Brookhaven selected to host new US ion collider

10 January 2020

The US Department of Energy has selected Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) in Upton, New York, as the site for a new research facility that it says will be a game-changing resource for the international nuclear physics community. The Electron Ion Collider (EIC) will be designed and constructed over 10 years and cost about USD1.6-2.6 billion.

BNL's Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (Image: BNL)

The EIC's high luminosity and highly polarised 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, the DOE said. Design and construction of such a collider was recommended by the National Research Council of the US National Academies of Science, and endorsed by the federal Nuclear Science Advisory Committee. Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillete approved "mission need" for the EIC on 19 December.

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

The Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider, which has been in operation at Brookhaven since 2000, will provide crucial infrastructure for the new EIC, BNL said. Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility in Newport News, Virginia, will be a partner in realising the EIC, with several other DOE laboratories expected to contribute to the construction effort and to the EIC nuclear physics research programme. Funding for the EIC is subject to annual appropriations by the US Congress.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News