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P.A. Moore, SLAC (650) 926-2605; e-mail:

SLAC wins Department of Energy award for project management

On Oct. 17 the Department of Energy (DOE) honored the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC) with a year 2000 award for program and project management. The award acknowledged the on-time, on-budget completion of the $293 million B Factory Project. The project comprised two major construction efforts: a two-ring accelerator complex built by a collaboration of SLAC, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), and a 1,200-ton particle detector built by a consortium of nine nations.

"The process for selecting award winners was a difficult one, with many excellent DOE sites and projects in competition," said T. J. Glauthier, deputy secretary of energy.

"I'm delighted that the B Factory was chosen out of a field of such strong contenders," said SLAC Director Jonathan Dorfan. "I cannot emphasize strongly enough the wonderful cooperation that existed among the three Bay Area labs during construction. Our colleagues at Livermore and Berkeley were outstanding. Likewise, we could not have achieved the success we did without the supportive partnership of the DOE."

Accepting the award at a ceremony in Rosslyn, Va., were Dorfan and John Seeman representing SLAC, Caltech professor David Hitlin representing the detector collaboration, Tom Elioff representing LBNL and Karl Van Bibber representing LLNL.

Construction of the Asymmetric B Factory accelerator complex began in January 1994 and ended in July 1998 at a cost of $177 million. Scientists use the facility to collide a beam of electrons with a counter-rotating beam of anti-electrons to produce subatomic particles called B mesons. By studying the disintegration patterns of the B mesons, scientists hope to understand why the universe, which was created with equal amounts of matter and antimatter, is now dominated by matter. In short, what happened to all the primordial antimatter?

Concurrent with the construction of the accelerator complex, collaborators were working on the construction of the particle detector, known as BaBar, costing about $110 million and involving nine nations, 73 institutions and more than 600 people.

The B Factory reached a major milestone on May 26 of last year when the BaBar detector successfully recorded the first collision events. It will take millions of B mesons before scientists can reach any definitive conclusions. Scientists expect to publish their first results in early 2001.

"With the B Factory, SLAC has another major scientific project that will take us well into the next decade," said Dorfan. "SLAC is poised to make major new contributions to basic science."


By P.A. Moore

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