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October 15, 2008 - Stanford Linear Accelerator Center renamed SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

New Name Honors Successful Past, Launches a Future of Scientific Expansion

Date Issued: October 15, 2008


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Menlo Park, Calif.—The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has renamed Stanford Linear Accelerator Center the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory.

What's in a name? Great past, great future, great science....

"The new laboratory name acknowledges the distinguished accomplishments SLAC has achieved over the years, and its exciting future as a multi-program Department of Energy National Laboratory," said Under Secretary for Science Dr. Raymond L. Orbach. "The laboratory's world-leading set of core capabilities makes it a key member of the Department's National Laboratory complex, and fuels the Office of Science research capabilities for the future."

In recent years, SLAC's research program has broadened from its original focus on high-energy physics to include strong photon science and particle astrophysics programs. The lab's current science programs are expanding to explore the ultimate structure and dynamics of matter and the properties of energy, space and time at the smallest and largest scales. This includes the study of ultra-fast processes in materials with a new state-of-the-art X-ray free electron laser, the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS).

"Stanford University is extremely excited with the future of discovery that SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory will enable," said Stanford University President John Hennessy. "Its broadening scientific portfolio builds upon our core competencies, and the new name signifies the continued strength of our DOE collaboration."

Laboratory Director Persis Drell said, "Our new name, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, is a strong bridge that connects our successful past with our tremendously exciting future. We look forward to keeping this laboratory at the forefront of innovating, building and operating accelerator-based facilities as a Department of Energy National Accelerator Laboratory."

SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory's multi-purpose mission covers a wide range of science. The upcoming startup of the LCLS—planned for 2009—along with the existing SPEAR3 synchrotron X-ray light source, will position the lab as a world-leader in X-ray science. Using these facilities as microscopes on the nanoworld, the lab's scientists and the national-user communities are working out the structures of proteins and characterizing the quantum workings of new materials. The ability to make the first stop-motion movies of atoms and molecules in action with the LCLS will open new frontiers of research in materials, chemistry and biology.

The lab's programs in particle astrophysics, such as the recently launched Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope, and the planned Large Synoptic Survey Telescope, are allowing us to see how the universe has evolved, and will provide a key to understanding the mysteries of dark matter and energy.

In addition, DOE's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory will continue to participate in accelerator-based particle physics experiments such as the ATLAS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider.

SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory is operated by Stanford University for the U.S. Department of Energy. The laboratory's mission is to explore the frontiers of photon science, astrophysics, and accelerator and particle physics in service to the nation and the world.



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