The Big Picture: The world's most powerful x-ray laser

This is a photo of the Linac Coherent Light Source or LCLS -- an x-ray free-electron laser in Stanford University's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. It's also dubbed as the most powerful x-ray laser in the world. The SLAC Lab took a group of amateur and pro photographers on a tour of its facilities, giving them the chance to shoot photos of both the LCLS and the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource (SSRL) for a contest. This image captured by Nathan Taylor is one of the top three entries taken by people from the group and will be submitted to this year's Global Physics Photowalk, which aims to show behind-the-scenes photographs of the world's leading particle physics laboratories. You can see all the winners, including another winning picture by Daniele Fanelli that features toy dinosaurs, along with the other entries that got honorable mention on SLAC's website.

[Image credit: SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory/Nathan Taylor]