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Cosmic Accelerators summerschool videos

  1. May 31, 2008 #1


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    A blogger named Fliptomato has a list of "summerschools from your couch" that is videos to go on line of schools and lecture series taking place this summer


    and one of them seems of interest to cosmology watchers. It is at SLAC-Stanford and is called "Cosmic Accelerators"

    there is a change occurring at SLAC where they shift focus away from accelerator physics to high energy astrophysics (gammaray burst mechanisms, ultra high energy cosmic rays, extreme physics like early universe and black hole physics)

    so their choice of 2008 summerschool topic is in line with this SLAC shift in focus.

    It could be interesting to try watching some of the talks. Here is the list:

    Lecture Speaker
    The High Energy Universe Jonathan Ormes (University of Denver)
    Man-made Accelerators Ron Ruth (SLAC)
    Fundamental Processes Vahe Petrosian (KIPAC, Stanford University)
    Acceleration Mechanisms Luke Drury (Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies)
    Acceleration in Pulsars Roger Romani (KIPAC, Stanford University)
    X-ray Observations of Cosmic Accelerators Greg Madejski (SLAC/KIPAC, Stanford University)
    Cosmic Ray Propagation Igor Moskalenko (KIPAC, Stanford University)
    Supernova Remnants Stephen Reynolds (North Carolina State University)
    Black Holes Jonathan MCKinney (KIPAC, Stanford University)
    UHE Cosmic Ray Air Showers Angela Olinto (University of Chicago)
    Acceleration in Active Galactic Nuclei Mitch Begelman (JILA, University of Colorado)
    High Energy Cosmic Neutrinos David Saltzberg (UCLA)
    Gamma Ray Observations of Cosmic Accelerators Olaf Reimer (KIPAC, Stanford University)
    Acceleration in Large Scale Shocks Eli Waxman (Weizman Institute)
    Space-based X-ray/Gamma Ray Instruments Josh Grindlay (Harvard University)
    Gamma-Ray Bursts Eli Waxman (Weizman Institute)
    Exotic Acceleration Mechanisms Mark Trodden (Syracuse University)
    Ground-based VHE Gamma Ray Instruments Stefan Funk (SLAC/KIPAC, Stanford University)
    Closing Remarks Simon Swordy (University of Chicago)
    Last edited: May 31, 2008
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  3. May 31, 2008 #2


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    Er... a minor correction, if I may.

    SLAC is actually STILL very much doing "accelerator physics". It is moving away from high energy/particle collider physics. These two are not the same thing. In fact, SLAC is being transformed into the LCLS, which is a FEL-based light source, so the "accelerator physics" component is very much alive and well, and in fact, becomes almost the backbone of the whole facility due to the FEL part.

    The high energy astrophysics shift is being done at many other high energy physics facilities throughout the country due to the focus of most (all) of the experimental work in high energy physics being directed at the LHC. Besides SLAC, both Fermilab and Argonne are also shifting a lot of the high energy physics work towards high energy astrophysics (example: the Auger Observatory).

  4. May 31, 2008 #3


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    for my part, I'm interested in extreme physics astroonomy because I think it is what teaches us about quantum gravity.
    and about dark matter and dark enbergy (which may arise from quantum gravity effects)
    in other words, I expect extremephysics astrnomy will teach us a new iea of what space time and matter are and how matter and geometry interact a more fundamental quantum GR.

    so these things are helping pick apart and untangle the puzzles of cosmology.

    what better than work hard watching the sky in new ways? so if SLAC is really steering in a new direction (as they say in the summerschool flyer) good for them, more power to them


    Oh hi Zz!, glad you provide comment to correct the balance. BTW I knew one one of the people who built original SLAC, dead now, great guy. And he took us on some wonderful tours. All institutional changes in direction are slow slow. You can give us an idea of the percentage redirection. AFAIK if measured in hiring shifts and capital investment it may be miniscule. But I gather from what they say they have made a policy decision. So we can look for first derivative effects.

    What you say about SLAC light source reminds me of what Berkely LBL did in the 1980s. They built the Advanced Light Source and ran a light farm. Sell exact frequency light to other research projects of all kinds. Basically it was something useful for an accelerator outfit to do when it RETIRED. LBL ran out of stable circular and linear space to build on and had to redefine its mission.
    Doubtless you know deep and essential differences between what LBL did back then and what some other places are doing now, but the coincidence that they are using accelerated particles to make precise light and then using the light (myriad possibilities) rang a bell when you mentioned it.

    so where can we find out more about the SLAC shift in emphasis? There must be some official SLAC website page. All Fliptomato says about it is "This year’s focus is `Cosmic Accelerators,’ reflecting the lab’s shift in physics emphasis."
    That is here
    and it is really not enough to go on!
    Last edited: May 31, 2008
  5. Jun 1, 2008 #4
    On SLAC's Reorganization

    Of interest regarding SLAC's (somewhat subtle, perhaps) reorganization:


    In a very rough nutshell, SLAC was fading from the traditional `high energy' frontier. While it still has (and continues to have) a very active theory group, the end of the PEP-II/BaBar B-factory was on the horizon and the lab had to make decisions about its science priorities in an era where HEP experiments would be dominated by the LHC in CERN and the ILC (possibly in Fermilab). The lab decided to focus on its strengths. Instead of having an 'obsolete accelerator,' they decided to retool it into a state-of-the-at free electron laser and develop a photon science division around this and their synchrotron laboratories. The HEP focus has shifted away from the collider frontier but rather towards astroparticle physics as part of the joint SLAC-Stanford Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology. (SLAC was already a major participant in GLAST, for example.) Of course the lab will continue to do accelerator R&D (esp for the ILC), theoretical physics, and even participate in the LHC as a collaborator for the ATLAS experiment.

    The point is that the 'in-house' experiments at SLAC will no longer be focusing on direct production of new particles, as it was in the 60's-80's (-90's+?). This isn't a 'bad' thing for HEP, and as noted particle physics is still going strong at SLAC, it's just a reorganization to best take advantage of the linac to do cutting edge science.

    Hope that helped (and was reasonable accurate). For further reading poke around the SLAC news around 2005 when the formal announcement was made.

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