Jefferson Lab is recognized as 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 particle accelerator.
CEBAF is based on superconducting radiofrequency (SRF) technology and 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 U.S., and it is the world's most advanced particle accelerator for investigating the quark structure of the atom's nucleus.
SRF technology is critical to research in high-energy physics, nuclear physics, nuclear astrophysics, life sciences and materials science. SRF technology is also used in facilities or equipment for applied research, industrial processing and directed-energy weapons. Without SRF technology and systems, the beams needed for these specialized areas of research would be unattainable or prohibitively expensive.
Jefferson Lab is a world leader in SRF technologies. Lab staff study and advance the materials used in superconducting cavities, continuously improving them to make possible future particle accelerators. Jefferson Lab is one of only a few places in the world where such cavities can be designed, fabricated, processed and tested. The lab has processed and assembled more than 500 SRF cavities since its founding. In addition, more cryomodules and different cryomodule designs have been constructed here than any place else in the world. The lab also has more than a decade of experience operating two accelerators, accounting for more than 35 percent of the world’s integrated operational SRF experience.