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Latest SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory Stories

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2011-01-06 15:10:00

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. The discovery, reported today by scientists working with two orbiting telescopes, is leading researchers to rethink their ideas of how cosmic particles are accelerated. "We were dumbfounded," said Roger Blandford, who directs the Kavli Institute...

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2010-12-17 08:34:52

By Louis Bergeron, Stanford University A new method of capturing detailed, three-dimensional images of minute samples of material under extreme pressures is shedding light on the evolution of the Earth's interior. Early results suggest that the early Earth did not have to be entirely molten to separate into the rocky crust and iron-rich core it has today. Researchers at Stanford University and SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory are leading the group pioneering the technique, which could...

2010-07-26 11:44:02

Scientists for the first time have dived into the effect that an intense X-ray free electron laser (XFEL) has on materials. Using the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) facility at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore scientists probed nitrogen gas at X-ray energies of up to 8 keV (kiloelectronvolts), the highest X-ray energy ever used at an XFEL, to see how it behaved when the laser hit it. The photoluminescence-based pulse-energy detector allowed the team to study...

2010-07-14 14:30:00

NEW YORK, July 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Turner Construction Company, the nation's largest builder of education and sports facilities, has been awarded a $69.9 million contract by Stanford University to provide construction services for Bing Concert Hall in Stanford, Calif. Construction of the Concert Hall is expected to be completed in summer 2012, with the first public performances taking place in January 2013. In addition, Turner has broken ground on a $23 million basketball development...

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2010-07-01 06:55:00

The first published scientific results from the world's most powerful hard X-ray laser, located at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, show its unique ability to control the behaviors of individual electrons within simple atoms and molecules by stripping them away, one by one"”in some cases creating hollow atoms. These early results "” one published this week, the other last week "” describe in great detail how the Linac Coherent Light Source's...

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2010-06-23 07:40:00

SLAC's Linac Coherent Light Source probes nitrogen molecules The SLAC linear collider in Menlo Park, California has already made a name for itself as one of the world's largest and most prolific particle accelerator facilities dedicated to high energy particle physics. It is now beginning a new life as a source of x-rays a billion times brighter than any other research x-ray source to date. Early results that reveal how molecules respond to intense radiation from the facility's Linac Coherent...

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2010-05-10 14:45:00

Researchers have found that a 150 million year old "dinobird" fossil, long thought to contain nothing but fossilized bone and rock, has been hiding remnants of the animal's original chemistry. Using the bright X-ray beam of the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource, located at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, an international team of paleontologists, geochemists and physicists has revealed this transformative glimpse into one of the most important fossils...

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2010-04-26 12:55:50

A new form of platinum that could be used to make cheaper, more efficient fuel cells has been created by researchers at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and the University of Houston. The process, described in the April 25th issue of Nature Chemistry, could help enable broader use of the devices, which produce emissions-free energy using hydrogen. "This is a significant advance," said scientist Anders Nilsson, who conducts research at the Stanford Institute for...

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2010-03-15 12:51:00

Desktop experiments could point the way to dark matter discovery, complementing grand astronomical searches and deep underground observations. According to recent theoretical results, small blocks of matter on a tabletop could reveal elusive properties of the as-yet-unidentified dark matter particles that make up a quarter of the universe, potentially making future large-scale searches easier. This finding was announced today by theorists from the Stanford Institute for Materials and Energy...

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2010-03-01 10:45:00

Using entire galaxies as lenses to look at other galaxies, researchers have a newly precise way to measure the size and age of the universe and how rapidly it is expanding, on par with other techniques. The measurement determines a value for the Hubble constant, which indicates the size of the universe, and confirms the age of the universe as 13.75 billion years old, within 170 million years. The results also confirm the strength of dark energy, responsible for accelerating the expansion of...