JLab Newsletter: e-OnTarget- April 7, 2006

 
   

Secretary Bodman sends a safety message to everyone within Energy Department
Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman is very concerned with the recent increase in accidents and worker injuries across the Department of Energy. He sends a safety message to everyone within DOE.

 

Jefferson Lab's newest cluster computer takes shape
JLab's newest cluster computer has just been installed in the Computer Center, doubling the Lab's high-performance computing capability.

 

CEBAF's beam polarization gets a boost
Every nuclear physics experiment conducted with CEBAF, the Continuous Electron Beam Accelerator Facility, begins with a gun -- though its bullets are electrons instead of ordnance. Get the lowdown on how JLab's Electron Gun Group has pioneered technology to help the accelerator shoot better "bullets."

 

In their own words... with NASA researcher Mike Marcolini
Meet NASA-Langley scientist Mike Marcolini who is spending a year at Jefferson Lab as part of NASA's Leadership Development Program

 

300-plus moves take place with the completion of CEBAF Center's new Wing
Conference rooms in F Wing are available for meetings by using Corporate Time. Everyone involved in a move over the last few months is reminded to review, follow safety guidance and to ensure that his or her JLIST information is accurate.

 

Check out JLab's main webpage story, including Podcast
Catch up on JLab's applied medical research collaboration efforts described in a new main webpage story. In addition to the story and state-of-the-art medical imagery, the feature includes a separate Podcast.

 

Landscaping company wins annual small business award at JLab
Jefferson Lab recently recognized a grounds maintenance and landscaping business based in Yorktown, Virginia, as its Outstanding Small Business Subcontractor of the Year.

 

JLab's Science Education website helps students prepare for 2006 Standards of Learning tests
The use of Jefferson Lab's Science Education website is climbing as Virginia students prepare to take the spring 2006 Standards of Learning tests.

 

JLab's Science Education staff invites families, groups to summer 2006 Physics Fests
A Physics Fest is a two-hour presentation (10 a.m. - noon) that showcases some of the technology used at Jefferson Lab to conduct experiments. Summer 2006 Physics Fest dates include: Thursday, June 1; Wednesday, July 12; and Wednesday, July 26.

 

Secretary Bodman sends a safety message to everyone within Energy Department (top ^)

MEMORANDUM FOR ALL DEPARTMENT AND CONTRACTOR EMPLOYEES

FROM: SAMUEL BODMAN

DATE: March 31, 2006

SUBJECT: Employee Safety

Secretary Bodman

Secretary Samuel Bodman
U.S. Department of Energy

When I first came on board as Secretary, in my initial message to all employees, I emphasized the need for the Department to have a safe work environment. Safety continues to be our number one concern and the safety of our employees, federal as well as contractor, cannot be compromised in any way.

Recent safety statistics indicate that there is an increase in incidents across the DOE complex and I am very concerned about this. One incident is one incident too many and we all have to do our part to eliminate these incidents. It is the responsibility and duty of each member of our DOE workforce, beginning with the senior managers of this Department, to ensure a safe work environment. I expect appropriate actions to be taken to address safety issues identified consistent with existing rules and directives.

I have asked the Office of Human Capital Management to work with the Office of Environment, Safety and Health to reinforce and communicate existing rules and directives concerning employee safety and establish safety performance standards for all DOE federal employees where appropriate. I have also asked the Office of Environment, Safety and Health to develop a plan for ensuring that appropriate DOE contractors adopt a similar approach in their employee performance plans.

I know each of you share in ensuring that DOE is the greatest place to work. Employee safety must continue as a priority for this Department. I know I can count on each of you to do your part to ensure that we maintain a safe work environment.

 

Jefferson Lab's newest cluster computer takes shape (top ^)

Chip Watson

Chip Watson, JLab's High Performance Computing Group leader, stands next to the new cluster computer, 6N, which consists of eight racks of 35 machines and one rack with one machine and the central switching station.

Jefferson Lab's spacious new Computer Center in CEBAF Center Wing F is already hosting its first occupants. Among the machines now located in the expansive room is Jefferson Lab's newest cluster computer, dubbed “6N.”

