October 21, 2014

SLAC Steps Up to the Plate at Bay Area Science Festival

SLAC Steps Up to the Plate at Bay Area Science Festival

SLAC will participate in Discovery Days at AT&T Park – the concluding highlight of the fourth annual Bay Area Science Festival.

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The Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory will once again participate as an exhibitor in Discovery Days at AT&T Park on Saturday, Nov. 1, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The concluding highlight of the fourth annual 10-day Bay Area Science Festival – which is free and open to the public – will transform the home of the San Francisco Giants into a science wonderland with activities for kids ages 0 to 14.

The event’s 150 interactive, inspiring and entertaining exhibits are expected to draw over 35,000 visitors.

“Discovery Days has a lot of good energy,” said Phil Marshall, researcher and co-chair of the outreach committee at SLAC/Stanford University’s Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology (KIPAC). “It is great to see a large number of visitors come to the booths and get excited about our research.” Marshall was one of SLAC’s volunteers last year and will help out again this year.

The lab will be represented with two booths at the event. The first exhibit highlights how SLAC uses its 2-mile linear accelerator to create the brightest man-made X-rays in the world at the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS), a DOE Office of Science User Facility. Visitors will become accelerator scientists themselves by operating a hands-on model of the lab’s X-ray laser.

SLAC’s second booth invites participants to learn about the invisible web of mysterious dark matter that pervades the universe. Visitors will be challenged to assemble a cosmic jigsaw puzzle and complement the visible part of the universe by adding “dark matter” puzzle pieces.

A solar telescope will also be on display, allowing guests to take a close look at the sun and compare their astronomical observations with images from ground- and space-based observatories.

The Bay Area Science Festival kicks off on Oct. 23 and runs through Nov. 1, offering a variety of science and technology activities including lectures, debates, exhibitions, concerts, plays and workshops. A complete program for this year’s festival can be found at the BASF website.

For questions or comments, contact the SLAC Office of Communications at

SLAC is a multi-program laboratory exploring frontier questions in photon science, astrophysics, particle physics and accelerator research. Located in Menlo Park, Calif., SLAC is operated by Stanford University for the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science.

SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory is supported by the Office of Science of the U.S. Department of Energy. The Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit

Image - “Discovery Days” at AT&T Park transforms the home of the San Francisco Giants into a science wonderland. SLAC will have two booths this year. (SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory)