Jefferson Lab Gears up for 'Accelerating Discovery' Open House on May 17

This slide show includes photos from the Jefferson Lab Open House held in May 2012. Between 7,000 and 8,000 visitors attended. They were able to see many of the unique research facilities and learn about the leading-edge projects underway at the lab, as well as participate in a variety of science education activities and catch the ever-popular Liquid Nitrogen Demonstration.

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – The U.S. Department of Energy’s Jefferson Lab will hold a public open house on Saturday, May 17, from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. It is the once every-other-year opportunity to spend the day exploring this world-class research facility, says Deb Magaldi, lab spokesperson. “The open house offers the public the best opportunity to see much of the lab and to find out about the many types of research and technological advancements underway here.”

Attendees will be able to visit the upgraded CEBAF accelerator and the lab's newest experimental area – Hall D – where state-of-the-art particle detectors are being installed. The accelerator upgrade and the new experimental hall are a cornerstone of the lab's 12 GeV Upgrade project. The $338 million project, funded by DOE's Office of Science and scheduled for completion by Sept. 30, 2017, will allow the lab to continue as a world leader in nuclear physics research. The project is providing new and enhanced research capabilities for the 1,250 scientists, from more than 250 institutions, who come to Jefferson Lab to conduct experiments.

The theme of this year’s event is “Accelerating Discovery” in anticipation of bringing the upgraded Continuous Electron Beam Accelerator Facility online.

Many of the lab's research and work areas will be accessible or on display. Exhibits, tours, hands-on activities and demonstrations, such as the ever-popular Liquid Nitrogen Show, will be available, providing a day of education and fun for people of all ages, according to Magaldi. “The event strives to be family friendly and will feature a variety of hands-on, science-education activities for the young and young-at-heart,” she adds.

Visitors will be able to talk to and learn first-hand from staff and visiting scientists about the research underway at the lab, as well as its particle-acceleration capability (superconducting radiofrequency), a technology for which there is growing interest in the U.S. and abroad. The lab's supercomputing and simulation capabilities will be on display, and research labs in the Free-Electron Laser Facility will be open.

A number of local universities, museums, government agencies and other organizations will present activities and information on complementary scientific endeavors.

The open house will be free of charge and will be held rain or shine. Free public parking will be available on the Jefferson Lab campus and adjacent property. Parking lots will open at 8:30 a.m. No early arrivals admitted. No vehicles will be admitted to the parking lots after 2 p.m. All parking will be accessible by turning east onto Hogan Drive at the intersection of Jefferson Avenue and Hogan, in Newport News. This intersection has a stoplight, and Newport News Police will be on hand to direct traffic.

The event will be spread out over several facilities and involves a lot of walking, taking multiple flights of concrete stairs and walking down and back up rough, inclined truck ramps. In some areas, visitors will be walking on compacted gravel or dirt surfaces instead of pavement. Wear sturdy, comfortable shoes and sunscreen or a brimmed hat and protective clothing. Free shuttle buses will be available to carry visitors between most of the tour stops. Photos and videotaping are welcome.

More about the event, including directions to public parking, is posted on the event website at: The webpage will be updated as additional information becomes available.

Jefferson Lab is located at 12000 Jefferson Ave., Newport News, Va., 23606. The lab's last open house was in May 2012.


Jefferson Science Associates, LLC, manages and operates the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility, or Jefferson Lab, for the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science. JSA is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Southeastern Universities Research Association, Inc. (SURA).

DOE’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, visit