Browse February 2006-May 20, 2011 Science Stories:
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For SLAC Today issues after May 20, 2011, see the updated SLAC Today in the SLAC News Center.
May 12, 2011
Fermi Gamma-ray Telescope Spots 'Superflares' in the Crab Nebula
The famous Crab Nebula supernova remnant has erupted in an enormous flare five times more powerful than any flare previously seen from the object. On April 12, NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope first detected the outburst, which lasted six days.
May 3, 2011
Fermi Telescope Unites the Near and Far With Gamma Rays From the Sun
The Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope has seen hundreds of distant active galaxies, and nearly 100 pulsars and binary objects in our galaxy, and now it's brought the study of high-energy physics closer to home by capturing the gamma-ray output of a solar flare on the surface of the sun.
May 2, 2011
Hydrogen Fuel Tech Gets Boost from Low-Cost, Efficient Catalyst
Scientists have engineered a cheap, abundant alternative to the expensive platinum catalyst and coupled it with a light-absorbing electrode to make hydrogen fuel from sunlight and water.
April 19, 2011
From Echo-7 to Echo-15: Upgrade Nears Completion
Members of the Echo-7 team are putting the finishing touches on a number of upgrades to the Next Linear Collider Test Accelerator
that will enable the team to delve more deeply into the physics behind last summer's successful demonstration of a phenomenon called echo-enabled harmonic generation.
April 19, 2011
Reconstructing the Earliest Stars
A stunning glimpse of a coalescing protostar graces the April 2011 cover of
Physics Today, courtesy of Tom Abel of the joint SLAC-Stanford Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology and colleagues from many institutions.
April 11, 2011
Collaboration Receives $25 Million for Advanced Solar Research
A joint solar research effort managed by Stanford, SLAC and the University of California-Berkeley has won $25 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Energy's
April 8, 2011
Accelerator Applications: Clean, Green Containers for Food and Drink
Low-energy electron beams from particle accelerators provide an environmentally friendly alternative
to chemical and energy-intensive methods for food packaging.
April 4, 2011
Understanding Active Materials in Organic Solar Cells
Recently, scientists from the University of California-Santa Barbara and the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource studied a common active layer for organic solar cells.
March 31, 2011
BaBar Researchers Announce First Evidence of Predicted Particle Subtype
Data collected by the BaBar experiment during its final months of operation in 2008 point to a new member of the "bottomonium" family of subatomic particles.
March 29, 2011
Aqua Dulce, Aqua Sala: Fresh and Ocean Water Power New Type of Battery
Stanford and SLAC researchers have developed a battery that takes advantage of the difference in salinity between freshwater and seawater to produce electricity.
March 28, 2011
High-temperature Superconductor Spills Secret: A New Phase of Matter
Scientists have found the strongest evidence yet that a puzzling gap in the electronic structures of some high-temperature superconductors could indicate a new phase of matter.
March 24, 2011
The LSST's Supersized Sweep of the Sky
The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope, which will plumb a bigger volume of the universe than any survey before it, isn't just a challenge for astronomers. It also requires the expertise of high-energy physicists, who play key roles in advancing the flourishing field of survey astronomy.
March 23, 2011
First Image of Protein Residue in 50 Million Year-old Reptile Skin
The organic compounds surviving in fifty-million year-old fossilized reptile skin can be seen for the first time today, thanks to a stunning infrared image produced by University of Manchester palaeontologists and geochemists.
These infrared maps are backed up by the first ever element-specific maps of organic material in fossil skin generated using X-ray methods at the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource at SLAC, also by the Manchester researchers.
March 10, 2011
Science Snapshot: Simulations Explore Physics of Gamma Ray Bursts
Gamma-ray bursts are the most energetic events in the universe. They involve physics under conditions that can't be achieved anywhere else.
March 3, 2011
A Science to Art, an Art to Science
What do lithium ion batteries and 2500-year-old Greek pottery have in common? One answer is surfaces—often, many differing surfaces with unique behaviors on one material. Researchers from SLAC and the Getty Conservation Institute are exploring ways to combine complementary X-ray techniques to study these varied traits.
March 2, 2011
LCLS Beam Demonstrates Groundbreaking Flexibility
In the first 18 months of Linac Coherent Light Source operation, the electron beam that drives the X-ray laser has exceeded expectations—so much so that SLAC's accelerator operators can offer impressive flexibility in crafting the beam to suit experiments, often changing its performance in mere minutes.
March 1, 2011
Effects of Thermal Annealing on Organic Solar Cells
Organic solar cells, which use organic polymers or small organic molecules to convert sunlight into a useable form of energy, are a promising new tool for providing inexpensive, environmentally friendly energy.
February 24, 2011
SLAC to Leverage Accelerator Expertise for Project X
This month, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory officially received a funding package of $400,000 from Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory for research and development on a radio-frequency power system for the proposed proton accelerator, Project X, at Fermilab.
February 18, 2011
Researchers Find Magnetic Link to High-temperature Superconductivity
Researchers from the Stanford Institute for Materials and Energy Science, a joint SLAC-Stanford institute, have seen strong indications of a relationship between the superconductive and magnetic properties of high-temperature superconductors—a relationship long suspected but difficult to investigate experimentally.
February 16, 2011
Launch of Fourth LCLS Instrument Reveals Crisp, Fine Molecular Detail
The first set of user experiments with the Linac Coherent Light Source's newest instrument is under way, and about 40 researchers are working very long hours this week to decipher the structures of proteins involved in photosynthesis, parasitic disease and other important life processes.
February 3, 2011
Giant Virus, Tiny Protein Crystals Show X-ray Laser's Power and Potential
Two studies published today in Nature demonstrate how the unique capabilities of the world’s first hard X-ray free-electron laser—the Linac Coherent Light Source, located at the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory—could revolutionize the study of life.
January 31, 2011
Muon Makes Tracks in EXO-200 Detector
The Enriched Xenon Observatory-200, a prototype observatory that will search for exotic decays of fundamental particles of matter, passed a significant if unofficial milestone last month: its detector registered the track of a cosmic-ray muon.
January 21, 2011
Researchers Uncover Hidden Active Galaxies
Researchers from the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology at SLAC and the Max Planck Institute in Germany have confirmed that a high number of X-ray sources, thought to be massive black holes, are deeply hidden in our local universe. Obscured by dust and gas, the objects are difficult to spot from Earth.
January 18, 2011
LSST Makes a Strong Showing at AAS
SLACers of many stripes attended the 217th meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Seattle last week, and one of the big draws was the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope.
January 10, 2011
LCLS Beam is Back—And Twice as Fast!
On Thursday, the LCLS team ramped the X-ray laser up to its full design rate of 120 pulses per second—twice its previous operating rate—for the first time. And like the first attempts to create X-ray laser light at LCLS, it worked elegantly.
January 11, 2011
Tracking Signs of Better Catalysts
SLAC researchers have taken a big step toward making useful catalysts easier to find or create—processes that have previously relied on trial and error.
January 7, 2011
Fermi's Large Area Telescope Sees Surprising Flares in Crab Nebula
The Crab Nebula, one of our best-known and most stable neighbors in the winter sky, is shocking scientists with a propensity for fireworks—gamma-ray flares set off by the most energetic particles ever traced to a specific astronomical object.