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External Website SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC) English 2006

Astrophysical Jets

Many astrophysical sources - especially those powered by release of gravitational energy - are associated with an outflow of material, generally taking place along the axis of symmetry of the system. In the most extreme cases, the outflow is accelerated to relativistic speeds; such a phenomenon is known as an astrophysical jet. When a relativistic jet points close to our line of sight, the observed radiation is strongly Doppler-boosted. Most spectacular cases of astrophysical jets are those produced by active galactic nuclei, where the measured spectrum - presumably dominated by the radiation from the jet - reaches up to the multi-GeV range. Our knowledge of these jets is limited: we don't fully understand how are they formed, collimated, and accelerated, and what is the process of conversion of the bulk energy of the jet into radiation. We anticipate that the increased sensitivity of GLAST will provide us with spectacular data yielding new insights as to their origin and structure.
  • Published: 2006
  • Publisher: SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC)
  • Language: English
External Website SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC) English 2005

A Roadmap for the Future of Fermilab

The principal aim of this roadmap is to place the US and Fermilab in the best position to host the International Linear Collider (ILC). The strategy must be resilient against the many vicissitudes that will attend the development of such a large project. Pier Oddone will explore the tension between the needed concentration of effort to move a project as large as the ILC forward and the need to maintain the breadth of our field.
  • Published: 2005
  • Publisher: SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC)
  • Language: English
External Website SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC) English 2007

SESAME- Reality or a Parallel Universe?

SESAME is a rather unique effort to nurture both high quality research and scientific collaboration in the Middle East. Eliezer Rabinovici of the Racah Institute of Physics will present a personal perspective on how the project came about, where it is now and where it may be heading for.
  • Published: 2007
  • Publisher: SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC)
  • Language: English
External Website SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC) English 2006

Reducing Radiation Damage

This talk describes the use of a modified treatment sequence, i.e., radiation dose, geometry, dwell time, etc., to mitigate some of the deleterious effects of cancer radiotherapy by utilizing natural cell repair processes. If bad side effects can be reduced, a more aggressive therapy can be put into place. Cells contain many mechanisms that repair damage of various types. If the damage can not be repaired, cells will undergo apoptosis (cell death). Data will be reviewed that support the fact that a small dose of radiation will activate damage repair genes within a cell. Once the mechanisms are fully active, they will efficiently repair the severe damage from a much larger radiation dose. The data ranges from experiments on specific cell cultures using microarray (gene chip) techniques to experiments on complete organisms. The suggested effect and treatment is consistent with the assumption that all radiation is harmful, no matter how small the dose. Nevertheless, the harm can be reduced. These mechanisms need to be further studied and characterized. In particular, their time dependence needs to be understood before the proposed treatment can be optimized. Under certain situations it is also possible that the deleterious effects of chemotherapy can be mitigated and the damage to radiation workers can be reduced.
  • Published: 2006
  • Publisher: SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC)
  • Language: English
External Website SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC) English 2006

Shedding Light on Dark Matter in Hot, Massive, and Awfully Complicated Cluster of Galaxies 1E0657-56

The cluster of galaxies 1E0657-56 has been the subject of intense ongoing research in the last few years. This system is remarkably well-suited to addressing outstanding issues in both cosmology and fundamental physics. It is one of the hottest and most luminous X-ray clusters known and is unique in being a major supersonic cluster merger occurring nearly in the plane of the sky, earning it the nickname
  • Published: 2006
  • Publisher: SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC)
  • Language: English
External Website SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC) English 2005

Science Under Attack! Public Policy, Science Education and the Emperor's New Clothes

The popular debate about the teaching of intelligent design in public schools is but one quandary for scientists and policy makers. Given recent developments which have worked to breed a general distrust of science, it is evident that researchers and politicians alike should be wary of using popular opinion as a guide for policy and pedagogy when it comes to science in public education. Dr. Krauss will qualify this complex issue and will address how educators, policy makers and scientists can work effectively to prevent public misconceptions of science.
  • Published: 2005
  • Publisher: SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC)
  • Language: English
External Website SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC) English 2006

