SLAC employees enjoy the third Comms Coffee Social get-together outside the SUSB patio on April 28, 2022.

SLAC celebrates 60 years of science and discovery

The lab honors its remarkable past while continuing its quest for a brighter future.

This year SLAC celebrates its 60th anniversary. Here’s a look back at the 2-mile-long linear particle accelerator that started it all – dubbed Project M and affectionately known as “the Monster” to scientists who conjured it in 1962. Explore how SLAC’s scientific mission evolved to include cosmology, materials and environmental sciences, biology, sustainable chemistry and energy research, scientific computing and more through photos, articles and interviews. Learn more about our science and facilities of today and tomorrow.

Historical timeline

Follow and share

#SLACturns60

Videos

Exploring our past

The first in a series, the early history video explores the beginnings of SLAC. The recent history videos dive into the areas of SLAC developed after SLAC's founding years. 

Video
SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory is celebrating 60 years of science in 2022. This video is the first part in a series of videos celebrating...
SLAC's early history: A "monster" of an idea changed how we see the universe
Video
Video
SLAC Recent History (1990s-today SLAC Linac Coherent Light Source) – The creation of a powerful X-ray laser. 
SLAC Recent History: The creation of a powerful X-ray laser
Video
Video
SLAC Recent History (1990s-today Vera C. Rubin Observatory LSST Camera module) – Building the largest digital camera for a 10-year survey of the universe...
Building the largest digital camera for a 10-year survey of the universe
Video
Lectures and tours

Happenings

Check here for public events that are happening during 2022. SLAC offers a public lecture series and other special lectures throughout the year.

60th anniversary

Lecture Series

This anniversary year our lecture topics feature discoveries and solutions for tomorrow's challenges. 

Lecture series
Public tours

Virtual or guided

Explore some of our facilities and learn about our exciting research.

Tours
Image gallery

Our history in photos

This album gathers some of the most iconic historical images from our photo archives, as the lab celebrates its 60th anniversary.

History & lore

Articles celebrating our past

News Feature

This month marks the 30-year anniversary of the first website in North America, launched at SLAC. In this Q&A, one of the Wizards recalls...

Group photo of SLAC WWW Wizards in an office
News Feature

“The Worlds Within” and “Fabrication of the Accelerator Structure,” now available digitally in high fidelity, tell the story of Stanford Linear Accelerator Center’s inception...

see description
News Feature

By capturing the most energetic light in the sky, the spacecraft continues to teach us about the mysteries of the universe.

Fermi scientists Michelson, Atwood and Ritz
News Feature

This month marks the 30-year anniversary of the first website in North America, launched at SLAC. In this Q&A, one of the Wizards recalls...

Group photo of SLAC WWW Wizards in an office
News Feature

“The Worlds Within” and “Fabrication of the Accelerator Structure,” now available digitally in high fidelity, tell the story of Stanford Linear Accelerator Center’s inception...

see description
News Feature

By capturing the most energetic light in the sky, the spacecraft continues to teach us about the mysteries of the universe.

Fermi scientists Michelson, Atwood and Ritz
News Feature
VIA Symmetry Magazine

SLAC’s Archivist Closes a Chapter

Approaching retirement, Jean Deken describes what it’s like to preserve decades of collective scientific memory at a national lab.

News Feature

The foils, each made from a single chemical element, are used to calibrate X-ray equipment at SLAC’s SSRL synchrotron, and were donated by long-time...

Photo - thin metal foils
News Feature

An award-winning mentor and networking guru, Al Ashley has placed thousands of underrepresented minority students in science and engineering summer research programs.

Al Ashley with internship program fellows

SLAC’s Nobel prizes 

Four Nobel prizes have been awarded to six scientists for research at SLAC that discovered two fundamental particles, proved protons are made of quarks and showed how DNA directs protein manufacturing in cells.

Nobel prizes at SLAC

Burton Richter receiving the 1976 Nobel Prize in physics from the King of Sweden.
Burton Richter receiving the 1976 Nobel Prize in physics from the King of Sweden. (Courtesy SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, Archives and History Office)