Berkeley Lab Director Lauds SLAC's 50 Years of Service and Leadership

By Paul Alivisatos
August 30, 2012

from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Last Friday, I was privileged to give a science talk as part of the commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. In preparing for the talk, I took the opportunity to reflect upon the five decades of remarkable contributions our sister lab at Stanford has made to physics, the origins of team science, and how the national laboratories can thrive by collaborating on the most exciting research efforts of our time.

SLAC is an amazing place in the world of science, grounded in Pief Panofsky’s vision of a laboratory where all of the people involved with the running of the accelerators and detectors—whether scientists, engineers or administrative staff – were enjoined to attend the colloquia made to feel an integral part of the running of the laboratory and collectively responsible for its success.

Key elements of his vision were drawn from the joint historical experiences of SLAC and Berkeley Lab, which are connected at the most fundamental levels, including the early linear accelerators created by Luis Alvarez and Pief. These connections continued with many joint efforts, including the original design of SLAC, and PEP I, where Dave Nygren’s time projection chamber, or TPC, found its first home. Now, of course, TPC’s are making science possible throughout the world.

To read his full letter, visit the Berkeley Lab News Center.


Berkeley Lab Director Paul Alivisatos
Alivisatos was named the seventh director of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory on Nov. 19, 2009. (Photo by Roy Kaltschmidt, LBNL)