Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Stanford Linear Accelerator
Founded in 1962, it is located on Sand Hill Road in Menlo Park, California. The main accelerator is a 3 kilometer long RF linear accelerator which can accelerate electrons and positrons up to 50 GeV. It is buried 30 feet below ground and passes underneath Interstate 280. SLAC serves over 3,000 visiting researchers yearly, operating particle accelerators for high-energy physics and synchrotron light radiation research.
Research at SLAC has produced three Nobel Prizes in Physics:
- 1976 - The Charm Quark — see J/Ψ particle
- 1990 - Quark structure inside Protons and Neutrons
- 1995 - The Tauon or Tau Lepton
SLAC has also been instrumental in the development of the klystron, a high-power microwave amplification tube. SLAC's meeting facilities provided a venue for the homebrew computer club and other pioneers of the 1980s home computer revolution, and later SLAC hosted the first webpage in the U.S.
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