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Archives, History & Records Office

Hours: By appointment Monday-Friday during regular work hours.


Archives E-mail: slacarc[@]
RM E-mail: recordsmgt[@]
Phone: (650)926-3091
Post: SLAC Archives and History Office, M/S 82, 2575 Sand Hill Road, Menlo Park, CA 94025.

Office Location: Bldg.50, Rm.122

Short Features in SLAC History

SLAC celebrated its 40th Anniversary in 2002 with a series of events and a photo book.
SLAC celebrated its 50th Anniversary in 2012 with a series of events and a special anniversary website: Celebrating 50 Years of Discovery.
Burton Richter, Sid Drell , Martin Perl , and Herman Winick made presentations at the American Physical Society (APS) Centennial Celebration and Meeting (March 20-26 1999).
The first synchrotron radiation coronary angiogram recorded on a human subject occurred in May 1986 at the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory (SSRL).
BaBar was dedicated on August 13, 1999.
Beam Trees
Beam trees are not actually beams or trees.
Blue Book
The Blue Book is a SLAC classic written to document for posterity the design and building of SLAC's two-mile accelerator. Available in full-text .
Camp Fremont
A World War I training camp was located in Menlo Park and included the SLAC site. (Annette Cords, The Interaction Point, January 1992.)
The first church built in San Mateo County was on the SLAC site. (Annette Cords, The Interaction Point, November 1991.)
SLAC's original cost (1962) was $18,000,000 in preconstruction research and development, and $114,000,000 for design and construction.
Fabrication of the Accelerator Structure
The film, Fabrication of the Accelerator Structure, documents the construction of SLAC as well as the technical details in making the accelerator in the early 1960s. (See: Andy Freeberg, Remastered 1964 films show origins of SLAC)
First Beam
May 21, 1966, after five long years of massive and painstaking engineering and construction, the brand new SLAC two-mile linear accelerator was about to (it was hoped) deliver its first beam.
First Particle Physics Experiment
The first particle physics experiment at SLAC used Beamline 1 in the B Target Room, where Martin Perl searched for new particles in 1966 and 1967. Over the following 15 years, a variety of experiments took advantage of the target room's three beamlines and numerous targets that produced secondary beams.
First Web Site in North America
On December 12, 1991, the first web stie in North America was set up at SLAC. For more information see: SLAC and the WWW.
Golden Bolt
On February 10, 1966, a ceremony was held at SLAC to place the last bolt -- the "golden bolt" -- in the two-mile-long accelerator, making the underground device one physical unit for the first time.
Gould/Wizard Cartoons
Long-time SLAC civil engineer Bob Gould created cartoons to capture SLAC’s progress through its early years. His humorous artwork featured the “Wizard.” A set of original drawings was presented to SLAC’s founding director W.K.H. Panofsky upon his retirement, and remains on display in the hallway of the Central Lab Building (B040).
Homebrew Computer Club
Founded in March of 1975, the Homebrew Computer Club, began leasing the SLAC Auditorium for their meetings just a few months later. An early and important computer hobbyist group interested in making computers more accessible to everyone, they had quickly grown to too large to be accommodated in their original Menlo Park meeting spaces. Early members included Steve Wozniak and other influential local engineers, programmers and developers. The club disbanded in 1986, but in 1995 some members reunited at SLAC for the taping of a PBS television documentary, Triumph of the Nerds. A 2001 reunion of the group was held at SLAC in their original location, now renamed Panofsky Auditorium in honor of SLAC's first Director Panofsky. To date, papers of some club members have been deposited with the Computer History Museum, the Menlo Park Historical Association , and the Palo Alto Historical Association.
Klystron Gallery - Length
The SLAC Metrology Department confirms that the Klystron Gallery building at SLAC is 3073.72 meters in length. From the time it was built until 1999, it was the longest modern building in the world. (Read how it was measured in SLAC-Pub-12761)
Symmetry, an online magazine about particle physics jointly published by Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory and SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, regularly features key pages from milestone logbooks including several from SLAC experiments.
M is for Monster - Project Monster
At the very beginning, SLAC was dubbed Project M by the practical dreamers at Stanford University.
There is a whole family tree of Mark equipment at Stanford.
Memorials and Tributes
Throughout its history, the staff and faculty of the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have chosen to honor co-workers and retiring and departed staff members with a variety of tributes and memorials. In some instances, former staff or their families have presented lasting tributes to SLAC.
November Revolution
The November Revolution in Physics occurred in 1974.
SLAC's ancient neighbors were the Ohlone. (Annette Cords, The Interaction Point, October 1991.)
Paleoparadoxia --> Neoparadoxia repenningi
"An astonishingly well-preserved fossil skeleton" of a rare herbivorous marine mammal was discovered at SLAC.
People's Republic of China
On January 31, 1979, the United States and the People’s Republic of China (PRC) signed a formal agreement to cooperate in the field of high-energy physics.   On March 1, 1993, SLAC brought the Internet to China
W. K. H. Panofsky was SLAC's first Director.
R Meter
Ornate rate meter used at SPEAR.
Rock, The
"The Rock" in front of SLAC's A&E Building: what is it? where did it come from? Ed Keyser tells the tale of its discovery at the West end of the Klystron Gallery in 1980. (Perhaps a relic from Camp Fremont?)
SLAC luminaries trod the boards with the Stanford Savoyards in Ruddigore.
Run T-shirts
The annual SLAC Run started in 1972. The first race shirt was offered in 1982.
SLAC Linear Collider (SLC) and SLAC Large Detector (SLD)
Explore the history of the world's first -- and so far only -- linear collider along with its massive, purpose-built detector.
SLAC Summer Institute (SSI)
SSI is an annual two-week long program that includes lectures and a topical conference on recent developments on the frontier of physics, as well as afternoon discussion sessions that spark exchanges and collaboration among colleagues. Founded in 1973 by SLAC Deputy Director Sidney Drell and SLAC Professor David Leith, SSI aims to contribute actively to the continuing education of research scientists, particularly postdocs in both the theoretical and experimental specialities. Initially attended by physicists from 64 universities and laboratories, including 10 foreign countries, SSI has grown to include over 1000 annual participants, as well as to incorporate student poster and Zoom video sessions. SSI proceedings, as well as presentations, some video recordings, and other related materials from 2012 and earlier, are available by request from the AHRO.
The SLAC Energy Doubler / Energy Development program was started in the 1970's to find a way, if possible, to improve the energy of the SLAC two-mile accelerator.
What is now SSRL started as SSRP in 1974. And in 1990, SPEAR retired from the particle-smashing business and became a dedicated synchrotron radiation facility with an independent injector.
Summer Studies
The summer studies brought together physicists from other institutions to study a topic related to the proposed two-mile linear accelerator.
The Worlds Within
The film The Worlds Within describes reasons for engaging in basic physics research, the origin of the electron linear accelerator and construction of the two-mile accelerator. (See: Andy Freeberg, Remastered 1964 films show origins of SLAC)
Touch-Screen Technology
SLAC scientists created the first working touchscreen and obtained the 2nd US touchscreen patent.
Wiggler technology @ SSRL
What is a wiggler and why is SSRL's first wiggler significant?

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Last Updated: 04/13/2023