Advancing Accelerator Science, Technology and Operations
Jefferson Lab is a world leader in accelerator science. This expertise comes from the planning, building, maintaining and operating of the Continuous Electron Beam Accelerator Facility (CEBAF), the lab’s primary particle accelerator, and the Low Energy Recirculator Facility, a test bed for a variety of technologies.
CEBAF is based on superconducting radiofrequency (SRF) technology. It produces a stream of charged electrons that scientists use to probe the nucleus of the atom. CEBAF was the first large-scale application of SRF technology in the world, and it is the world's most advanced particle accelerator for investigating the quark structure of the atom's nucleus. The CEBAF energy was recently upgraded from 6 GeV to 12 GeV, and an additional experimental area was added to support the highest-energy experiments.
The Jefferson Lab Low Energy Recirculator Facility is powered by a smaller SRF accelerator. Formerly known as the Free-Electron Laser (FEL), the facility holds power records in the production of infrared, ultraviolet and terahertz laser light. The FEL was used in a variety of scientific studies, such as developing processes for producing high-quality carbon and boron-nitride nanotubes, identifying laser light wavelengths for use in medical treatments and in micromachining studies.
The Jefferson Lab Accelerator Division is responsible for delivering high-quality electron beams for experiments, using a sophisticated computer system to control hundreds of thousands of hardware components, including complex cryogenic, microwave, vacuum and magnet systems that comprise the accelerator. The division also pursues a broad program of theoretical and experimental research in accelerator and beam physics.