Menlo Park, CA, United States
Menlo Park, CA, United States

The Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource , a division of SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, is operated by Stanford University for the Department of Energy. SSRL is a National User Facility which provides synchrotron radiation, a name given to electromagnetic radiation in the x-ray, ultraviolet, visible and infrared realms produced by electrons circulating in a storage ring at nearly the speed of light. The extremely bright light that is produced can be used to investigate various forms of matter ranging from objects of atomic and molecular size to man-made materials with unusual properties. The obtained information and knowledge is of great value to society, with impact in areas such as the environment, future technologies, health, and education.The SSRL provides experimental facilities to some 2,000 academic and industrial scientists working in such varied fields as drug design, environmental cleanup, electronics, and x-ray imaging. It is located in southern San Mateo County, just outside the city of Menlo Park. Wikipedia.

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VAC and LBNL's new jointly-developed magnet design assembly, containing VAC's new VACODYM 956 DTP material and its VACOFLUX 50 parts, enables extremely narrow required magnetic and mechanical tolerances. These tolerances define the quality of the undulator systems, and ultimately the FEL. This new product has enabled VAC to replace a competitor that supplied the magnet design assembly for SLAC's first LCLS project. Additionally, the partnership of VAC and Lawrence Berkeley represents an important milestone for VAC Americas as it establishes a deepened presence within the North American market and provides a technology solution that can be relied upon in critical applications. "We are very pleased that LCLS-II in the USA is now using our magnets and magnet systems. In addition to several other major FEL projects, including the European XFEL in Germany, the Swiss FEL in Switzerland, and the PAL FEL in Korea, this is the fourth large-scale project that uses our materials. These research facilities nearly cover the complete Free Electron Laser energy spectrum" per Dr. Ralf Koch, head of Research & Development at VAC. Dr. Koch added that "VAC's broader range of VACODYM and VACOFLUX solutions can be used in additional applications, including automotive sensors, MRI systems, beam guiding systems and electronic measuring instruments, among others." Matthaeus Leitner, a lead engineer at LBNL, also commented, "We chose VAC as a partner since VAC had the technical resources to develop integrated and fully assembled undulator modules. During the whole project life, maintaining a close communication between VAC and LBNL was essential, since the magnet module design had to be refined from early prototypes to full production. Throughout the project, VAC's technical team has been a tremendously supportive and knowledgeable partner, with experts in the field supporting LBNL in Germany as well as directly in the U.S." Beyond using VAC-LBNL undulators at its own facility, LBNL is starting to provide these undulators to other institutions that research FELs. To these institutions, LBNL will be able to highlight its relationship with SLAC that is financed, inter alia, by the U.S. Department of Energy, and that now uses the VAC-LBNL undulators in its LCLS-II particle accelerator project, which is planned to be activated in 2019. VAC, a VECTRA company, develops, manufactures and distributes differentiated, highly-specialized magnetic alloys, materials and components with exceptional magnetic and/or physical properties for a wide array of end markets and applications, including automotive systems, electrical installation technology, energy conversion and distribution, industrial automation/robotics, retail and renewable energy. For more information, visit VAC's website at VECTRA is a technology-driven diversified industrial company serving attractive global markets, including automotive systems, electronic devices, aerospace and defense, industrial and medical. Its business platforms use technology to address customers' complex applications and demanding requirements. For more information, visit VECTRA's website at To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:

