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210 Notes

This metallic maze once squeezed protons into tight beams inside our Cosmotron, the most powerful particle accelerator in the world during the 1950s. Wanna know more about our first accelerator and the discoveries it made possible? We’ve got you covered.

This metallic maze once squeezed protons into tight beams inside our Cosmotron, the most powerful particle accelerator in the world during the 1950s. 

Wanna know more about our first accelerator and the discoveries it made possible? We’ve got you covered.

74 Notes

Honestly, a mutant with powerful eye-beams becoming our next president is more plausible than Brookhaven Lab’s Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider creating a dangerous black hole. The same goes for CERN, the European Lab that actually hosts the Large Hadron Collider.

But we love to see particle accelerators appearing in popular fiction! Who knows if seeing Scott Summers and crew vanquish a black hole will inspire readers to dig deep into the awesomeness of atom smashers? Spoiler alert: You may find that the facts are stranger (and more exciting!) than the fiction.

349 Notes

Physicists at the Large Hadron Collider have just detected a subatomic process even more elusive than the mass-endowing Higgs itself: a scattering of two same-charged particles called W bosons off one another. It may not sound quite as exciting as the decades-long hunt for the Higgs and its Nobel-winning discovery, but it’s a testament to the absurd precision possible at the LHC. 
So how rare is this scattering? Just imagine pulling a needle out of 100 trillion pieces of exploding hay. 
And why sift through all that data? It’s a crucial test of the Standard Model that describes the quantum world in glorious and elegant detail. Also, it may lead us into uncharted territory:
From the story:

“The Standard Model has so far survived all tests, but we know that it is incomplete because there are observations of dark matter, dark energy, and the antimatter/matter asymmetry in the universe that can’t be explained by the Standard Model,” Pleier said. So physicists are always looking for new ways to test the theory, to find where and how it might break down.

Physicists at the Large Hadron Collider have just detected a subatomic process even more elusive than the mass-endowing Higgs itself: a scattering of two same-charged particles called W bosons off one another. It may not sound quite as exciting as the decades-long hunt for the Higgs and its Nobel-winning discovery, but it’s a testament to the absurd precision possible at the LHC. 

So how rare is this scattering? Just imagine pulling a needle out of 100 trillion pieces of exploding hay. 

And why sift through all that data? It’s a crucial test of the Standard Model that describes the quantum world in glorious and elegant detail. Also, it may lead us into uncharted territory:

From the story:

“The Standard Model has so far survived all tests, but we know that it is incomplete because there are observations of dark matter, dark energy, and the antimatter/matter asymmetry in the universe that can’t be explained by the Standard Model,” Pleier said. So physicists are always looking for new ways to test the theory, to find where and how it might break down.

222 Notes

A water slide taller than Niagara Falls just opened in Kansas City. It stands 168 feet 7 inches tall, includes a 17-story drop, and it’s called Verrückt, which means “insane” in German. Appropriate, since you might have to be missing a few marbles to willingly fling yourself down it. 
It looks terrifying, but, according to Gene Van Buren, one of Brookhaven’s physicists, the angle of the drop, the friction of a raft against the slide, and the force of gravity will keep you from flying off of it. He told LiveScience: “The longer and taller a slide is, the steeper the lower half can be for it to still be safe for riders.” 
Verrückt has a 60-degree angle at its longest drop, and the water beneath a rider’s raft eases the friction against the slide, producing a feeling of weightlessness. But, said Van Buren, “If it becomes too steep too quickly, then a person or object of any sort would no longer remain on the slide, and would likely become airborne.”
The slide designer’s have pushed this record-breaking thrill ride right up to the edge, allowing for a gut-wrenching drop while still keeping riders from taking flight.  
"Free fall can be a rather scary feeling, and people can get a thrill from that,” Van Buren said. “So this is undoubtedly why slide designers push to make the safety margins as small as they can, and get people closer to the verge of becoming airborne, without ever doing so.” 

