2013 News Feature Archive

August 9, 2013
News Feature
A high-energy SLAC laser that creates shock waves and superhot plasmas needs to cool for about 10 minutes between shots. In the meantime, the rapid-fire pulses produced by SLAC's Linac Coherent Light Source X-ray laser, which probes the extreme states of matter produced by this initial laser shot, are unused.
Photo - This equipment is used to quickly move a mirror in or out of the path of X-rays at LCLS to switch them to different experiments. (Matt Beardsley)
August 8, 2013
News Feature
In an advance that will help scientists design and engineer proteins, a team including researchers from SLAC and Stanford has found a way to identify how protein molecules flex into specific atomic arrangements required to catalyze chemical reactions essential for life.
Image - This 3-D figure of the enzyme dihydrofolate r...
August 7, 2013
News Feature
Three theoretical physicists have taken an important step toward eliminating theoretical ambiguities from the staggeringly complicated mathematics used to explore the interactions of quarks, the tiniest known bits of matter inside protons and neutrons, and gluons, the enigmatic particles responsible for keeping them trapped there.
SLAC particle theorist Stan Brodsky (Matt Beardsley/SLAC)
July 31, 2013
News Feature
For the 41st annual Particle Physics & Astrophysics Department’s SLAC Summer Institute (SSI), organizers introduced a successful new feature.
July 30, 2013
News Feature
A new tool at SLAC's Linac Coherent Light Source splits individual X-ray laser pulses into two pulses that can hit a target one right after another with precisely controlled timing, allowing scientists to trigger and measure specific ultrafast changes in atoms and molecules.
Photo - The assembly team for the split-and-delay sys...
July 28, 2013
Press Release
Researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have clocked the fastest-possible electrical switching in magnetite, a naturally magnetic mineral. Their results could drive innovations in the tiny transistors that control the flow of electricity across silicon chips, enabling faster, more powerful computing devices.
Artists concept shows laser hitting atomic structure and breaking it
July 23, 2013
News Feature
It all comes down to one tiny spot on a diamond-cut, highly pure copper plate.
Photo - SLAC's Sasha Gilevich, middle, works on laser...
July 18, 2013
News Feature
The colony of honeybees that's lived in an old blue oak tree in front of Building 41 for nearly 50 years has been relocated because the decaying tree must be cut down, for safety's sake, prior to the building's renovation. Some of the bees will be offered to help with breeding research.
Photo - bees on honeycomb
July 17, 2013
News Feature
A new screening program will allow researchers to quickly confirm whether precious biological samples yield useful information when struck by the intense X-ray pulses at SLAC's Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS).
Photo - Marc Messerschmidt, a staff scientist who leads the Protein Crystal Screening Program at the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) X-ray laser, works at the Coherent X-ray Imaging (CXI) experimental station. (Matt Beardsley)
July 8, 2013
News Feature
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.
Photo - SSRP pilot project beamline inside SPEAR, 07/06/1973. (SLAC Archives)
July 3, 2013
News Feature
Last Saturday, about 230 high-energy physicists of various stripes wrapped up a week of talks on all aspects of the field at the XXVI International Symposium on Lepton Photon Interactions at High Energies – known among physicists, not surprisingly, as Lepton-Photon.
Some of the Lepton-Photon attendees gather for a group photo. (Matt Beardsley.)
June 27, 2013
News Feature
SLAC and Stanford materials science professor William Chueh has won a $5,000 Young Scientist Award from the International Society of Solid-State Ionics (ISSI).
Photo - William Chueh (Matt Beardsley)
June 25, 2013
News Feature
A tool developed half a century ago for sorting subatomic particles has been redesigned to measure X-ray laser pulses at SLAC's Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS).
Photo - Patrick Krejcik, left, a SLAC accelerator physicist and XTCAV project manager, and Yuantao Ding, a staff scientist and lead researcher on the XTCAV project, pictured in front of the XTCAV device. (Matt Beardsley)
June 18, 2013
News Feature
John Hill watched with eager anticipation as controllers ramped up the power systems driving SLAC's X-ray laser in an attempt to achieve the record high energies needed to make his experiment a runaway success.
Photo - Linear accelerator tunnel at SLAC. (SLAC Multimedia Communications)
June 17, 2013
News Feature
Researchers at a SLAC/Stanford institute have made the first direct images of electrical currents flowing along the edges of a topological insulator – a recently discovered state of matter with potential applications in information technology.
This graphic depicts the tiny loop of a scanning SQUID, or superconducting quantum interference device  (silver), which detects magnetic fields (red) created by an edge current (blue) in a topological insulator. (Greg Stewart)
June 12, 2013
News Feature
It's no surprise that the data systems for SLAC's Linac Coherent Light Source X-ray laser have drawn heavily on the expertise of the particle physics community, where collecting and analyzing massive amounts of data are key to scientific success.
Photo - Amedeo Perazzo.
June 12, 2013
Press Release
The first complete chemical analysis of feathers from Archaeopteryx, a famous fossil linking dinosaurs and birds, reveals that the feathers were patterned—light in color, with a dark edge and tip—rather than all black, as previously thought.
Paleontologists examine Berlin Archaeopteryx counter plate (Brad Plummer/SLAC)
June 10, 2013
Press Release
At first glance the beautifully bound 1797 Luigi Cherubini opera Médée looks like an impeccably preserved relic of opera's golden age. However, flip to the final pages of the aria "Du trouble affreux qui me dévore" ("The terrible disorder that consumes me") and you see the problem: Thick smudges of carbon completely black out the closing lines.
Image - Thick smudges black out parts of an aria from Luigi Cherubini's 1797 opera "Medee." (Courtesy Uwe Bergmann)
June 7, 2013
News Feature
Scientists from SLAC and Stanford have used finely tuned X-rays at the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource (SSRL) to pin down the source of a mysterious magnetism that appears when two materials are sandwiched together.
Image - Artist's conception of titanium atom revealing magnetic properties. (Greg Stewart/SLAC)
June 4, 2013
News Feature
Researchers at SLAC and Stanford have created a new device, smaller than a grain of rice, that could streamline optical data communications.
Three different-colored lasers are depicted converging on the gold top surface of a simple three-layer solid-state device that can determine light wavelengths.