Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • What is SLAC?

    Question details:

    Some details about SLAC.


    SLAC's full name is the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. SLAC is a US Department of Energy lab operated by Stanford University. SLAC was established in 1962 as a particle physics research center, and is now a multipurpose laboratory for astrophysics, photon science, accelerator and particle physics research. The main accelerator is 2 miles long—the longest linear accelerator in the world—and has been operational since 1966.

    SLAC is home to two x-ray light source facilities: The Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource (SSRL) and the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS). The SSRL is primarily used for materials science and biology experiments which take advantage of the high-intensity, monochromatic synchrotron radiation emitted by the stored electron beam to study the structure of molecules. In the early 1990s, an independent electron injector was built for this storage ring, allowing it to operate independently of the main linear accelerator.

    The LCLS is a free electron laser facility that utilizes the last 1/3 of the original linear accelerator at SLAC. The laser uses hard X-rays with wavelengths similar in width to an atom. This enables researchers to take "snapshots" of objects on the nearly atomic level before the samples are destroyed by the intensity of the beam itself. dfhgsdgh

  • What is SSRL?


    The Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource (SSRL), a Directorate of the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC), is an Office of Science (link is external) User Facility operated for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) (link is external) by Stanford University. Located in Menlo Park, California, SLAC is a multi-program national laboratory exploring frontier questions in photon science, astrophysics, biochemistry, material science, particle physics and accelerator research. SLAC engages in fundamental research which is published or shared broadly with the scientific community. The DOE Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time.

    SSRL produces extremely bright x-rays as a resource for researchers to study our world at the atomic and molecular level. Research at SSRL benefits many sectors of the American economy and leads to major advances in energy production, environmental remediation, nanotechnology, new materials and medicine. SSRL provides unique educational experiences and serves as a vital training ground for future generations of scientists and engineers.

  • How can I get access to SSRL?


    SSRL operates as a dedicated synchrotron radiation source for approximately nine months per year (usually from early November through early August). Submitting a proposal is the first step to access beam time at SSRL.

    Successful proposals are eligble to request and may be awarded beam time on SSRL beam lines, with priority given to the highest rated proposals and those which demonstrate efficient and productive use of beam time. It is highly recommended that you discuss your proposal and experiment ideas with beamline scientists prior to submission.