Doe Science news source
The DOE Science News Source is a Newswise initiative to promote research news from the Office of Science of the DOE to the public and news media.
  • 2018-02-06 12:05:29
  • Article ID: 689066

SLAC Celebrates Legacy of Theoretical Physicist Sidney Drell

Nearly 200 guests attended a symposium on fundamental physics to celebrate the former deputy director's numerous scientific contributions, which continue to have a tremendous impact on our understanding of the subatomic world.

  • Credit: Terry Anderson/SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

    SLAC celebrated the legacy of former Deputy Director Sidney Drell with a Jan. 12 symposium on fundamental physics.

With a symposium on fundamental physics, the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory remembered one of its key figures: world-renowned theoretical physicist Sidney Drell, who passed away in December 2016. Nearly 200 guests attended the Jan. 12 event to celebrate Drell’s numerous scientific contributions, which continue to have a tremendous impact on our understanding of the subatomic world.

The professor emeritus of theoretical physics at SLAC and Stanford was widely recognized as a researcher of outstanding merit. From 1969 to his retirement in 1998, he was deputy director of SLAC, where he built a top-notch theory group and paved the way for decades of research at the forefront of fundamental science – a tradition that continues to this day.

“Sid’s vision is one of the reasons why SLAC exists,” said SLAC theorist and symposium chair Michael Peskin. “He had a crucial influence on the lab and the wider scientific community. It’s only appropriate that we celebrate him with this special event, which highlights the scientific topics he initiated and discusses their current status.”

Drell also dedicated a lot of time to policy, advising the United States government on national security issues, pushing for arms control and nuclear nonproliferation, and taking a stance against human rights violations by the Soviet government. For his dual role in science and the application of science to inform national policies, Drell received a number of prestigious awards, including the National Medal of Science in 2013 and the Enrico Fermi Award in 2000.

The SLAC event focused on the science.

“We wanted to bring people together who have worked with Sid and who have profited from this relationship in their careers,” Peskin said. “We wanted a forward-looking event that emphasizes how Sid’s scientific legacy continues to influence fundamental physics today.”

Nature at the Most Fundamental Level

Two symposium sessions were dedicated to scientific progress in the areas Drell made his best-known contributions: studies of the substructure of the proton and the search for unknown phenomena in precision studies of the electromagnetic force.

The first topic is the very reason SLAC was founded. In the 1960s, researchers used the lab’s 2-mile-long linear accelerator as a high-resolution electron microscope to examine whether protons are made up of more fundamental components. Thanks to those experiments and others, we now know that they are indeed composed of elementary quarks and gluons, which are tightly held together by the strong nuclear force.

Research into the fine details of the strong force and particle substructure continues to this day, for example at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN, the European particle physics laboratory. One of the remaining big questions these modern particle physics experiments are trying to answer is whether particles like quarks, electrons or the Higgs boson are also composites of more fundamental particles. The symposium discussed an important tool for the analysis of these experiments – the Drell-Yan process, which was formulated by Drell and research associate Tung-Mow Yan in 1970.

Another series of lectures concentrated on precision tests of quantum electrodynamics – the quantum theory of the electromagnetic force. Drell recognized as early as the 1950s that such tests could reveal tiny deviations from the theory, potentially hinting at new fundamental physics. The symposium included presentations from two of the most incisive current experiments, the Muon g-2 experiment and ACME.     

Dedication to Science and Beyond

Another session brought together Drell’s former students James “BJ” BjorkenRobert JaffeJoel Primack, and former postdoctoral fellow Alan Guth, all of whom went on to have illustrious careers in academia. They gave personal accounts of their work and friendship with Drell, crediting him for having crucially influenced their careers.

“Sid continued what had already begun under H. Pierre Noyes, the first director of SLAC’s theory group,” Bjorken said. “He created an informal atmosphere in which nobody had to be afraid to ask questions. Seminars frequently lasted for hours, and all that mattered was to find answers to very fundamental questions.”

JoAnne Hewett, director of SLAC’s Fundamental Physics Directorate and the lab’s chief research officer, said, “Sid established an extraordinary culture of openness, friendliness and dedication that is fundamental to the great science done at SLAC.”     

The symposium concluded with a session on the many other facets of Drell’s work and life, including his crucial role in informing physics-based policy for the nation’s nuclear weapons program and his friendship with Soviet nuclear physicist and dissident Andrei Sakharov.  

The symposium was organized by Thomas Appelquist from Yale University; Michael Chanowitz from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory; Joel Primack from University of California, Santa Cruz; and Michael Peskin from SLAC.

Further information on Sidney Drell:

  • Obituary by Stanford University
  • Video by the National Science and Technology Medals Foundation


SLAC is a multi-program laboratory exploring frontier questions in photon science, astrophysics, particle physics and accelerator research. Located in Menlo Park, Calif., SLAC is operated by Stanford University for the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science.

SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory is supported by the Office of Science of the U.S. Department of Energy. The Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit science.energy.gov.

X
X
X
  • Filters

  • × Clear Filters

Squeezing Into the Best Shape

Gel uses nanoparticles for on-demand control of droplet shapes, of interest for energy storage and catalysis.

Forcing the Hand of Elusive Electrons

Current generated when light hits a material reveals electrons behaving like an elusive particle.

Single Atoms in Nano-Cages

Tiny cages can trap and release inert argon gas atoms, allowing their further study and providing a new way to capture rare gases.

Why Polymer Solar Cells Deserve Their Place in the Sun

Organic polymer solar cells show potential to provide solar power to remote microwatt sensors, wearable technology and the Wi-Fi-connected appliances constituting the "internet of things." While PSCs cannot match the durability or efficiency of inorganic solar cells, the potential to mass-produce nontoxic, disposable solar panels using roll-to-roll production makes them attractive for additional applications. In this week's Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy, researchers review the latest advances and remaining challenges in PSC technology.

Unwavering Juggler with Three Extra Electrons

Simulations discovered the first molecule with three extra electrons and extraordinary stability.

Electric Eel-Inspired Device Reaches 110 Volts

In an effort to create a power source for future implantable technologies, a team of researchers developed an electric eel-inspired device that produced 110 volts from gels filled with water, called hydrogels. Their results show potential for a soft power source to draw on a biological system's chemical energy. Anirvan Guha will present the research during the 62nd Biophysical Society Annual Meeting, Feb. 17-21.

Researchers Demonstrate Promising Method for Improving Quantum Information Processing

A team of researchers led by the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory has demonstrated a new method for splitting light beams into their frequency modes, work that could spur advancements in quantum information processing and distributed quantum computing.

Deep Dive Into How Electrons Behave

Unprecedented characterization of subsurface electronic states could lead to better semiconductors and seeing new interactions.

Higher Income Level Linked to Police Use of Force Against Black Women

Black women with higher incomes are more likely to experience a forceful police interaction during a traffic stop, finds a new study from the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis."We found that the likelihood of exposure to each type of police use of force was significantly greater for black females with incomes over $50,000," said Robert Motley Jr.

Bringing a Hidden Superconducting State to Light

Using high-intensity pulses of infrared light, scientists found evidence of superconductivity associated with charge "stripes" in a material above the temperature at which it begins to transmit electricity without resistance--a finding that could help them design better high-temperature superconductors.


  • Filters

  • × Clear Filters

ORNL Wins Four FLC Technology Transfer Awards

Four technologies developed at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory have earned 2018 Excellence in Technology Transfer Awards from the Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer (FLC).

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, OHSU Create Joint Research Co-Laboratory to Advance Precision Medicine

News Release PORTLAND, Ore. -- Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and OHSU today announced a joint collaboration to improve patient care by focusing research on highly complex sets of biomedical data, and the tools to interpret them.The OHSU-PNNL Precision Medicine Innovation Co-Laboratory, called PMedIC, will provide a comprehensive ecosystem for scientists to utilize integrated 'omics, data science and imaging technologies in their research in order to advance precision medicine -- an approach to disease treatment that takes into account individual variability in genes, environment and lifestyle for each person.

The Mysteries of Plasma and Solar Eruptions Earn PPPL Graduate an Astrophysics Prize

Article describes dissertation award for graduate of Princeton University Department of Astrophysical Sciences.

45-Year-Old Telescope Gets a Makeover to Demystify Dark Energy

Forty-five years ago this month, a telescope tucked inside a 14-story, 500-ton dome atop a mile-high peak in Arizona took in the night sky for the first time and recorded its observations on glass photographic plates. Today, the dome closes on the previous science chapters of the 4-meter Nicholas U. Mayall Telescope and starts preparing for its new role in creating the largest 3-D map of the universe. This map could help determine why the universe is expanding at faster and faster rates, driven by an unknown force called dark energy.

MSU Uses $3 Million NASA Grant to Find Better Ways to Regulate Dams

Michigan State University researchers, equipped with $3 million from NASA, will investigate innovative methods to improve dams so that they are less harmful to people and the environment.

Harker School Wins Second Consecutive SLAC Regional DOE Science Bowl

Twenty-four teams from 16 Bay Area high schools faced off Feb. 3 in the SLAC Regional DOE Science Bowl, a series of fast-paced question-and-answer matches that test knowledge in biology, chemistry, physics, earth and space sciences, energy and math. The competition is hosted annually by the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory.

