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March 23, 2009 - SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory to Receive $68.3 Million in Recovery Act Funding

Funds are part of $1.6 billion from Recovery Act to be disbursed by Department of Energy's Office of Science

Date Issued: March 23, 2009


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SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory is home to a two-mile linear accelerator—the longest in the world. Originally a particle physics research center, SLAC is now a multipurpose laboratory for astrophysics, photon science, accelerator and particle physics research. (Click on image for larger version.)

Menlo Park, Calif.—The Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory will receive $68.3 million in funds from President Obama's American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds, allowing the laboratory to accelerate the acquisition of major research equipment and perform seismic upgrades to laboratory infrastructure.

The funds are part of $1.2 billion announced by Secretary of Energy Steven Chu today from funding allocated under the Recovery Act to DOE's Office of Science. The funds will support an array of Office of Science-sponsored construction, laboratory infrastructure, and research projects across the nation. The Secretary made the announcement during a visit to Brookhaven National Laboratory, in Upton, NY.

"Leadership in science remains vital to America's economic prosperity, energy security, and global competitiveness," said Secretary Chu. "These projects not only provide critically needed short-term economic relief but also represent a strategic investment in our nation's future. They will create thousands of jobs and breathe new life into many local economies, while helping to accelerate new technology development, renew our scientific and engineering workforce, and modernize our nation's scientific infrastructure."

"We are very excited that these funds will allow us to make new investments in this lab and in the scientific future of this country," said SLAC Director Persis Drell. "The Recovery Act funding will enable SLAC to accelerate delivery of science from our premier new facility, the Linac Coherent Light Source. It will also provide much-needed modernization and construction of our facilities, while bringing new hope and jobs to the local economy."

The SLAC allocation is part of $1.2 billion that Secretary Chu announced is being disbursed now in the first installment of a total of $1.6 billion allocated to the DOE Office of Science by Congress under the Recovery Act legislation. Officials are working on details remaining to enable approval and release of the balance of $371 million.

With accelerated purchase and assembly of instrumentation, the LCLS will soon use the world's most intense X-ray laser pulses to make the first stop-motion movies of chemical processes in action. The LCLS will discover new states of matter, elucidate biological processes, and reveal nanoscale chemical and structural properties of materials.

The funds will also energize the Facility for Advanced Accelerator Experimental Tests, or FACET, which will support experiments that seek to accelerate particles in shorter distances than ever before. When built, FACET will be one of two test beam facilities in North America, and the only program in the world with the capabilities to study this kind of next-generation particle acceleration.

Finally, SLAC will perform seismic upgrades to laboratory infrastructure, including the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource, which produces extremely bright X-rays that can be used to investigate materials with unusual and useful properties. The facility advances understanding and development in areas including the environment, future technologies, health and education.

SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory is a multi-program laboratory exploring frontier questions in photon science, astrophysics, particle physics and accelerator research. Located in Menlo Park, California, SLAC is operated by Stanford University for the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science.

DOE's news release is available at


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