News FocusNATIONAL LABS

For a Famous Physics Laboratory, A Quick and Painful Rebirth

Science  09 Oct 2009:
Vol. 326, Issue 5950, pp. 221-223
DOI: 10.1126/science.326_221

You are currently viewing the summary.

View Full Text

Via your Institution

Log in through your institution

Log in through your institution


Summary

Renowned for particle physics experiments, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory has reinvented itself as a multipurpose lab featuring the world's first x-ray laser. Like a butterfly cracking its chrysalis, SLAC has shed its former self. On 7 April 2008, physicists turned off the lab's last particle smasher. On 10 April 2009, they turned on its new flagship facility, the world's first x-ray laser. And although Director Persis Drell has reorganized the lab to try to break down barriers between the particle physics and x-ray science sides of the lab, some are critical of the transition to a multipurpose lab, saying that the lab is now more bureaucratic and has lost the cohesive culture that made it such a stimulating place to work.