APS User News-at-a-Glance
Issue 50, December 2, 2008
3. Nominations Sought for the Ninth APS Compton Award
4. User Meeting Planning Begins
5. Educational Background Info Now Required for Registration
6. The APS Publications Database: A Comprehensive Record of APS Research--With Your Help
7. Successful National School on Neutron and X-ray Scattering Held at Argonne and Oak Ridge
--New Espresso Bar Opens in Building 401
Instructions for subscribing, unsubscribing, and submitting info
I hope you had a Happy Thanksgiving! After an exciting workshop with the strong involvement of our users and scientific advisory committee, we have prepared a short whitepaper for the Renewal of APS and submitted it to our sponsors at DOE. The white paper emphasizes that a renewed APS would dramatically improve our contributions to key national problems in energy, environment, health, and the economy. Despite the tough times, we are optimistic about the possibility of realizing an APS renewal in the near future, and are continuing to flesh out our plans. We invite you all to remain engaged in our planning and make sure that that the renewal has maximum benefit to our user community.On the operations side, I must unfortunately remind you that despite generous short-term supplemental funding last year, we will face a crisis if we do not see a significant ($10M) increase in our operations funding by April. We have already made contingency plans for the worst, which would include major reductions to operating hours and staff layoffs. We hope that the incoming U.S. government will recognize the validity of our need for increased funds, which has been exacerbated by deferred maintenance, large increases in electric power costs, and several years of flat budgets. It is important that we all continue to make the case for the importance of scientific and engineering research to the nation's economic security as the government passes funding bills in early 2009.
After months of proposal submissions and review, scientific committee efforts, and APS Renewal Committee deliberations, the APS user community, elected user committees, and the APS Scientific Advisory Committee met on October 20-21, 2008, to collectively formulate a strategy to move the APS forward. Defined as a “mid-term” effort, the APS renewal focuses on beamline, accelerator, and infrastructure upgrades to facilitate cutting-edge science in the next three to seven years, as well as position the APS for a major longer-term upgrade. During the two days, participants heard summaries of the scientific committee reports each morning and spent afternoons in scientific area break-out sessions where vigorous discussion helped participants focus on the most significant/highest priority science, as well as the beamline and technical improvements needed to make this research possible. The two days culminated with an evening meeting of the APS Scientific Advisory Committee during which two major cross-cutting themes were identified: mastering hierarchical structures through x-ray imaging and creating and investigating real materials in real conditions in real time.On November 1, 2008, the APS submitted a renewal white paper to the DOE focused on these two themes. The document spells out the benefits of research in these areas, details representative high-impact challenges in each, and outlines the needed upgrades to the APS (estimated to be $300-400M over a five-to-seven year period). DOE solicited the white paper, and we expect to work together to make the case for funding. The next step for us is the preparation of a plan spelling out what we must build in detail to support the vision in the whitepaper. The SAC meeting in January 2009 and the User Meeting in May will be important milestones in fleshing out the renewal plans.
The APS home page is a great resource for news about scientific topics in research conducted at this facility. Current subjects include the following:
- Imaging Plant Viruses Could Yield New Ways to Safeguard Crops
- A Quantum of Vibration in an Unexpected Place
- A Virus That Can Infect Lung Cancer Cells
- How Ancient Rock Got Off to a Hot Start
- A New Spin on Inducing Chirality in Pre-biological Molecules
- Watching Liquids Separate at White Heat
Nominations are now open for the Ninth Advanced Photon Source Arthur H. Compton Award. This award, established in 1995 by the APS Users Organization, recognizes an important scientific or technical accomplishment at the Advanced Photon Source. The award consists of a plaque and $2500. This award is presented in alternate years at the spring APS Users Meeting; the awardee(s) are expected to present a plenary lecture(s).
Nominations should include a brief (one page or less) nominating letter containing a description of the work for which the award is proposed, a statement describing the significance and impact of the work, a short proposed citation for the award plaque, and the names of two individuals who will provide supporting letters (under separate cover). (It is the responsibility of the nominator to request the supporting letters.) Nominations and supporting letters should be e-mailed to Susan Strasser (email@example.com). Complete packages will be sent to the selection committee, which consists of representatives from the APS Scientific Advisory Committee and the APS Users Organization. The deadline for the submission of all nominating information is Saturday, February 28, 2009. The awardee(s) will be notified by March 15, 2009. Contact Susan Strasser if you have questions.
Previous recipients include Nikolai Vinokurov and Klaus Halbach (1995); Philip M. Platzman and Peter Eisenberger (1997); Donald H. Bilderback, Andreas K. Freund, Gordon S. Knapp, and Dennis M. Mills (1998); Sunil K. Sinha (2000); Wayne A. Hendrickson (2001); Martin Blume, L. Doon Gibbs, Denis McWhan, and Kazumichi Namikawa (2003); Günter Schmahl and Janos Kirz (2005); and Andrzej Joachimiak and Gerold Rosenbaum (2007).
Compton was an American physicist who won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1927 for discovering and explaining changes in x-ray wavelengths resulting from x-ray collisions with electrons, the so-called Compton effect. This important discovery in 1922 confirmed the dual nature (wave and particle) of electromagnetic radiation. A Ph.D. from Princeton University, Compton held many prominent positions including professor of physics at The University of Chicago and chairman of the committee of the National Academy of Sciences that studied the military potential of atomic energy. His position on that committee made Compton instrumental in initiating the Manhattan Project, which resulted the first atomic bomb.