Unlike a regular computer – whose "brain" consists of one or perhaps two processors – a cluster computer's brain can contain hundreds or even thousands of individual processors, called nodes – all wired together. To solve a problem, the cluster splits the problem into parts, and each node computes its designated part and shares the result with other nodes to produce the final solution. This method allows cluster computers to tackle problems well beyond the capability of most desktop machines, such as providing solutions for the theory of quantum chromodynamics (QCD), which describes the strong force that dictates how quarks and gluons build protons, neutrons and other particles.

The new cluster joins JLab's 128-node 2002 machine, the 256-node 2003 machine (3G), and the 384-node 2004 machine (4G). According to Chip Watson, who leads Jefferson Lab's High Performance Computing Group, the first pieces of the new 6N cluster began arriving in December 2005. It is comprised of 281 dual-core Intel processors, and it runs the popular Linux operating system, just like its predecessors.

However, the 6N computer nodes each contain one processor with two processing cores, resulting in a sustained 2.5 Gigaflop computing capability (roughly 2.5 billion operations per second) for each node. The machine also incorporates the new InfiniBand technology connections, which can carry data from one node to the next about 10 times faster than the Gigabit Ethernet connections used in JLab's last two cluster machines.

"This is the first year that InfiniBand has been cost-effective," Watson says, "The InfiniBand fabric runs at a gigabyte/second in each direction, which is comfortably more bandwidth than we need today." The overall result of these upgrades is a machine that is more powerful than all three of the previous machines combined and essentially doubles JLab's high-performance computing capacity.

Watson says his group is currently working on testing a new version of the InfiniBand software and optimizing it for 6N. In the meantime, the group is also preparing for a massive new machine scheduled to arrive next winter. "We'll be hosting the next large cluster for the U.S. QCD community: a $1.5 million machine with 500 nodes that will be twice as powerful as our new machine," Watson explains.

Jefferson Lab's cluster computer program is funded through the Scientific Discovery Through Advanced Computing, or SciDAC program, in the Department of Energy's (DOE's) Office of Science, with additional funding from JLab’s Nuclear Physics program. SciDAC is an effort to develop the scientific computing software and hardware infrastructure needed to use terascale computers to advance DOE research programs in basic energy sciences, biological and environmental research, fusion energy sciences, and high-energy and nuclear physics.

CEBAF’s beam polarization gets a boost (top ^)

Men with beam gun

Phil Adderley (below) and Jim Clark install a “getter” in an electron gun. The “getter” improves vacuum quality inside the electron gun by removing contaminants.

In the last year, the polarization of CEBAF’s electron beam has increased by more than 10 percent to over 86 percent polarization. This vast improvement in polarization, or the percentage of electrons spinning in one direction, has reduced the amount of beam time needed to complete precision experiments like G-Zero and HAPPEx. It’s the result of work by the Electron Gun Group, which has spent the last two years pushing the boundaries of photocathode physics.Â

Matt Poelker, Electron Gun Group leader, says the group has been working to increase the performance of the electron gun – the part of CEBAF that provides the initial electron beam. In this section of the injector, lasers liberate electrons from a dime-sized, thin slice of material called the photocathode, or cathode for short. The electrons are then pulled into the accelerator by an electric field. Over the years, the quality of the electron beam provided by the injector had been improved by upgrading the lasers used to knock out the electrons. But the group thought that a better cathode could also help.

Two years ago, a new cathode being used at Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC), called a superlattice photocathode, caught the group’s attention. At the time, CEBAF’s cathodes were made of a single layer of strained gallium arsenide that’s 100 nanometers, or about one hundred thousandth of a millimeter, thick. The new cathode is more like a Dagwood sandwich, comprised of 14 layers of gallium arsenide alternated with 14 layers of gallium arsenide phosphide. Each layer is roughly three to four millionths of a millimeter thick. The group procured a few samples of the material and installed it for testing.

“We had a procedure to put a photocathode into our gun. When we used that standard procedure, the superlattice photocathodes were a failure: they didn't provide any electrons,” Poelker says.

