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SLAC Research Makes Science Magazine's Top 10 of 2013

Editors of the journal Science, published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, have selected their annual Top 10 Science Breakthroughs of the Year. On the list: Work by SLAC researchers pinning down the origin of cosmic rays.

Scientists Line Up Unruly Gas Molecules for X-rays

It's hard to study individual molecules in a gas because they tumble around chaotically and never sit still. Researchers at SLAC overcame this challenge by using a laser to point them in the same general direction, like compass needles responding to a magnet, so they could be more easily studied with an X-ray laser.

X-ray Laser Maps Important Drug Target

Researchers have used one of the brightest X-ray sources on the planet to map the 3-D structure of an important cellular gatekeeper known as a G protein-coupled receptor, or GPCR, in a more natural state than possible before.

LCLS Powers Chain Reaction of Light: A New Tool for X-ray Studies

Researchers have found a new way to probe molecules and atoms with an X-ray laser, setting off cascading bursts of light that reveal precise details of what is going on inside, which could allow scientists to see details of chemical reactions in a way not possible before.

Symmetry: The Universe's Earliest Moments

How is it possible to look at the earliest moments of the universe? Physicists have their ways—and what they find out will tell us a lot about how the universe works today and how it will unfold in the future.

Home Computers Discover Gamma-ray Pulsars

As volunteers for a project called Einstein@Home, citizen scientists unleashed the unused cycles of their home computers on data from the Large Area Telescope, the SLAC-operated main instrument of the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope, and found four new pulsars.

Mock Data, Real Science

In scientific circles, “mock” is not always a four-letter word. To test that they’re interpreting their massive amounts of data correctly, astrophysicists create even more data: “mock” data. And while that may be counterintuitive at first, it actually makes a surprising amount of sense.