The SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, located in Menlo Park, is a U.S. Department of Energy laboratory operated by Stanford University. It hosts a 2-mile linear accelerator, the longest of its kind in the world.
Last January, the first section of an advanced superconducting particle accelerator arrived at SLAC. This update will amplify to 10,000 times the brightness the current laser can reach, which means SLAC will become the facility with the highest X-ray pulses per second in the world.
With the new features, which will be available for experiments in 2020, scientists will be able not only to “record the same data but 10,000 faster,” says Ryan Coffee, senior staff scientist within the Linac Coherent Light Source at SLAC. “We’re actually going to think about how we perform experiments differently.”
Editor’s Note: The production team did not have access to all areas of SLAC, owned by the U.S. Department of Energy. The selected locations were filmed after getting clearance from SLAC.