Office of Science Director Orbach Outlines Bright Future
(Photo by Diana
By Francoise Chanut
Raymond Orbach, director of the Office of
Science at the Department of Energy, lavished praise on SLAC’s past
accomplishments and promising future during a special address Thursday
on the Lab’s Green.
the finest laboratory in the world, with a history of discovery and a
future of excitement,” he said to an audience of more than 800 SLAC
staff gathered under a 50-by-100 foot tent built for the occasion.
“No other place has a history and future of this
magnitude,” Orbach said, listing the many Nobel laureates and other
distinguished scientists whose discoveries were made possible by SLAC.
Orbach emphasized the importance of SLAC’s close ties
with Stanford University, as illustrated by the Kavli Institute, whose
nascent metal frame at the entrance of SLAC could be seen through the
arches of the tent.
congratulated the recent success of the SPEAR3 team, who ran the
synchrotron source at 500 mA “without a hiccup” this week for the first
time, as an example of the ingenuity of SLAC’s engineers, faculty and
students working together.
Orbach expressed great faith in the promise of the LCLS, which will
produce X-ray beams “ten billion times brighter than any light source on
Earth,” he said.
He ended his
talk by asserting his belief in American leadership, particularly in the
field of ultrafast science.
“We’re going to insist on U.S. leadership in world science, which we
could not carry out without the SLAC family and the support of Stanford
University,” Orbach said.
SLAC’s director Jonathan Dorfan thanked Orbach for his enthusiastic and
thoughtful remarks and assured him that SLAC would do its part.
“We will make this place not just one of the best, but
the best,” Dorfan concluded, as the audience broke into applause.
Text from Ray Orbach's
President Hennessy, for your very kind words; Jonathan, for your kind
words, and the hospitality of SLAC and Stanford University. It is a
great pleasure and privilege to be back amongst you and especially to
receive this kind of welcome. Thank you all for coming out. It is a
special tribute to SLAC to note, as we have seen it develop, that this
is the finest laboratory in the world with a history of discovery and a
future of excitement.
Orbach, Director of the DOE Office of Science
(Photo by Diana Rogers)
About 40 years ago, SLAC was started
with the visionaries who had the dreams of building a pioneering physics
center. Through the contributions of thousands of people, including
scientists, engineers and staff, and collaboration with other scientists
from around the world SLAC has successfully made those dreams come true
and pushed forward our understanding of physics.
Some examples are:
Pief, who pretty much wrote the book on how things get
LINAC, SPEAR, PEP, SSRL
and now the LCLS.
elucidation of the Parton Model in scaling behavior in QCD, who won the
Lorentz award in 1978.
Drell: Quantum theory of radiation, arms control and more prizes than
you can name.
experiment proving protons are made up of smaller constituents; Nobel
prize in 1990 with Kendall and Friedman.
Perl: Discovering the tau lepton; Nobel prize, 1995.
Richter: Discovery of the charm quark; Nobel prize in
1976 shared with Ting, led construction of SPEAR in the first detector,
Quinn: Theory of CP
violation and unified theories.
Addis et. al.: Created the first high-energy physics
database in the mid-1970s, later evolving into SPIRES.
Prescott: Demonstrated a parity violation in neutral
Winick et. al.:
Development of the SSRL, using wiggler magnets to develop multiple
high-power beams for users.
Farcas and Wilson: RF pulse compression technology, effectively doubling
the energy delivered by the main linac.
Kunz, Johnson et.al.: First United States www site and
Design, development and execution of the SLAC Large Detector, including
the SLC, Stanford Linear Collider Controls.
Arnold: Led numerous fixed target experiments
demonstrating electromagnetic properties of nuclei and their connection
Atwood et al.: Led
applications of high-energy physics technology, the space-based
astrophysics missions—in particular, GLAST.
Dorfan: Spokesman for the first SLAC linear collider
experiment, revamping MARC II and project manager for the PEP-II
Seeman: Design and
commissioning of PEP-II as well as ongoing upgrades.
These are shining examples of how SLAC’s family
involvement and appreciation of the pioneering effort has always been
the hallmark of this laboratory. It is, and will be, a strong foundation
for new directions of the laboratory as it’s about to embark on future
success to come of comparable magnitude. There is no other place in the
world that has a history and tradition and future of that magnitude.
