SLAC’s superconducting X-ray laser reaches operating temperature colder than outer space

Nestled 30 feet underground in Menlo Park, California, a half-mile-long stretch of tunnel is now colder than most of the universe. It houses a new superconducting particle accelerator, part of an upgrade project to the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) X-ray free-electron laser at the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. 

AI learns physics to optimize particle accelerator performance

Researchers at the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have demonstrated that they can use machine learning to optimize the performance of particle accelerators by teaching the algorithms the basic physics principles behind accelerator operations – no prior data needed.

SLAC hosts Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm for a virtual visit

Highlights of the two-hour visit included behind-the-scenes looks at one of the most powerful X-ray sources on the planet and at the construction of the world’s largest digital camera for astronomy. She also joined presentations of the lab’s research in machine learning, quantum technology and climate science and engaged in discussions about diversity, equity and inclusion at SLAC.

New machine learning tool diagnoses electron beams in an efficient, non-invasive way

For the past few years, researchers at the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have been developing “virtual diagnostics” that use machine learning to obtain crucial information about electron beam quality in an efficient, non-invasive way. Now, a new virtual diagnostic approach incorporates additional information about the beam that allows the method to work in situations where conventional diagnostics have failed.

Q&A: How machine learning helps scientists hunt for particles, wrangle floppy proteins and speed discovery

At the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, machine learning is opening new avenues to advance the lab’s unique scientific facilities and research.

SLAC’s Xijie Wang wins prestigious accelerator science award

Xijie Wang, an accelerator physicist at the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, will receive the 2021 Nuclear and Plasma Science Society’s Particle Accelerator Science and Technology Award. Bestowed by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the prestigious award recognizes individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the development of particle accelerator science and technology.

Sensors of world’s largest digital camera snap first 3,200-megapixel images at SLAC

Crews at the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have taken the first 3,200-megapixel digital photos – the largest ever taken in a single shot – with an extraordinary array of imaging sensors that will become the heart and soul of the future camera of Vera C. Rubin Observatory.

SLAC and Stanford join Q-NEXT national quantum center

Q-NEXT will bring together nearly 100 world-class researchers from three national laboratories, 10 universities and 10 leading U.S. technology companies with the single goal of developing the science and technology to control and distribute quantum information. These activities, along with a focus on rapid commercialization of new technologies, will support the emerging “quantum economy” and ensure that the U.S. remains at the forefront in this rapidly advancing field.

SLAC scientists invent low-cost emergency ventilator and share the design for free

Researchers at the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have invented an emergency ventilator that could help save the lives of patients suffering from COVID-19, the disease caused by novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2.

Supercomputing Aids Scientists Seeking Therapies for Deadly Bacterial Disease

A team of scientists led by Abhishek Singharoy at Arizona State University used the Summit supercomputer at the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility to simulate the structure of a possible drug target for the bacterium that causes rabbit fever.

Could the next generation of particle accelerators come out of the 3D printer?

Imagine being able to manufacture complex devices whenever you want and wherever you are. It would create unforeseen possibilities even in the most remote locations, such as building spare parts or new components on board a spacecraft. 3D printing, or additive manufacturing, could be a way of doing just that.

Connecting the dots in the sky could shed new light on dark matter

Astrophysicists have come a step closer to understanding the origin of a faint glow of gamma rays covering the night sky. They found that this light is brighter in regions that contain a lot of matter and dimmer where matter is sparser – a correlation that could help them narrow down the properties of exotic astrophysical objects and invisible dark matter.

Researchers home in on extremely rare nuclear process

A hypothetical nuclear process known as neutrinoless double beta decay ought to be among the least likely events in the universe. Now the international EXO-200 collaboration, which includes researchers from the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, has determined just how unlikely it is: In a given volume of a certain xenon isotope, it would take more than 35 trillion trillion years for half of its nuclei to decay through this process – an eternity compared to the age of the universe, which is “only” 13 billion years old.