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Lasers & Sources

Secretary Chu dedicates world's most powerful x-ray laser

SPIE Newsroom
17 August 2010

Secretary of Energy Steven Chu (left) with SLAC Director Persis Drell and Stanford President John Hennessy. (Photo: Brian Long)

Secretary of Energy Steven Chu on 16 August dedicated the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS), the world's first and most powerful X-ray laser, at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory.

"The LCLS shows what the scientific workforce of our nation, in cooperation with our international partners, is capable of achieving," said Secretary Chu. "Pioneering research will remain critical if the U.S. is to stay a global leader when it comes to innovation and competitiveness."

The idea of LCLS, which involves making ultra-bright, ultrafast X-ray pulses from a high-energy electron beam, was first conceived in 1992, with the notion that SLAC's existing linear accelerator could potentially form the backbone of the laser. After much research and development, SLAC broke ground on the facility in October 2006. The LCLS's first X-ray laser light was created on April 10, 2009 and first experiments started a few months later.

Full press release from SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory
Stanford celebrates completion of world's most powerful X-ray laser (San Jose Mercury-News)