News Article | May 11, 2017

On April 12, one of the spacecraft's instruments – the Large Area Telescope (LAT), which was conceived of and assembled at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory – detected its billionth extraterrestrial gamma ray. Since gamma rays are often produced in violent processes, their observation sheds light on extreme cosmic environments, such as powerful star explosions, high-speed particle jets spewed out by supermassive black holes, and ultradense neutron stars spinning unimaginably fast. Gamma rays could also be telltale signs of dark matter particles – hypothetical components of invisible dark matter, which accounts for 85 percent of all matter in the universe. "Since Fermi's launch in 2008, the LAT has made a number of important discoveries of gamma-ray emissions from exotic sources in our galaxy and beyond," says Robert Cameron, head of the LAT Instrument Science Operations Center (ISOC) at SLAC. The LAT has already collected hundreds of times more gamma rays than the previous-generation EGRET instrument on NASA's Compton Gamma-ray Observatory – an advance that has tremendously deepened insights into the production of this energetic radiation. Among the LAT discoveries are more than 200 pulsars – rapidly rotating, highly magnetized cores of collapsed stars that were up to 30 times more massive than the sun. Before Fermi's launch, only seven of these objects were known to emit gamma rays. As pulsars spin around their axis, they emit "beams" of gamma rays like cosmic lighthouses. Many pulsars rotate several hundred times per second – that's tens of millions times faster than Earth's rotation. "Understanding pulsars tells us about the evolution of stars because they are one possible end point in a star's life," Cameron says. "The LAT data have led us to totally revise our understanding of how pulsars emit gamma rays." The LAT has also shown for the first time that novae – thermonuclear explosions on the surface of stars that have accumulated material from neighboring stars – can emit gamma rays. These data provide new details about the physics of burning stars, which is a crucial process for the synthesis of chemical elements in the universe. Even more exotic gamma-ray sources detected by the LAT are microquasars. These objects are star-sized analogs of active galactic nuclei, with gas spinning around a black hole at the center. As the black hole devours matter from its surroundings, it ejects jets of charged particles traveling almost as fast as light into space, generating beams of gamma rays in the process. At a galactic scale, such an ejection mechanism could have produced what is known as the Fermi bubbles – two giant areas above and below the center of the disk of our Milky Way galaxy that shine in gamma rays. Discovered by the LAT in 2010, these bubbles suggest that the supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy once was more active than it is today. Researchers also use the LAT to search for signs of dark matter particles in the central regions of the Milky Way and other galaxies. Theories predict that the hypothetical particles would produce gamma rays when they decay or collide and destroy each other. "With the sensitivity we have achieved with the LAT, we should in principle be able to see such dark matter signatures," says SLAC's Seth Digel, who leads the Fermi group at the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology (KIPAC), a joint institute of Stanford University and SLAC. "But we haven't found any conclusive signals yet, and so far the LAT data can also be explained with other astrophysical sources." Finally, the LAT has explored gamma ray sources closer to home, including gamma rays produced by thunderstorms in Earth's atmosphere, by solar flares and even by charged particles hitting the surface of the moon. From its location on Fermi at an altitude of 330 miles, the LAT sees 20 percent of the sky at any given time. Every two orbits – each takes about 95 minutes – the instrument collects the data necessary for a gamma-ray map of the entire sky. But identifying the right signals for the map is a little bit like finding needles in a haystack: For every gamma-ray photon, the LAT sees many more high-energy charged particles, called cosmic rays. Most of these background signals are rejected right away by hardware triggers and software filters in the LAT on Fermi, which reduces the rate of signals from 10,000 to 400 per second. The remaining data are compressed, transmitted back to Earth and sent to NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, where they get separated into three different datasets for the LAT, the GBM (Fermi's second scientific instrument, which monitors short-lived gamma-ray bursts) and spacecraft data. The LAT data are transferred to the LAT ISOC at SLAC, where 1,000 computer cores automatically analyze the data stream and filter out even more background signals. 70 percent of all detected gamma rays are from Earth's atmosphere, leaving only two to three extraterrestrial gamma-ray signals per second out of the 10,000 initial detector events. These data are then sent back to NASA Goddard, where they are made publicly available for further analysis. "The ISOC receives about 15 deliveries of LAT data throughout the day for a total of 16 gigabytes or three DVDs worth of data every day," Cameron says. "For each delivery, the entire process – from the time the data leave Fermi to the time the gamma rays get deposited in the public archive – takes about four hours." Next year, the Fermi mission will reach its 10-year operations goal. What happens after that will largely depend on funding. "With no successor mission planned, the LAT is in many ways irreplaceable, particularly for studies of low-energy gamma rays," Digel says. "The telescope is still going strong after all these years, and there is a lot of science left to be done." An important new role for the LAT is to search for gamma-ray sources associated with gravitational wave events. These ripples in space-time occur, for example, when two black holes merge into a single one, as recently observed by the LIGO detector. This opens up the completely new field of gravitational wave astrophysics. The LAT ISOC is a department in KIPAC and the Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology Division of SLAC. KIPAC researchers contribute to the international Fermi LAT Collaboration, whose research is funded by NASA and the DOE Office of Science, as well as agencies and institutes in France, Italy, Japan and Sweden. Explore further: Origin of Milky Way's hypothetical dark matter signal may not be so dark

