This Particle Accelerator Is Barely Bigger Than a Grain of Rice

Just getting a particle up to near the speed of light isn't good enough for today's physics. To properly unravel the fundamentals of the universe, particles have to be smashed together with enormous force. Two Stanford researchers have just devised a laser based method that imparts ten times the power of traditional methods at a fraction of the cost.
Particle acceleration involves two steps. First the particle, an electron, is accelerated (go figure!) to near the speed of light, that's the easy part. In order to get bigger and better collisions, researchers have to pump up the individual particle's energy levels using a microwave array. This is both expensive and cumbersome to operate, and the technical roadblock is severely hampering development of next generation 'tabletop' accelerators. Read More >>

monster machines
Corkscrewing Lasers Could Be the Key to Unlimited Bandwidth

Conventional data transmission techniques rely on two-dimensional signals to carry the information down a pipeline, but there's only so much potential bandwidth to go around. There are only so many signals you can pack into a given plane before they begin to overlap and interfere with another. But if we were to add an additional third plane, science could conveniently sidestep that technological roadblock. And that's exactly what a team at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Centre (SLAC) has done. Read More >>

giz explains
Why Star Trek Phasers Don't Exist Yet

The 21st century has been a real disappointment so far. Our robot servants top out at mediocre vaccums, self-driving cars are years away (and won't be able to fly even when they do arrive), and we're closer to inventing tricorders than phasers. A tricorder. Who wants a goddamn medical scanner when you could be blasting baddies with laser force? Read More >>

The Underground Tunnel Where the Laws of Physics Are Rewritten

Thirty feet beneath the hills of Menlo Park, California, scientists at the Stanford Linear Accelerator have worked for the past half century to alter our fundamental understanding of the universe. The 1.9-mile-long structure, where electrons fly at nearly the speed of light, is reputed to be the straightest object on earth. Here's a peek inside. Read More >>

Scientists Create Star Matter In California

You're looking at the heart of the most powerful X-Ray laser machine ever created by humans, billions of times stronger than anything before it. It's the Linac Coherent Light Source and it has created something that nobody has made before on this planet: the kind of matter that you can only find in the heart of stars and giant planets. Read More >>


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