Planning for the 2009 Users Week, scheduled for May 4-6, 2009, is underway. In addition to highlighting the accomplishments of 2008 and the presentation of new research horizons, this year's Users Week will focus on the scientific opportunities and technical drivers for the APS Renewal proposal. The APS Renewal is expected to generate resources to significantly improve all aspects of the scientific infrastructure at the APS. The meeting will be an important opportunity to learn about the depth and breadth of these plans and to give critical input regarding the inevitable choices that will have to be made.
The Users Week this year will be more compact than in recent years with focus sessions on Monday and Tuesday dealing with the status of the APS, as well as on the two themes called out in the renewal white paper: "Mastering Hierarchical Structures through X-ray Imaging" and "Real Materials in Real Conditions and Real Time." On Wednesday, we plan to have a series of workshops focusing on issues crucial to the renewal plan. In addition, there will be a poster session Monday afternoon highlighting recent research accomplishments.
We are soliciting suggestions for focus session speakers, as well as proposals for the Wednesday workshops. To help us select and organize the workshops, we're asking potential organizers to submit proposals by January 9, 2009. Proposals should be one page long and include
- a description of the workshop's scientific or technical focus,
- a list of suggested speakers (it need not be a final list), and
- the names of at least two workshop organizers.
Non-U.S. citizens coming to the Advanced Photon Source are being asked to provide some new information when registering to visit or become a user. The following education information is now required:
- a listing of all university-level degrees (e.g., bachelor's, master's, doctorate)
- the name(s) and country(s) of each university/college
- the year(s) in which the degree(s) were conferred
The APS Publications Database, a web-based compendium of information on published results from research at the APS, is the official source for listings of APS-related publications. The information in the database is used to prepare reports for APS review and advisory committees (including the APS Scientific Advisory Committee), the U.S. Department of Energy (including the end-of-year report to DOE-BES), and other government agencies. Maintaining complete and up-to-date records is of great importance to the facility and its users.
We appreciate your help in keeping this important database current. We hope that the database is also of use to you. It can be searched in many ways, and is accessible at:firstname.lastname@example.org)
The Tenth National School on Neutron and X-ray Scattering was held September 24-October 11, 2008, at Argonne and Oak Ridge National Laboratories. In its ten-year history, this school has annually provided 45-60 graduate students attending U.S. universities with a comprehensive introduction to the theory of x-ray and neutron scattering emphasizing the complementary nature of the two probes. Additionally, the students attend a range of lectures on specific experimental techniques available at the various x-ray and neutron user facilities as well as take part in several hands-on experiments using facility instruments.
At this year's school, 26 international experts drawn from universities, national laboratories, and industry lectured. While at Argonne, the students conducted x-ray experiments on 13 different Advanced Photon Source beamlines with the help of over 20 APS and CAT staff. Similar neutron experiments were performed at Oak Ridge using the High Flux Isotope Reactor and the Spallation Neutron Source.
The school has been extremely successful in attracting students from more than 110 universities across the United States. Typically more than three times as many applications are received than can be accepted. All of the students' travel costs to attend the school are covered by a grant from the Department of Energy's Office of Basic Energy Sciences (BES). Most of the school's approximately 550 alumni have continued to use the APS or another BES scientific user facility in their research after graduation. Thus, the school plays a key role in training the next generation of users for these facilities. Additional information is available at http://www.dep.anl.gov/nx/ and http://neutrons.ornl.gov/conf/NXS2008/.
Students from the National School on Neutron and X-ray Scattering conducting a small-angle x-ray scattering experiment at beamline 12-ID at the APS. From left to right: Dilru Ratnaweera (Clemson University), Thomas Grant (Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research Institute), Soenke Seifert (Beamline Scientist 12-ID), and Evan Small (University of Illinois at Chicago).
Argonne National Laboratory will be closed for the holidays from Wednesday, December 24, 2008, through Friday, January 2, 2009. Normal operations will resume on Monday, January 5.
With ads now placed in major scientific journals, the search committee for the next director of the Advanced Photon Source X-ray Science Division is awaiting responses. The committee is also concurrently collecting names and generating a list of potential candidates for the position. The list of potential candidates will be finalized, and plans call for inviting candidates for interviews before the end of the calendar year. If you would like to suggest names of potential candidates for this position, please contact Dennis Mills (Search Committee Chair) at email@example.com.
The Scientific User Facilities (SUF) Directorate (which contained the Advanced Photon Source) at Argonne National Laboratory is now called the Photon Sciences (PSC) Directorate in recognition of the major role of photon sciences/hard x-ray sciences in Argonne's strategic development. Although Argonne houses five other national user facilities, they are located in other Argonne Directorates. The current Argonne organization chart is here.
The aptly named “Beanline”--an espresso bar on the first floor atrium of Building 401--celebrated its grand opening on Monday, November 10th. The facility is open every weekday from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. and offers hot beverages as well as cake.
A wide variety of espresso-based coffee drinks, hot cocoa, and an array of specialty teas are available. Beverages can also be enhanced with an amazing variety of flavored syrups including vanilla, hazelnut, peppermint, cinnamon, maple spice, toasted almond, caramel sauce, white sauce, pumpkin sauce, new chocolate sauce, and chai extra spicy. Sugar-free syrups (vanilla, hazelnut, caramel, white chocolate, and chocolate) are also available.