Making Galaxies: One Star at a Time

In his talk, Shipsey will discuss the cochlear implant, the first device to successfully allow the profoundly deaf to regain some sense of hearing. A cochlear implant is a small electronic apparatus. Unlike a normal hearing aid, which amplifies sound, a cochlear implant is surgically implanted behind the ear where it converts sound waves into electrical impulses. These implants have instigated a popular but controversial revolution in the treatment of deafness, and they serve as a model for research in neuroscience and biomedical engineering. Shipsey will discuss the physiology of natural hearing from the perspective of a physicist. He will also touch on the function of cochlear implants in the context of historical treatments, electrical engineering, psychophysics, clinical evaluation of efficacy and personal experience. Finally, Shipsey will address the social implications of cochlear implantation and the future outlook for auditory prostheses.
  • Published: 2006
  • Publisher: SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC)
  • Language: English
External Website SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC) English 2006

Mapping the Heavens: Probing Cosmology with the Sloan Digital Sky Survey

This talk will provide an overview of results from the on-going Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS), the most ambitious mapping of the Universe yet undertaken, focusing on those with implications for cosmology. It will include a virtual fly-through of the survey that reveals the 3-dimensional large-scale structure of the galaxy distribution. Recent measurements of this large-scale structure, in combination with observations of the cosmic microwave background, have provided independent evidence for a Universe dominated by dark matter and dark energy as well as insights into how galaxies and larger-scale structures formed. I will also describe early results from the SDSS Supernova Survey, which aims to provide more precise constraints on the nature of dark energy. Future planned surveys from the ground and from space will build on these foundations to probe the history of the cosmic expansion--and thereby the dark energy--with even greater precision.
  • Published: 2006
  • Publisher: SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC)
  • Language: English
External Website SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC) English 2006

LIGO and the Search for Gravitational Waves

Gravitational waves, predicted to exist by Einstein
  • Published: 2006
  • Publisher: SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC)
  • Language: English
External Website SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC) English 2002

Judging the Jumbled Jungle of Health Care Financing Reform

  • Published: 2002
  • Publisher: SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC)
  • Language: English
External Website SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC) English 2005

Tobacco and the Movies

The principal aim of this roadmap is to place the US and Fermilab in the best position to host the International Linear Collider (ILC). The strategy must be resilient against the many vicissitudes that will attend the development of such a large project. Pier Oddone will explore the tension between the needed concentration of effort to move a project as large as the ILC forward and the need to maintain the breadth of our field. America's leading health organizations agree. Smoking on screen is the #1 recruiter of new adolescent smokers in the United States - 390,000 kids a year, of whom 120,000 will die from tobacco-caused diseases. That's more Americans than die from drunk driving, criminal violence, illicit drugs, and HIV/AIDS combined. Why does Hollywood still promote smoking? Is it corrupt? Or stupid?
  • Published: 2005
  • Publisher: SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC)
  • Language: English
External Website SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC) English 2005

Twistor Spinoffs for Collider Physics

Finding the adding up of Feynman diagrams tedious? Hidden symmetries found in the sums of diagrams suggest there is a better way to predict the results of particle collisions
  • Published: 2005
  • Publisher: SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC)
  • Language: English
External Website SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC) English 2006

Why do we get Alzheimer's disease?

Neurodegenerative diseases and Alzheimer's disease (AD) in particular, are among the major health concerns of the elderly in industrialized societies. The cause of AD is unknown and no disease-modifying treatments are available. The disease is characterized clinically by a progressive dementia and pathologically by the accumulation of protein aggregates in the brain and a profound loss of nerve cells. It has also become clear recently that local immune responses are activated in the AD brain and may have a role in the disease. Our laboratory uses genetic mouse models to understand the disease process and to identify potential therapeutic targets.
  • Published: 2006
  • Publisher: SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC)
  • Language: English
External Website SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC) English 2007

