From Brookhaven Lab: “Brookhaven Lab Collider Crucial to Future of Nuclear Physics”

Brookhaven Lab

National Research Council report details breakthroughs at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider and its key role in the field over the next decade

July 3, 2012
Karen McNulty Walsh
Peter Genzer

In a new report on the current status and future of nuclear physics, the National Research Council (NRC) highlights the “spectacular” performance and critical future role of the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory.

Central to the past decade’s experimental milestones and future innovations sits Brookhaven Lab’s Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC), a 2.4-mile accelerator that produces states of matter unseen since the first moments after the Big Bang.

As the report states, ‘Experiments at RHIC allow nuclear scientists (in the United States, at 59 universities and six national laboratories in 29 states) to answer questions about the microsecond-old universe that cannot be answered by any conceivable astronomical observations made with telescopes and satellites.’

The leading conclusion of the decadal report recommends that “exploiting strategic investments should be an essential component of the U.S. nuclear science program in the coming decade.” The existing infrastructure and expansive versatility of RHIC place Brookhaven’s accelerator in an ideal position to fulfill that mission.

‘We are especially encouraged because the recently completed upgrade of RHIC luminosities is one of two strategic investments explicitly called out in the preamble to that conclusion,’ said physicist Steven Vigdor, head of Brookhaven’s nuclear and particle physics program. ‘We were able to complete that upgrade about five years faster and at one-seventh the cost envisioned in the 2007 Long Range Plan for U.S. Nuclear Science, thanks to advanced R&D on new accelerator technologies at RHIC.'”

See the full article here.

One of ten national laboratories overseen and primarily funded by the Office of Science of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Brookhaven National Laboratory conducts research in the physical, biomedical, and environmental sciences, as well as in energy technologies and national security. Brookhaven Lab also builds and operates major scientific facilities available to university, industry and government researchers. Brookhaven is operated and managed for DOE’s Office of Science by Brookhaven Science Associates, a limited-liability company founded by Stony Brook University, the largest academic user of Laboratory facilities, and Battelle, a nonprofit, applied science and technology organization.