Illustration of X-ray laser pulses stripping electrons away from atoms
Visionary Science

Explore our frontier research

SLAC research explores nature on all scales, from the unseen realms of fundamental particles and unbelievably fast processes to astrophysical phenomena of cosmic dimensions that unfold over the age of the universe. Our research opens new windows to the natural world and builds a brighter future through discovery and innovation.

Researchers have made the first microscopic movies of liquids getting vaporized by the world's brightest X-ray laser.

X-ray & ultrafast science

Our scientists use X-rays and electrons to study the ever-changing structure and behavior of molecules and materials on an atomic and ultrafast scale.

Overview of X-ray & ultrafast science

Dwarf galaxy 3

Physics of the universe

SLAC particle physicists, astrophysicists and cosmologists study the universe from all angles – from the fundamental particles and interactions that drive nuclear reactions within stars to the forces that shape galaxies and beyond.

Overview of physics of the universe

An electron beam travels through a niobium cavity – a key component of SLAC’s LCLS-II X-ray laser.

Advanced accelerators

SLAC is a world leader in the development of particle accelerators – complex machines that generate powerful particle beams for a broad range of applications, including electron microscopes, X-ray lasers, medical accelerators and giant particle racetracks for the exploration of fundamental particles.

Overview of advanced accelerators

Identifying each tiny chemical step in photosynthesis could aid the development of renewable energy technology.

Science of life

Tiny microbes and molecular machines have an outsized impact on human health, and they play key roles in the vast global cycles that shape climate and make carbon and nitrogen available to all living things. SLAC biology advances our understanding in all these areas.

Overview of science of life

AI neural networks illustration

New technologies

From artificial intelligence to quantum devices, our unique workforce, expertise, facilities and partnerships allow us to stay at the forefront of many emerging science areas and develop the technologies that will shape our future.

Overview of new technologies

Nanocrystals assemble themselves into a "superlattice,” a process that could create complex structures with many uses.

Energy sciences

SLAC research tackles critical energy challenges at every level ­– from getting an atomic-scale understanding of energy-related materials and chemical reactions to inventing better systems for generating clean, sustainable energy. 

Overview of energy sciences

dig deeper

Related links

Learn more about SLAC science with these explainer articles, videos and visuals.

A “hair-raising experiment” dared passersby to touch a Van de Graaff generator
Where Research Happens

SLAC facilities & centers

Learn more about the places where science happens at SLAC: our major facilities, institutes and centers.

Learn about science at SLAC.
Join our mission

Partner with us

Our partnerships with the DOE, Stanford University and industry are vital to our mission and to the growth and direction of our research programs.

Partnerships with the DOE, Stanford University and industry are vital.