Demystifying Open Access

The tenets of Open Access are to grant anyone, anywhere and anytime free access to the results of scientific research. HEP spearheaded the Open Access dissemination of scientific results with the mass mailing of preprints in the pre-WWW era and with the launch of the arXiv preprint system at the dawn of the '90s. The HEP community is now ready for a further push to Open Access while retaining all the advantages of the peer-review system and, at the same time, bring the spiralling cost of journal subscriptions under control. I will present a possible plan for the conversion to Open Access of HEP peer-reviewed journals, through a consortium of HEP funding agencies, laboratories and libraries: SCOAP3 (Sponsoring Consortium for Open Access Publishing in Particle Physics). SCOAP3 will engage with scientific publishers towards building a sustainable model for Open Access publishing, which is as transparent as possible for HEP authors. The current system in which journals income comes from subscription fees is replaced with a scheme where SCOAP3 compensates publishers for the costs incurred to organise the peer-review service and give Open Access to the final version of articles. SCOAP3 will be funded by all countries active in HEP under a "fair share" scenario, according to their production of HEP articles. In this talk I will present a short overview of the history of Open Access in HEP, the details of the SCOAP3 model and the outlook for its implementation.
  • Published: 2007
  • Publisher: SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC)
  • Language: English
External Website SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC) English 2006

Dark Energy, or Worse

General relativity is inconsistent with cosmological observations unless we invoke components of dark matter and dark energy that dominate the universe. While it seems likely that these exotic substances really do exist, the alternative is worth considering: that Einstein's general relativity breaks down on cosmological scales. I will discuss models of modified gravity, tests in the solar system and elsewhere, and consequences for cosmology.
  • Published: 2006
  • Publisher: SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC)
  • Language: English
External Website SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC) English 2006

The BIRN Project: Imaging the Nervous System

The grand goal in neuroscience research is to understand how the interplay of structural, chemical and electrical signals in nervous tissue gives rise to behavior. Experimental advances of the past decades have given the individual neuroscientist an increasingly powerful arsenal for obtaining data, from the level of molecules to nervous systems. Scientists have begun the arduous and challenging process of adapting and assembling neuroscience data at all scales of resolution and across disciplines into computerized databases and other easily accessed sources. These databases will complement the vast structural and sequence databases created to catalogue, organize and analyze gene sequences and protein products. The general premise of the neuroscience goal is simple; namely that with "complete" knowledge of the genome and protein structures accruing rapidly we next need to assemble an infrastructure that will facilitate acquisition of an understanding for how functional complexes operate in their cell and tissue contexts.
  • Published: 2006
  • Publisher: SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC)
  • Language: English
External Website SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC) English 2007

The Iran Nuclear Crisis: An Update

Will Iran develop nuclear weapons capabilities and what effects would such capabilities have on international peace and security? Despite two recent U.N. Security Council resolutions sanctioning Iran for its nuclear activities, the government in Tehran continues to press ahead with efforts to expand its uranium enrichment program to industrial scale. But both the Tehran regime and the Iranian people remain divided on the nuclear question, creating opportunities for a negotiated settlement. It is essential for US security that the Iranian program be contained, for nuclear weapons in Iran would increase risks of regional instability, terrorist use, and further proliferation. The U.S. and its negotiating partners have already missed a number of potential opportunities for a diplomatic breakthrough, but the right mix of incentives designed to address the reasons driving Iran
  • Published: 2007
  • Publisher: SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC)
  • Language: English
External Website SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC) English 2006

The ATLAS Experiment: Getting Ready for the LHC

  • Published: 2006
  • Publisher: SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC)
  • Language: English
External Website SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC) English 2006

