APS User News-at-a-Glance
Issue 14; April 23, 2002

Contents:

1.

Message from Murray: APS Reorganizes for the Future

APS/User Retreat: Focus on User Needs

New Policy Proposed for DOE Basic Energy Science CAT Operations

Research Highlight: A Switch in Time: A New Path to Picosecond X-ray Pulses

Coming Events

APSUO Corner: Perspectives on Washington

Operations Update

1.

Message from Murray: APS Reorganizes for the Future
(Contact: jmgibson@aps.anl.gov)

As the APS moves from its construction phase into full operation, the need for us to reorganize to meet future user needs has become apparent. In order to reach our goal of being the most productive light source in the world, we must focus more of our activities on facilitating user science. As a result, we've reorganized our staff into three Divisions (from four), consolidated some groups, removed others, and established a new CAT Operations Group. Our new organization becomes effective on May 1, 2002. The three Divisions, of roughly equal size, are the Accelerator Systems Division, headed by Rod Gerig; the APS Operations Division, headed by Tony Rauchas; and the Experimental Facilities Division, headed by Efim Gluskin. Dennis Mills, Director of the former User Program Division, has accepted the position of Deputy Associate Laboratory Director. We are currently developing a user interface guide that will clearly identify points of contact for user support. Further information about the reorganization and an organizational chart can be found at http://www.aps.anl.gov/apsimage/apsnewspg.html


APS/User Retreat: Focus on User Needs
(contact: srajerg@aps.anl.gov)

On May 15-17, 2002, approximately 100 APS users and staff will gather to brainstorm and develop plans for future APS development and growth. Plenary sessions devoted to such topics as strategic planning and user perspectives in major scientific areas will be interspersed with breakout sessions on technical issues; user support needs; the APS Independent Investigator program; publicity and outreach issues; compliance with DOE, ANL, and APS directives; and communications. The retreat will conclude with a final forward-looking plenary session addressing the future of the CAT system. The overall objective of the retreat is to strengthen the partnership between the APS staff and its user community by identifying current strengths and weaknesses, exploring ideas and avenues for enhanced performance, and looking at ways to demonstrate a continued commitment towards excellence. The agenda-planning committee consists of two APS users, Paul Zschack and Andy Howard, and two APS staff members, George Srajer and Michael Borland. Retreat attendees will include scientific and technical representatives from all APS CATs; members of the APS Users Organization Steering Committee; representatives from the APS Program Evaluation Board; and APS scientific, technical, and management staff.


New Policy Proposed for DOE Basic Energy Science CAT Operations
(Contact: jmgibson@aps.anl.gov)

At the recent meetings of the APS Users Organization and Research Directorate, senior management from the Department of Energy Office of Basic Energy Sciences (BES) discussed their new policy for the support of operations at BES-supported CATs. It is their intention to transfer the operational support funds for these CATs to the APS facility. Research support would still be provided by BES directly to the CATs on a competitive basis. Under this scenario for a successful CAT, staff members on the operations side would be APS employees and would be jointly managed by the CAT and APS. The APS has already created a new group to handle this function under the interim leadership of Steve Davey. BES assured APS management that the process of transfer for CAT operations will be a measured one and will be accompanied by the transfer of new funds to the APS. The three CATs whose operational funding grants came up for renewal this year have not yet been given full operational support. APS is temporarily helping these CATs and negotiating with BES for more support beginning with the next fiscal year.

Implementation of the new policy is a complex and important issue and has provoked a lot of understandable concern from the CAT directors who will be involved. Nonetheless, the new policy does provide a unique opportunity to obtain stable operational support for BES- funded CAT's. The APS is committed to managing this process in a way that maintains the intellectual freedom of successful CATs. A task force of CAT directors and APS staff members is being assembled to propose effective models for implementation and will report their recommendations at the May APS user/staff retreat for discussion.


4.

Research Highlight: A Switch in Time: A New Path to Subpicosecond X-ray Pulses
(Contact: dreis@umich.edu)

Switching hard x-ray beams on and off rapidly enough to capture the motion of atoms is the goal of one research project now underway at the MHATT-CAT (sector 7) beamlines. Perfecting this technique may enable the development of a sub-picosecond x-ray switch fast enough to track dynamic changes in molecular structure during chemical and biochemical reactions. This technique, recently described in Nature 413, 825-828 (2001), takes advantage of the high brightness of the APS by using a femtosecond laser to coherently perturb the structure of a suitably chosen crystal on the time-scale of lattice vibrations. By precisely synchronizing the excitation with the x-ray pulse train, the switch is capable of extracting a thin sliver from a single ~100 ps long x-ray bunch. The switch itself is a specially cut and aligned germanium crystal placed in the x-ray beam in the Borrmann geometry to produce two diffracted beams that exit the crystal. When coherently excited by the laser pulse, the crystal produces an acoustic phonon excitation that transiently rearranges the atoms in the crystal lattice, which changes the transmission of the incident x-ray beam and redistributes energy between the two exiting beams. Further information and a diagram showing the geometry for the diffraction can be found at the following website: http://www.aps.anl.gov/apsimage/xrayswtch.html


5.

