APS User News-at-a-Glance
Issue 49, October 3, 2008
1. Update on APS Renewal
2. Featured Beamline: GSECARS Beamline 13-BM-C Offers On-the-Fly Scanning with 200 Hz Imaging for X-ray Scattering in Geosciences
3. Science & Research Highlights
7. Search Committee Formed for X-ray Science Division Director at APS
8. Meet the Scientific Advisory Committee
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MESSAGE FROM MURRAY
The U.S. government just passed a continuing resolution (CR) to provide funding for most agencies, including our sponsor the Department of Energy, at the 2008 level until March 2009. The actual funding bills for 2009 will not be considered until after the presidential election. The CR leaves funding flat in most cases, even though operational and research costs have been aggressively inflating. Fortunately for APS, we have the additional one-time funds ($7.3M) from the 2008 Supplemental Funding bill that will tide us over and allow us to operate normally until the spring of 2009. But at that time, we will be in dire straits unless we see a base funding increase of $10M reflected in the president's proposed budget for 2009. We are reluctantly preparing contingency plans for a flat budget scenario, which would lead to 50 or more layoffs and reduced operating hours. Many other scientific facilities and programs in the United States are in similar difficulties. Congress has passed the America Creating Opportunities to Meaningfully Promote Excellence in Technology, Education, and Science Act (also known as the America COMPETES Act), which recognizes the need for increased science funding to drive the economy. Even in tough times, such investments are very important, but strong advocacy will be needed.
Research at the APS also addresses the key energy and environmental problems facing the world. Recent work that can be found in the APS web page highlights and annual report, includes "Putting the Pressure on MOF's"--materials of importance for hydrogen storage and carbon sequestration; "Allaying Structural Alloy Corrosion"--designing new structural materials resistant to long-term decay; and "Better, cleaner fuel injectors for automobiles." Other research areas include better batteries and fuel cells, artificial photosynthesis, and more efficient lighting. The impact of APS research on energy and the environment will be a major theme of the upcoming renewal workshop. More about this important milestone in our planning for the future of APS is below.
The APS renewal process is continuing forward with the help of the APS Renewal Steering Committee, the members of the ten Science Teams, and the APS user community. This process is focused on keeping the APS on the leading edge of hard x-ray science by developing plans for both beamline and infrastructure advancements and, later on, facility upgrades.
Progress to Date
The recent joint meeting of the APSUO Steering Committee and Partner User Council Executive Board (September 17) provided an opportunity to review all the draft science cases (available on line October 3). A representative from each group gave a brief presentation summarizing findings and recommendations for beamline renewal as well as possible directions for future source upgrades. This review highlighted a number of common themes and science drivers among the areas.
The next step is the APS Renewal Workshop, October 21 and 22, 2008, which will be held off-site at the Hickory Ridge Marriott Conference Hotel in Lisle, IL. The workshop (see the draft agenda) will present the information from all of the science cases and identify any final needs and concerns important for developing a strong renewal plan with maximum scientific and technical impact.
The Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) and other invited experts will merge the information into a white paper that will be submitted to the DOE in December 2008. Space to attend the workshop is limited; if you are interested, please contact Diane Wilkinson for further information.
Accelerator Proposal Workshop
All users are welcome to attend presentations on a variety of APS Renewal accelerator-related projects and proposals. Proposals for accelerator systems renewal were organized into six categories:
- Obsolescence/spares/hardware upgrades
- Insertion device upgrades
- Beam stability
- Accelerator R&D
- Facilities and infrastructure
- X-ray science enablers
This workshop will not include discussions of major APS accelerator upgrades that might follow the renewal (please see the APS Upgrade web page for further information). However, proposals impacting near-term scientific enablers will be presented. The workshop will be held on October 6, 2008, in Building 401, Room A1100, from 1:00--5:00 p.m. The accelerator systems proposals are available on the APS web site.
