From the Director – A Roadmap for the
The end of each fiscal year prompts all of us at the lab to reflect on the
events of the past many months as we plan and prepare for the new year ahead.
At SSRL, we reflect on the past year as part of our preparation for new and
returning users who will soon arrive for the experimental run starting November
9. In FY15, SSRL supported over 1,600 users, with nearly 90 percent of them
judging their experience at SSRL to be excellent.
The workshops at the LCLS/SSRL Annual Users' Meeting earlier this month
stimulated real enthusiasm for the future of x-ray science at SLAC. Many of the
workshops highlighted scientific opportunities critical to the future of both
SSRL and LCLS. Five workshops focused on time-resolved x-ray science, a
critical area of science for LCLS that takes advantage of the unique peak
intensity of x-ray laser pulses, and a key area for developing scientific
synergy between SSRL and LCLS. The workshop on scientific opportunities in the
tender x-ray regime (2-5 keV) also emphasized research areas at SSRL and LCLS.
SSRL has a long history of chemistry and biology research in this energy range
and the match between this energy range and the photon energy range that will
be initially accessible at LCLS-II makes it an area of growing strategic
Crystal Structure of
the Synaptotagmin-SNARE Complex Essential for Synchronous Synaptic
Neurotransmission Enabled by Goniometer-based Femtosecond Macromolecular
Neurons in our
brains communicate via neurotransmitter signaling molecules. When prompted by a
calcium signal, the cells can release neurotransmitters at speeds of less than
one-thousandth of a second. This lightning-fast process is carried out by a
protein complex of synaptotagmin-1, which detects calcium, and SNARE, which
provides energy for neurotransmitter release. In this Newsletter we present
both the unprecedented scientific results and the developments that enabled the
data to be measured, contributing to the structure determination endeavor:
Crystal Structures of the
Synaptotagmin-SNARE Complex that is Essential for Synchronous Synaptic
– Contact: Axel Brunger (Stanford University)
Read Science Highlight
Femtosecond Macromolecular Crystallography -
Contact: Aina Cohen (SSRL)
Read Science Highlight
More SSRL-related Science
X-ray Study Reveals New Details of How Burrowing Sea Creatures Shape
Excerpted from October 14, 2015 SLAC News Feature
An international team of scientists used SSRL's Beam Line 6-2 to image
the chemistry of rock samples containing well-preserved 80-million-year-old
fossilized burrows, which may have been made by millimeter-sized bristly worms
known as polychaetes. They found that the worms appeared to concentrate some
chemical elements in their burrows while depleting others.
The study, recently published online in the journal Geology,
provides new insight into how ancient sea worms interact with the sediment on
the ocean bottom and control the composition and geochemical signature of rocks
formed by that sediment, which today serve as markers for ancient climate
patterns and oil and gas reservoirs.
The pioneering x-ray fluorescence scanning method that researchers used at
SSRL opens up new ways to study Earth's distant environmental and
geological past and supports research about the formation of hydrocarbon
deposits. Read more...
Synchrotron Radiation News -- Pioneers of Synchrotron
The July/August edition of Synchrotron Radiation News (SRN) focused on
Pioneers of Synchrotron Radiation. Guest editors Gwyn Williams and Herman
Winick wrote, "We consider ourselves honored to have been asked to serve
as guest editors for this special issue of SRN, which focuses on personal
stories from some of the people who worked with synchrotron radiation (SR) in
the 1960s and early 1970s. This special edition of SRN gave us an opportunity
to contact and exchange stories with many of our former colleagues and friends,
and the exercise brought back many happy memories for both of us, including
interacting again with each other. We recalled that we first saw synchrotron
light in 1962 (HW) and 1973 (GPW), and we also remembered how exciting it was
to be in this field in the early days." Read
The September/October SRN also includes a special feature by Peter
Eisenberger who reflected on 'Those Wonderful Pioneer Years of SSRL: A
Personal Reflection'. "It is a rare moment in the history of science
when a new capability is born that transforms our ability to “see”
what is happening in the world in which we live. The use of the light emitted
from accelerating electrons as they are bent by magnetic fields that was
pioneered at SSRL in the 1970s is not just another example of this, but
arguably is the most important development in the history of science in
enabling us to “see” the world of electrons and atoms. There is, in
addition, a special feature of the new capability enabled by synchrotron
radiation: it is likely to remain, in the future, the best way to see the
microscopic world forever. This is because the light used to “see”
does not only have all the intensity one needs, but also because all its
properties can be adjusted so as to provide the ideal illumination for the
particular thing one wants to “see.” Thus, literally what was born
at SSRL, which has since then been and will be continually improved, will
forever provide our species the ability to “see” and understand the
microscopic world in which we live." Read more...
