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Archives & History Office

Hours: By appointment Monday-Friday during regular work hours.


  • E-mail: slacarc[@]
  • Phone: (650)926-3091
  • Post: SLAC Archives and History Office, M/S 97, 2575 Sand Hill Road, Menlo Park, CA 94025.

Office Location: Bldg.50, Rm.370

Highlights and Milestones


Nobel Prizes  |  50th Anniversary-2012  |  40th Anniversary-2002  |    Exploring SLAC Science  | SSRL Research | Kavli Institute Established in 2003 |  Brief History For New Staff|


  • 1962: Contract execution and start of accelerator construction
  • 1966: Construction completed and research begins
  • 1967: 20-GeV electron beam achieved
  • 1968: First evidence discovered for quarks
  • 1972: SPEAR operations begin
  • 1973: Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Project (SSRP) started
  • 1974: Discovery of psi particle
  • 1976: Discovery of charm quark and tau lepton
  • 1976: Nobel Prize shared by SLAC's Burton Richter for the J/psi discovery
  • 1977: SSRP becomes Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory (SSRL)
  • 1980: PEP operations begin
  • 1982: Wolf Prize awarded to SLAC's Martin Perl for discovery of the tau lepton
  • 1984: SLAC named a National Historic Engineering Landmark by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers
  • 1989: SLC operations begin, 50 GeV electron and positron beams achieved
  • 1990: Nobel Prize shared by SLAC's Richard Taylor for first evidence that nucleons consist of quarks
  • 1990: SPEAR becomes a dedicated synchrotron radiation facility with its own independent injector.
  • 1991: SLAC installs first World Wide Web server in the United States
  • 1992: SSRL becomes a Division of SLAC
  • 1993: Final Focus Test Beam facility constructed
  • 1994: Initiation of the PEP-II project to build the Asymmetric B Factory
  • 1995: Nobel Prize in Physics shared by Martin Perl for the discovery of the tau lepton.
  • 1996: NLCTA project initiated
  • 1997: First beam injected into B Factory
  • 1998: First B Factory particle collision occurs
  • 1999: First Events recorded by B Factory's BaBar detector
  • 2000: Joint NASA-Stanford GLAST project initiated, Helen Quinn shares Dirac Medal
  • 2002: SLAC celebrates 40th anniversary, LCLS project approved
  • 2003: Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology established
  • 2004: SPEAR3 comes online
  • 2005: Sidney Drell receives Heinz Award for Public Policy
  • 2006: Kavli Institute / University of Arizona / Florida University discover evidence of dark matter
            Nobel Prize in Chemistry awarded to Roger Kornberg for work in RNA polymerase done, in part, at SSRL
            Ground broken and construction begun on Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS)
            Phil Bucksbaum becomes first Director of new SLAC/Stanford PULSE Institute for Ultrafast Energy Science
  • 2007: SSRL's Molecular Observatory for Structural Molecular Biology at Beamline 12 dedicated
            First use of new nano-scale experimental station at SSRL Beamline 5-2
            Persis Drell named Director of SLAC
  • 2008: PEP-II and BaBar are shut down after a 9-year run; BaBar collaborators announce discovery of eta-sub-b particle;
            BaBar experiment, along with Belle, cited as contributing to the 2008 Nobel Prize in Physics;
            GLAST launched from Cape Canaveral June 11, renamed Fermi Gamma-Ray Space Telescope August 26;
            In October, Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC) renamed SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC) and
            Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory (SSRL) becomes Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource (SSRL)
  • 2009: Science magazine selects TWO SLAC programs for its list of “Breakthrough of the Year.”
            The Fermi Gama-Ray Space Telescope is chosen as first-runner up, and the LCLS also makes the list.
            LCLS the world’s first hard x-ray laser, achieves first light and completes its first experiment, with the
            Atomic,Molecular & Optical Science Instrument (AMO)
            SLAC receives $68.3 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds, allowing it to accelerate
            acquisition of major research equipment and perform seismic upgrades to infrastructure.
            FACET receives approval of Critical Decision 1 from the Department of Energy
  • 2010: LCLS dedicated
            X-Rays at SSRL Reveal Chemical Link Between Birds and Dinosaurs (Archaeopterix)
            SUNCAT Center for Sustainable Energy through Catalysis is established at SLAC
  • 2011: LCLS awarded US Secretary of Energy's "Award of Excellence"
            DOE approves a key milestone in the SLAC-led development of a camera for the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST)
            FGST confirms the 2009 discovery of an excess of positrons in cosmic rays
            SLAC breaks ground on new Research Support Building (RSB)
            See 2011 SLAC Press Release Archive
  • 2012: SLAC celebrates its 50th anniversary
            FGST detects the highest-energy light ever associated with an eruption on the Sun
            SLAC goes online on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flikr
            LSST receives CD-1 approval from the DOE
            Persis Drell steps down and Chi-Chang Kao is named SLAC's 5th Director
            See 2012 SLAC Press Release Archive
  • 2013: Professor and Deputy Director Emeritus Sidney Drell receives the National Medal of Science
            SLAC Research Support Building (RSB) opens
            FGST sees record gamma-ray burst of 94 GeV
            Construction of Stanford Research Computing Facility (SRCF) at SLAC completed
            See 2013 SLAC Press Release Archive
  • 2014: See 2014 SLAC Press Release Archive

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Last Updated: 01/06/2015