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The reinvention of the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, 1992–2012

Heinze, Thomas and Hallonsten, Olof LU (2018) In History and Technology 33(3). p.300-332
Abstract

This article examines the most recent history of the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, with particular emphasis on how this laboratory shifted its research program from accelerator-based particle physics towards astroparticle physics, cosmology and multi-disciplinary photon science. Photon science became the central experimental research program through a series of changes in the organisational, scientific, and infrastructural set-up and in its science policy context. The article shows that SLAC’s reinvention unfolded in a science policy context in which funding priorities drifted towards the materials sciences and the life sciences at the expense of nuclear and particle physics, which had dominated science budgets during the Cold... (More)

This article examines the most recent history of the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, with particular emphasis on how this laboratory shifted its research program from accelerator-based particle physics towards astroparticle physics, cosmology and multi-disciplinary photon science. Photon science became the central experimental research program through a series of changes in the organisational, scientific, and infrastructural set-up and in its science policy context. The article shows that SLAC’s reinvention unfolded in a science policy context in which funding priorities drifted towards the materials sciences and the life sciences at the expense of nuclear and particle physics, which had dominated science budgets during the Cold War. SLAC took a lead position in this global development by partly dismantling and also redeploying scientific and technical capabilities from its particle physics program for these new fields, thus, providing novel experimental facilities for user communities to expand across academia and industry.

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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
big science, organisation, particle physics, photon science, SLAC, transformation, United States
in
History and Technology
volume
33
issue
3
pages
33 pages
external identifiers
  • scopus:85045451677
ISSN
0734-1512
DOI
10.1080/07341512.2018.1449711
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
b16f4094-20f8-40c4-b4aa-fab8ab121b24
date added to LUP
2018-04-26 15:53:32
date last changed
2018-05-29 09:28:43
@article{b16f4094-20f8-40c4-b4aa-fab8ab121b24,
  abstract     = {<p>This article examines the most recent history of the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, with particular emphasis on how this laboratory shifted its research program from accelerator-based particle physics towards astroparticle physics, cosmology and multi-disciplinary photon science. Photon science became the central experimental research program through a series of changes in the organisational, scientific, and infrastructural set-up and in its science policy context. The article shows that SLAC’s reinvention unfolded in a science policy context in which funding priorities drifted towards the materials sciences and the life sciences at the expense of nuclear and particle physics, which had dominated science budgets during the Cold War. SLAC took a lead position in this global development by partly dismantling and also redeploying scientific and technical capabilities from its particle physics program for these new fields, thus, providing novel experimental facilities for user communities to expand across academia and industry.</p>},
  author       = {Heinze, Thomas and Hallonsten, Olof},
  issn         = {0734-1512},
  keyword      = {big science,organisation,particle physics,photon science,SLAC,transformation,United States},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {3},
  pages        = {300--332},
  series       = {History and Technology},
  title        = {The reinvention of the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, 1992–2012},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/07341512.2018.1449711},
  volume       = {33},
  year         = {2018},
}