SLAC History & Lore

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Stanford and SLAC Celebrate Arthur Bienenstock

An all-day symposium recognized the professor emeritus for his many contributions to the scientific community, from pioneering synchrotron radiation research at SSRL to making science policies on Capitol Hill.

Symmetry: The November Revolution

Forty years ago, two different research groups announced the discovery of the same new particle and redefined how physicists view the universe.

Photo Exhibit Highlights SLAC History

As part of the opening of the new Research Support Building, SLAC's Archives and History Office is currently displaying a photo exhibition called "SLAC Perspectives: Then and Now." These photos, taken from the new exhibit, give a glimpse of SLAC's construction and early years.

SPEAR-heading X-ray Science for 40 Years

Last Saturday marked the 40th anniversary of an historic event: In 1973, a team of research pioneers extracted hard X-rays for the first time from SLAC's SPEAR accelerator. Like X-rays from an X-ray tube, the radiation generated by SPEAR can deeply penetrate a large variety of materials and probe their inner structures. However, SPEAR's X-rays are significantly more intense and unlock the possibility for brand new science.

Shedding Light

In 1971, physicist Burton Richter of Stanford Linear Accelerator Center was building a new type of particle collider called a storage ring. The lab’s two-mile-long linear accelerator—housed in what was then the longest building in the world—would shoot electrons and their antimatter twins, called positrons, into the 80-meter-diameter Stanford Positron Electron Accelerating Ring, and SPEAR would set the beams of particles on a collision course. Richter and his colleagues stood by to examine the debris to see what discoveries came out.