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In this issue:
First X-ray Laser's Early Success Brings Approval for Next-phase Facility
Second LCLS User Run Begins Today
Save the Date: Juneteenth Celebration Friday, June 18

SLAC Today

Thursday - May 6, 2010

First X-ray Laser's Early Success Brings Approval for Next-phase Facility

SLAC's LCLS-II will occupy the second (left) half of the subterranean Undulator Hall, which was designed to accommodate a pair undulator arrays operating in tandem. The undulator array for LCLS-I, seen here, began generating pulses of X-ray laser light in April 2009. (Photo by Brad Plummer.)

The U.S. Department of Energy has granted approval for SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory—home of the Linac Coherent Light Source, the world's first hard X-ray laser—to begin planning a second X-ray laser at the laboratory. The LCLS, which began operation in April 2009, generates ultra-fast, ultra-bright pulses of X-ray laser light that are already providing new insights into the atomic world. LCLS-II would give investigators access to new regions of the X-ray spectrum and improved control over the beam. It will also accommodate a larger number of research scientists working simultaneously.

"The LCLS program has been an unprecedented success, from conception to construction, and into operation," said William Brinkman, director of the DOE's Office of Science. "We are very much looking forward to the exciting science to come from this unique facility."

Although a number of hurdles remain before construction could begin, the current milestone, or "Critical Decision 0," granted by the DOE clears the way for scientific and technical teams to officially begin work on conceptual designs for LCLS-II.

"The success with the commissioning and early experimental operations of LCLS exceeded even our optimistic expectations and paved the way for significant upgrades of capability and capacity," said SLAC Director Persis Drell. "The CD-0 for LCLS-II gives us clearance to begin planning to extend that success and push the scientific envelope even further."  Read more...

Second LCLS User Run Begins Today

(Photo - Christoph Bostedt and Henry Chapman)
Christoph Bostedt and Henry Chapman stand in front of the CAMP chamber in the AMO hutch. (Photo by Kelen Tuttle)

Linac Coherent Light Source users are on-site and the X-ray beam is knocking at the door of the Near Experimental Hall in preparation for the second LCLS user run, which begins this morning at 9:00 a.m. and will continue through September 2010.

"This is an exciting time," said LCLS Deputy Director Uwe Bergmann. "We're commissioning new instruments, moving to even more advanced experiments and expanding the imaging capabilities."

Between October and December 2009, researchers from around the globe traveled to SLAC to get the first glimpses into how the LCLS X-ray beam interacts with atoms and molecules. This first user run focused on proof-of-principle experiments and first imaging studies in the Atomic, Molecular and Optical physics hutch.

The second user run will add more advanced experiments in the AMO hutch and, after extensive commissioning, will also include the first experiments with the Soft X-Ray Materials Science beamline. Commissioning on a third instrument, the X-ray Pump Probe, will begin midway through this run.  Read more...

Save the Date: Juneteenth Celebration Friday, June 18

Juneteenth celebration 2009.
(Photo by Rod Reape.)

Juneteenth 2010 is coming! Get prepared for good food, great entertainment, and raffles. Mark your calendar for Friday, June 18 from 11:30 to 2 p.m. More information will be forthcoming.


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