(DOE), Nancy Sanchez (SSO) and Jonathan Dorfan (DO) at the
future LCLS site.
(Photo by Diana Rogers)
Just recently—in fact, in an e-mail
dated June 21st of this year, Tuesday—Pat Dehmer, who is the Associate
Director of Basic Energy Sciences for the Office of Science, wrote, “The
attainment of 500 milli-amps in SPEAR 3 is a great accomplishment. The
fact that SPEAR 3 marched up to 500 milli-amps without a hiccup is a
real tribute to the engineers at SLAC.”
It’s again a statement of the
remarkable ingenuity and increase in current that you were able to bring
about without a hiccup—a tribute to the faculty, to the staff, to the
students at SLAC and your commitment. What I like most of all was the
exciting remark and explanation made by Dave Dungan—“The machine behaved
as designed”—which is pretty telling about the way in which things are
done here and we are very grateful in the Office of Science to have the
quality and the achievement that this laboratory presents.
I also want to make a comment about Stanford, because as
you know, Stanford is the contractor for this laboratory and in the
Office of Science, when we measure the importance and the relevance of
our contractors, we look at what we call “value-added.” The value added
by Stanford to SLAC—to our laboratory—is remarkable. The President has
already mentioned the facility, the guest house. Behind us, we have the
Kavli Institute. That was a private gift to Stanford University, which
the university placed here on a federal government site—leased from
Stanford, but run and owned by the federal government. I know of no
other example of a contractor who has taken their own personal gifts and
contributed it to the success of a national laboratory. With the Kavli
Institute, of course, begins a whole new field of science that is
becoming ever more relevant and more exciting to the future of science.
But there’s much more.
will be the LCLS, the Linac Coherent Light Source. That concept started
here. It started because of the quality of the beam in the linac and the
ability to use that beam for spontaneous amplification of stimulated
emission. And very, very true to the SLAC tradition, if you read the
original paper by Herman Winick—this is dated 1993. Herman talks about,
“The first laser would start operation at a wavelength of around 10
nanometers,”—that is a hundred angstroms—“in a single sub-picosecond
Well, thanks to the
ingenuity of the SLAC staff, the wavelength will be one and a half
angstroms in the hard x-ray range, the luminosity will be ten billion
times any other light source on Earth at that wavelength, and the pulse
length can be as short—with some real photons present—as three hundred
attoseconds. When I first heard that, when Keith told me that number, I
had to look up what an attosecond was because I hadn’t heard it. If you
remember your h-bar, that’s of the order of a couple of eV—which means
that that machine, which Herman described so modestly a little over a
decade ago, will be able to envisage—able to see—the structure of a
single macromolecule and see the chemical bond change in time—in real
time—as the chemical processes develop. It opens up a field, both
theoretical and experimental, with untold future opportunities. And it
would not have happened had it not been for the ingenuity of the SLAC
The ability to see the
structure of macromolecules that cannot be crystallized, the ability to
see the chemical bond being formed during the process of a chemical
reaction—Pauling never dreamed about it. It gives us opportunities—just
think of time-dependent Hartree-Fock calculations, which we know to be
modest in their accuracy—whole new areas of theoretical science will be
developed. I’ve mentioned already the computational prowess of SLAC. The
combination of the very large database research and the high-end
computation power of SLAC, together with these opportunities, in the
experimental domain, will give us simulation opportunities again not
package them altogether, ultrafast science becomes a new science, a new
field of study. And it’s very reassuring that Stanford University has
invested in a center for ultrafast science, that we will have a home in
the LCLS building for ultrafast science here at SLAC. It’s going to be a
future opportunity that will not be available elsewhere. The United
States will have a lead of at least a decade over the XFEL in Germany,
if not longer. And we already have plans for an upgrade at the LCLS that
will continue American leadership in this field for another decade to
come. This is the commitment of the Office of Science. We can make it
because of what you provide. We are going to insist on U.S. leadership
in world science. And we will structure our investments, our budget and
our commitment to being the very best in the world at what we do. We
could not carry that off without the SLAC family and the support of
Stanford University. Thank you.