Jefferson Lab 2024 Open House Recap

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Photos from Jefferson Lab's 2024 Virginia Is for Science Lovers® Open House event. Photos by Aileen Devlin

Thousands of visitors show their love of science at the lab’s 15th open house event

NEWPORT NEWS, VA – Love was in the air at the U.S. Department of Energy's Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility. On Saturday, June 8, an estimated 9,000 visitors flocked to the lab to celebrate its 40th anniversary under blue skies on this balmy, spring day.

The theme of Jefferson Lab’s long-awaited open house was the first-ever use of the Virginia Is for Science Lovers® slogan, under Virginia Tourism Corporation’s 50-year-strong Virginia Is for Lovers® campaign. Embodying this brand-new motif were Virginia’s latest LOVEwork – the first permanent, outdoor art installation on the lab’s campus – and the guest appearance of another LOVEwork provided by the City of Newport News.

Visitors wandering the sprawling site also had more than 15 other open facilities to choose from, with dozens of exhibits, hands-on demonstrations and presentations.

Some popular exhibits included the lab’s iconic particle accelerator, which hosted more than 3,000 tours 25 feet underground through two different sections of the Continuous Electron Beam Accelerator Facility’s 7/8-mile tunnel. In addition, three of CEBAF’s four experimental halls welcomed guests inside to show off the massive, specialized equipment that enables nuclear physicists to discover the nature of matter.

Many enjoyed a wide variety of displays hosted in one of the original buildings on the site: the Test Lab. There, visitors learned about the lab’s facilities dedicated to particle accelerator technology development, fabrication and testing. Several completed sections of particle accelerator were on full display, as well as the unique stations needed to build these hulking, supercooled components. Elsewhere in the expansive high bay, visitors viewed components being built for the Measurement of a Lepton-Lepton Electroweak Reaction (MOLLER) experiment along with materials that may soon be reused for another set of experiments for the Solenoidal Large Intensity Device (SoLID).

Throughout the day, students young and old took advantage of the many opportunities to get their hands on science. Activities allowed visitors to build their own accelerator cavity, observe detectors as they capture signals from cosmic rays, control competition robots, explore how magnets work, reminisce about the different ways information has been archived over the decades, and set up their own standing wave on the double-helix-inspired kinetic art installation.

In other exhibits, visitors learned about the work being carried out by the lab’s new Biomedical Research and Innovation Center and plans being made for the future High Performance Data Facility. Lab employees in human resources, procurement and sustainability shared opportunities for visitors to work with the lab and share its mission. And some interested attendees enjoyed previews of a brand new animation and documentary on the makeup of the proton that will debut later this year. These productions expand on earlier versions that are available to view here.

At each exhibit, Jefferson Lab’s scientists, engineers, technical staff and administrators were on hand to explain the science behind the technology and demonstrate how each component works to help nuclear physicists explore matter.

The event also featured displays from several regional university physics departments, some of the lab’s technology partners, and nearly a dozen community partner organizations who came to share with visitors their love of science, learning and Newport News.

This was the first open house to be held by Jefferson Lab in six years.

Additional pictures from the event can be viewed here.

Further Reading
Jefferson Lab Sets Date for 2024 Open House
Jefferson Lab to Celebrate Virginia is for Science Lovers® at June 8 Open House Event
Visualize the Proton with an Expert
A Spectacular Science Showcase for Families
Get Ready To Go Underground at Jefferson Lab’s 2024 Open House
Discover What’s New at Virginia’s National Lab
Jefferson Lab Staff Count Down to Open House 
Virginia is for Science Lovers®️ LOVEwork on Display for Open House

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