Marcy Stutzman, an Electron Gun Group staff scientist, cast around for the cause. She reevaluated the procedure used to prepare cathodes for installation and found that the problem might be related to the anodization process. Anodization is used to destroy the active surface around the edges of the cathode. This process prevents beam steering problems in the injector by allowing only electrons from the center of the cathode to leave the gun.

“No one had ever anodized these before, and we have to anodize to run,” Stutzman explains.

Only one side of the cathode is anodized. The other side is glued to a protective glass slide to prevent anodization. Once the top side of the cathode is anodized, the glass slide is removed, solvents are used to remove residual glue, and additional cleaning steps are performed.

Men with beam gun

A view down the barrel of the electron gun. The dime-sized superlattice photocathode sits in the center of the metal disk.

The Gun group thought that this extensive cleaning process was killing the new cathodes. A surface analysis class she had taken gave Stutzman the idea to try a new tactic. She eliminated the messy glue from the process, attaching the protective glass to the cathode for the anodization process instead with a soft, silvery metal called indium. Indium becomes sticky when heated, allowing it to bond materials together. Removing the indium didn’t require solvents, and the entire cleaning process could be eliminated.

 “You just heat it back up and slide it off,” Stutzman laughs.

The new process worked. Polarization went up more than 10 percent, and the yield of the cathode that provides the electrons for CEBAF improved.

“We've doubled the amount of quantum efficiency – more electrons out per photons in, and we've improved the polarization by 10-12 percent to 86 percent polarization,” Stutzman says.

Poelker says he’s glad his group was able to improve the quality of the electron beam by switching to the new superlattice photocathodes. “Marcy really saved the day by developing a new technique that allows us to use this commercially available material in our guns,” Poelker says.

Accelerator Division Associate Director Swapan Chattopadhyay agrees, “I am very proud of our Polarized Source Group – they are highly sought after by premier institutions such as MIT and SLAC for collaborations and they have given us a solid foundation in performing precision measurements with parity-quality beams to better understand what's at work in the heart of matter. I expect even greater things to emerge from this group in the years ahead!”

 

In their own words… with NASA researcher Mike Marcolini (top ^)

Men with beam gun

Mike Marcolini, a NASA-Langley scientist, is currently at JLab through NASA’s Leadership Development Program.

The NASA logo is sometimes referred to as “the meatball,” and people who have been around the agency a long time are said to “bleed the meatball.” That’s definitely me. I grew up in Hampton with NASA almost literally in my backyard, first living on Langley AFB, and later in the Tidemill area. We used to ride our bikes around it.

Then, when I was at Bethel High School, I had the extraordinary opportunity to go to work for NASA at Langley during the summer between my junior and senior years. I made the grand sum of $2.50 an hour for 40 hours a week, and with my first month’s pay I bought an HP calculator that, astonishingly enough, still works. The following school year, I worked there again, 15 hours a week. While other kids were going off to pack groceries, I was going to NASA. It was a great part-time job – no evenings or weekends! I worked with “Fill” Cuddihy in the Viking Project Office, doing administrative work, keeping track of his mail and project schedules, filing – that sort of thing. I was so much like a kid in a candy shop that I didn’t even realize that the people I was dealing with were really the “big dogs” around there. One of the biggest assets of working there for me, though, was that I got to talk to a lot of different kinds of engineers, and I was sure that that was the field I intended to pursue.

Although I’d looked at the University of Virginia for my undergraduate work, I fell in love with Virginia Tech. You’ll recognize me around JLab as the one with the Tech lanyard, Tech mug and, on game days, a Tech shirt. Before I set off for college, I’d talked with NASA officials about the possibility of doing a co-op program during my undergraduate years, and that’s what I did. Through the program, you go to Tech full time for your first and last years, but the years in between are stretched out over three calendar years. I first worked with the Viking Lander Imaging Group, which was some pretty heady stuff, and I was in the auxiliary data booth at the Jet Propulsion Lab when Viking 2 landed. I was 19 years old, and I was meeting people like Carl Sagan and Clyde Tombaugh, who discovered Pluto.