David Asner Named Deputy Associate Laboratory Director and Head of the Instrumentation Division in Brookhaven Lab's Nuclear and Particle Physics Directorate

A particle physicist with extensive leadership and management experience, Asner will help expand a portfolio of physics programs and oversee instrumentation research and development.

UIC to Provide Energy-Saving 'Kits' with $3.1m in Funding From ComEd

The University of Illinois at Chicago's Energy Resources Center has received funding from ComEd to provide energy-efficient LED light bulbs, advanced power strips, and educational material to income-qualified participants in northern Illinois.As part of a $3.1 million year-long investment, the utility company will fund the Low Income Kit Energy (LIKE) program, allowing engineers at UIC's Energy Resources Center to provide energy-saving kits to 35,000 eligible individuals and/or families.

DOE's HPC4Manufacturing Program Seeks Industry Proposals

The Department of Energy (DOE) on Feb. 1 announced up to $3 million will be made available to U.S. manufacturers for public/private projects aimed at applying high performance computing to industry challenges for the advancement of energy innovation.

Elke-Caroline Aschenauer Awarded Prestigious Humboldt Research Award

UPTON, NY -- Elke-Caroline Aschenauer, a senior physicist at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory, has been awarded a Humboldt Research Award for her contributions to the field of experimental nuclear physics. This prestigious international award--issued by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in Bonn, Germany--comes with a prize of EUR60,000 (more than $70,000 U.


  • Filters

  • × Clear Filters

Squeezing Into the Best Shape

Gel uses nanoparticles for on-demand control of droplet shapes, of interest for energy storage and catalysis.

Forcing the Hand of Elusive Electrons

Current generated when light hits a material reveals electrons behaving like an elusive particle.

Single Atoms in Nano-Cages

Tiny cages can trap and release inert argon gas atoms, allowing their further study and providing a new way to capture rare gases.

Unwavering Juggler with Three Extra Electrons

Simulations discovered the first molecule with three extra electrons and extraordinary stability.

Deep Dive Into How Electrons Behave

Unprecedented characterization of subsurface electronic states could lead to better semiconductors and seeing new interactions.

How Bacteria Produce Manganese Oxide Nanoparticles

Multiple techniques to characterize an enzyme complex shed light on how bacteria create particles and contribute to global cycles.

Meet the Director: Sergei Nagaitsev

This is one in a series of profiles on directors of the SC-stewarded user facilities. This profile features Sergei Nagaitsev, director of the Fermilab Accelerator Complex.

From 100,000 to 8: Representing Complex Aerosol Patterns with Far Fewer Particles

Study shows how aerosols interacting with clouds can be accurately captured by sparse set of representative particles.

Atomic Vibes During Melting?

Where does the heat go when a glass melts into a liquid? Not to changing the vibrations of atoms....

Taking Solar Energy to the Edge

Engineered stacked perovskite layers harvest light or create light via layer edges.


Spotlight

Thursday February 15, 2018, 12:05 PM

Insights on Innovation in Energy, Humanitarian Aid Highlight UVA Darden's Net Impact Week

University of Virginia Darden School of Business

Friday February 09, 2018, 11:05 AM

Ivy League Graduate, Writer and Activist with Dyslexia Visits CSUCI to Reframe the Concept of Learning Disabilities

California State University, Channel Islands

Wednesday January 17, 2018, 12:05 PM

Photographer Adam Nadel Selected as Fermilab's New Artist-in-Residence for 2018

Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab)

Wednesday January 17, 2018, 12:05 PM

Fermilab Computing Partners with Argonne, Local Schools for Hour of Code

Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab)

Wednesday December 20, 2017, 01:05 PM

Q&A: Sam Webb Teaches X-Ray Science from a Remote Classroom

SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

Monday December 18, 2017, 01:05 PM

The Future of Today's Electric Power Systems

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)

Monday December 18, 2017, 12:05 PM

Supporting the Development of Offshore Wind Power Plants

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)

Tuesday October 03, 2017, 01:05 PM

Stairway to Science

Argonne National Laboratory

Thursday September 28, 2017, 12:05 PM

After-School Energy Rush

Argonne National Laboratory

Thursday September 28, 2017, 10:05 AM

Bringing Diversity Into Computational Science Through Student Outreach

Brookhaven National Laboratory

Thursday September 21, 2017, 03:05 PM

From Science to Finance: SLAC Summer Interns Forge New Paths in STEM

SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

Thursday September 07, 2017, 02:05 PM

Students Discuss 'Cosmic Opportunities' at 45th Annual SLAC Summer Institute

SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

Thursday August 31, 2017, 05:05 PM

Binghamton University Opens $70 Million Smart Energy Building

Binghamton University, State University of New York

Wednesday August 23, 2017, 05:05 PM

Widening Horizons for High Schoolers with Code

Argonne National Laboratory

Saturday May 20, 2017, 12:05 PM

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Graduates Urged to Embrace Change at 211th Commencement