A water slide taller than Niagara Falls just opened in Kansas City. It stands 168 feet 7 inches tall, includes a 17-story drop, and it’s called Verrückt, which means “insane” in German. Appropriate, since you might have to be missing a few marbles to willingly fling yourself down it. 

It looks terrifying, but, according to Gene Van Buren, one of Brookhaven’s physicists, the angle of the drop, the friction of a raft against the slide, and the force of gravity will keep you from flying off of it. He told LiveScience: “The longer and taller a slide is, the steeper the lower half can be for it to still be safe for riders.” 

Verrückt has a 60-degree angle at its longest drop, and the water beneath a rider’s raft eases the friction against the slide, producing a feeling of weightlessness. But, said Van Buren, “If it becomes too steep too quickly, then a person or object of any sort would no longer remain on the slide, and would likely become airborne.”

The slide designer’s have pushed this record-breaking thrill ride right up to the edge, allowing for a gut-wrenching drop while still keeping riders from taking flight.  

"Free fall can be a rather scary feeling, and people can get a thrill from that,” Van Buren said. “So this is undoubtedly why slide designers push to make the safety margins as small as they can, and get people closer to the verge of becoming airborne, without ever doing so.” 

32 Notes

Summer interns at Brookhaven get to learn a lot of science, do research in working labs, and sometimes they even win the Staff vs. Students softball game. 
Wanna intern here next summer? Make plans now.

Summer interns at Brookhaven get to learn a lot of science, do research in working labs, and sometimes they even win the Staff vs. Students softball game. 

Wanna intern here next summer? Make plans now.

72 Notes

Brookhaven National Lab began with physicists looking for peaceful uses of the atom in 1947, but before that the Lab site was home to Camp Upton, an induction and training camp during World War I and a military rehabilitation center for returning soldiers during World War II. 

Before we had particle accelerators, light sources, nano centers, and biology centers, there were soliders’ barracks, officer’s quarters, and training trenches. Some of those old military buildings have been renovated and repurposed, and we still use a few of them today. 

The Long Island Museum is currently hosting a collection of war memorabilia, including standard items soldiers may have had in the barracks at Camp Upton. The makeshift bunk area is filled with pieces from Brookhaven’s collections. The Camp Upton sign is circa World War I, and there’s also a bayonet, a military helmet from the Army’s 77th Infantry Division (nicknamed the “Liberty Division”), a mess kit, and a gas mask, all lying on an Army cot. A stretcher leans against the wall, and a wooden trunk with the name of a soldier is at the foot of the cot. Uniform jackets hang on the walls. 

They are also showcasing a World War I-era bugle and the sheet music to Irving Berlin’s “Oh! How I Hate To Get Up In The Morning” which he wrote while stationed here at Camp Upton. 

113 Notes

What does science look like through the eyes of an artist? Sarah Szabo shows us with her piece, “Quark-Gluon Plasma Entering Hadronization.” Szabo is a multimedia artist who studies at the Pratt Institute with one of Brookhaven’s theoretical physicists, Ágnes Mócsy. 
Images of particle collisions deep within the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider — where heavy ions smash together and melt into a strange form of matter called Quark-Gluon Plasma — gave rise to Szabo’s exhibition, “Glamorous Gluons.” Her particle-physics-inspired art will be displayed here at Brookhaven for the next month. 
“I think there is a lot of similarity between the cutting-edge physics research that we are doing and art,” Mócsy said. “We are people trying to understand and figure out the world; we all do that. The medium we use is different, but the bottom line is that we all try to get an insight into the same kind of questions, and we try to understand a little more our place as humans. When we make our physics accessible, great things can happen. When physics meets art, really great things can happen.” 

What does science look like through the eyes of an artist? Sarah Szabo shows us with her piece, “Quark-Gluon Plasma Entering Hadronization.” Szabo is a multimedia artist who studies at the Pratt Institute with one of Brookhaven’s theoretical physicists, Ágnes Mócsy.

