2013 News Feature Archive

December 19, 2013
News Feature
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.
Image - Artist's illustration of a supernova, with a shockwave spreading out from it.
December 19, 2013
News Feature
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.
Image - Scientists at SLAC's Linac Coherent Light Source used an optical laser to orient molecules along a common axis, like a compass needle to a magnet, and then used X-ray laser pulses to explore structural details. (koocbor/Flickr: http://www.flickr.c
December 19, 2013
Press Release
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.
Illustration - man with migraine, serotonin receptor bound to anti-migraine drug
December 18, 2013
News Feature
A discovery by SLAC researchers into how chemical reactions take place on a platinum catalyst could lead to more efficient, less costly fuel cells.
Photo – SLAC researchers Hernan Sanchez Casalongue (left) and Hirohito Ogasawara
December 17, 2013
News Feature
An international team led by scientists from two SLAC/Stanford institutes has devised a much faster and more accurate way of measuring subtle atomic vibrations that underlie important hidden properties of materials.
Image showing laser beam energizing atoms in crystal lattic
December 12, 2013
News Feature
Anna Llordes from Berkeley Lab's Molecular Foundry uses SSRL's Beam Line 11-3 for clues about where the smart films her group creates for windows get their high energy IQ.
Lawrence Berkeley Lab chemist Anna Llordés with a sample of "smart" material for testing at SSRL Beam Line 11-3
December 11, 2013
News Feature
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.
Image - An X-ray pulse at SLAC's Linac Coherent Light Source strikes a neon atom, causing electrons to reshuffle and then re-emit light at a slightly different X-ray wavelength, and also stimulating a chain reaction of amplified light in neighboring atoms
November 27, 2013
News Feature
SLAC's Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology (KIPAC) recently hosted many of the top scientists in the field to discuss the most important questions to confront in the coming decade.
KIPAC mosaic
November 26, 2013
News Feature
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.
Image - The four newly discovered pulsars located on a map of the gamma-ray sky
November 24, 2013
Press Release
A study shows for the first time that X-ray lasers can be used to generate a complete 3-D model of a protein without any prior knowledge of its structure.
See caption
November 21, 2013
News Feature
SLAC and Stanford physicists played a key role in monitoring and analyzing the brightest gamma ray burst ever measured, and suggest that its never-before-seen features could call for a rewrite of current theories.
Image - Collapsing star shooting out jet of gas
November 21, 2013
Press Release
A single layer of tin atoms could be the world’s first material to conduct electricity with 100 percent efficiency at the temperatures that computer chips operate.
Photo - tin can and piece of scrap tin sitting on a periodic table of elements with tin "Sn" highlighted
November 19, 2013
News Feature
On Dec. 2-4, scientists from around the United States will meet at SLAC to discuss some of the most pressing scientific questions in particle physics and the experiments needed to answer them. You’re invited!
Steve Ritz at Fermilab Town Hall
November 17, 2013
Press Release
Researchers have made the first battery electrode that heals itself, opening a new and potentially commercially viable path for making the next generation of lithium ion batteries for electric cars, cell phones and other devices. National
photo - research with self-healing polymer
November 12, 2013
News Feature
Scientists in SLAC's Integrated Circuits Department reach a new frontier in ultrafast X-ray science with intricately designed signal-processing chips that translate particles of light into bits of data.
Photo - Four ePix100 prototype chips bonded in a test setup. (Brad Plummer/SLAC)
November 11, 2013
News Feature
Every day at SLAC, scientists from all over the world focus their minds – and some of the most advanced scientific technologies – on the biggest challenges of our day. We’re excited to introduce new ways for you to keep up with our lab's latest scientific breakthroughs, from designing better drugs to exploring the origins of the universe.
A Screenshot of a SLAC Signals email
November 4, 2013
News Feature
Scientists working at SLAC, Stanford, Oxford, Berkeley Lab and in Tokyo have discovered a new type of quantum material whose lopsided behavior may lend itself to creating novel electronics.
Yulin Chen (Brad Plummer/SLAC)
October 30, 2013
News Feature
Traces of iron spread smoothly throughout a massive galaxy cluster tell the 10 billion-year-old story of exploding supernovae and fierce outbursts from supermassive black holes sowing heavy elements throughout the early cosmos.
Image: Illustration of some markers of the universe's turbulent youth, such as supernova explosions and active galactic nuclei (Akihiro Ikeshita).
October 24, 2013
News Feature
FACET postdoc Sébastien Corde has been recognized not once, not twice, not three times, but four times for his research into developing small, economical sources of X-rays using laser-plasma interactions.
Photo – Sébastien Corde, an accelerator physicist at SLAC, accepts the John Dawson Thesis Prize from plasma physicist Robert Bingham. (Scott Green)
October 22, 2013
News Feature
Sean Brennan's decades of X-ray expertise keep pulling him back to SLAC even though he formally retired in 2008. During a recent visit to the lab, he accepted the Farrel W. Lytle Award for his extensive contributions to SLAC's Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource (SSRL).
Photo - Sean Brennan is pictured here in 1997, his 20...

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