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U.S. Department of Energy selects BNL to host major new nuclear physics facility

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced the selection of Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton, NY, as the site for a planned major new nuclear physics research facility. 

The Electron Ion Collider (EIC), to be designed and constructed over ten years at an estimated cost between $1.6 and $2.6 billion, will smash electrons into protons and heavier atomic nuclei in an effort to penetrate the mysteries of the “strong force” that binds the atomic nucleus together. 

Brookhaven is operated and managed for DOE's Office of Science by Brookhaven Science Associates, a limited-liability company founded by the Research Foundation for the State University of New York on behalf of Stony Brook University, the largest academic user of laboratory facilities, and Battelle, a nonprofit applied science and technology organization. 

“The EIC promises to keep America in the forefront of nuclear physics research and particle accelerator technology, critical components of overall U.S. leadership in science,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette. “This facility will deepen our understanding of nature and is expected to be the source of insights ultimately leading to new technology and innovation.” 

“America is in the golden age of innovation, and we are eager to take this next step with EIC. The EIC will not only ensure U.S. leadership in nuclear physics, but the technology developed for EIC will also support potential tremendous breakthroughs impacting human health, national competitiveness, and national security,” said Under Secretary for Science Paul Dabbar. “We look forward to our continued world-leading scientific discoveries in conjunction with our international partners.” 

The EIC’s high luminosity and highly polarized beams will push the frontiers of particle accelerator science and technology and provide unprecedented insights into the building blocks and forces that hold atomic nuclei together.   

Design and construction of an EIC was recommended by the National Research Council of the National Academies of Science, noting that such a facility “would maintain U.S. leadership in nuclear physics” and “help to maintain scientific leadership more broadly.”  Plans for an EIC were also endorsed by the federal Nuclear Science Advisory Committee. 

Secretary Brouillette approved Critical Decision-0, “Approve Mission Need,” for the EIC on December 19, 2019. 

“The Department is excited to be moving forward with an Electron Ion Collider at Brookhaven National Laboratory,” stated Office of Science Director Dr. Chris Fall. “However, participation from many parts of the DOE laboratory complex will be essential if the EIC is to be a success.” 

Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility in Newport News, VA will be a major partner in realizing the EIC, and several other DOE laboratories are expected to contribute to EIC construction and to the groundbreaking nuclear physics research program that will be accomplished there. 

The EIC will be a game-changing resource for the international nuclear physics community. American researchers have benefited from DOE participation in international collaborations such as CERN and the international community is currently contributing to our construction of the Long Baseline Neutrino Facility and the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment. DOE looks forward to conversations with our international partners about contributions to the EIC effort.  

Funding for the EIC is subject to annual appropriations by Congress.

Tags Tags: Stony Brook University , Research

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