Experimental Nuclear Physics
In a typical experiment at Jefferson Lab, a beam of high-energy electrons or photons strike a target located at the heart of one of the four experimental halls, producing a shower of sub-atomic particles. These particles are captured by the numerous detector systems in the halls, recorded using ultra-fast electronic hardware, and analyzed using some of the most sophisticated software in the world. The instrumentation and software for these experiments are provided and supported by the scientists, engineers and technicians of the Physics Division’s Technical Support Groups.
The Data Acquisition group provides support for the design, implementation, and operation of data acquisition systems for experiments and detector test stands. The group is responsible for the development for the CODA data acquisition system, implementations of which are used for major experiments in all four halls. Click the link to visit the group’s technical pages.
The Detector Support Group contributes to the research and development, design and fabrication, test and measurement, operation and maintenance, and analysis of detectors, magnets, and their control systems. For controls and monitoring, the group develops and implements hardware and software for National Instruments PAC systems, Allen Bradley PLC systems, and EPICS distributed control systems. Click the link to visit the web page.
The Fast Electronics Group supports and enables the experimental program with the design, development and implementation of ultra-fast fully pipelined electronic detector readout hardware systems. These systems include the use of state-of-the-art large-scale integrated circuits and high speed fiber optic communication hardware including high speed electronics for detector front end instrumentation.
The Detector Group has technical capabilities applicable to advanced detector development for particle nuclear physics research. Additionally, the group adapts cutting-edge nuclear physics research detector technology to develop application-specific, radioisotope detecting and imaging systems for a variety of applications such as security, medical imaging, and plant biology research. Click the link to visit the group’s technical pages.
The Target Group designs, constructs, and maintains most of the scattering targets utilized in the four experimental halls at Jefferson Lab. These systems include liquid hydrogen targets that can dissipate hundreds of watts of heating from the electron beam with little or no discernible boiling, and spin-polarized targets that are cooled to temperatures near absolute zero.
Jefferson Lab's Magnet Group is responsible for the support of existing and future superconducting and resistive magnets at the lab.