U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Undersecretary for Science Paul Dabbar, Stony Brook University President Maurie McInnis, leaders from DOE’s Brookhaven National Laboratory (Brookhaven Lab) and Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility (Jefferson Lab), and elected officials from New York State and Virginia today commemorated the start of the Electron-Ion Collider (EIC) project. The event was an opportunity for in-person and virtual speakers to voice their support for this one-of-a-kind nuclear physics research facility, which will be built at Brookhaven Lab by a worldwide collaboration of physicists over the next decade.
The 2.4-mile-circumference particle collider will act as a high-precision sub-atomic “microscope” for exploring the innermost three-dimensional structures of protons and larger atomic nuclei. Experiments at the EIC will reveal how those particles’ fundamental building blocks (quarks and gluons) are arranged, how their interactions build up the mass of most of the visible matter in the universe and uncover the secrets of the strongest force in nature. The journey into this new frontier in nuclear physics will attract the world’s best and brightest scientists, produce scientific and technological advances that extend to medicine and national security, and serve as a hub of innovation, collaboration, and STEM education for decades to come.
“Two of the things that drew me to Stony Brook University are the impressive research accomplishments, and powerful partnerships like the ones we celebrate here today at the launch of the Electron-Ion Collider project,” said President McInnis. “I am especially pleased that Stony Brook, as a partner in Brookhaven Science Associates, has been able to participate and contribute to the advancement of this work over many years. With our long history of leading research in nuclear and high-energy physics, we are proud that several of our faculty contributed to the conceptual design and scientific justification for the EIC, and I know that many are eager to participate in experiments that will be conducted here.”
“DOE scientists have been at the forefront of so many discoveries in nuclear physics,” said DOE Under Secretary for Science Paul Dabbar. “Thanks to the support of President Trump’s leadership, Congress, our Office of Science, and the State of New York, we’ve come together to create a one-of-a-kind research facility that is strengthened by collaboration with partners at Jefferson Lab and other national labs and institutions around the world. From the most basic components of matter to the farthest reaches of the cosmos to the next technologies that will drive the economy of the United States and the world, the DOE will continue this mission right here at Brookhaven and at our labs across the country.”
With a proposed budget in the range of ~$1.6-2.6 billion from DOE’s Office of Science and $100 million from New York State, the project will draw on expertise from throughout the DOE complex and at universities and laboratories around the world. Physicists from Brookhaven Lab and Jefferson Lab will play leading roles.
Elected officials from both New York and Virginia, who provided critical support in moving the EIC project forward, took part in the event at Brookhaven Lab.
“BNL has the talent, the technology and the track-record to make the most of this national project,” said U.S. Senator Charles Schumer (NY). “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.”
“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 (NY).
“COVID-19 has shown us how critically important it is to invest in our scientific infrastructure so we’re ready for future crises, and New York is already investing significant resources to make it a hub for scientific innovation and research,” said New York State Governor Andrew M. Cuomo. “The state’s $100 million investment in this project is part and parcel with that commitment, and this project is a win-win both for scientific development and the New York economy.”
“Brookhaven National Laboratory has put Long Island at the forefront of scientific innovation while helping our region create a Research Corridor and spur economic growth,” said Kevin S. Law, President and CEO of the Long Island Association. “The state-of-the-art Electron-Ion Collider will open up new opportunities for us to continue down that path.”