Discover What’s New at Virginia’s National Lab

Jefferson Lab’s June 8 open house event to offer fresh, new exhibits

NEWPORT NEWS, VA – From three-story-tall devices to three-inch-long replicas, the U.S. Department of Energy's Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility will feature exhibits, demonstrations and tours of all sizes at its 2024 open house. This free event is a rare opportunity for the public to catch up with the research, technologies and people powering this world-leading nuclear physics lab and future data science center.

Whether this is your first visit to the lab or your tenth, there will be something new for everyone, said Douglas Higinbotham, lead for the event’s program committee and operations director for the lab’s physics division.

“We’ll have many of the lab’s all-time favorite tour stops open, as well as many new and exciting exhibits,” he said.

Visitors will be able to tour several areas that make up the lab’s flagship facility: the Continuous Electron Beam Accelerator Facility. CEBAF is a DOE Office of Science user facility that supports the research of more than 1,900 nuclear physicists worldwide.

On June 8, visitors will be able to walk through one of CEBAF’s linear accelerators, where electrons are whipped up to nearly the speed of light for experiments. They will also be able to visit CEBAF’s control room, as well as three of its experimental halls, where the speedy electrons crash into targets for experiments. Three-story-tall detector systems in the halls collect the debris from these collisions for scientists to study.

“My favorite thing is always walking down one of the truck ramps and seeing our huge experimental halls. Even after more than twenty years, it still gives me a sense of awe,” said Douglas Higinbotham.

For the first time ever, visitors will also get to tour through one of CEBAF’s arcs. The arcs connect CEBAF’s two linear accelerators, completing its signature racetrack design. The arcs are filled floor-to-ceiling with magnets that shepherd the electrons on the right path.

The event will also feature a wide array of other new magnets on display. In the Magnet Test Area, visitors will be able to see accelerator magnets that are being repurposed for use in the Electron-Ion Collider. The EIC is being built at DOE’s Brookhaven National Laboratory in partnership with Jefferson Lab.

A completely new exhibit about the EIC and how Jefferson Lab is contributing to the science, design and build of this new research machine is stationed nearby in the Low Energy Recirculator Facility building. This exhibit will feature several hands-on activities for science enthusiasts of all ages.

“There’s a nice scale model of the apparatus that the EIC scientists will be using to show how nuclear physicists will conduct experiments at that future facility,” Higinbotham said.

For more new magnets on exhibit, visit the Test Lab. This building features magnets that are being designed and built for use in future experiments at Jefferson Lab. Visitors can get close to the action as engineers power on and carefully inspect one newly installed section for the MOLLER experiment.

Just a few steps away, another new magnet may soon begin taking shape. The proposed SoLID apparatus would refurbish another retired magnet.

“The huge magnet for the SoLID spectrometer and scientists from the SoLID collaboration will be at the event to show off the magnet, reveal a 3D model of the proposed spectrometer, and answer questions,” said Higinbotham.

The Test Lab is also home to the SRF Institute work areas. There, visitors will have the opportunity to see how particle accelerators are made from beginning to end. In one section, visitors can help assemble their own three-inch-long replica of an accelerator component. And then they may step into another demonstration that shows what nuclear physicists learn from these machines.

“A completely new presentation on the journey into the nucleus, which has been made in collaboration with MIT, will be presented by Jefferson Lab's own Rolf Ent,” added Higinbotham.

Other new exhibits on tap for the open house will feature the work of the recently established Research and Technology Partnerships Office, the newly formed Biomedical Research Innovation Center and planning for the High Performance Data Facility.

Lastly, visitors will be treated to a special exhibit that embodies the Virginia is for Science Lovers® theme.

“We aren’t quite ready to reveal what we’re working on for that, but we’re excited about putting it together using recycled materials,” said Higinbotham.

Visitors can check out these and the dozens of other exhibits, old and new, at Jefferson Lab’s 2024 Open House event on June 8, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

“It should be a lot of fun, and it is always great seeing the scientists explaining their work to the public!”

Check out the event website for developing details on exhibits and a head start on planning your visit. Access the event website at:

To be added to our event information distribution list for information updates and event reminders, email

Contact: Kandice Carter, Jefferson Lab Communications Office,


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