John Weisend was named Department Head of the new group, and he clarified the impact of the changes with this merger. "Our prime mission is to provide safe, well planned and efficient support for experiments and facilities at the Laboratory," Weisend said.

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Science Magazine Selects SSRL Research as a Breakthrough

By Cathy Knotts

In late December, Science Magazine listed its top 10 breakthroughs in 2004. In eighth place was SSRL’s research on the structure of water. A team of researchers, led by scientists at SSRL and Stockholm University, found that water molecules clump much more loosely than previously thought. This work revealed detailed information about the nearest neighbor coordination geometry in liquid water and has implications for multiple fields from chemistry to atmospheric sciences.

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New Disaster Relief Organization Formed at SLAC

By Ziba Mahdavi

Disaster Relief at SLAC (DRAS) was conceived on January 4, in response to the need to support members of the SLAC community to provide relief to communities devastated by the south Asian tsunami that occurred on December 26, 2004.

This grassroots organization is structured to approve and raise funds for disaster relief projects that are coordinated by a member of the SLAC community. DRAS is an all-volunteer organization that will ensure that 100 percent of the funds collected for a given project will go to that specific project.

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Wunderlich Joins DOE Stanford Site Office

By Linda DuShane White

The New Year brought major changes in the DOE Stanford Site Office (SSO) at SLAC. We bid farewell to Site Manager John Muhlestein, who will work as a Special Advisor to Milton Johnson, Chief Operating Officer in the Office of Science (SC) in Washington, D.C. Muhlestein began his new assignment in early January.

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

Last update Wednesday January 19, 2005 by Emily Ball