Research Facilities

Research Facilities

Our office supports four major research facilities, and a number of smaller ones. These are located at national labs and research universities throughout the country, plus one in Canada.

RHIC - Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider

The Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) is also known as time machine where heavy ions like gold are smashed against each other at nearly the speed of the light to re-create the state of matter which only existed right after big bang. RHIC is also capable of accelerating and colliding polarized protons at high energy to study the spin structure of proton.

This 2.4 mile long racetrack-shaped collider consists of two accelerators where beams travel in opposite directions. Each of the two RHIC accelerators is primarily made up of thousands of superconducting magnets, which have to be operated at a temperature as low as 4 degree of Kelvin to obtain zero resistivity to the electric current. These two accelerators also cross each other like a giant pretzel to provide interaction points where heavy ions can be brought in to head-on collisions.

For more details regarding RHIC, please go to the RHIC homepageExternal link

In addition to RHIC, the entire accelerator complex for RHIC also includes a 200 MeV Linear Accelerator, a Tandem Van de Graaf of two 15 kV accelerators, the Booster accelerator and the Alternating Gradient Synchrotron where beams are accelerated and injected into RHIC.

More information can be found at Collider/Accelerator homepageExternal link

CEBAF - Continuous Electron Beam Facility

The Continuous Electron Beam Accelerator Facility (CEBAF) at Thomas Jefferson National Laboratory is employed by scientists to probe the interior of the nucleus to study its properties. This powerful microscope allows scientists to take a close look at protons, neutrons as well as their constituents like quarks and gluons. This 7/8 mile long racetrack accelerator consists of two linear accelerators which are linked by arcs at either side of them. Bending dipole magnets at both arcs guide electrons to circulate through the two linear accelerators made up with superconducting accelerating structures at radio frequency 4 times to boost them to higher and higher energies.

More information can be found at CEBAF home pageExternal link

Photo candidates: hereExternal link


As the world's first superconducting linear accelerator, the Argonne Tandem Linear Accelerator System (ATLAS) is a leading facility for nuclear structure and nuclear astrophysics research in the Unites States. The full range of all stable ions can be produced and accelerated to energies of 9 � 20 MeV per nucleon, and delivered to one of several target stations equipped with state-of-the-art instrumentation such as Gammasphere, the world's most powerful gamma-ray detector. ATLAS is used mostly to study the properties of the nucleus, essential information for understanding the core of matter as well as the evolution of stars. Since its inception, the ATLAS facility has continually been upgraded in order to be at the forefront of nuclear research. At present, the Californium Rare Ion Breeder Upgrade (CARIBU) is entering into operation. This facility provides for acceleration of fission fragments from a one Curie 252Cf source to study the properties of neutron-rich nuclei, particularly those of relevance for the astrophysical rapid neutron capture process responsible for the production of a large fraction of the heavy elements in the Universe.

More information can be found at ATLAS home pageExternal link

Nuclear Physics Lab, University of Washington

The Center for Experimental Nuclear Physics and Astrophysics (CENPA), also known as the Nuclear Physics Laboratory at University of Washington, engages in a broad program of experimental physics research, range from neutrino physics to precision experimental studies of gravity. The facility at CENPA includes an injector, a Van de Graaff electrostatic accelerator, and a superconducting linear accelerator. The research programs are either carried out at its own facility or at other laboratories or sites. Currently, CENPA is heavily involved in the neutrino research at Sudbury Neutrino Observatory in Canada, KATRIN direct neutrino mass measurement at Germany and Majorana project for search double beta decay at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

More information can be found at NPL home pageExternal link

LBNL 88-inch Cyclotron

Situated in the center of the beautiful Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory campus, the sector-focused 88-inch cyclotron is the home for Berkeley Accelerator Space Effect Facility. Based on Dr. Lawrence's design of a sector-focused cyclotron, this 88-inch cyclotron has been in operation to provide from proton to heavy ions like uranium since 1962. During its long life, the 88-inch cyclotron has supported a very rich research programs like nuclear structure, fundamental interactions, radiation effects on living cells, microelectronics, optics and other materials. It has also been the center for technology development at LBNL and is currently engaged in the development of couple of major instrumentations like the next generation Gamma Ray Energy Tracking Array and third generation superconducting electron cyclotron resonance ion source. As one of the oldest accelerators, 88-in cyclotron is also home of numerous student training programs.

More information can be found at 88-inch Cyclotron home pageExternal link.

TAMU Cyclotron Institute

Charge breeder for the reaccelerated beams

The superconducting cyclotron at Texas A&M University, one of only six world wide, accelerates particles from hydrogen to uranium for nuclear-science research. Current studies cover a broad range from fundamental symmetries to reaction dynamics in heavy-ion collisions and the rates of nuclear reactions in stars. An upgrade of the facility is nearly complete, which will provide accelerated radioactive ion beams with energies not available elsewhere in the world. As part of the upgrade, a room temperature cyclotron (an 88" machine) has been refurbished and will be used to produce radioactive ions that will then be accelerated in the superconducting cyclotron. The facility includes three experimental areas that are equipped with spectrometers and detector arrays. The superconducting cyclotron also provides beams that are used to test electronics for space satellites.

More information about the facility can be found at TAMU Cyclotron home pageExternal link.

Triangle Universities Nuclear Laboratory

Triangle Universities Nuclear Laboratory is a Department of Energy -funded laboratory with research faculty from three major universities within the Research Triangle area: Duke University, North Carolina State University, and the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Located on the campus of Duke University behind the Physics department, TUNL draws additional collaborators from many universities in the southeast, as well as from labs and universities across the country and all over the world

More information can be found at TUNL home pageExternal link.

Last modified: 3/18/2013 10:43:08 AM