SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, located in Menlo Park, California, is home to some of the world’s most cutting-edge technologies, used by researchers worldwide to uncover scientific mysteries on the smallest and the largest scales—from the workings of the atom to the mysteries of the cosmos.
Equipped with state-of-the-art facilities and an advanced suite of scientific tools and expertise, SLAC is poised to welcome a frontier of discovery unlike any other in the lab’s fifty year history. The highlights below illustrate work underway to advance innovation and create new technologies that will improve our lives.
Scientists at SLAC are focusing on the atomic-scale design of catalysts for energy conversion and storage. Widely used in many industrial processes, catalysts are critical to future energy technologies, such as artificial photosynthesis, creating cleaner fuels and building better, more efficient batteries for energy storage.
SLAC is at the forefront of experiments aimed at improving the power and efficiency of particle accelerators used in basic research, medicine, industry and other areas important to society. By inducing electrons to “surf” on waves of plasma, researchers have accelerated these particles to 1,000 times greater energies over a given distance than ever before.
SLAC is leading the construction of the world’s biggest digital camera for the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope, the deepest sky survey ever undertaken, which will conduct precise probes of dark energy. Researchers at the lab will also fabricate crystals and develop scientific computing tools for the Super Cryogenic Dark Matter Search.
The ultra-fast, ultra-bright X-rays of SLAC’s LCLS are giving researchers an unprecedented view of the atomic world. Advanced instrumentation and expertise at the facility will soon enable the creation of the world’s first “molecular movies,” revealing the chemistry behind the processes of life.