Supernova Remnants, Cosmic Rays, and GLAST

The shock waves of supernova remnants (SNRs) are the traditional sources of Galactic cosmic rays, at least up to about 3000 TeV (the "knee" energy in the cosmic-ray spectrum). In the last decade or so, X-ray observations have confirmed in a few SNRs the presence of synchrotron-X-ray-emitting electrons with energies of order 100 TeV. TeV photons from SNRs have been observed with ground-based air Cerenkov telescopes as well, but it is still unclear whether they are due to hadronic processes (inelastic p-p scattering of cosmic-ray protons from thermal gas, with secondary neutral pions decaying to gamma rays), or to leptonic processes (inverse-Compton upscattering of cosmic microwave background photons, or bremsstrahlung). The spatial structure of synchrotron X-rays as observed with the Chandra X-ray Observatory suggests the remarkable possibility that magnetic fields are amplified by orders of magnitude in strong shock waves. The electron spectra inferred from X-rays reach 100 TeV, but at that energy are cutting off steeply, well below the "knee" energy. Are the cutoff processes due only to radiative losses so that ion spectra might continue unsteepened? Can we confirm the presence of energetic ions in SNRs at all? Are typical SNRs capable of supplying the pool of Galactic cosmic rays? Is strong magnetic-field amplification a property of strong astrophysical shocks in general? These major questions require the next generation of observational tools. I shall outline the theoretical and observational framework of particle acceleration to high energies in SNRs, and shall describe how GLAST will advance this field.
  • Published: 2006
  • Publisher: SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC)
  • Language: English
External Website SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC) English 2006

Sixties Counterculture and the Personal Computer

The internet is arguably the largest accumulation of information in one place, yet its own beginnings remain largely undocumented. In researching his recent book, John Markoff collected oral histories from many of the Stanford-area researchers whose technological inventions defined the both modern internet and personal computer. In his talk, Markoff will explore the role that the counterculture and anti war movements of the 1960s and 1970s played in the work of these researchers as they created what would later be called the "world's largest legal accumulation of wealth."
  • Published: 2006
  • Publisher: SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC)
  • Language: English
External Website SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC) English 2006

Sleepless at SLAC

  • Published: 2006
  • Publisher: SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC)
  • Language: English
External Website SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC) English 2006

BaBar: Searching for the Unexpected

With over 300 million B-Bbar pairs delivered by the PEP-II B-factory, and over 200 publications, the Babar experiment has studied a very broad range of B, charm, tau, and QCD topics. In fact, the physics at Babar is so wide-ranging that it threatens to overwhelm any summary. Instead, in this colloquium I will focus on just a few topics selected for their potential to find a truly unexpected result. These include CP violation in rare B decays, leptonic B decays, and lepton-flavor violating tau decays. Each measurement, the currently predicted result, and the potential for uncovering the unexpected now and into the future, will be gently, but thoroughly, described.
  • Published: 2006
  • Publisher: SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC)
  • Language: English
External Website SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC) English 2006

Challenges to development in India: The role of education

This talk is based on my experiences with issues in development and education in India. I will describe three unfinished journeys: (i) How HIV/AIDS education and awareness lead to a program of "students as agents of change" through the creation of multimedia presentations on societal issues; (ii) how teaching health to village outreach workers lead to an understanding of adolescent migration from villages to towns in search for jobs and the spectre of alcoholism; and(iii) how teaching health to sex workers in Kolkata lead to an understanding of their closed world.
  • Published: 2006
  • Publisher: SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC)
  • Language: English
External Website SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC) English 2006

CDMS: The Hunt for Dark Matter

Deciphering the nature of dark matter has great scientific importance. A leading hypothesis is that dark matter is made of Weakly Interactive Massive Particles (WIMPs), which may result from supersymmetry or additional spatial dimensions. The underground search for elastic scattering of WIMPs on suitable targets (the so-called
  • Published: 2006
  • Publisher: SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC)
  • Language: English
External Website SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC) English 2006

Avian Flu

Since 2003, a severe form of H5N1 avian influenza has rapidly spread throughout Asia and Europe, infecting over 200 humans in 10 countries. The spread of H5N1 virus from person-to-person has been rare, thus preventing the emergence of a widespread pandemic. However, this ongoing epidemic continues to pose an important public health threat. Avian flu and its pandemic potential in humans will be discussed.
  • Published: 2006
  • Publisher: SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC)
  • Language: English
External Website SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC) English 2007

