Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC) staff learned in an "all-hands" meeting today that its budget is being cut by Congress and the center will have to reduce its workforce by 15 percent, or the equivalent of 225 full-time positions.
SLAC is jointly operated by Stanford University and the federal Department of Energy.
Many of the budget cuts are coming in the particle physics program. Those being laid off will be informed in early February, according to an announcement made today by the university. Funding for the high-energy physics program was cut 20 percent, from an anticipated $120 million to $95 million.
SLAC's newest and highest priority project, the Linac Coherent Light Source, remains fully funded. But the center's major high-energy physics experiment, known as the B-factory, will shut down in March, seven months earlier than anticipated.
Budget cuts will also reduce the number of experiments to be conducted at the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory from 1,300 in fiscal year 2007 to 1,000 in fiscal year 2008. The facility produces beams of X-rays used by some 2,000 scientists to study a broad range of materials.