SLACResearch Programs

SLAC does experimental and theoretical research in elementary particle physics using electron beams, plus a broad program of research in atomic and solid state physics, chemistry, biology and medicine using synchrotron radiation. There are active programs in the development of accelerators and detectors for high-energy physics research and of new sources and instrumentation for synchrotron radiation research.

High-Energy Physics

SLAC carries out a forefront research program in the area of high-energy physics, seeking to extend our knowledge of the fundamental structure of matter through a program of experiments and theoretical physics research.

The linear accelerator produces electron and positron beams with energies up to 50 GeV. These beams can be directed either to End Station A where they collide with specially prepared targets, or into the arcs of the SLAC Linear Collider (SLC) where they collide with each other in the center of the SLC Large Detector (SLD).

The newest high-energy physics project of the laboratory, working in collaboration with the Lawrence Berkeley and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories, is construction of PEP-II, or the Asymmetric B Factory. This facility, being built in the place of the original Positron Electron Project (PEP) storage ring, will be a two-ring collider, colliding 9 GeV electrons with 3.1 GeV positrons, energies chosen to maximize production and decay studies of B mesons. A ten-nation international collaboration is engaged in the construction of the detector, named BABAR, that will provide the measurements at this facility.

Accelerator Physics

SLAC is a world leader in the development of electron accelerator technology. Its accelerator physicists play a lead role in a world wide effort to develop the Linear Collider concept, pioneered at SLAC with the SLC, to enable eventual construction of a TeV range electron-positron collider, generally referred to as the Next Linear Collider (NLC).

As a step in this development the Final Focus Test Beam Facility uses beams from the SLAC linac to study the factors limiting control of beam size and stability. This international facility was built with components contributed from Russia, Japan, and Germany, as well as the US support.

Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory

The Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory (SSRL)is a division of SLAC dedicated to research using x rays produced in the SPEAR storage ring, and to research on further improvement of x ray intensities available for such work. The studies for which the x rays are used cover a wide range from basic studies of the atomic-scale structure of various materials to medical and industrial research applications.

SSRL was a pioneer in the development of this field of science which has now spawned a number of other facilities world wide. SSRL facilities continue to be in great demand from academic, medical and industrial researche


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Last modified 18 December 1995 by Henniss.