Public Lectures

Ever wonder what goes on at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory? The SLAC Public Lecture Series is your chance to find out! The evening lectures highlight the cutting-edge science happening at the laboratory. From the nanotechnology of diamonds to the latest Higgs Boson discoveries, SLAC public lectures provide non-scientists with a unique insight into the workings of our universe. 

SLAC celebrates 60 years of science and discovery. In our anniversary year, our lecture topics feature discoveries and solutions for tomorrow's challenges.

Scheduled Lecture

Charging Ahead: Batteries of the Future

Yi Cui , SLAC / Stanford University
Thursday, October 06, 2022 7:00 pm
Charging Ahead: Batteries of the Future

This will be a hybrid event. Register here to watch in person in the Panofsky Auditorium, or watch the lecture live on our YouTube page.

To transform our energy sources to carbon neutrality, we need to power as much of modern society as possible with clean electricity. In doing so, electricity generated from solar and wind sources requires energy storage. To meet today’s tough demands, however, energy storage designs must do many things - store more energy, charge faster, be capable of mass production, decrease costs for the consumer, be safe, and be made of materials that minimize harm to the environment. We can now address these issues not only through the overall battery chemistry but also by observing the structure and operation of batteries at the nano- and even the atomic scale. In this talk, I will present some new ideas about the design of batteries - from electric vehicles to consumer power on the grid - and share my perspective on the path to the batteries of the future.

How to watch:
The public lecture will be held in person at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, in the Panofsky Auditorium in the Science & User Support Building (SUSB). Parking is free and can be found in front of the SUSB. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. The lecture will start promptly at 7 pm and conclude at 8 p.m. There will be opportunities to chat with the speaker following the event. Register here  to attend the lecture in person. If you are feeling sick, please stay home. We will also be streaming the lecture live on our YouTube page. You do not need to register if you plan to watch online. 

About the Speaker:
Yi Cui

Yi Cui is the Director of the Precourt Institute for Energy at Stanford University.  He is the Fortinet Founders Professor in the Departments of Materials Science and Engineering and Energy Science and Engineering, and a Professor at Photon Science at SLAC.  He obtained his B.S. in chemistry from the University of Science and Technology of China in 1998 and his Ph.D. in physical chemistry from Harvard University in 2002.  He joined the Stanford faculty in 2005. By now, he has published 540 research papers in chemistry, materials science, and energy science, earning him a #1 ranking in Thomson Reuter's "Worlds Most Influential Scientific Minds" in 2014, the US Department of Energy's Lawrence Award in 2020, and election to the National Academy of Sciences in 2022.  He has founded six companies to commercialize technologies developed by his research group:  Amprius, 4C Air, EEnotech, EnerVenue, LifeLabs Design, and EnnoPure.  Amprius, a leading high energy density battery company, was recently listed (AMPX) in the New York Stock Exchange. 

COVID-19 safety protocols:

SLAC’s current COVID-19 safety protocols for visitors attending an on site event include 1) attendees are encouraged to perform COVID testing prior to the start of the event 2) wearing of a mask is highly recommended 3) social distance when possible 4) if you are feeling sick, please stay home. To join the public lecture in person, you are required to follow these protocols and all instructions from SLAC staff.

Public Lecture Highlights

Learn more about the work that we do by watching from our collection of popular recordings from our YouTube Playlist that highlights the breadth of our research.

Super-Human Operator poster

Super-Human Operator: Controlling Accelerators with Machine Learning

Particle accelerators are used every day in a wide range of scientific, medical and industrial applications.

Presenter: Auralee Edelen


Brown Dwarfs poster

Brown Dwarfs: Failed Stars or Overachieving Planets?

Giant planets can be up to 13 times the mass of Jupiter, while the least massive stars are about 80 times the mass of Jupiter.

Presenter: Eric Nielsen


Seeing is Exploding poster

Seeing is Exploding: Snapping Biological Images with X-ray Laser Blasts

SLAC's X-ray laser, the Linac Coherent Light Source, launched a new generation of light sources when it opened 10 years ago last month, with beams 10 billion times brighter than any before.

Presenter: Sebastien Boutet


Liquid Diamond poster

Liquid Diamonds: New Materials at Pressures of the Earth's Core

At the center of the Earth, matter is crushed under pressures millions of times higher than we experience here on the surface.

Presenter: Emma McBride


CRYO-EM poster

Cryo-EM: Amazing 3-D Views of Life's Molecular Machines

Cryogenic electron microscopy (cryo-EM) is a revolutionary technology for making 3D images of the inner workings of cells in much higher resolution than ever possible before.

Presenter: Wah Chiu


Batteries poster

Batteries for the Future: What's Possible?

Increased demand for energy storage in consumer electronics, electric vehicles and the power grid presents opportunities and challenges for rechargeable battery research and development.

Presenter: Yi Cui


Paint-on solar cells poster

Paint-on solar cells poster

Solar power is a clean and renewable source of energy, but it has struggled to compete with fossil fuels on cost.

Presenter: Kevin Stone


Gravitational Waves poster

Gravitational Waves: The Sound of Black Holes Colliding

On September 14, 2015, the Advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) made the first direct measurement of a gravitational wave coming from deep space.

Presenter: Brian Lantz


Dark Matter poster

Dark Matter: Detecting Gravity's Hidden Hand

Dark matter is one of the most mysterious components of the universe.

Presenter: Tom Shutt


Viewing the beginning of time poster

Viewing the Beginning of Time from the Most Remote Places on Earth

Shortly after the birth of the universe, space was filled by a plasma that was literally red-hot.

Presenter: Zeeshan Ahmed


Catalysis poster

Catalysis: the Hidden Path to Foods, Fuels and Our Future

The high standard of living we enjoy today is made possible by catalysts ­– behind-the-scenes agents that promote chemical reactions in the vast majority of industrial processes, including production of fertilizers, gasoline and other essential products.

Presenter: Simon Bare