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  • Fall 2007 Aladdin Newsletter No. 42

    Synchrotron Radiation Center

    Posted 10-17-2007

    1. Wisconsin FEL Symposium
    2. SRC Users Meeting
    3. Education and Outreach Group has a Busy Summer
    4. Research Spotlight-Pupa Gilbert and Mother of Pearl
    5. Awards and Honors

    1. Wisconsin FEL Symposium-October 11, 2007

    At this one-day symposium the Wisconsin Free Electron Laser concept will be introduced. After detailing the groundbreaking capabilities that would be offered by this facility, presentations by collaborating researchers will present the transformative scientific research offered in molecular dynamics, coherent imaging, resonant inelastic scattering, photoemission spectroscopy, atomic/molecular physics, biological sciences, and nanotechnology. Learn more about the symposium at:

    2. SRC Users Meeting

    The SRC Users Meeting will be held Friday and Saturday, October 12th and 13th, 2007. The SRC Users Meeting provides an opportunity for Users to present their work and for SRC Staff to provide updates on the facility. For more information and to register, go to:

    3. Education and Outreach Group has a Busy Summer

    The SRC Education and Outreach Group, in collaboration with several users and on-site staff and scientists, had yet another busy summer. First, this year welcomed another group of rising undergraduates who worked with a research mentor via the NSF-sponsored Research for Undergraduates (REU) program.

    Secondly, SRC again took part in the PEOPLE (Pre-college Enrichment Opportunity Program for Learning Excellence) program, which seeks to teach high school students from Wisconsin who are from underrepresented minority groups. The class, "Light as a Research Tool" was led by SRC's Dan Wallace.

    Third, and a new initiative for SRC, was the very successful workshop for high school teachers, "Learning with Light!" By collaborating with UW Space Place, the outreach arm of the UW Astronomy department, this workshop offered teaching resources and support to high school physics teachers interested in teaching about the science of light. Integral to this program was Rick Cole, a former staff member of SRC and currently a physics and chemistry teacher at Evansville high school, who has successfully and creatively implemented the SRC SPECTRA program with his students. SPECTRA (Students Performing Experiments Collaboratively Through Remote Access) allows students and teachers to control the Mark V Grasshopper beamline via a website interface. The current hardware and software allow users to select up to 7 samples for photoabsorption experiments and 15 samples for rudimentary photoemission experiments.

    Learn more about SPECTRA at:

    Read a story about Cole's use of SPECTRA with his students at:

    Thanks to all of the SRC Users and Staff who assist in these important education and outreach projects. SRC has been recognized for its attention to such activities and they wouldn't be possible without this group support.

    4. Research Spotlight-Pupa Gilbert and Mother of Pearl

    In the June 29 issue of Physical Review Letters, the Mother of Pearl work by Pupa Gilbert and her research team was presented. Of interest to the researchers is to learn better how the architecture of Mother of Pearl-the iridescent material that lines abalone shells and pearls-makes it thousands of times stronger than its mineral building blocks. Using the Aladdin storage ring, this fascinating research not only helps to shed light on a previously unlit area of research, but may have important implications for the future of building exceptionally strong materials and for engineering.

    "If you understand how it forms, you could think of reproducing it, producing a synthetic material that's inspired by nature - a so-called 'biomimetic' material," Gilbert explains. "If we learn how to harness the mechanism of formation, then we could, for example, produce cars that absorb all the energy at the impact point but do not fracture.

    Read a complete UW press release article about the study-and find a link to the journal article-at:

    5. Awards and Honors

    Joe Bisognano, Director of SRC, was installed as Chair of the APS Division of Physics and Beams, at the 2007 Particle Accelerator Conference (PAC) in Albuquerque, NM.


    Up-to-date listings of publications presenting research done at SRC can be found on the SRC website. Researchers who have published work as a result of work done at SRC are encouraged to double-check to make sure that their recent publications are included on the current list.

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