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.
Particle astrophysics at SLAC is focussed on space-based measurements of phenomena originating in regions of very high field relativistic gravity, and the physics of the equation of state of matter under ultra extreme temperature, pressure, and density. Group K efforts are focussed on the x-ray timing experiment, USA, and the next generation high-energy gamma ray telescope GLAST (Gamma Ray Large Area Space Telescope).
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.
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