In a milestone for studying a class of chemical reactions relevant to novel solar cells and memory storage devices, an international team of researchers working at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory used an X-ray laser to watch 'molecular breathing' -- waves of subtle in-and-out motions of atoms -- in real time and unprecedented detail.
27-Jun-2017 Yi Cui named Blavatnik National Laureate
Pioneering nanoscientist Yi Cui, professor of materials science and engineering at Stanford University and of photon science at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, has been named a 2017 Blavatnik National Laureate. The $250,000 award recognizes the most promising researchers age 42 and younger at top US academic and research institutions.
22-Jun-2017 A single electron's tiny leap sets off 'molecular sunscreen' response
In experiments at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, scientists were able to see the first step of a process that protects a DNA building block called thymine from sun damage: When it's hit with ultraviolet light, a single electron jumps into a slightly higher orbit around the nucleus of a single oxygen atom.
20-Jun-2017 SLAC experiment is first to decipher atomic structure of an intact virus with an X-ray laser
An international team of scientists has for the first time used an X-ray free-electron laser to unravel the structure of an intact virus particle on the atomic level. The method dramatically reduces the amount of virus material required, while also allowing the investigations to be carried out several times faster than before. This opens up entirely new research opportunities.
14-Jun-2017 New research finds a missing piece to high-temperature superconductor mystery
An international team led by scientists from the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University has detected new features in the electronic behavior of a copper oxide material that may help explain why it becomes a perfect electrical conductor -- a superconductor -- at relatively high temperatures.
7-Jun-2017 Q&A: SLAC's Vera Lüth discusses the search for new physics
In this Q&A, particle physicist Vera Lüth discusses scientific results that potentially hint at physics beyond the Standard Model. The professor emerita of experimental particle physics at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory is co-author of a review article published today in Nature that summarizes the findings of three experiments: BABAR at SLAC, Belle in Japan and LHCb at CERN.
1-Jun-2017 SLAC X-ray beam helps uncover blueprint for Lassa virus vaccine
A team of scientists from The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) has solved the structure of the viral machinery that Lassa virus uses to enter human cells. X-ray beams from the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource (SSRL) at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory gave the team the final piece in a puzzle they sought to solve for over 10 years.
3-May-2017 Researchers develop a new catalyst for water splitting
Water-splitting systems require a very efficient catalyst to speed up the chemical reaction that splits water into hydrogen and oxygen, while preventing the gases from recombining back into water. Now an international research team, including scientists at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, has developed a new catalyst with a molybdenum coating that prevents this problematic back reaction and works well in realistic operating conditions.
24-Apr-2017 Machine learning dramatically streamlines search for more efficient chemical reactions
In theory, a catalytic reaction may follow thousands of possible paths, and it can take years to identify which one it actually takes so scientists can tweak it and make it more efficient. Now researchers at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University have taken a big step toward cutting through this thicket of possibilities.
21-Apr-2017 Beyond femtoseconds
Hopefully you've discovered this week how femtosecond science provides revolutionary views of some of nature's fastest phenomena. You now know how mind-bogglingly fast a femtosecond passes, and you might be thinking things couldn't get much faster. Well, let's talk about the attosecond.
21-Apr-2017 What can you study in femtoseconds? Materials
When Aaron Lindenberg was introduced to ultrafast science as a first-year grad student at UC Berkeley, he was immediately hooked. He knew he wanted to be part of a hot research field that explores nature's speediest processes and lets us see the world with different eyes.
18-Apr-2017 How do you catch femtosecond light?
Gabriella Carini enjoys those little moments -- after hours and hours of testing in clean rooms, labs and at X-ray beamlines -- when she first sees an instrument work.
17-Apr-2017 How do you make a femtosecond light source?
Agostino 'Ago' Marinelli first met pioneering accelerator physicist Claudio Pellegrini as an undergraduate student at the University of Rome. It was 2007, a couple of years before the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) came online at SLAC, and people were abuzz about free-electron laser physics.
17-Apr-2017 Why study in femtoseconds?
The text on this screen may appear stable enough, but every molecule, atom, and electron in it is in constant motion. The laws of quantum physics require that on the atomic scale nothing is ever truly at rest. Nano-sized motion also keeps us warm, cooks our food, lights our smartphones, and enables all of our senses of hearing, sight, smell, taste, and touch.
13-Apr-2017 SLAC celebrates Femtosecond Week
Got a millionth of a billionth of a second? There's science that actually happens on this timescale. Join us online for a week of ultrafast science from April 17 to 21. Learn more about how scientists and engineers use electron beams and bright pulses of light from the Linac Coherent Light Source X-ray laser and other advanced lasers to capture some of nature's speediest processes that occur in just femtoseconds, or quadrillionths of a second.
7-Apr-2017 Scientists watch a molecule protect itself from radiation damage
When DNA is hit with ultraviolet light, it can lose excess energy from radiation by ejecting the core of a hydrogen atom -- a single proton -- to keep other chemical bonds in the system from breaking. To gain insight into this process, researchers used X-ray laser pulses from the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory to investigate how energy from light transforms a relatively simple molecule, 2-thiopyridone.
Producing and distributing hydrogen peroxide is a challenge in many parts of the world. Now scientists at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University have created a small device for hydrogen peroxide production that could be powered by renewable energy sources, like conventional solar panels.
The Department of Energy's Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time.