The [Stanford Dish](http://news.stanford.edu/thedish/) had an excellent [post](http://news.stanford.edu/thedish/?p=8719) a few days ago (author’s note: I thought that I published this post then, but it appears that I did not; I am hoping that amusing names for SLAC do not go stale) about names that were kicked around as alternatives for SLAC. These names range from the equally innocuous Stanford Electron Linear Accelerator (SELA) to the less pronounceable Stanford Two Mile Accelerator (STMA) to the amusing Stanford Linear Accelerator Project (SLAP) and, a favorite of Nobel prize winner Felix Bloch, the Stanford’s New Acquisition for Ulcers (SNAFU). This doesn’t even include those names judged too scandalous to “bear repeating” in *SLAC Today*, the SLAC newsletter.
This report comes on the heels of an earlier decision to continue the operation of SLAC at Stanford with an additional 33 year contract with the Department of Energy. SLAC has continued to transform beyond its original mission, most recently opening the Linac Coherent Light Source (why did they chose such an uninteresting acronym? Perhaps they feared the results of another discussion of potential names), the world’s most powerful X-ray laser. How much more powerful? 10 times? 20 times? Try a billion. Stanford clearly doesn’t go half way with these things.