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Users Group: Board of Directors Minutes

Minutes of the meeting on April 2, 2001

Report and Discussion on Long Range Plan Meeting in Santa Fe

The meeting started with Charlie Glashausser recounting events at the recent NSAC LRPC meeting in Santa Fe. The Draft of Final Recommendations was passed out. Christoph Leemann, Larry Cardman, Charlie Glashausser, and Allison Lung, all participants of the Santa Fe meeting, gave their decription of events and their take on the resulting list of priorities. Of primary interest to the JLab community we note:

Continued user support and, particularly, contact with congress see Outreach below is necessary to make the upgrade happen. RIA, the #2 priority, requires substantial funding beyond the standard nuclear physics budget; the recommendation explicitly states that funding for RIA should not detract from the leadership positions of JLab and RHIC. Priority #3, construction of an underground laboratory at the Homestake Mine, is expected to be funded by the NSF. Thus the JLab upgrade could happen with a DOE budget that increases modestly over the next few years.

Laboratory Status/Budget

JLab director Christoph Leemann gave a presentation on the status and budget of the laboratory. An additional \$10.7M is needed above the inflation adjusted FY'01 funding level in order to increase physics productivity by 50% ($4.7M), to support 12 GeV prototyping and strengthening SRF core competency ($4.2M), and promote JLab scientific leadership ($1.8M).

Charlie Sinclair (Acting Associate Director for Accelerator Division) talked about the status of the machine. He discussed the klystron problem, the status and upgrade plans for the polarized source, the need for additional machine development time, and the need for increased funding to maintain the present number of weeks of operation. There is presently no reliable supply of good quality, strained-GaAs photocathode stock and minimal spare photocathodes on hand. (See Executive Session below.)

User Survey

Most survey respondents seemed satisfied with the present system for getting experiments done at JLab. (Results are tallied at

In those cases where users were dissatisfied, there often wasn't enough coherence to justify action. Mark Jones presented his synopsis of actionable items from the Experimental User Survey:

Finally, the UGBOD discussed whether 3 years was the most appropriate period for Jeopardy. Although users generally supported Jeopardy, most felt that a longer time period would be better. Larry Cardman gave an impromptu presentation on the subtleties of Jeopardy. The UGBOD agreed to study the matter further before considering any action on Jeopardy.

June User Meeting and Workshops

Al Nathan presented the agenda for the Users Group meeting to be held June 20-22 at JLab. Dave Mack presented the agenda for the workshop on parity violation. Gary Adams listed the speakers and topics for the workshop on exotic mesons. Information can be found at

Area Reports:

Graduate Students - Dodge, Uzzle

Alicia Uzzle asked about the possibility of a graduate student discount in the cafeteria. Larry Cardman suggested she estimate the cost and talk to Dave Ernst, the SURA liaison with the Lab, about possibly making a request to SURA.

There was some discussion about the value of a lounge area for students. However, it was agreed that user office space had a higher priority and there was no general support for converting space in Trailer City. Roy Whitney should be lobbied for space in the new building.

Gail Dodge reported that the 1st round results for the CEBAF Thesis Prize are due from the readers by April 20th. There were 9 nominations with contributions from all three Halls. [Four theses have been passed to the final round. Results should be known by about May 21.

PAC Issues - Adams
Gary Adams reported that CLAS proposals will undergo jeopardy for the first time at PAC20. The details were explained to the CLAS collaboration at a recent meeting.

EH&S - Miskimen
With the exception of some minor problems at the time of the meeting, the User Liaison website at contains reasonable instructions and links for new users to get the training needed to do experiments. Those minor problems have since been communicated to Clara Perdue, the new head of User Liaison.

Quality of Life - Gao
UGBOD action items from the Quality of Life survey were implemented, largely by Dennis Skopik. After hours access to Trailer City was simplified, and the number of free-access terminals in CEBAF Center was doubled. These simple steps made a lot of users happier. Thanks, Dennis!

