Inside SLAC – the longest linear particle accelerator in 360 degrees

well slack used to be the Stanford

Linear Accelerator Center it is now it's

a National Lab in the Department of

Energy family of National Labs this one

focuses predominantly on accelerator

linear accelerator technology we also

have multiple research efforts going on

at the lab slack is bigger than most

people realize so we have about 1,400

people working on staff now we have 140

buildings the accelerator is two miles

long and it is the longest linear single

building on earth the thing that you're

looking at when you're when you look at

the klystron gallery this is a mock-up

of what's actually going on underground

from where you'd be standing right here

up above the accelerator that's actually

10 meters underground so 30 feet below

the surface and so the copper tubes

actually the inside of those copper

tubes look like a little bit of a like a

tuna can almost and then there's a hole

down the middle and that's where the

electrons get accelerated and so if you

walk into this room you'll see these big

orange container big cylinders orange

cylinders those are the source of

radiofrequency energy which is pumping

this long stretch of stacked-up tuna

cans from either end and creates a

standing wave of radiofrequency electric

field and so when you walk into this

klystron gallery and you look up and you

look down and you cannot see the end it

is really heartwarming to know that

humans back in 1962 were able to build

this thing that was so perfectly

straight over such an incredible



the sxr hatch here is they typically

study condensed commencement

and so they're looking at novel

materials used for computing industry

storage magnetic materials

this is a mo we study the spectroscopy

of molecules and then what we're after

is how does the structure of a molecule

impact how fast it reacts for

photosynthesis whatever we may be

interested in this room is called it the

accelerator control room its new

location they have it sort of almost

like a fishbowl where there's a big

glass window where if you're in this

building you can look through the glass

window and watch the operators we're

running the accelerator looking at

screens and figuring out what's going on

is essentially what they're always

trying to do because the machine is

always operating in a condition where

it's a little bit broken and it never

really is working absolutely perfectly

so largely when they're in there looking

at the computer screens they're looking

at all of these measurements that happen

about the electrons on their way to

making x-rays in the future the part of

the construction that they're building

is called LCLs - and it's this upgrade

that will turn on sometime in 2020 late

2020 we'll start using it where instead

of firing 120 times per second they have

a new version of the accelerator that is

superconducting instead of having 120

photographs per second we're going to

get a million photographs per second so

I think what's actually most interesting

about this is not just that we're going

to record the same data but a you know

10 10 thousand times faster it's that

we're actually going to think about how

we perform experiments differently

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