From SLAC Today: “20th Anniversary of a Great Idea: Building the LCLS at SLAC”

February 23, 2012
Herman Winick

“The spectacular success of the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS), the world’s first hard X‐ray free‐electron laser, has put SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory at the frontier of photon science. Although relevant work was done by many scientists 30 or more years ago, the idea for the LCLS at SLAC really got started 20 years ago this month, when 146 scientists from around the world gathered here in 1992 – from Feb. 24 to Feb. 27 – for the Workshop on Fourth Generation Light Sources.

At this workshop Claudio Pellegrini of the University of California-Los Angeles stood up to propose that a powerful new free-electron laser, operating in the previously unattainable short X‐ray wavelength range of 4 nanometers to 0.1 nanometers, could produce an astonishing 10 gigawatts of peak power, and that it could be built at relatively low cost by making use of part of SLAC’s 2‐mile‐long linear accelerator.”

Physicist Claudio Pellegrini

Image courtesy of Heinz-Dieter Nuhn

See the full celebratory article here.

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 DOE’s Office of Science.