News Article | September 14, 2017

It's the first to employ AI to help the grid manage power fluctuations, resist damage and bounce back faster from storms, solar eclipses, cyberattacks and other disruptions. Partners include utilities and Berkeley Lab Menlo Park, Calif. -- A project led by the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory will combine artificial intelligence with massive amounts of data and industry experience from a dozen U.S. partners to identify places where the electric grid is vulnerable to disruption, reinforce those spots in advance and recover faster when failures do occur. The eventual goal is an autonomous grid that seamlessly absorbs routine power fluctuations from clean energy sources like solar and wind and quickly responds to disruptive events -- from major storms to eclipse-induced dips in solar power -- with minimal intervention from humans. "This project will be the first of its kind to use artificial intelligence and machine learning to improve the resilience of the grid," said Sila Kiliccote, director of SLAC's Grid Integration, Systems and Mobility lab, GISMo, and principal investigator for the project. "While the approach will be tested on a large scale in California, Vermont and the Midwest, we expect it to have national impact, and all the tools we develop will be made available either commercially or as open source code." Called GRIP, for Grid Resilience and Intelligence Project, the project builds on other efforts to collect massive amounts of data and use it to fine-tune grid operations, including SLAC's VADER project. It's one of seven Grid Modernization Laboratory Consortium projects aimed at boosting grid resilience that will receive up to $32 million in funding as part of the DOE's Grid Modernization Initiative. GRIP was awarded up to $6 million over three years. The project will use both machine learning, where computers ingest large amounts of data and teach themselves how a system behaves, and artificial intelligence, which uses the knowledge the machines have acquired to solve problems. SLAC's GISMo lab, which works with Stanford University, utilities and other industry partners on smart grid technology, will develop machine learning algorithms that digest data from satellite imagery, utility operations and other sources and build knowledge about how electrical distribution systems work. "One of the first places we will test our data analytics platform is at a major California utility," Kiliccote said. "The idea is to populate the platform with information about what your particular part of the grid looks like, in terms of things like solar and wind power sources, batteries where energy is stored, and how it's laid out to distribute power to homes and businesses. Then you begin to look for anomalies - things that could be configured better." For instance, she said, a grid can be divided into "islands," or microgrids, that can be isolated to prevent a power disruption from spreading and taking the whole system down. "You can also learn a lot just from satellite imagery," Kiliccote said. "For example, you could see where vegetation is growing with respect to the power lines, and anticipate when trees are likely to grow over the power lines and pull them over during a storm." The knowledge and tools developed by the project will be passed along to another partner in the project, the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA), which represents 834 distribution cooperatives that provide electricity to an estimated 42 million people in 47 states. The association will help deploy the tools the team develops on standard utility industry platforms, make them available to its members and help the team integrate them into existing industry planning and operational workflows. One of those members, Vermont Electric Cooperative, has already been working with Packetized Energy, which develops software and hardware that adjust the power consumption of water heaters and other thermostat-controlled devices when the grid becomes overloaded or the power supply from renewables fluctuates. "We're working with both of them to build additional controls into that system and demonstrate how we can absorb grid events by reducing loads and moving them around," Kiliccote said. Another partner, the DOE's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, will be deploying and validating control systems it has developed for solar inverters that automatically convert the variable direct current from photovoltaic systems to AC current that's fed into the grid. "Berkeley Lab has pioneered the development of algorithms that can optimally manage distributed energy resources, like wind, solar and batteries, and are completely plug and play," said Dan Arnold, a research scientist who is leading the Berkeley Lab part of the project. "In this project we're partnering with SLAC to deploy and test our approach in a real utility network. With these algorithms, we hope to be able to create an electric grid that can use distributed energy resources to automatically reconfigure itself to maximize reliability during normal operations or emergencies." SLAC is a multi-program laboratory exploring frontier questions in photon science, astrophysics, particle physics and accelerator research. Located in Menlo Park, California, SLAC is operated by Stanford University for the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science. To learn more, please visit http://www. . SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory is supported by the Office of Science of the U.S. Department of Energy. The 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. For more information, please visit The DOE's Grid Modernization Initiative (GMI) works with public and private partners to develop the concepts, tools, and technologies needed to measure, analyze, predict, protect, and control the grid of the future. The Grid Modernization Laboratory Consortium (GMLC) was established as a strategic partnership between DOE and the national laboratories to bring together leading experts, technologies, and resources to collaborate on the goal of modernizing the nation's grid.

Brongersma M.L.,Stanford University | Cui Y.,Stanford University | Cui Y.,SLAC | Fan S.,Stanford University
Nature Materials | Year: 2014

High-performance photovoltaic cells use semiconductors to convert sunlight into clean electrical power, and transparent dielectrics or conductive oxides as antireflection coatings. A common feature of these materials is their high refractive index. Whereas high-index materials in a planar form tend to produce a strong, undesired reflection of sunlight, high-index nanostructures afford new ways to manipulate light at a subwavelength scale. For example, nanoscale wires, particles and voids support strong optical resonances that can enhance and effectively control light absorption and scattering processes. As such, they provide ideal building blocks for novel, broadband antireflection coatings, light-trapping layers and super-absorbing films. This Review discusses some of the recent developments in the design and implementation of such photonic elements in thin-film photovoltaic cells. © 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited.

Atomic resolution structures of large biomacromolecular complexes can now be recorded at room temperature from crystals with submicrometer dimensions using intense femtosecond pulses delivered by the worlds largest and most powerful X-ray machine, a laser called the Linac Coherent Light Source. Abundant opportunities exist for the bioanalytical sciences to help extend this revolutionary advance in structural biology to the ultimate goal of recording molecular-movies of noncrystalline biomacromolecules. This Feature will introduce the concept of serial femtosecond crystallography to the nonexpert, briefly review progress to date, and highlight some potential contributions from the analytical sciences. © 2013 American Chemical Society.

