Many stakeholders in Brookhaven National Laboratory’s upcoming Electron-Ion Collider project came together Friday to celebrate the official launch of the initiative. In January, the U.S. Department of Energy named Brookhaven Lab the site for the project, out of a pool of the country’s top research facilities.
“BNL has the talent, the technology, and the track record to make the most of this national project,” said Sen. Chuck Schumer. “The lab is used to taking on big projects, critical research, and the most serious questions science can pose. This multi-billion-dollar federal investment on Long Island will guarantee Brookhaven National Lab continues to be a world-class research facility for the next generation.”
Schumer also highlighted the jobs the project will bring to Long Island, both in construction and engineering, as well as the scientists who use the machine. The project is estimated to have a $2 billion investment in the lab and its surrounding infrastructure. New York State has also committed to investing $100 million over the next six years toward the project.
“This cutting-edge project will inject billions of dollars and an extensive number of jobs into our communities, all while churning out scores of scientific discoveries that help us understand the world around us, harness the untapped potential of the natural world, and from human health to our national security and beyond, benefit nearly every aspect of our lives,” said congressman Lee Zeldin.
The EIC Collider will essentially act as a subatomic microscope, which scientists will use to study the building blocks of visible matter. The EIC will be on the heels of the BNL Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider, a 2.4-mile circular magnetic beam accelerator which has been in use for almost 20 years. According to operations professionals at the lab, the RHIC will be replaced with the EIC within the next five years, when construction is slated to begin. The EIC will be in the same tunnel as the RHIC, but performing different tasks. The lab expects the EIC to be operational in the early part of the next decade.
Experiments using the EIC will look at quarks and gluons, the fundamental pieces of atoms, and how they relate to one another, are arranged, and their connection to larger matter. All findings stemming from the EIC will be available through openly published research to scientists, industry professionals, and academia.
“I have no doubt that this project is in the right hands and I am looking forward to all the discoveries that will be coming out of [the team],” said Sen. Kirsten Gil- librand.
Technology used in the creation and use of the EIC, as well as the discoveries that come out of it, could have major impacts in the fields of health, technolo- gy, security, and more. BNL is also part- nering with Jefferson Labs in Virginia, which will have a major role in the devel- opment and execution of the project.
According to Diane Hatton, project
manager for the EIC, one of the first phases of review on the project was com- pleted last week by a panel of experts, and the team received feedback that they were on track to move into the next phase of design.
“The EIC will maintain leadership in nuclear physics and accelerator science and technology with impacts on our technological, economic, and national security,” said Doon Gibbs, Brookhaven National Lab director.