Brookhaven launches electron-ion collider

21 September 2020

On 18 September, Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) officially launched the Electron-Ion Collider (EIC) — a 3.9 km-circumference collider which, once completed, will open new vistas on the properties and dynamics of quarks and gluons. The event saw elected officials from the states of New York and Virginia, in addition to senior academic representatives from BNL and beyond, voice their support for the $1.7-2.7 billion EIC, which will be built at BNL over the next decade and require the lab’s Relativistic Heavy-Ion Collider (RHIC) to be reconfigured to include a new electron storage ring to facilitate electron–ion collisions.

This project is a win-win both for scientific development and the New York economy

Andrew Cuomo

“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 Cuomo. “The state’s $100 million investment in [the EIC] is part and parcel with that commitment, and this project is a win-win both for scientific development and the New York economy.”

The design, construction and operation of the EIC will be completed in partnership with the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility (Jefferson Laboratory). In June, BNL appointed Jim Yeck — who has held leading roles in RHIC, the IceCube neutrino observatory and the European Spallation Source — as the project director for the EIC. Yeck will head a newly created EIC directorate at BNL, working in partnership with Jefferson Laboratory and other collaborators.

“The Electron-Ion Collider, a one of a kind facility in nuclear research, is becoming a reality, and I can tell you that this news was received with great enthusiasm and excitement by the European nuclear and particle-physics communities,” said CERN Director-General Fabiola Gianotti in a video message.

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