2. Featured Beamline: GSECARS Beamline 13-BM-C Offers On-the-Fly Scanning with 200 Hz Imaging for X-ray Scattering in Geosciences
GeoSoilEnviroCARS (GSECARS) recently began welcoming general users to beamline 13-BM-C, a station that has been taking shape over the past few years and is now “ready for prime time” with a world-class combination of flexibility and speed.
The new beamline provides research opportunities in two principal areas: (1) properties of earth materials under extreme conditions of pressure and temperature, studied with diamond anvil cell (DAC) diffraction, and (2) properties of mineral-water interfaces, studied with surface and interface scattering.
The station combines a high-speed kappa diffractometer (designed in collaboration with Newport Corporation) with a high-speed area detector (Pilatu). The two are integrated with a high-performance control system designed by GSECARS that permits measurements to continue even while all motors are moving to create a complex trajectory. The result is one of the fastest x-ray scattering systems in the world, capable of collecting 200 full-frame images per second with an overhead per point of less than 1.3 ms.
The double-focused beam (150 microns) operates independently of the outboard bending magnet beam taken for the 13-BM-D station. A vertically focusing mirror extracts an inboard portion (1.5 mrad) of the bending magnet x-ray fan producing a vertically focused beam on the center of the diffractometer. Horizontal focusing and energy selection are done by translating one of the three dynamically figured side-deflecting monochromator crystals into the beam. Currently the station operates at 15 keV with 21 keV expected to be available soon. In the long term, the beamline will have fixed energies of 10, 15, and 30 keV with other energies available when required. With the triple-crystal design, spot size and bandwidth are optimized for each energy and the horizontal (7.5 mrad) and vertical (0.5 mrad) divergence onto the sample can be reduced by closing upstream slits (though with a 1:1 intensity loss).
The beamline opened to general users in run 2008-2. Proposals are now being accepted through the APS proposal system for beam time in January through April 2009; the deadline is October 31.
GSECARS is operated by the Center for Advanced Radiation Sources of The University of Chicago, with funding from the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Energy.
Contact: Peter Eng, GSECARS, firstname.lastname@example.org
The APS home page is a great resource for news about topics of interest in research conducted at this facility. Current subjects include the following:
- Extreme Pressure Reveals a Volume Expansion Phenomenon
- A Nuclear Receptor with Implications for a Host of Diseases
- Unexpected Materials in Earth's Lowermost Mantle
- Nailing Down the Exciton in LiF
Two recent laser safety incidents at the APS serve as important reminders about the need for safety vigilance during high-hazard operations.
In the first incident, a visiting scientist participating in aligning an ultrafast class 4 laser (which had been reduced to class IIIb power levels for the specific experiment) reported having seen a brief flash of diffused light at the lower edge of his laser protective spectacles. He was standing above a largely unshielded laser optics table when this occurred. He was later examined by an ophthalmologist and fortunately was found to have received no eye damage. The visiting scientist had been wearing laser protective spectacles over his prescription eyeglasses resulting in “gaps” in eye protection, especially from the sides and below. The important lesson learned is that either goggles or fully enclosing spectacles (the "boxy" styles) need to be worn over prescription eyeglasses during alignment activities.
In the second incident, a member of an XOR beamline attending a conference in Spain learned from a vendor representative that a laser used in an instrument owned by the beamline might actually be at a higher power level than it was labeled. This information was reported back to his group leader and subsequently the Argonne laser safety officer measured the beam power level of the laser in question. The measured power level was 18 milliwatts (class IIIb range) compared with the labeled power level of 1 milliwatt (class II range). The instrument has been taken out of service pending further review.
Contact: Tom Barkalow, email@example.com, 2-9243
A relatively new feature in the user landscape is the Ultrafast Special Interest Group, which held its first meeting in November 2007. This group focuses on science and techniques that use the pulsed structure of the APS to study time-resolved phenomenon from a few picoseconds to microseconds.