Beyond Einstein

The National Academy of Sciences was commissioned in 2006 to report on how to restart the Beyond Einstein program, which includes missions to understand dark energy, test general relativity, and observe gravity waves from merging supermassive black holes. This colloquium by one of the members of the recently released Academy study will explain the research strategy that the report proposes and its implications for continued U.S. participation in the exploration of the universe.
  • Published: 2007
  • Publisher: SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC)
  • Language: English
External Website SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC) English 2007

Bayes versus Frequentism:The return of an old controversy

These two very different approaches to analysing data are described and contrasted, using examples both from every-day life and from the world of Physics. Cases where the resulting answers differ significantly will be discussed. The discussion of the ideas involved will be such that they should be accessible to those with little previous knowledge of statistics.
  • Published: 2007
  • Publisher: SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC)
  • Language: English
External Website SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC) English 2006

Bringing Hearing to the Deaf

  • Published: 2006
  • Publisher: SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC)
  • Language: English
External Website SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC) English 2006

Biophysics: Breaking the Nanometer Barrier

A new field of scientific exploration
  • Published: 2006
  • Publisher: SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC)
  • Language: English
External Website SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC) English 2008

Pierre Auger Results

Using data collected at the Pierre Auger Observatory during the past 3.7 years, we demonstrate that there is a correlation between the arrival directions of cosmic rays with energy above 6 [1] 1019 eV and the positions of active galactic nuclei (AGN) lying within 75 Mpc. We reject the hypothesis of an isotropic distribution of these cosmic rays at over 99% confidence level from a prescribed a priori test. The correlation we observe is compatible with the hypothesis that the highest energy particles originate from relatively nearby extragalactic sources whose fluxes have therefore not been significantly reduced by interaction with the cosmic background radiation. AGN or objects having a similar spatial distribution are possible sources.
  • Published: 2008
  • Publisher: SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC)
  • Language: English
External Website SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC) English 2006

POWs: Physicists on Wall Street

Quantitative financial modeling seems to employ both the language and techniques of physics, but how similar are the two disciplines in theory and practice? This talk discusses the move from physics to finance, the nature of financial modeling and its deceptive similarity with theoretical physics, what it's like to work in the financial arena, and some of the open problems of interest.
  • Published: 2006
  • Publisher: SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC)
  • Language: English
External Website SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC) English 2005

Can Big Pharma Behavior Change to Benefit Patients?

Professors Rosenberg and Chu will discuss how the behavior of large pharmaceutical companies can sometimes compromise the needs of patients. The behavior includes strategies for lobbying Congress, exploiting patent law, targeting large consumer markets, creating demand from patients, and influencing physicians. In some cases, this behavior has created ethical and legal problems. The talk will conclude with a discussion of possible ways to encourage changes that will benefit patients.
  • Published: 2005
  • Publisher: SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC)
  • Language: English
External Website SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC) English 2005

Nuclear Proliferation Challenges

William C. Potter, Director of the Center for Non Proliferation Studies and the Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at the Monterey Institute of International Studies, will present nuclear proliferation challenges following the 2005 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference. In addition to elucidating reasons for, and implications of, the conference
  • Published: 2005
  • Publisher: SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC)
  • Language: English
External Website SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC) English 2005

Oklo and the Speed of Light at SLAC

Natural nuclear reactors? Changes in the speed of light? If either of these concepts seem implausible to you now they certainly won
  • Published: 2005
  • Publisher: SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC)
  • Language: English
External Website SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC) English 2007

Nuclear Weapons: Security or Insecurity?

  • Published: 2007
  • Publisher: SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC)
  • Language: English
External Website SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC) English 2006

Of Linear Colliders, the GDE Workshop at Bangalore, Mughals, Camels, Elephants and Sundials

  • Published: 2006
  • Publisher: SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC)
  • Language: English
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