• Accelerator Science

Accelerator Science

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.

The Jefferson Lab Accelerator Operations group is responsible for delivering high-quality electron beams to the four experimental halls for experimental physics studies in the Continuous Electron Beam Accelerator Facility (CEBAF) and operations and maintenance of the Low Energy Recirculator Facility.

The SRF Institute is a world leader in the advancement of superconducting radiofrequency (SRF) science and technology, the technology that acts as the “accelerator” in all large modern particle accelerators. Advances in this technology enable the next generation of particle accelerators. This technology benefits researchers, engineers and technologists in fields ranging from particle physics and the life sciences to materials science and industry.

The Center for Advanced Studies of Accelerators (CASA) pursues a broad program of theoretical and experimental research in accelerator and beam physics. The organization's primary mission is to generate, to investigate deeply, and to distribute forefront knowledge about advanced accelerator and beam physics, especially that knowledge generated as a result of work with Jefferson Lab accelerators.

Jefferson Lab is a key contributor on a new project, LCLS-II, which will increase the capabilities of the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) to meet the need for a high-repetition-rate/high-average-intensity source of coherent X-rays. The project entails an upgrade of the LCLS accelerator at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory in Menlo Park, California.