SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

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SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University will continue their partnership for another five years thanks to a five-year contract extension from the U.S. Department of Energy. Stanford has operated SLAC – originally known as the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center – since its founding in 1962.

“At SLAC, we are very fortunate to combine the best of both worlds,” said Chi-Chang Kao, director of SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Professor of Photon Sciences. “We are an active part of the world-renowned Stanford community. And, because of the U.S. Department of Energy’s support for large-scale facilities and projects bigger than what any one institution can undertake alone, we participate in research that expands our knowledge of the natural world, aids development of future technologies, and impacts society.”

The two-mile long linear accelerator can be seen from a number of vantage points in Menlo Park. SLAC operates the nation’s only (and the world’s first) X-ray laser facility, which is undergoing a billion-dollar upgrade and will increase the power and capacity of the X-ray laser for experiments that sharpen our view of how nature works on the atomic level and on ultrafast timescales.

SLAC is also leading construction of the largest digital camera ever built for astronomy – the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope, or LSST. When completed, the camera will be housed in a new mountaintop facility in Chile to address some of the most pressing questions about the structure and evolution of the universe and enhance our understanding of dark matter and dark energy.

Photo of SLAC’s research yard at dawn, seen from the radio tower overlook by Matthew Beardsley

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Secret lives of life’s molecules explored at SLAC lecture on April 11

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SLAC scientist Raymond Sierra will present Caught on Camera: The Secret Lives of Life’s Molecules in Panofsky Auditorium on Tuesday, April 11 at 7:30 pm. For decades, scientists have been working to understand the building blocks of life by studying the structures of proteins and other large biological molecules. Using clever tricks with microscopes, electrons, […]

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Taking down a giant: 699 tons of SLAC’s Accelerator removed for upgrade

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For the first time in more than 50 years, a door that is opened at the western end of the historic linear accelerator at the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory casts light on four empty walls stretching as far as the eye can see. This end of the linac – a full kilometer […]

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Galaxy Clusters is topic of public lecture at SLAC on Jan. 31

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SLAC Research Scientist Eli Rykoff will give a talk titled Galaxy Clusters and the Life and Death of the Universe at the Kavli Auditorium (Building 51) at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory on Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017, at 7:30 pm. Seated is limited to 150; overflow will be directed to other rooms to watch the live steam. The […]

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SLAC research shows how tiny device can disinfect water in minutes, not hours

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In many parts of the world, the only way to make germy water safe is by boiling, which consumes precious fuel, or by putting it out in the sun in a plastic bottle so ultraviolet rays will kill the microbes. But because UV rays carry only 4 percent of the sun’s total energy, the UV […]

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History of the Milky Way explained by SLAC physicist on Oct. 11

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What do we know about the origins and history of our home galaxy, how do we know it — and how can we use that information to hypothesize about the future of the Milky Way? On Tuesday, October 11, SLAC Astronomer Phil Marshall will share billions of years of history in about an hour’s time […]

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“A Material World: a Renaissance at the Atomic Scale” is topic of SLAC public lecture

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Rob Moore will be speaking on A Material World: a Renaissance at the Atomic Scale at a free public lecture at SLAC’s Panofsky Auditorium on Tuesday Sept. 27, from 7:30 to 8:30 pm. It would have been hard to predict Google, Facebook and Twitter as results of the creation of the first transistor out of a chunk of […]

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Greene Scholars explore science and engineering at SLAC in Menlo Park

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Jaden Morgan, a 13-year-old rising freshman who will attend Bellarmine College Preparatory in San Jose this fall, had heard about SLAC’s legendary two-mile-long accelerator but had never been to the lab. This summer he had the chance to see the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory facilities in Menlo Park up close and hear […]

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SLAC’s historic linac turns 50 and gets a makeover

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Since the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory in Menlo Park powered up its “linac” half a century ago, the 2-mile-long particle accelerator has driven a large number of successful research programs in particle physics, accelerator development and X-ray science. Now, the historic particle highway is getting a makeover that will pave the way […]

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New X-ray laser at SLAC brings promise of never-before-seen views of nature

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Construction has begun on a major upgrade to a unique X-ray laser at the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory in Menlo Park. The project will add a second X-ray laser beam that’s 10,000 times brighter, on average, than the first one and fires 8,000 times faster, up to a million pulses per second. The […]

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Public can tour SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory twice a month beginning in April

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Beginning in April, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory in Menlo Park will offer free public tours, which last approximately 90 minutes and include a visit to the lab’s two-mile-long linear accelerator, now driving the world’s brightest X-ray source. Tours are offered twice a month, by registration only, which opens on the last Friday of the previous month. Registration […]

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