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  • Drell to Present at WiO 2009
Jan 2009
This year, the world’s first hard X-ray free electron laser (FEL) will be turned on at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC) National Accelerator Laboratory in Menlo Park, Calif.

Persis S. Drell, director of the SLAC at Stanford University, will describe this phenomenon at this year’s Women in Optics (WiO) Presentation and Reception at Photonics West 2009, in San Jose, Calif.

Drell.jpgDrell will present her research titled, “Free Electron Lasers at an Angstrom: A Revolution in Hard X-Ray Sources,” which describes Linac Coherent Light Source – the world’s first hard X-ray FEL – and she will delve into the scientific motivation, recent experiment results and the X-ray FEL’s prospects for the future.

The reception will be held on Tuesday, Jan. 27, at the Fairmont Hotel from 4:30-6 p.m. and will be open to all conference attendees. This will be an opportunity for networking, information and inspiration – a chance to connect with other in the industry while enjoying wine and cheese refreshments. Furthermore, the WiO will be a unique opportunity to meet one of the brightest women working in optics today.

Drell was just recently named the new director of the SLAC by university president John Hennessy. A professor of physics at SLAC, Drell has also held a series of senior positions at the laboratory since 2002 and has served as acting director since Sept. Stanford University operates SLAC on behalf of the US Department of Energy's Office of Science.

Drell's appointment as director follows an international search and interview process conducted by a committee appointed by Hennessy. The committee began its work in March 2007, when Jonathan Dorfan, former director, announced his intention to step down.

Drell, 51, is the fourth director of SLAC since its inception in 1962. The late Wolfgang "Pief" Panofsky, SLAC's founding director, served from 1961 to 1984. Nobel laureate Burton Richter was director from 1984 to 1999. Dorfan was the third SLAC director and served from 1999 until September 2007.

Drell has been recognized for her scientific achievements and leadership and has received, among other honors, a National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator Award, a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship and election to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2002 she was included in Discover magazine's "50 Most Important Women in Science."

For more information about WiO 2009, visit:

The technology of generating and harnessing light and other forms of radiant energy whose quantum unit is the photon. The science includes light emission, transmission, deflection, amplification and detection by optical components and instruments, lasers and other light sources, fiber optics, electro-optical instrumentation, related hardware and electronics, and sophisticated systems. The range of applications of photonics extends from energy generation to detection to communications and...
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