The Linac Coherent Light Source at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory is the world’s most powerful X-ray laser. The LCLS’s highly focused beam, which arrives in staccato bursts one-tenth of a trillionth of a second long, gives researchers the unique ability to take crisp pictures of atoms and chemical bonds as they move, shedding light on the fundamental processes of chemistry, technology and life itself. The LCLS is the first light source to image individual molecules and atoms in their natural states, revolutionizing our view of the atomic world, one snapshot at a time.
Scientists undertook the first experiments at LCLS in 2009, and every year hundreds of researchers from around the world travel to SLAC to conduct a wide range of experiments using the LCLS’s X-ray laser light. Currently there are seven experimental stations in operation, giving researchers unprecedented tools for a broad range of research in material science, medicine, chemistry, energy science, physics, biology and environmental science.
The Linac Coherent Light Source is an Office of Science User Facility operated for the Department of Energy by Stanford University. Images courtesy of SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory.