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Accelerator-Based Low-Energy Research
The low energy nuclear science program focuses on the study and understanding of nuclear properties under extreme conditions and using nuclei as a quantum system to test fundamental symmetries. Research is carried out at the 88-Inch Cyclotron with complementary use of major national and international facilities, such as ATLAS at Argonne National Laboratory, NCSL at Michigan State University, TRIUMF, RIKEN and GSI. It utilizes several state-of-the-art instruments that were developed by the Nuclear Science Division’s low-energy program (e.g., Gammasphere, BGS, neutral atom traps, VENUS ion source). We are developing the next generation of instrumentation, e.g., the gamma-ray energy tracking detector array GRETINA, which will provide factors of 10-100 gain in experimental sensitivity for the study of exotic nuclei at existing facilities and the future Facility for Rare Isotope Beams (FRIB).
The 88-Inch Cyclotron remains a key component to the success of our activities in heavy-element science, nuclear structure, and weak interactions, providing the necessary wide range of ion beams, from hydrogen to uranium, over a wide range of energies. It is home to a lively and strong science program and an important applied program supporting national energy and security needs. The facility provides a focal point and support for new innovations, such as GRETINA, as well as future projects such as the proposed low energy nuclear astrophysics accelerator for use at a future Deep Underground Laboratory.
Our program has close connections to the U.C. Berkeley Physics, Chemistry, and Nuclear Engineering Departments, and the cyclotron is an ideal facility for attracting and training students in nuclear physics and chemistry.