They meet once a month on the third Thursday of the month from noon to 1:15 p.m. in the Building 432C conference room; the next meeting will be October 16. A mailing list, information from past meetings, and links to beamlines doing ultrafast science are available at the group's web site.
The group joins nine other groups already active around the ring (see the APS scientific interest group web page for contact information).
Applications for the 2009 Argonne National Laboratory Named Fellowships are due November 3, 2008, to the Argonne Division of Educational Programs. Candidates for these fellowships are outstanding graduate students and new PhDs with strong prospects for becoming preeminent researchers in their chosen science or engineering field. Argonne offers 12 named fellowships designated for renowned scientists affiliated with both Argonne and The University of Chicago since the mid-twentieth century. Fellowships are awarded for a two-year term, with a possible renewal for a third year, and carry an annual stipend of $76,000 with an additional allocation of up to $20,000 per year for research support and travel.
Additional postdoctoral research opportunities are available through the APS X-ray Science Division (XSD). Research positions may be available in any of the seven groups within XSD:
- Chemistry, Environmental and Polymer Science
- Inelastic X-ray & Nuclear Resonant Scattering
- Materials Characterization
- Magnetic Materials
- Optics Fabrication and Metrology
- Time Resolved Research, and
- X-ray Microscopy and Imaging
The XSD web site provides a current list of active projects and relevant contact information for these opportunities.
Director's Postdoctoral Fellowships are also offered for candidates with strong research proposals and excellent research and academic accomplishments. Applications are considered three times throughout the year, with the final deadline for 2008 set for October 6.
On a related note, the Postdoctoral Office and Newcomers Assistance Office are hosting an ice cream social for any postdocs, graduate students, newcomers and their families who are new to the United States and Argonne since September 2006. The event is scheduled for Wednesday, October 8 from noon until 1:00 p.m. in Building 223, Room S-105. Bring your lunch; there is no charge for this activity. Please respond by October 6 to either Giselle Sandi-Tapia (2-1903) or to the Newcomers Assistance Office (2-8647).
A search committee to find the next Director of the Advanced Photon Source (APS) X-ray Science Division (XSD) at Argonne has been formed by Argonne Scientific User Facilities Associate Laboratory Director J. Murray Gibson. This follows the July 11, 2008, announcement that former XSD Director Gabrielle L. Long would return to research on August 1, 2008.
The search committee is chaired by Dennis M. Mills, Deputy Associate Laboratory Director, Argonne Scientific User Facilities and includes the following members:
* Samuel D. Bader (Associate Division Director, Argonne Materials Science Division [MSD]; Group Leader, MSD Magnetic Films Group; Argonne Senior Physicist; and Argonne Distinguished Fellow)
* Kathy Harkay (Group Leader, Accelerator Physics Group, Argonne Accelerator Systems Division)
* Dion L. Heinz (Associate Professor, Department of the Geophysical Sciences, James Franck Institute, and the College, The University of Chicago)
* Miles V. Klein (Research Professor of Physics and Center for Advanced Study Professor of Physics Emeritus, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; and Chair, APS Scientific Advisory Committee)
* William G. Ruzicka (Director, Argonne APS Engineering Support Division)
* Steven K. Streiffer (Acting Division Director, Argonne Center for Nanoscale Materials)
* Stefan Vogt (Physicist, X-ray Microscopy and Imaging Group, Argonne X-ray Science Division)
The search committee is also in consultation with the APS Users Organization and the Partner Users Council to add a user representative to the committee. A position description has been posted and ads will be published in major scientific journals. Any nominations for this important position should be directed to the search committee. Dr. Long remains in XSD as a senior advisor. (More information can be found in issue 48 of User News.)
The APS Scientific Advisory Committee or SAC, the highest-level advisory body for the APS, includes senior scientists and managers from both the United States and abroad. It joins the APS Users Organization, Partner User Council, and Life Sciences Council in advising the APS on matters affecting users. However, its primary function is to assist the APS in strategic planning by using its collective scientific knowledge and its specific knowledge of the APS. The expertise of individual SAC members and the advice of the entire SAC will be especially beneficial later this month at the APS Renewal Planning Workshop.