We have a few copies of the July/August Pioneers edition. To receive a copy,
contact Cathy Knotts. Subscribe to SRN for future editions.
SSRL/LCLS Annual Users' Meeting Wrap-up
Excerpted from October 21, 2015 SLAC Today Article
More than 450 people participated in the 2015 LCLS/SSRL
Users' Meeting and Workshops, an annual scientific event at SLAC that
focuses on the latest research and technical capabilities at SSRL and LCLS and
also features discussions about new scientific opportunities.
The event, held October 7-10, showcased the newly opened Science and User
Support Building (SUSB) that will serve as the lab's entryway for new
employees, tour groups, visiting scientists and other visitors. The building
officially opened October 7 in a special ceremony.
During an October 8 plenary session, SLAC Director Chi-Chang Kao welcomed
attendees, and LCLS Director Mike Dunne and SSRL Director Kelly Gaffney
provided facility updates. Sacha Hanigan, the manager for the new Visitor,
User, Employee (VUE) Center, provided an overview of the center’s
services. Also, Patricia Dehmer, Acting Director of the DOE Office of Science,
presented her perspective on the evolution of the national labs, and programs
within the Office of Science over the last few decades. As in past years, the
Users' Meeting featured a variety of scientific workshops, award
presentations, poster sessions and vendor exhibits. Read more...
Stanford and SLAC Celebrate Arthur Bienenstock
Excerpted from October 22, 2015 SLAC News Feature
Arthur “Artie” Bienenstock, Professor Emeritus at Stanford
University and the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator
Laboratory, was recently honored with an all-day symposium in recognition of
his outstanding contributions to science, academia, graduate student education
and U.S. science policy.
In the more than 50 years of his career, Bienenstock has held a variety of
positions, many at Stanford and SLAC, and also served as a policymaker in
Washington, D.C., under the Clinton administration.
About 100 guests attended the October 10 “Celebrating Artie
Bienenstock” event organized by SSRL with support from Stanford’s
Department of Applied Physics and Department of Materials Science and
Engineering. In invited talks and informal contributions, many of
Bienenstock’s close companions lauded in unison his positive impact on
their lives and the scientific community in general.
“SLAC wouldn’t be the lab it is today if it weren’t for
Artie,” said SLAC Director Chi-Chang Kao. “He had a tremendous
impact on the development of x-ray science, which has become one of the
lab’s main research areas over the years.” Read more...
Paul Fuoss Receives Lytle Award for Developing X-ray Technique to
Better Explore Materials
Excerpted from October 19, 2015 SLAC News Feature
Paul H. Fuoss has received the Farrel W. Lytle Award for developing a
pioneering x-ray technique, differential anomalous scattering, that is now used
worldwide to explore the structure of complex materials. The award was
presented during our Annual Users' Meeting on October 8.
Fuoss was a graduate student at Stanford University four decades ago when he
began research at SSRL. The scattering technique became the focus of his PhD
thesis under advisor Arthur I. “Artie” Bienenstock, Professor
Emeritus at SLAC and Stanford and a former SSRL Director.
The Lytle Award recognizes synchrotron-based scientific achievement and
efforts to grow collaborations and make experiments more efficient. A former
Boeing researcher who performed numerous experiments at SSRL and more recently
at the LCLS during his career, Lytle made important contributions to x-ray
science by developing a type of spectroscopy that is used to explore the
structure of materials.
