As one of 17 Department of Energy national labs, SLAC pushes the frontiers of human knowledge and drives discoveries that benefit humankind. We invent the tools that make those discoveries possible and share them with scientists all over the world.
X-rays Reveal the Atomic World
Our 2-mile-long particle accelerator is the lab’s backbone. Once the scene of major discoveries in particle physics, today it generates the world’s brightest X-rays for our revolutionary X-ray laser, the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS).
More than 2,000 scientists come to SLAC each year to use LCLS and the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource to probe matter in atomic detail. These X-ray studies help scientists understand the fundamental workings of nature and find solutions to real-world problems.