Among the responsibilities of the SAC is the conduct of periodic crosscut scientific reviews designed to provide an accurate assessment of APS strengths and weaknesses in the 10 science areas represented by the science teams involved in the APS Renewal planning effort. Several reviews are conducted each year, each chaired by a member of the SAC, with outside experts invited to serve on the review committees. Reports from these reviews are discussed by the SAC as a whole at its January meeting and form the basis for comprehensive planning advice to the APS.
The current members of the SAC are
- Miles Klein, Chair, Physics Professor Emeritus, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign (experimental condensed matter physics)
- Jens Als-Nielsen, Kobenhavns Universitet, Nils Bohr Institutet (x-ray physics, synchrotron radiation, and neutron scattering)
- Michelle Buchanan, Associate Laboratory Director for Physical Sciences, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (molecular analysis; interdisciplinary studies in nanoscience, materials, and chemical sciences)
- Howard Einspahr, Retired Research Fellow, Bristol-Myers Squibb (biological crystallography and drug discovery)
- Janos Kirz, Scientific Advisor, Advanced Light Source (soft x-ray microscopy and diffraction-based imaging of biological materials)
- Dan Neumann, Physicist, National Institute of Standards and Technology (structure and dynamics of molecular materials)
- Piero Pianetta, Deputy Director, Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory (semiconductor surfaces and interfaces, x-ray microanalysis and x-ray microscopy)
- William Stirling, Director General, European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (synchrotron and neutron magnetic scattering)
- Soichi Wakatsuki, Director, Photon Factory (structural biology of intracellular protein transport and post-translational modification)
- Glenn Waychunas, Scientist, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (applications of synchrotron science in geochemistry, environmental chemistry, and solid-state chemistry)
- Donald Weidner, Professor, University of New York, Stony Brook (phase equilibrium and its implication to earth structure)
- Wei Yang, Chief, Structural Biology and Cell Signaling Section, National Institutes of Health (molecular assemblies and mechanisms of DNA recombination and repair; x-ray crystallography)
- Larry Lurio, Chair, APS Users Organization, ex-officio (coherent x-ray scattering and physics of soft materials)
- Denis Keane, Chair, Partner User Council, ex-officio (surface x-ray scattering and reflectivity)
Further information about SAC members can be found here.
Argonne National Laboratory is a smoke-free environment for all of its workers and visitors. The smoking of any tobacco products is not permitted in any interior space on the Argonne site except for certain rooms or areas in the Argonne Guest House and lodging facilities specifically designated as smoking areas. Additionally, smoking is prohibited immediately in front of the main entrance to any building and in any outdoor areas in front of air intake ducts. The full policy can be obtained by contacting the APS User Office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Users Week 2009 will be held during the week of May 4, 2009. As meeting activities and schedules are developed, the information will be posted on the meeting web site.
The fourth conference on Synchrotron Environmental Science (SES-IV) will be held in San Francisco on December 11--13, 2008, and will highlight the growing role of synchrotron-based studies in environmental science. Presentations from internationally renowned speakers will explore emerging scientific frontiers and current challenges in global environmental problems, including CO 2 sequestration, environmental remediation, climate change, marine science, and atmospheric science. The conference will also highlight new synchrotron methods and facility developments in North America.
Participation by graduate students, postdocs, and other prospective synchrotron facility users is strongly encouraged. One day of hands-on sessions and introductory-level talks will provide important information, perspectives, and networking opportunities to these participants. Travel fellowships will be provided to qualified graduate student and postdoctoral researchers to encourage their participation.
SES-IV will catalyze new research partnerships and opportunities in earth, energy, and environmental sciences. Participation is open to all. Further information is available on the conference web site. This conference is being supported by the DOE offices of Basic Energy Sciences (BES) and Biological and Environmental Research (BER), and by the U.S. National Science Foundation.