2014 News Feature Archive

April 16, 2014
News Feature
A new study, based on an experiment at SLAC's X-ray laser, pins down a major factor behind the appearance of superconductivity—the ability to conduct electricity with 100 percent efficiency—in a promising copper-oxide material.
Image - In this illustration, stripes of charge run in perpendicular "ripples" between the copper-oxide layers of a material (top). When a mid-infrared laser pulse strikes the material, it "melts" these ripples and induces superconductivity.
April 15, 2014
News Feature
An analysis using LHC data verifies the existence of an exotic four-quark hadron.
April 15, 2014
News Feature
From accelerators unexpectedly beneath your feet to a ferret that once cleaned accelerator components, symmetry shares some lesser-known facts about particle accelerators.
April 15, 2014
News Feature
A new theory and computer simulation by SLAC and Stanford researchers rule out high-energy magnetic interactions as a major factor in making copper oxide materials perfect electrical conductors – superconductors – at relatively high temperatures.
Photo - Researchers at SLAC
April 9, 2014
News Feature
Five years ago, the brightest source of X-rays on the planet lit up at SLAC. The Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) X-ray laser's scientific and technical progress since its momentous "first light" have been no less luminous, say those who have played a role in its success.
Image - Some of the LCLS team members stand by the newly installed undulators in this 2009 photo. From right: Mike Zurawel, Geoff Pile from Argonne National Laboratory, Paul Emma, Dave Schultz, Heinz-Dieter Nuhn and Don Schafer. (Brad Plummer)
April 8, 2014
News Feature
Scientists from the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology are helping build cameras for the Cherenkov Telescope Array, an advanced, ground-based gamma-ray observatory.
Photo - A photomultiplier module undergoing testing
April 3, 2014
News Feature
Scientists say collisions between dark matter particles might be the cause of a curious excess of gamma-ray light coming from the center of our ga
April 2, 2014
News Feature
Windows that darken to filter out sunlight in response to electric current, function much like batteries. Now, X-ray studies at SLAC provide a crystal-clear view into how this color-changing material behaves in a working battery – information that could benefit next-generation rechargeable batteries.
Image - This image shows how lithium ions interact with an ultrathin sheet of nickel oxide, which served as an electrode material. The arrows show how the reaction of lithium ions with the nanosheet simultaneously spreads out on multiple fronts.
April 2, 2014
News Feature
Grammy-winning jazz legend and sax virtuoso Wayne Shorter took a few hours off recently from a busy weekend of sold-out shows at the SFJazz Center in San Francisco to indulge in his second love – the cosmos.
Photo - Jazz legend Wayne Shorter silhouetted against cosmic phenomena at KIPAC's Visualization Lab.
April 1, 2014
News Feature
The Cosmic Microwave Background, leftover light from the big bang, carries a wealth of information about the universe—for those who can read it.
March 27, 2014
News Feature
SLAC researchers have found a new way to transform graphite into diamond. The approach may have implications for industrial applications ranging from cutting tools to electronic devices.
March 26, 2014
News Feature
X-ray studies conducted at SLAC and in the United Kingdom have resurrected the detailed chemistry of 50-million-year-old leaves from fossils found in the western United States and found striking similarities to their modern descendants.
A composite optical and X-ray image (red is copper, green is zinc, blue is nickel) of a 50-million-year-old leaf fossil. Trace metals correlate with the leaf's original biological structures. Also visible are ancient caterpillar feeding tubes.
March 20, 2014
Press Release
Scientists have discovered a potential way to make graphene – a single layer of carbon atoms with great promise for future electronics – superconducting, a state in which it would carry electricity with 100 percent efficiency.
Superconducting Graphene Layers
March 19, 2014
News Feature
Two scientists at Stanford University and SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory made key contributions to the discovery of the first direct evidence for cosmic inflation – the rapid expansion of the infant universe in the first trillionth of a trillionth of a trillionth of a second after the Big Bang.
Image - The BICEP2 detector shown in this electron-beam micrograph works by converting the light from the cosmic microwave background into heat. A titanium film tuned on its transition to a superconducting state makes a sensitive thermometer.
March 17, 2014
Press Release
Researchers from the BICEP2 collaboration have announced the first direct evidence supporting the theory of cosmic inflation. Their data also represent the first images of gravitational waves, or ripples in space-time. These waves have been described as the "first tremors of the Big Bang."
The Dark Sector Lab (DSL)
March 16, 2014
News Feature
More than 150 US universities and laboratories are engaged in particle physics research and technology innovation, playing important roles in the Higgs boson and cosmic inflation discoveries—and the many more revelations still to come.
March 16, 2014
News Feature
A new tool for analyzing mountains of data from SLAC’s Linac Coherent Lightsource (LCLS) X-ray laser can produce high-quality images of important proteins using fewer samples. Scientists hope to use it to reveal the structures and functions of proteins that have proven elusive, as well as mine data from past experiments for new information
Photo - Nicholas Sauter, middle, points to a monitor during an experiment this month at SLAC's Linac Coherent Light Source X-ray laser.
March 12, 2014
News Feature
Stanford graduate student Spencer Gessner has received a Siemann fellowship to help him continue his research into cutting-edge accelerator physics at SLAC's Facility for Advanced Accelerator Experimental Tests.
Photo – Spencer Gessner, 2014 Siemann Fellow
March 10, 2014
News Feature
A new system at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory's X-ray laser narrows a rainbow spectrum of X-ray colors to a more intense band of light, creating a much more powerful way to view fine details in samples at the scale of atoms and molecules.
Photo - A view of the soft X-ray self-seeding system during installation in the Undulator Hall at SLAC's Linac Coherent Light Source X-ray laser. (Brad Plummer/SLAC)
March 7, 2014
News Feature
SLAC accelerator physicists have been instrumental in creating a vital part of a future Higgs boson-producing linear accelerator, from developing the initial design nearly 15 years ago to its successful demonstration in 2013.
Photo - SLAC members of the ATF2 collaboration

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