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Welcome to the December edition of the Linac Coherent Light Source newsletter! This newsletter seeks to keep your finger on the pulses of the LCLS. As new instruments start up, the publication floodgates open, and an upgrade to the machine moves from idea to reality, it is our hope that this newsletter will keep you informed, involved, and exhilarated. Please let us know if we’re succeeding by sharing suggestions with LCLS’s new Science Information Specialist, Kelen Tuttle, at or 650-926-2585.


    Vol. 1, No. 1

Previous editions

Contents of this Issue:

  1. Director’s Column: Holiday Message from the Director of LCLS
  2. Instrument Update: CXI Instrument Receives First X-rays
  3. LCLS-II Update: LCLS-II Conceptual Design Underway
  4. Announcements: Run 5 Proposals Due; Call for Publications, Awards and Talks; Science Festival; ”Got X-rays!” Shirts; Astronaut Visits LCLS
  5. LCLS in the News: Science, National Geographic
  6. Upcoming Events: Biology with FELs; European XFEL Users’ Meeting

1.  Director’s Column: Holiday Message from the Director of LCLS   

Jo StohrGreetings LCLS Scientific Community,
What a year it’s been for the Linac Coherent Light Source! We have now operated the x-ray laser for an entire year and, looking back, what has surprised me the most is the reliability record we’ve managed to uphold. It’s amazing to me that LCLS’s beam delivery statistics are close to that of conventional synchrotron radiation sources, even though in the LCLS every single pulse is freshly generated in the injector gun and is then manipulated and controlled through a 1-kilometer-long linac section before it generates ultrabright x-rays in the LCLS undulator. This has been a very pleasant surprise and is a testament to the accelerator scientists, engineers and operators at SLAC. Read more...

2.  Instrument Update: CXI Instrument Receives First X-rays

CXIX-rays entered the Linac Coherent Light Source's Far Experimental Hall for the first time Saturday, December 11, as part of commissioning for the Coherent X-ray Imaging instrument. CXI is the fourth instrument to come online at the LCLS, although it occupies the fifth experimental hutch along the beam line—the second of three in the Far Hall. Along with the X-ray Pump Probe instrument, CXI is one of two LCLS instruments that will work with high-energy hard x-rays. Ultimately, researchers hope to use these hard x-rays at CXI to image single biological molecules that cannot be imaged with a synchrotron lightsource, generally those that cannot be crystallized. Read more in SLAC Today...

3.   LCLS-II Update: LCLS-II Conceptual Design Underway
In spring 2010, the U.S. Department of Energy granted approval for SLAC to begin planning an upgrade to the Linac Coherent Light Source. The LCLS-II team, led by Project Director John Galayda and Deputy Project Director David Schultz, is now in the process of writing a conceptual design report that details the project. This report, which is nearing completion, describes the use of another 1-kilometer-long section of the SLAC linac, a second injector that would allow independent changes in beam parameters, a new tunnel with separate hard and soft undulator sources, and a new experimental hall. In all, LCLS-II would give investigators access to new regions of the x-ray spectrum and improved control over the x-ray beam while accommodating a larger number of research scientists working simultaneously. The LCLS-II team will submit the conceptual design report to the Department of Energy in April 2011, at which point it will be reviewed and, if all goes well, awarded “Critical Decision 1,” which will allow the preliminary design to proceed.

4.   Announcements:

Run 5 Proposals Due January 11
The Linac Coherent Light Source encourages scientists from diverse fields to submit proposals for experiments to take place between October 2011 and February 2012. Five experimental stations will be fully available to users during this run: Atomic, Molecular and Optical Science (AMO), Investigation of Materials with Soft X-rays (SXR), Diffraction Studies of Stimulated Dynamics/X-ray Pump Probe (XPP), Coherent X-ray Imaging (CXI), and X-ray Correlation Spectroscopy (XCS). In addition, a sixth instrument focusing on Matter in Extreme Conditions will be available with limited capability. Proposals are due on January 11, 2011. Learn more about the latest developments in the full call for proposals, by contacting LCLS staff scientists and by reviewing the detailed instrument descriptions. Successful proposals for previous runs can be found on the LCLS schedules webpage.

Call for LCLS Publications, Awards and Invited Talks
We are gathering information for our upcoming February 2011 review by the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Basic Energy Sciences. Metrics of productivity and peer recognition resulting from work done at LCLS are crucial components of the review. Please take a few minutes now to send us your updated list of LCLS related publications (even those in press or preparation), invited talks and awards. Thank you in advance for your assistance with collecting this important information.

LCLS/SSRL “Got X-rays!“ Shirts for Sale
We have a great gift idea for your family and friends — "Got x-rays!" shirts. We have long sleeved ($20) & short sleeved ($15) t-shirts for sale. View the shirt design online (pdf) and contact Michelle Steger (, Bldg. 120, Room 219) to purchase.

USA Science & Engineering Festival
The inaugural USA Science & Engineering Festival was held in October 2010 in Washington DC and included participation from many Department of Energy laboratories, including Linac Coherent Light Source Deputy Director Uwe Bergmann who gave a presentation on “X-ray Vision: Revealing Ancient Secrets with New Technology” in one of the “Meet the Scientists” sessions hosted by the American Association for the Advancement of Science. The National User Facility Organization (NUFO) also conducted hands-on demonstrations at their exhibit booth to stimulate interest and make science fun for the 5,000 students, parents and teachers who participated in this festival. Read more about outreach events and other NUFO news on the NUFO website.

Astronaut John Grunsfeld Visits LCLS
On Thursday, December 9, astronaut John Grunsfeld visited LCLS to see how ultra-fast, ultra-bright pulses of x-ray laser light are providing new insights into the atomic world. Grunsfeld, who presented a lecture at SLAC describing his adventures in orbit and early results from NASA’s recently upgraded Hubble Space Telescope, serves as Deputy Director of the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI), the science operations center for Hubble and the James Webb Space Telescope.

5.   LCLS in the News   

December 10 – Science published the article “What Shall We Do With the X-ray Laser?”, which details early LCLS experiments and highlights the features of the facility that make it uniquely equipped to probe matter on the atomic scale. Writer Adrian Cho also presents recent research conducted at the LCLS and addresses the facility’s anticipated expansion. (Subscription required to view full text.)

November 8 – LCLS Deputy Director Uwe Bergmann was quoted in a National Geographic article marking the 115th anniversary of X-ray technology. The capabilities of the LCLS are highlighted in “X-Rays on Google: Surprising Ways the Rays Are Used Today” by writer Ker Than.

6.   Upcoming Events   

January 18-21 - Berkeley Lab Workshop: Biology with FELs

January 26-28 - 2011 European XFEL Users’ Meeting



The Linac Coherent Light Source, a directorate of SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, is an Office of Science User Facility operated for the U.S. Department of Energy by Stanford University. As the world's most powerful x-ray laser, the LCLS creates unique light that can see details down to the size of atoms and processes that occur in less than one tenth of a trillionth of a second. At these unprecedented speeds and scales, the LCLS is embarking on groundbreaking research in physics, structural biology, energy science, chemistry and many other diverse fields.


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Last Updated: 17 December 2010
Content Owner: K. Tuttle
Page Editor: K. Tuttle

SLAC SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, Menlo Park, CA
Operated by Stanford University for the U.S. Dept. of Energy