SLAC from the Sky

Take a tour of SLAC

Sign up for a virtual tour with live guides, launch our interactive, self-paced tour or register for an in-person tour at SLAC. The tour destinations are designed to give you the most exciting and informative views of the lab. We are continuously adding on new stops and information about our sciences.

 

 

 
Tour types

Pick your tour experience

Self-guided virtual tour

Explore some of our facilities and learn about our exciting research on this self-paced, interactive virtual tour. 

Launch interactive tour

Things to know: 

  • Follow the links on this page or launch the interactive tour for a more immersive experience.
  • We have built this virtual platform around the locations featured on our in-person public tours, which are currently on pause due to COVID-19. We will be adding more facilities and SLAC sciences as we continue to develop the virtual tour program, so please check back for updates.

On-site tour with live guides

Join a free on-site tour with SLAC guides to see some of our facilities and learn about our science and research.

Register here

Things to know before registering: 

  • Tours are open to all visitors 12 years of age and above. Children 12 to 17 years of age must be accompanied by an adult; tickets are required for both the minor and the escorting adult.
  • During registration visitors are required to review and agree to assume certain risks of participating in the tour, which are specified in a waiver for your signature. Waivers for children 12 years old and above must be signed by a parent or guardian.  
  • SLAC research is unclassified and photography is permitted; however, tripods are not allowed on tours.
  • Tours involve walking and climbing stairs. If you require assistance or have accessibility concerns, please contact us in advance at tours@slac.stanford.edu.
  • In rare cases, SLAC may need to cancel your tour. You will be notified of the cancellation as soon as possible using the email address you provided during registration.  

Safety:

  • All visitors must wear closed-toe shoes.
  • SLAC is an active research laboratory. Please stay with the guide at all times and do not touch any scientific equipment unless instructed to do so by your guide.
  • There are some areas at SLAC where personnel could potentially be exposed to low levels of radiation, which may pose risks to human health. However, those areas will not be included in your tour.

Transportation and directions:

  • Directions to the main gate can be found here
  • When arriving at the main gate, please let security know you are here for a public tour and show them your valid government-issued photo ID.
  • Security will direct you to visitor parking. The Orientation Theater is located in Building 53, Room 1010, to the right of the building entrance and past the elevators.
  • Transportation around the SLAC site is via shuttle bus; you will return to your car only at the end of the tour.

Virtual tour with live guides

Join an hour-long virtual tour via Zoom to explore some of our facilities and learn about our exciting research, hosted by SLAC guides.

Register for virtual tour

Watch a preview of our guided virtual tour

Things to know before registering: 

  • Virtual public tours are being offered via Zoom by registration only.
  • The tour is designed for those 12 years of age and above. People 17 years old and younger are welcome, but a parent or a legal guardian must join the minor for the entire duration of the tour and register for both parties.
  • A Zoom webinar link will be sent to all registered participants one day prior to the virtual public tour. You may watch with those you registered for on your personal device but please do not share the link with other family and friends.
  • In some cases, SLAC may need to cancel your tour. You will be notified of the cancellation as soon as possible using the email address you provided during registration.

Guided virtual tour for your classroom

Sign up for a free guided virtual tour for groups of 10-25 visitors affiliated with schools or other educational institutions.

Request an educational tour

Things to know before registering: 

  • Join us on Zoom for a hour-long virtual tour hosted by SLAC tour guides to explore some of our facilities and learn about our exciting research. 
  • SLAC virtual educational tours are free and may only be used for education and public outreach purposes. They may not be offered by a third party as prizes or to make any profit.
  • Virtual educational tours are offered Tuesday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. by registration only. Please read the following guidelines before requesting a virtual tour, and fill out your request form at least a month in advance. Only one group will be accommodated per tour date; please reach out as early as possible to secure your spot.
  • We will use the email address provided on your request form to contact you if we are able to host your group. We apologize if we cannot accommodate your tour—we receive a high volume of visit requests and unfortunately are not able to host them all.
  • Tours are being offered via Zoom by registration only.
  • Tours are offered to groups of 10 to 30 students affiliated with schools and higher education institutions. Educators who would like to register groups of students should sign up for an educational tour, not a public tour.
  • The tour is designated for those 12 years of age and above. Students under 17 years old are welcome, but a teacher must register for them and join the students for the entire duration of the tour. 
  • A Zoom webinar link will be sent to educators a few days prior to the tour. 
  • In some cases, SLAC may need to cancel your tour. You will be notified of the cancellation as soon as possible using the email address you provided on your request form.