Luntz A.C.,SLAC | McCloskey B.D.,University of California at Berkeley | McCloskey B.D.,Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Chemical Reviews | Year: 2014

The major issue confronting complete electrification of road transport is simply a battery problem. While both metrics are undoubtedly important, which of the two is the most important for EV applications is somewhat debated, even among the different EV manufacturers. Traditional car companies emphasize more the importance of energy density, while Tesla emphasizes more the specific energy since they tend to design a car around the battery pack. The history of rechargeable non-aqueous Li-air batteries at this stage is so short that the field must be considered a work in progress. In fact, even the basic mechanisms and rationale for many of the fundamental properties of Li-air are still in dispute among many of the researchers in the field.

Mannsfeld S.C.B.,SLAC
Nature Materials | Year: 2012

Stefan C. B. Mannsfeld states that development in organic electronics depends on the understanding of the structure-property relationships of organic materials. Resonant scattering of polarized soft X-rays (P-SoXS) by aromatic carbon bonds has been used to probe molecular orientation in thin organic semiconductor films down to length scales of 20 nm. The basic principle of the P-SoXS technique involves a polarized soft X-ray beam passing through a thin sample and the scattering signal and recorded by an X-ray sensitive detector. Soft X-rays are distinguished from hard X-rays by their lower photon energies, which fall into the same energy range as the fundamental electronic transitions of many lighter atoms, including carbon. The novelty of P-SoXS lies in the use of scattering with polarized soft X-rays whose energy is tuned to a fundamental carbon transition in aromatic carbon ring systems.

Hettel R.,SLAC
Journal of Synchrotron Radiation | Year: 2014

It has been known for decades that the emittance of multi-GeV storage rings can be reduced to very small values using multi-bend achromat (MBA) lattices. However, a practical design of a ring having emittance approaching the diffraction limit for multi-keV photons, i.e. a diffraction-limited storage ring (DLSR), with a circumference of order 1km or less was not possible before the development of small-aperture vacuum systems and other accelerator technology, together with an evolution in the understanding and accurate simulation of non-linear beam dynamics, had taken place. The 3-GeV MAXIV project in Sweden has initiated a new era of MBA storage ring light source design, i.e. a fourth generation, with the Sirius project in Brazil now following suit, each having an order of magnitude smaller horizontal emittance than third-generation machines. The ESRF, APS and SPring-8 are all exploring 6-GeV MBA lattice conversions in the imminent future while China is considering a similar-energy green-field machine. Other lower-energy facilities, including the ALS, SLS, Soleil, Diamond and others, are studying the possibility of such conversions. Future larger-circumference rings, possibly housed in >2-km tunnels made available by decommissioned high-energy physics accelerators, could have sub-10-pm-rad emittances, providing very high coherence for >10-keV X-rays. A review of fourth-generation ring design concepts and plans in the world is presented. © 2014 International Union of Crystallography.

Rizzo T.G.,SLAC
Physical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology | Year: 2014

The production of new gauge bosons is a standard benchmark for the exploration of the physics capabilities of future colliders. The s=100TeV future hadron collider will make a major step in our ability to search for and explore the properties of such new states. In this paper, employing traditional models to make contact with the past and more recent literature, we not only establish in detail the discovery and exclusion reaches for both the Z′ and W′ within these models, but, more importantly, we also examine the capability of the future hadron collider to extract information relevant for the determination of the couplings of the Z′ to the fermions of the Standard Model as well as the helicity of the corresponding W′ couplings. This is a necessary first step in determining the nature of the underlying theory, which gave rise to these states. © 2014 American Physical Society.

Agency: Department of Energy | Branch: | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 150.00K | Year: 2016

There is a continuing need for high power circulators to protect the next generation of high power RF sources from waveguide reflections that can destroy the device. Currently, the power level of circulators is limited by the materials, specifically ferrites that provide the required non-reciprocal operation. New approaches are required that use materials capable of very high power operation. Statement of how this problem or situation is being addressed Calabazas Creek Research Inc. and SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory propose to explore a new approach that avoids ferrites and other materials unable to support high power operation. The new approach uses coupled cavities and RF modulation to provide the required performance. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits High power circulators are required whenever high power RF sources are driving loads where reflected power may occur. This includes RF sources for high energy accelerators and colliders. Circulators are also used in some high power radar applications and are a key component of a magnetron-based power source being developed for accelerators. Key Words. Circulator, ferrites, piezoelectric, RF source, accelerator Summary for Members of Congress The proposed program will develop a device to protect high power RF sources from destructive reflections in accelerator and collider applications. This will allow an increase of source power, reducing cost for these systems.

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