By the time I graduated in 1980, I’d fallen in love with the science of acoustics and went to work full-time at NASA. During my first few years at NASA, I earned my master’s degree in the science of acoustics from the Joint Institute for Advancement of Flight Sciences at NASA Langley. It’s a division of George Washington University, and some classes were taught by professors from GW and others were taught by NASA employees who were specialists in their fields. I spent 17 years doing research in rotorcraft acoustics and then moved into project management, where I was responsible for managing all the rotorcraft acoustics work going on at the NASA centers at Langley, Ames in California and Glenn in Ohio.

By 2000, I was the head of the Advanced Measurement and Diagnostics Branch, which conducted measurement research for applications in the various labs and wind tunnels at NASA. A lot of our work centered on using lasers to take speed and velocity measurements.

I had applied for the yearlong NASA Leadership Development Program (LDP) with a proposal to come to Jefferson Lab to learn how business is done here and look for areas for collaboration between the organizations, and had been originally scheduled to come here in 2004. Instead, I was selected to lead NASA’s Quiet Aircraft Technology Project and worked there from March 2004 until August 2005, when I came to JLab. Although many people in the LDP choose to go to NASA headquarters, it was important to me to stay in this area so my sons would not be uprooted from their schools.

In my primary assignment here, I work for Fred Dylla, JLab’s Chief Technology Officer, focusing on external partnerships. My secondary assignment is to work with the Hampton Roads Research Partnership, which comprises researchers from eight area universities. I’ll work with HRRP Director Lee Beach. This is a tremendous opportunity to learn how these disparate entities can work together.

I live in Tabb Lakes in York County with my wife, Pat, our two sons – Brian and Eric – and our two golden retrievers. My family is very active in our church, St. Andrew’s Episcopal in Newport News. Being involved with church since I was a youngster has helped me develop a strong moral center, which I bring to everything I do. Both of our boys are in band at their respective schools, and in recreational soccer and basketball. I used to play sports year-round: volleyball, basketball and softball, whatever was in season, but I stick with just softball now, and I’m also the commissioner of umpires for NASA Langley’s softball league.

Being at JLab has already been an invaluable experience for me, especially in learning how other, non-civil service systems work.

 

300-plus moves take place with the completion of CEBAF Center’s new Wing (top ^)

Men with beam gun

With JLab employees and users moved to Wing F in CEBAF Center or to the Applied Research Center (ARC), the 11- series trailers have been removed from JLab and the Trailer City complex (building 16) is nearly gone.

The massive effort over the last few months to move employees and users into CEBAF Center’s new F Wing has gone well and is nearly complete, according to Dave Fazenbaker, Facilities Management. “The movers, Cook’s Moving Service from Hampton, Va., are very experienced and efficient. They came geared to work and they worked hard and fast – but also safely,” he commented. The last large wave of moves to the ARC and CEBAF Center Wing F took place in February with the 12 GeV Upgrade group moving onto a section of the third floor of F Wing. Smaller moves are still being made as spaces are backfilled, Fazenbaker noted. “But the biggest moves are wrapped up.”

Most of the 300-plus moves were handled during four Saturdays in January. Fazenbaker and the moving crew would meet at 7 a.m. to go over the move plan and discuss safety items before getting started. The first Saturday session lasted close to 10 hours, but once everyone got a feel for where things were and where they were going, the crew was able to complete the next three Saturday move sessions in five to six hours. Occasional glitches cropped up, but the work groups involved in orchestrating the moves tried to address problems as quickly as possible.

When people preparing to move registered their computer moves on the Computer Center’s website, the system automatically updated their office/cubicle location and mail stop in MIS, and configured their computer account accessibility at their new office/cubicle location. â€œAll they had to do was plug their computers in and turn them on and they were up and running on the network,” notes Kelvin Edwards, Computer Center. “This helped to minimize down time and for the most part helped to keep JLIST updated.” But, Computer Center staff and the move coordinators ask that everyone who has moved over the last few months to log onto their My Page and verify their information.