Live tour for your classroom

Sign up for a free, guided in-person tour for groups of 10 to 25 visitors affiliated with schools or other educational institutions.

Request an educational tour

Things to know before registering: 

SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory offers free educational tours (transportation not included). Tours last approximately 90 minutes, and tour locations may vary according to site availability and group interests.

Educational tours are offered Tuesday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., according to site availability and by registration only. Please read the following guidelines before requesting a tour, and fill out your request form at least a month in advance. Only one group will be accommodated per tour date; please reach out as early as possible to secure your spot.

We will use the email address provided on your request form to contact you if we are able to host your group. We apologize if we cannot accommodate your tour – we receive a high volume of visit requests and unfortunately are not able to host them all. 

General:

  • Tours are offered to groups of 10 to 25 students affiliated with schools and higher education institutions.
  • Tours are open to visitors 12 years of age and above. Children 12 to 17 years of age must be accompanied by an appropriate number of adults, and registration is required for all visitors.
  • During registration, visitors should review and agree to assume certain risks of participating in the tour, which are specified in a waiver for your signature. Waivers for children under 18 years old must be signed by a parent or guardian.
  • Groups are required to arrive in buses, rather than in private cars. Tour guides will be assigned to each bus while onsite.
  • SLAC research is unclassified and photography is permitted; tripods, however, are not allowed on tours.
  • Tours involve walking and climbing stairs. If anyone in your group requires assistance or has accessibility concerns, please contact us in advance at tours@slac.stanford.edu.
  • SLAC tours are free and may only be used for education and public outreach purposes. They may not be offered by a third party as prizes or to make any profit.
  • In rare cases, SLAC may need to cancel your tour. You will be notified of the cancellation as soon as possible using the email address you provided on your request form.

Safety:

  • All visitors must wear closed-toe shoes.
  • SLAC is an active research laboratory. Please stay with the guide at all times and do not touch any scientific equipment unless instructed to do so by your guide.

Transportation and directions:

  • Directions to the main gate can be found here.
  • All tour participants 18 or older must have valid government-issued photo IDs. When arriving at the main gate, please let security know you are here for a tour and show them your ID.
  • Security will direct you to the visitor parking. Tours leave from the Orientation Theater in Building 53, Room 1010, to the right of the building entrance and past the elevators.

 

 

Map data ©2019 Google
Our facilities

Tour stops

Tour stops, both virtual and in-person, have been selected for viewing and practical considerations, as some areas of our lab are restricted to the public. We are continuously adding on new stops and information about our sciences.

SLAC Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) accelerator tunnel.

The linear accelerator (linac) is the longest modern building on Earth. The building above ground, nearly 2 miles long, houses klystrons that generate powerful microwaves. Below ground, these waves accelerate electrons to nearly the speed of light. Today the accelerator is divided into three sections that generate high-energy electrons for three facilities: the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS); LCLS-II, an upgrade to LCLS now under construction; and the Facility for Advanced Accelerator Experimental Tests (FACET-II).

Preparations of instruments for beam and experiments at LCLS

The Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) is where the electron beam generates some of the world’s brightest X-ray laser pulses.

LCLS-II crew members work to carefully unload a cryomodule delivery from Jefferson Lab.

The LCLS-II, an upgrade to LCLS, is now under construction. In this section, the original copper accelerator is being replaced by a new superconducting, niobium-based particle accelerator that will be cooled to almost absolute zero using liquid helium.

A look inside SLAC’s FACET-II test facility.

The Facility for Advanced Accelerator Experimental Test (FACET-II) is where scientists test advanced acceleration technologies that could dramatically shrink particle accelerators. 