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)

Monday May 15, 2017, 01:05 PM

ORNL, University of Tennessee Launch New Doctoral Program in Data Science

Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Friday April 07, 2017, 11:05 AM

Champions in Science: Profile of Jonathan Kirzner

Department of Energy, Office of Science

Wednesday April 05, 2017, 12:05 PM

High-Schooler Solves College-Level Security Puzzle From Argonne, Sparks Interest in Career

Argonne National Laboratory

Tuesday March 28, 2017, 12:05 PM

Champions in Science: Profile of Jenica Jacobi

Department of Energy, Office of Science

Friday March 24, 2017, 10:40 AM

Great Neck South High School Wins Regional Science Bowl at Brookhaven Lab

Brookhaven National Laboratory

Wednesday February 15, 2017, 04:05 PM

Middle Schoolers Test Their Knowledge at Science Bowl Competition

Argonne National Laboratory

Friday January 27, 2017, 04:00 PM

Haslam Visits ORNL to Highlight State's Role in Discovering Tennessine

Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Tuesday November 08, 2016, 12:05 PM

Internship Program Helps Foster Development of Future Nuclear Scientists

Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Friday May 13, 2016, 04:05 PM

More Than 12,000 Explore Jefferson Lab During April 30 Open House

Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility

Monday April 25, 2016, 05:05 PM

Giving Back to National Science Bowl

Ames Laboratory

Friday March 25, 2016, 12:05 PM

NMSU Undergrad Tackles 3D Particle Scattering Animations After Receiving JSA Research Assistantship

Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility

Tuesday February 02, 2016, 10:05 AM

Shannon Greco: A Self-Described "STEM Education Zealot"

Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory

Monday November 16, 2015, 04:05 PM

Rare Earths for Life: An 85th Birthday Visit with Mr. Rare Earth

Ames Laboratory

Tuesday October 20, 2015, 01:05 PM

Meet Robert Palomino: 'Give Everything a Shot!'

Brookhaven National Laboratory

Tuesday April 22, 2014, 11:30 AM

University of Utah Makes Solar Accessible

University of Utah

Wednesday March 06, 2013, 03:40 PM

Student Innovator at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Seeks Brighter, Smarter, and More Efficient LEDs

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)

Friday November 16, 2012, 10:00 AM

Texas Tech Energy Commerce Students, Community Light up Tent City

Texas Tech University

Wednesday November 23, 2011, 10:45 AM

Don't Get 'Frosted' Over Heating Your Home This Winter

Temple University

Wednesday July 06, 2011, 06:00 PM

New Research Center To Tackle Critical Challenges Related to Aircraft Design, Wind Energy, Smart Buildings

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)

Friday April 22, 2011, 09:00 AM

First Polymer Solar-Thermal Device Heats Home, Saves Money

Wake Forest University

Friday April 15, 2011, 12:25 PM

Like Superman, American University Will Get Its Energy from the Sun

American University

Thursday February 10, 2011, 05:00 PM

ARRA Grant to Help Fund Seminary Building Green Roof

University of Chicago

Tuesday December 07, 2010, 05:00 PM

UC San Diego Installing 2.8 Megawatt Fuel Cell to Anchor Energy Innovation Park

University of California San Diego

Monday November 01, 2010, 12:50 PM

Rensselaer Smart Lighting Engineering Research Center Announces First Deployment of New Technology on Campus

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)

Friday September 10, 2010, 12:40 PM

Ithaca College Will Host Regional Clean Energy Summit

Ithaca College

Tuesday July 27, 2010, 10:30 AM

Texas Governor Announces $8.4 Million Award to Create Renewable Energy Institute

Texas Tech University

Friday May 07, 2010, 04:20 PM

Creighton University to Offer New Alternative Energy Program

Creighton University

Wednesday May 05, 2010, 09:30 AM

National Engineering Program Seeks Subject Matter Experts in Energy

JETS Junior Engineering Technical Society

Wednesday April 21, 2010, 12:30 PM

Students Using Solar Power To Create Sustainable Solutions for Haiti, Peru

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)

Wednesday March 03, 2010, 07:00 PM

Helping Hydrogen: Student Inventor Tackles Challenge of Hydrogen Storage

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)

Thursday February 04, 2010, 02:00 PM

Turning Exercise into Electricity

Furman University

Thursday November 12, 2009, 12:45 PM

Campus Leaders Showing the Way to a Sustainable, Clean Energy Future

National Wildlife Federation (NWF)

Tuesday November 03, 2009, 04:20 PM

Furman University Receives $2.5 Million DOE Grant for Geothermal Project

Furman University





Showing results

0-4 Of 2215