June 3, 2005  


SLAC Legends: The Rock

By Katherine Bellevin

(Photo by Diana Rogers)

What is the rock sitting outside of the A&E building? An asteroid? A geode?

Many theories abound, but the true saga of ‘The Rock’ began over 20 years ago. In 1980 it was unearthed in an excavation site at the West End of the Klystron Gallery. The rock is almost perfectly round rock and weighs about 800 pounds.

Ed Keyser (retired), who discovered the rock, initially thought he had found the world’s largest geode. “We pictured the rock split in two and containing all the beautiful crystals that one finds in geodes,” he said. But after drilling a hole into the rock to see what might be in the center, he found only solid sand stone all the way through.

After being moved several times and twice slated for demolition, the rock was transferred to it’s current location.

“I am happy the rock provided some joy to those who were around when it was placed,” said retired SLAC-er Ed Keyser. “It is also a pleasure to know that many tales of how the rock came to be in its present location have been invented and told and retold.”

For the rest of Ed’s story, see:


The Stanford Linear Accelerator Center is managed by Stanford University for the US Department of Energy

Last update Thursday June 02, 2005 by Topher White