Images of particle collisions deep within the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider — where heavy ions smash together and melt into a strange form of matter called Quark-Gluon Plasma — gave rise to Szabo’s exhibition, “Glamorous Gluons.” Her particle-physics-inspired art will be displayed here at Brookhaven for the next month. 

“I think there is a lot of similarity between the cutting-edge physics research that we are doing and art,” Mócsy said. “We are people trying to understand and figure out the world; we all do that. The medium we use is different, but the bottom line is that we all try to get an insight into the same kind of questions, and we try to understand a little more our place as humans. When we make our physics accessible, great things can happen. When physics meets art, really great things can happen.” 

71 Notes

Through the eyes of a scientist, the periodic table is full of endless possibilities.
As a production manager in our Medical Isotope Research Program, Suzanne Smith helps create radioisotopes at the Brookhaven Linac Isotope Producer — adorably nicknamed BLIP — which is an off-shoot of our particle collider.

Through the eyes of a scientist, the periodic table is full of endless possibilities.

As a production manager in our Medical Isotope Research Program, Suzanne Smith helps create radioisotopes at the Brookhaven Linac Isotope Producer — adorably nicknamed BLIP — which is an off-shoot of our particle collider.

12 Notes

Hi! Do you know if there are any undergraduate internship opportunities for students studying mathematics?

Asked by finite-element

Brookhaven has undergraduate internships in many areas of science — chemistry, physics, engineering, biology, nuclear medicine, and yes, applied mathematics — through the Department of Energy’s Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internship (SULI) program. You can find out more on our Office of Educational Programs website

We also have internships for graduate students and others, so if you’re interested in doing research with a Brookhaven scientist, check us out!

23 Notes

Throwback Thursday: That time Brookhaven was a whole category on the Jeopardy Tournament of Champions. The contestants did pretty well answering questions about us!

This was filmed in 2009, so the $400 clue is out of date. We have now produced research that led to a Nobel Prize on seven occasions. 

129 Notes

You need more than just pen and paper to recreate the quantum-scale chemistry unfolding at the foundations of matter—you need supercomputers.
Brookhaven Lab physicist Peter Petreczky, who uses complex calculations to describe the ultra-hot early universe and the forces that hold matter together.

172 Notes

Where do our planet’s oceans come from? New research done in part at Brookhaven shows it may come from the rocks deep in the Earth’s mantle.
The water is trapped inside a blue rock called ringwoodite that sits between the Upper Mantle and Lower Mantle in a spot called the Transition Zone about 450 miles beneath the Earth’s surface.
Northwestern geophysicist Steve Jacobsen and University of New Mexico seismologist Brandon Schmandt have found deep pockets of magma in this zone, an indicator of water that is squeezed out of the rocks by enormous pressures and temperatures.
Jacobsen and his team used a diamond-anvil cell at one of the UV beamlines at our National Synchrotron Light Source to mimic those pressures on a sample of ringwoodite. Compressed between two tiny diamonds and laser-heated to almost 3000 degrees Fahrenheit, the sample sweated out its water. 
But it’s not in a form familiar to us — it’s not liquid, ice, or vapor. It’s water trapped in the molecular structure of the minerals in the mantle rock. If just one percent of the weight of mantle rock located in the Transition Zone is H2O, that would be equivalent to nearly three times the amount of water in our oceans!! 

Where do our planet’s oceans come from? New research done in part at Brookhaven shows it may come from the rocks deep in the Earth’s mantle.

The water is trapped inside a blue rock called ringwoodite that sits between the Upper Mantle and Lower Mantle in a spot called the Transition Zone about 450 miles beneath the Earth’s surface.

Northwestern geophysicist Steve Jacobsen and University of New Mexico seismologist Brandon Schmandt have found deep pockets of magma in this zone, an indicator of water that is squeezed out of the rocks by enormous pressures and temperatures.

