On Sept. 25, camera-toting science geeks roamed the halls of SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory in California, snapping pictures of all the cool machinery (and strange decorations) they came across. The best photos were entered in this year's Physics Photowalk, an annual contest hosted by Stanford University, which operates the SLAC for the U.S. Department of Energy. The winners and honorable mentions from the photo contest were recently announced, and they don't disappoint. From smiling X-ray imaging stations to dinosaur-covered workbenches, here are the best images from SLAC's Physics Photowalk. [Read the full story about the Physics Photowalk here]

A winner - It's Hot in Here

This photo, one of the three winning images in the contest, shows an experiment chamber from the coherent x-ray imaging (CXI) station, a tool that uses a focused x-ray beam to create images of single submicron particles. (Credit: Nathan Taylor.)


A winner - Convergence

This winning photograph shows the complex maze of heating, air conditioning and ventilation ducts that run along the ceiling of an entrance to the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS), which is where the CXI station and many other x-ray instrument stations are located at SLAC. (Credit: Cindy Stokes.)


A winner - Going Straight to the Origins

The LCLS X-ray Pump Probe Experimental Station gets some interesting decorations from the scientists who use this equipment for their research. The photographer, Daniele Fanelli, said he found many such examples of inside jokes and childlike whimsy during his tour of SLAC facilities. (Credit: Daniele Fanelli.)


X-ray Photo Booth

The LCLS Coherent X-ray Imaging Experimental Station. (Credit: Cindy Stokes.)


Gain Better Insight!

The LCLS X-ray Pump Probe Experimental Station. (Credit: Mandar Borkar.)


Untitled #1

Location Unknown. (Credit: Chenchuan Lu.)


Experimental Station 5-4

The SSRL Beam Line 5-4. (Credit: Maria A. Cordell.)


GO!

The Klystron Gallery. (Credit: Cindy Stokes.)


Stay in the Box

The SSRL Beam Line 5-4. (Credit: Nathan Taylor.)


Race Track

The Klystron Gallery. (Credit: Nathan Taylor.)


Sample Chamber for X-ray Imaging

The LCLS Coherent X-ray Imaging Experimental Station. (Credit: Nader Moussa.)


Ready and Waiting

The LCLS Near Experiment Hall. (Credit: Maria A. Cordell.)


Untitled

Location unknown. (Credit: Bill Perrine.)


Ecce Scientia

The SSRL Beam Line 7-2. (Credit: Daniele Fanelli.)


Geek says "Cheese"

The LCLS Coherent X-ray Imaging Experimental Station. (Credit: Sumitha Pauli.)


Linear AC

The SSRL. (Credit: Donald Landwirth.)


Turn the Left Knob Just a Bit

The SSRL Beam Line 5-4. (Credit: Douglas Seiler.)


Untitled #2

The LCLS X-ray Pump Probe Experimental Station. (Credit: Chenchuan Lu.)


Shedding Light

The SSRL Beam Line 7-2. (Credit: Rick Parfitt.)


Untitled

The SSRL. (Credit: Brandon Downey.)

Follow Live Science @livescience, Facebook & Google+. Original article on Live Science.