SLAC

Three United States DOE national laboratories – SLAC, Fermilab and Jefferson Lab – have partnered to build an advanced particle accelerator that will power the LCLS-II X-ray laser. Thanks to technology developed for nuclear and high-energy physics, the new X-ray laser will produce a nearly continuous wave of electrons and allow scientists to peer more deeply than ever before into the building blocks of life and matter.

As she grew up in the small town of San Pellegrino in the Italian Alps, three things conspired to make Maria Elena Monzani a physicist: a fascination for outer space, a Nobel Prize and a nuclear disaster. Now she prepares an international team to search for clues to one of the biggest scientific mysteries.

Scientists at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory are building the world’s largest digital camera for astronomy and astrophysics — a minivan-sized 3200-megapixel “eye” of the future Large Synoptic Survey Telescope that will see light in 2022. In the meantime, the lab has completed its work on a miniature version that will soon be used for testing the telescope and taking LSST’s first images of the night sky. ComCam will help test the observatory once it is installed in Chile later this year.

In a brightly lit clean room at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, engineers are building a car-sized digital camera for the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope. When it’s ready, LSST will image almost all of the sky visible from its vantage point on a Chilean mountain, Cerro Pachón, every few nights for a decade to make an astronomical movie of unprecedented proportions. Building the LSST means solving extraordinary technological challenges.

A pair of 1964 films detailing the construction of Stanford Linear Accelerator Center were recently remastered and are now available for viewing on YouTube. The films provide a fascinating look back at the origins of SLAC and the history of particle physics in the United States. At the time of the production, SLAC was the largest civilian basic science project ever undertaken in the United States.

The building boom

These international projects, selected during the process to plan the future of U.S. particle physics, are all set to come online within the next 10 years.

A specialized measuring machine at SLAC is helping scientists build precise detectors for the ATLAS experiment.