Jacobsen and his team used a diamond-anvil cell at one of the UV beamlines at our National Synchrotron Light Source to mimic those pressures on a sample of ringwoodite. Compressed between two tiny diamonds and laser-heated to almost 3000 degrees Fahrenheit, the sample sweated out its water. 

But it’s not in a form familiar to us — it’s not liquid, ice, or vapor. It’s water trapped in the molecular structure of the minerals in the mantle rock. If just one percent of the weight of mantle rock located in the Transition Zone is H2O, that would be equivalent to nearly three times the amount of water in our oceans!! 

5425 Notes

Supernova remnants are impossibly stunning. Exploding stars fling a ridiculous amount of energy out across the cosmos, giving us killer images like the one above.
But supernovae also send out extremely energetic charged particles, which can strike and damage cells. Ol’ Mother Earth protects us with a luscious atmosphere and powerful magnetic field, but deep space explorers aren’t so lucky. Astronauts traveling beyond Earth’s orbit are exposed to these powerful, star-born cosmic rays. So how do we protect them and evaluate the risks?

Well, clearly you can’t just send a person out into space and see how long it takes them to develop cancer. So what we work with at the NASA Space Radiation Laboratory are many experiments with different cell types that we expose to this type of radiation here on Earth—and then we use a lot of mathematical manipulations to extrapolate our data into the health risks for people.

That’s molecular biologist Peter Guida in a great Popular Mechanics (popmech) interview on the threat to Mars explorers. Guida works at the NASA Space Radiation Laboratory here at Brookhaven Lab, using our accelerators to safely simulate the ion beams blazing through deep space. Go read the whole thing.

Supernova remnants are impossibly stunning. Exploding stars fling a ridiculous amount of energy out across the cosmos, giving us killer images like the one above.

But supernovae also send out extremely energetic charged particles, which can strike and damage cells. Ol’ Mother Earth protects us with a luscious atmosphere and powerful magnetic field, but deep space explorers aren’t so lucky. Astronauts traveling beyond Earth’s orbit are exposed to these powerful, star-born cosmic rays. So how do we protect them and evaluate the risks?

Well, clearly you can’t just send a person out into space and see how long it takes them to develop cancer. So what we work with at the NASA Space Radiation Laboratory are many experiments with different cell types that we expose to this type of radiation here on Earth—and then we use a lot of mathematical manipulations to extrapolate our data into the health risks for people.

That’s molecular biologist Peter Guida in a great Popular Mechanics (popmechinterview on the threat to Mars explorers. Guida works at the NASA Space Radiation Laboratory here at Brookhaven Lab, using our accelerators to safely simulate the ion beams blazing through deep space. Go read the whole thing.

313 Notes

Meet two of the newest members of the Brookhaven family! When the team here needs a break from smashing atoms or teaching DNA to build new materials, we get to step outside and marvel at these glorious fawns.

67 Notes

Brookhaven’s first synchrotron light source has a ring of magnets about as big around as a carousel, as you can see in the historic photo at the top. That was taken back in the 80s, when the the National Synchrotron Light Source (NSLS) was being commissioned. NSLS has been operating for 32 years, accelerating a beam of electrons that provide high energy x-rays, along with ultraviolet and infrared light beams. 

This year, we will shut down NSLS and open NSLS-II across the street. Our new facility is so big that to capture the entire ring we had to take a shot from the air. Inside that enormous building sits a ring of magnets very similar to the ones at NSLS, though there are many more of them. NSLS-II is a half-mile ring that will create x-rays 10,000 times brighter than its predecessor. 

These two shots show just how far we’ve come and how big the upgrade will be. NSLS-II will allow for the most cutting-edge science, and will have beams of light that will let scientists take images of materials down to the nanometer - that’s one-billionth of a meter! - made from electrons whizzing around at nearly the speed of light.