Coming Events
(Contact: strasser@aps.anl.gov)

Please mark your calendars for a number of upcoming events:

On May 1, Nobel Laureate J. Robert Schrieffer, who shared the 1972 Nobel Prize in Physics with John Bardeen and Leon Cooper for the microscopic theory of superconductivity (BCS theory), will deliver a talk entitled: "Strange Quantum Numbers in Condensed Matter Physics." Dr. Schrieffer's talk will be presented as part of the APS Colloquium Series, which is held on the first Wednesday of each month at 3:00 p.m. in the APS Building 402 auditorium (except for July 2002, when the talk will be held on the second Wednesday). For more information on this presentation and others in the series, see http://www.aps.anl.gov/conferences/APSColloquium/

May 6-8,2002 are the dates for the Synchrotron Environmental Science II conference, which will focus on new opportunities for environmental research. Monday's session includes tutorials on X-ray Absorption Fine Structure (XAFS), Imaging, and X-ray Reflectivity, as well as a buffet dinner and poster session. Tuesday's program includes talks on forefront issues and synchrotron applications in a number of fields of environmental science. The Tuesday evening banquet includes a Keynote Address by Everett Schock from the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Washington University, on "Biogeochemical Tracers of the Subsurface Biosphere." The final day of the conference includes additional talks on issues and applications, as well as a discussion of options for using synchrotrons in environmental research. Further information and registration information can be found at http://www.aps.anl.gov/conferences/ses-ii/home.html

On June 4th and 5th, 2002, the Michigan-Howard-Lucent Technologies/Bell Labs Collaborative Access Team (MHATT-CAT) at the Advanced Photon Source (APS) will host a workshop: "Ultrafast X-ray Science", sponsored by MHATT-CAT, the APS, and FOCUS, a new NSF Frontier Center at the University of Michigan. This workshop, to be held at Argonne, is aimed at establishing a strong user base for time resolved studies using synchrotron radiation (see Research Highlight above for one example). MHATT-CAT wishes to identify needs and opportunities among the community of potential users, in the context that MHATT-CAT will soon be taking proposals from Independent Investigators for beamtime as early as Fall 2002. Further information and registration information can be found at http://www.umich.edu/~focuspfc/workshop/


6.

APSUO Corner: Perspectives on Washington
(Contact: zschack@anl.gov )

Last week, the chairman and vice-chairman from each of the four BES-operated synchrotron user organization executive/steering committees visited Washington DC. This visit, to advocate the support of federally sponsored physical science research, highlighted scientific activities at the light sources. Visits with key legislative staff members of both House and Senate Energy and Water Appropriations Committees were followed by visits to the Office of Management and Budget and the Office of Science and Technology Policy.

These activities were designed to raise the awareness of the important scientific contributions that are made at the synchrotrons and highlight the important role of the DOE in sponsoring and enabling these contributions. By working together with the other light source representatives, we clearly demonstrate the broad appeal of these national user facilities to a geographically and scientifically diverse community.

Efforts are currently underway in both the House and Senate to increase the FY03 budget beyond the President's request for the Office of Science. Representatives Biggert (R-IL) and Tauscher (D-CA), and Senators Bingaman (D-NM) and Warner (R-VA) are circulating letters to demonstrate the broad bipartisan support for science and to encourage increases in the Office of Science. So far, at least a dozen Representatives and 35 Senators have signed these letters. If you'd like to know whether your Representative or Senator has signed either letter, please contact me at zschack@anl.gov.


7.

Operations Update
(Contact: avr@aps.anl.gov)

The longest user run in APS history is nearing completion. With approximately a week remaining out of the 14-week run, more than1600 hours of beam time have been delivered to users with an availability of 97%. Even with periods where the fault rate was high, the mean time between faults for the run is nearly 32 hours. The significant amount time has been with top-up and even here, the statistics have been impressive. The current during top-up has been within one mA of the set point for 97.9% of the time.

During this run, one 8-hour machine studies period was set aside to provide 130 mA operation to users. The studies allowed users to evaluate the impact of higher flux operation on the optics in the beamlines. Several problems with the machine, not related to operation at the higher current, limited the higher current operation to only 3 hours, but a significant amount of data was gathered and will be useful for discussions of future upgrade options at the APS/User Retreat.

Intense planning is underway for the upcoming maintenance period. Part of the planning includes reviewing the changes in responsibilities resulting from the APS reorganization to ensure that all required activities are assigned to the appropriate groups and scheduled appropriately. Apart from the routine maintenance and upgrade activities, an additional bending magnet front end is being installed and additional storage ring girder moves will be done to implement the orbit displacement for improved x-ray BPM response in ID beamlines.

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