Seven conference/meeting rooms are spread out across the three floors of F Wing. They are all furnished with meeting tables and chairs. Some of the rooms will eventually include video/projector systems; however, procurement and installation work is still underway for these systems, according to Cynthia Lockwood, Staff Services. Scheduling or reserving any of the meeting rooms in the F wing (except F113) can be done through the Corporate Time program by anyone with a JLab computer account. Groups interested in using F113 must contact Staff Services, (CEBAF Center reception desk, ext. 7100) to schedule or reserve that room.

“As people settle in and more of the building is put into use, minor bugs and the occasional problem are bound to crop up,” Fazenbaker notes. “Punch list items are being completed. Please realize that after a problem or bug is identified, it takes time to make the appropriate adjustments, fixes or repairs since doing so requires the coordination of many different subcontractors. If you see something out of place, let your move coordinator know so a consolidated list can be generated and a single work order can be sent to Facilities Management. This process makes the work order process simpler and prevents duplicate entries.” The air-handling system noise problem is being addressed.

Fazenbaker strongly encourages all supervisors or safety wardens with working groups that have moved over the last few months to take time once they’ve settled into their new space to review their new Fire Evacuation Plan, general safety guidelines and any specific rules for the area they’ve moved in to. For emergency evacuation situations, everyone in the new F Wing should exit through F Wing exits and should muster at the VARC end of the Rutherford Road parking lot (formerly called the Trailer City parking lot).

Each kitchenette is outfitted with a full-size refrigerator for daily food storage so there shouldn’t be any need for personal mini-refrigerators. Space heaters and coffee pots should not be used in F Wing cubicles, according to Fazenbaker, as the electrical wiring in the offices/cubicles isn’t meant to carry those kinds of loads. He reminds F Wing residents that, for safety purposes, coffee pots should be kept in the kitchenette areas.

 

Check out JLab’s main webpage story, including Podcast (top ^)

Men with beam gun

The glowing stem cells inside these sleeping mice (false-color image shows relative brightness) are the first step in developing a new therapy for shortening the amount of time it takes wounds to heal.

Catch up on JLab’s applied medical research collaboration efforts described in a new main webpage story. In addition to the story and state-of-the-art medical imagery, the feature includes a separate Podcast.

See glowing cells inside images of sleeping mice that are the first step in developing a new therapy for shortening the amount of time it takes wounds to heal. Jefferson Lab's Detector and Imaging Group is making this research possible with an imaging system the group designed for use at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio.

A researcher from CWRU and his colleagues are testing whether a therapy using stem cells (donated by adult volunteers) can aid healing. The researchers can see where these cells go thanks to a new optical camera procured and tested by Jefferson Lab’s Detector and Imaging Group, headed by Stan Majewski. The camera was recently added to an imaging system the group had already built and had been used by CWRU researchers in studies of a gene therapy for cystic fibrosis. For that study, the system was bi-modal, with the ability to capture nuclear medical images and x-ray images. The group upgraded the system to a tri-modal unit by adding a very sensitive optical camera for this new wound-healing study.

 

Landscaping company wins annual small business award at JLab (top ^)

Men with beam gun

Jefferson Lab Director Christoph Leemann poses for a photo with Village Greenery owner Robert Panchision after presenting Panchision with the Lab’s Outstanding Small Business Subcontractor award for fiscal year 2005.

Jefferson Lab recently recognized a grounds maintenance and landscaping business based in Yorktown, Virginia, as its Outstanding Small Business Subcontractor of the Year. Village Greenery, owned and managed by Robert Panchision, received the Southeastern Universities Research Association (SURA)/JLab Outstanding Small Business Subcontractor award for fiscal year 2005. At a reception held March 31, Department of Energy Site Office officials, senior JLab management, Procurement and Facilities Management staff, and a number of Lab employees gathered to congratulate Robert Panchision as he received the award plaque from JLab Director, Christoph Leemann.

“This is a tough competition,” noted Danny Lloyd, JLab’s Small Business Program Manager. “Jefferson Lab subcontracts a broad range of supplies and services and Village Greenery was one of nearly 900 small business firms that had done business with JLab during FY2005. Village Greenery led the pack this year by being consistently responsive and providing professional lawn and landscaping services to Jefferson Lab.”

