SLAC gate sign

About our name

The name SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory pays homage to the legacy of the lab and its connection to Stanford University and the Department of Energy (DOE). Formerly Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, the lab's name was changed in 2008 as SLAC underwent a shift from a focus on particle physics to a broader, multi-program laboratory with research across a range of areas including X-ray science, chemistry, materials sciences, astrophysics and many others.

The words “National Accelerator Laboratory” signify SLAC’s role as one of 17 DOE national laboratories and one of three DOE national accelerator laboratories (Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory and Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility are the others). The DOE’s national labs are powerhouses of science and technology for the nation and are home to some of the world’s most powerful experiments, fastest supercomputers and preeminent researchers.

Our name and referencing us

  • “SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory” should always be spelled out in its entirety on first reference.
  • Follow-up references can shorten the name to “SLAC,” but the laboratory should never be referred to as “SNAL” or “SLACNAL.”
  • As SLAC is no longer an acronym, it should never be spelled out; however, the word “SLAC” should always be represented in upper-case letters.


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Learn more about SLAC

About SLAC
While SLAC’s research has expanded in many directions since our founding in 1962, our guiding principle remains the same: We dream big, and our...
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Then and now
SLAC began in 1962 with construction of a 2-mile-long electron accelerator that would take particle physics to new heights. Today we are known for...
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By the numbers

What is SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory? The numbers tell the tale.