LSSTCam

The Legacy Survey of Space and Time (LSST) Camera is a large camera for the next major galaxy survey. Scientists use the LSST Camera to study dark energy by looking at how the distribution of galaxies changes as we look farther out into the universe.

Staff scientist Jeney Wierman seen working at SSRL during the covid lockdown.

The Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource (SSRL) is an extremely bright X-ray light for probing our world at the atomic and molecular levels.

Formation of dark matter structures.

The Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology (KIPAC), explores new fronts and challenges in astrophysics and cosmology.

Cornelius Gati working on a Tuberculosis samples at the Cryo-EM facility

Cryogenic electron microscopy (cryo-EM) provides revolutionary tools to give scientists unprecedented views of the inner workings of the cell.

LZ Grids Test

The LUX-ZEPLIN (LZ) is a detector that uses purified liquid xenon to help us directly detect dark matter collisions.

 

 
What to expect

Visitor information

Virtual tour FAQs

The virtual tour is designed for those 12 years of age and above. Individuals 17 years old and younger are welcome, but a parent or a legal guardian must register for them and join the minor for the entire duration of the tour.

Virtual tours last 60 minutes and are offered twice a month. See our registration page for exact dates and times.

Please visit our registration page to sign up for a virtual tour.

The tour generally includes a visit to the lab’s 2-mile-long linear accelerator and to the X-ray laser facility now powered by it. 

If you can’t make it to the tour you signed up for, please let us know as soon as possible so we can give your spot to someone on the waitlist. You can use your reservation confirmation email to access Eventbrite and cancel your reservation. If a tour has to be cancelled, we will inform participants by email.

Virtual tours are being offered via Zoom by registration only. A Zoom webinar link will be sent to all registered participants one day prior to the virtual tour. You may watch with those you registered for on your personal device, but please do not share the link with other family and friends.

Tour guides are SLAC employees, scientists and engineers.

Students affiliated with schools and higher education institutes can request a tour using the educational tour request form. We currently do not offer tours for other groups; please check back here periodically for updates.

In-person tour FAQs

SLAC tours are open to anyone 12 years of age and above, with registration. Children 12-17 years of age must be accompanied by an adult.

Tours last 90 minutes and are offered twice a month, usually on Fridays at 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. See our registration page for exact dates and times.

Please visit our registration page to sign up for a tour.

The tour generally includes a visit to the lab’s 2-mile long linear accelerator and to the X-ray laser facility now powered by it. Availability of these operational research facilities is subject to change and may influence tour locations.

If you can’t make it to the tour you signed up for, please let us know as soon as possible so we can give your spot to someone on the waitlist. You can use your reservation confirmation email to access Eventbrite and cancel your reservation. If a tour has to be cancelled, we will inform participants by email.

Please wear comfortable, closed-toe shoes and long pants.

You must have a valid government issued photo ID, such as a driver’s license or a passport.

Cameras can be brought on site and photography is permitted; however, we do not allow tripods on the tour.

Please follow directions to the main gate on our directions page. Please plan to arrive 15 minutes prior to tour time.

Tour guides are SLAC employees, scientists and engineers.

Students affiliated with schools and higher education institutes can request a tour using the educational tour request form. We currently do not offer tours for other groups; please check back here periodically for updates.

Tours involve walking and climbing stairs but can be adjusted to accommodate people with disabilities or people who require assistance. Please let us know in advance so we can make these adjustments, at tours@slac.stanford.edu.

 

 

 

In-person tour guidelines

Public tour guidelines

  • SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory offers free public tours. 
  • Tours last approximately 90 minutes and usually include a visit to the lab’s 2-mile-long linear accelerator, now driving the world’s brightest X-ray source.
  • Tours are offered twice a month, by registration only.
  • All public tours meet in the SLAC Orientation Theater (Room 1010), Building 53, 15 minutes prior to tour time. Closed-toed shoes are required.
  • Tours are open to all visitors 12 years of age and above. Children 12-17 years of age must be accompanied by an adult; tickets are required for both the minor and the escorting adult.
Explore SLAC