Running - Mack
The only completed experiments since the last meeting were in Hall A. There were a lot of configuration changes, but all A users got enough of their data to declare their experiments ``complete'' (ie, Templon/Mitchell, Perdrisat/Jones, and Gao/Holt). Hall B was nearing the end of the EG1b run and was on track to reach their proposed goals. Hall C was nearing the end of the G_E^n Madey/Kowalski experiment and was on track to reach their proposed goals for G_E^n. The C experimenters elected to not take any G_M^n measurements.

All Halls referred to the injector vacuum incident as their biggest perturbation.

Computers - Jones
Mark Jones and Bob Michaels (Hall A computing committee representative) commented:

Silo access is improving. New JLab software should make it even faster.

Spokespersons need to think about their computing/disk requirements well before the experiment. With 6 months notice, special requests can usually be accomodated. Recently, users with last-minute special requests for large amounts of disk storage have had to provide their own.

Hall Issues - deJager, Mecking, Carlini

Hall A
The Kaon electroproduction experiment is ongoing. Two polarized 3He experiments are planned. The first of 4 coils of the septum magnet should be completed soon. A readiness review concluded that the schedule was too tight to run Real Compton Scattering this Fall, so 16O(e,e'p) will be run instead. Assuming the septum magnets are ready, they will later be installed to run the hypernuclear experiment. Finally, Kees pointed out that scheduling is already very constrained. He did not think that G0 and Happex should attempt to run at the same time.

Hall B
Data acquisition improvements now permit 4000 events/second. Since the apparatus is now working well, upcoming experiments will generally use the remainder of their beamtime and run to conclusion. That said, the upcoming G8 experiment will be scheduled to take only 1/2 their beamtime.

Hall C
The G_E^n Madey/Kowalski experiment is ongoing and the experimenters are getting their data. The G_E^n Day/Mitchell experiment will run next, followed by G0 installation and commissioning. Small experiments will have been essentially blocked from Hall C for about 2 years, but a block of small experiments will then run after G0.

Outreach/Publicity/Congress: Responsibilities of Users

Debbie Magaldi talked about outreach to Congress and the media. The board picked up a few pointers.

Regarding congressional outreach, she explained that congresspersons are very busy when they're in DC and focused largely on what bills are nearing a floor vote. When the congresspersons are at home there are more opportunities to meet with them, explain what we do, and discuss support for our field. This is important since recently it has become clear that some politicians aren't aware that there is an Office of Science in the DOE.

Regarding media outreach, it was clear from Debbie's presentation that the average physicist (or at least UGBOD member) is a poor judge of what makes a good newspaper article. Among other things, a good story is timely, has a good visual, some good buzz words, possibly a human interest angle, and some import (which may be a generation or more down the road). That sounds reasonable, but most experimenters who are told this probably have personal standards which are too high. For example, one needn't wait until a month before an important result is published in PRL to contact Debbie; the mere installation of a detector or the delivery of a magnet may be a minor media event. Since most physicists don't have much experience in these matters, Debbie suggested taking the shotgun approach: submit a list of ideas for stories to her in the hope that one or more stories might result. Gary Adams commented that, based on RPI's experience at BNL, it was quite difficult to get an article in the paper which would be picked up by the national wire service.

Executive Session

The Board discussed a number of issues, and reported their conclusions in the closeout session with management:

  1. Concerning the 12 GeV Upgrade recommendation in the Long Range Plan...
    In spite of a lower ranking than we would have liked, we remain optimistic that the JLab upgrade can go forward in a timely manner.
  2. We will work with JLab and SURA to get users involved in working with Congress to improve the operations budget and to get support for the Upgrade. It is probably most efficient if users can establish good contacts with their home congressmen in their home offices rather than in Washington.

    Efforts should also be made to get more publicity for JLab science. A step in this direction is to ask for a popular abstract of each submitted paper. This should be given to Linda Ware's office.
  3. The Board expressed its concern about the supply of wafers for the polarized source. Serious efforts should be made to establish a permanent supply.
  4. In response to the survey, the Board recomended the action items listed above, under User Survey. Since the survey was completed just before the meeting, the Board still needs to carefully look at the individual coments to see if further actions should be proposed.