Village Greenery has provided grounds maintenance and landscaping services at JLab for more than 16 years and helps the Lab maintain its professional appearance as a world-class nuclear physics research center. Of particular note, according to JLab Facility Manager Rusty Sprouse, was the Village Greenery staff’s tireless effort in restoring grounds areas that were repeatedly torn up during construction of the CEBAF Center Addition. Village Greenery was also recognized for its outstanding site support following Hurricane Isabel’s impact on the Jefferson Lab campus in 2003. These are just a couple examples of this company’s dedication to Jefferson Lab,” Sprouse said.

 

JLab's Science Education website helps students prepare for 2006 Standards of Learning tests (top ^)

The use of Jefferson Lab's Science Education website is climbing as Virginia students prepare to take the spring 2006 Standards of Learning tests.

“The most frequently accessed pages on our website include the Virginia Standards of Learning Science, Math and Technology Practice Tests and our ‘Who Wants to Win $1,000,000 Math and Science Quiz,’” says Steve Gagnon, Science Education technician and webmaster.

The website includes the recently released 2005 SOL tests, and has an archive of the tests going back to 2000. Test categories include: 3rd grade math and science questions; 5th grade math, science and technology questions; 8th grade math, science and technology questions; high school algebra I & II, geometry, earth science, and chemistry questions.

“The SOL practice tests are a great resource for students, teachers, parents – or anyone interested in the information,” Gagnon adds. The website is set up so a person can request 10, 20, or 40 random, multiple-choice questions from a single category. Or if desired, the site allows teachers and students to bring up nonrandom sets of questions. If a teacher wants the class to review a series of specific subcategories, the teacher can direct students to JLab's SOL index page and make an assigned series of selections from the “options” offered. Then all of the students will go through the same fixed set of questions. “We think this feature is very useful,” Gagnon comments.

The interactive design of the site lets users select and submit their answer. They are told if their response is right or wrong. If correct, the answer page repeats the question/problem and the correct answer. If a question is answered incorrectly, the answer page provides the question with the correct answer.

Daily use of this review tool has climbed steadily over the past several weeks. “It is common for the website to have more than 700,000 pages hit in a 24-hour period this time of year,” Gagnon notes. The other hot spot on the JLab Science Education website is the “Who Wants to Win $1,000,000 Math and Science Quiz,” which is also a fun way to review math and science information — even though contestants aren't playing for real money.

Check out the JLab Education web page for these and other games and activities. To access the SOL practice tests or to play the $1,000,000 math and science quiz, click on the Games & Puzzles icon.

JLab’s Science Education staff invites families, groups to summer 2006 Physics Fests (top ^)

A Physics Fest is a two-hour presentation (10 a.m. - noon) that includes an interactive summary of the research conducted at Jefferson Lab followed by the popular Deep Freeze (cryogenics) and Hot Stuff (plasmas) demonstrations, which showcase some of the technology used at Jefferson Lab to conduct experiments. Summer 2006 Physics Fest dates include: Thursday, June 1; Wednesday, July 12; and Wednesday, July 26.

Parents, teachers and youth planning to attend a Physics Fest may download the Physics Fest Classroom Activity Pack from JLab’s Science Education website. This file contains general information about JLab, the anatomy of atoms, a vocabulary list with related games and puzzles, and data sheets and activities that may be used before, during and after attending a Physics Fest. The Activity Pack is about 2.1 MB in size, and can be downloaded with Adobe Reader software. The materials are written at the 6th-grade reading level.

Individual students and groups must be accompanied for the duration of the event by parents or authorized adult escorts. These free events take place in the CEBAF Center auditorium. Seating is limited; reservations are required. Contact Dave Abbott in Science Education, email davida@jlab.org, or phone (757) 269-7633 for reservations.

For security purposes, everyone over 16 is asked to carry a photo I.D. Security guards may inspect vehicles, bookbags, parcels, etc. Visit JLab’s virtual Visitor Center for directions.