This video and accompanying article highlight the decades of discoveries, achievements and progress in particle accelerator R&D at Berkeley Lab. These accelerators have enabled new explorations of the atomic nucleus; the production and discovery of new elements and isotopes, and of subatomic particles and their properties; created new types of medical imaging and treatments; and provided new insight into the nature of matter and energy, and new methods to advance industry and security, among other wide-ranging applications.
The successful test of the LCLS-II electron gun marks the culmination of a Berkeley Lab R&D effort spanning more than a decade. The gun’s design was conceived in 2006 by John W. Staples, a retired Berkeley Lab physicist, and Fernando Sannibale, a senior scientist in Berkeley Lab’s Accelerator Technology and Applied Physics Division.
A new electron gun, designed and built at Berkeley Lab to supply electrons for a next-gen X-ray laser, fired its first electrons today. The X-ray laser is part of the LCLS-II project, which is an upgrade of SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory’s Linac Coherent Light Source X-ray laser.
Combining a first laser pulse to heat up and “drill” through a plasma, and another to accelerate electrons to incredibly high energies in just tens of centimeters, scientists have nearly doubled the previous record for laser-driven particle acceleration at Berkeley Lab’s BELLA Center.
For several decades, the nuclear science community has been calling for a new type of particle collider to pursue – in the words of one report – “a new experimental quest to study the glue that binds us all.” This glue is responsible for most of the visible universe’s matter and mass. To learn about this glue, scientists are proposing a unique, high-energy collider that smashes accelerated electrons, which carry a negative charge, into charged atomic nuclei or protons, which carry a positive charge.
To help foster the broad applicability of high-intensity lasers, Berkeley Lab is a partner in a new research network called LaserNetUS. The network will provide U.S. scientists increased access to the unique high-intensity laser facilities at the Lab’s BELLA Center and at eight other institutions.
The Advanced Light Source (ALS), a scientific user facility at Berkeley Lab, has received federal approval to proceed with preliminary design, planning and R&D work for a major upgrade project that will boost the brightness of its X-ray beams at least a hundredfold. The upgrade will give the ALS, which this year celebrates its 25th anniversary, brighter beams with a more ordered structure – like evenly spaced ripples in a pond – that will better reveal nanoscale details in complex chemical reactions and in new materials, expanding the envelope for scientific exploration.
The U.S. Department of Energy announced today that Berkeley Lab will receive $30 million over five years to build and operate an Advanced Quantum Testbed. Researchers will use the testbed to explore superconducting quantum processors and evaluate how these emerging quantum devices can be utilized to advance scientific research. As part of this effort, Berkeley Lab will collaborate with MIT Lincoln Laboratory to deploy different quantum processor architectures.
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) this week announced support from the Department of Energy that significantly expands Berkeley Lab’s research efforts in quantum information science, an area of research that harnesses the phenomenon of quantum coherence, in which two or more particles are so tightly entangled that a change to one simultaneously affects the other. Quantum information science seeks to utilize this phenomenon to hold, transmit, and process information.
A groundbreaking ceremony today celebrates the start of civil engineering work for a major upgrade to the Large Hadron Collider at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland. When complete, the High-Luminosity LHC will produce five to seven times more proton-proton collisions than the currently operating LHC, powering new discoveries about our universe.