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Stanford Report, June 14, 2000

Cardinal Chronicle

YALE AND UPPSALA UNIVERSITY OF SWEDEN recently awarded honorary degrees to outgoing President CASPER. Uppsala's ceremony was memorable because it was conducted in Latin. "It was a very solemn type of thing," says Professor Emeritus STIG HAGSTROM, who attended the three-hour event. But Casper the legal scholar was unfazed ­ he told Hagstrom that he could understand the whole thing. Who ever said that studying dead languages was useless?

FOR PHYSICS STUDENTS PAUL CARR AND KZ ROBINSON, the world is a laboratory, and Hoover Tower is fair game for an experiment. In Physics 201, taught by HEPL Fellow CHRIS RELLA with TA GEORGE MARCUS in physicist RICK PAM's Advanced Teaching Lab, students measured the distance between Varian and Hoover. It was similar to an experiment once performed to measure the distance from Earth to the moon: Scientists fired a laser from nearby Lick Observatory to a mirror that Apollo astronauts had placed on the moon and recorded how long it took for the light to be reflected back to Lick. At Stanford, students placed a mirror on Hoover tower's observatory. Then they set up a laser on the roof patio of Varian and directed pulsed light toward the Hoover mirror, which reflected it back to Varian. By knowing the speed of light and measuring the time it took the light to reach the detector, the students were able to calculate the distance: 490.2 meters, give or take a half-meter.

SLAC NEEDS ROOMS FOR SCIENTISTS WORKING at the center this summer, says TONI CAMPOS, housing services coordinator. "There are about eight [people] left that we don't have spots for," she says. The biggest crunch time is from June 26 to July 28, when physicists come from abroad to work on experiments using the BaBar detector. The scientists, mostly men, can pay up to $30 a night and some may need light cooking. Campos says the lodgers will spend 10 to 14 hours a day at SLAC. Call her at 926-3111 if you can help out and live near SLAC.

AND LAST WEEK IT WAS GOODBYE TO THE OLD homes of ITSS, the News Service and Stanford Events. Built in 1954 and 1961, the buildings came down quickly as demolition workers zoomed about with a chomping excavator. "It was the only time in my 26 years at Stanford that I had my own cubicle," said a wistful JERRY LATHROP, as he watched the place turn into a pile of pulverized concrete. Lathrop, a distant descendent of JANE STANFORD, worked there for ITSS for five years. Most of the complex on Santa Teresa Street will be razed to make room for the Mechanical Engineering lab, slated to be built by December 2001.