Fuoss had the opportunity to work in early x-ray studies at SSRL alongside
Lytle, who is now retired and lives in Nevada, "I've known him well
since 1976," Fuoss said. "Farrel is one of the founding people in
synchrotron science and it's great to get an award named for him. This was
a surprise, and I'm honored." Read more...
Ming Yi Awarded L'Oréal USA For Women in Science
Excerpted from October 12, 2015 SLAC News Feature
Former Stanford University graduate student Ming Yi has been awarded the
USA For Women in Science Fellowship, which is given to five U.S.-based
women each year as part of an effort to raise awareness of women’s
contributions to science and identify exceptional female researchers to serve
as role models.
Yi, whose graduate research on novel materials included extensive work at
SLAC, said she plans to start a support group for moms in STEM fields –
science technology, engineering and mathematics – as an outreach activity
under the fellowship.
Yi spent two summers at SLAC as an intern while working on a degree in
physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Initially drawn to
particle physics, she grew interested in superconductor research, and in 2008
became a graduate student in the lab of Zhi-Xun Shen, a professor at SLAC and
Stanford. She performed her seven years of graduate research within SIMES, the
Stanford Institute for Materials and Energy Sciences, which is SLAC’s
Materials Science Division.
As part of her graduate research Yi carried out x-ray experiments on
superconducting materials at both SSRL and the LCLS. Recent papers described
intriguing commonalities between the two known families of high-temperature
superconductors. “We found a potential bridge connecting the two
families,” Yi said. “This is an important step toward an eventual
understanding of the general phenomenon of high-temperature
superconductivity.” Read more...
SSRL Users' Executive Committee Update
Elections for the SSRL Users' Executive Committee (UEC) were held during
early October. Please join us in supporting Eddie Snell as the new Chair and
welcoming the following new members to the SSRL UEC:
Lisa Mayhew, University of Colorado
Dave Bushnell, Stanford University
Mariano Trigo, Stanford University
Feng Lin, LBNL
We would like to extend our thanks to Stosh Kozimor for serving as UEC Chair
this past year and also to retiring committee members Sarah Hayes, Jordi
Cabana, Paul Evans and Jessica Vey. A new Vice-Chair for the Committee
will be determined soon.
2016 Panofsky Fellowship
The Panofsky Fellowship honors SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory's
founder and first Director, Wolfgang K. H. Panofsky. It is intended to
recognize exceptional and promising young scientists who would most benefit
from the unique opportunity to conduct their research at SLAC.
The Fellowship celebrates W.K.H. Panofsky's breadth of activities and is
awarded without regard to a candidate's particular specialty within our
programs. While an emphasis will be placed on the potential for
innovation and growth of new opportunities as their career develops, the
candidate's research plan should relate to one or more areas within the
general scope of the science program at SLAC:
Accelerator science & advanced accelerator research
Elementary particle physics
High energy density matter
Particle astrophysics and cosmology
X-ray Science with LCLS and SSRL
Read more for application process
User Research Administration
December 1, 2015 is the deadline for submitting standard SSRL
X-ray/VUV and Macromolecular Crystallography proposals.
Beam Time Request Deadline
November 23 is the next X-ray/VUV Beam Time Request deadline
for February - May scheduling
Submit proposals and beam time requests through the user
We encourage users to 'bookmark' this SSRL Deadlines page and set a reminder for these annual
deadlines in their calendars. Deadline reminders are also included in user
The Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource (SSRL) is a third-generation
light source producing extremely bright x-rays for basic and applied
research. SSRL attracts and supports scientists from around the world who
use its state-of-the-art capabilities to make discoveries that benefit society.
SSRL, a U.S. DOE Office of Science national user facility, is a Directorate of
SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, operated by Stanford University for the
U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science. The SSRL Structural
Molecular Biology Program is supported by the DOE Office of Biological and
Environmental Research, and by the National Institutes of Health, National
Institute of General Medical Sciences. For more information about SSRL science,
operations and schedules, visit http://www-ssrl.slac.stanford.edu.
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Questions? Comments? Contact Lisa Dunn