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News Release

Number: 03-68
Released: September 9, 2003
Contact: Diane Greenberg, 631 344-2347 or Mona S. Rowe, 631 344-5056

Brookhaven Lab Physicists Edward Beebe and Alexander Pikin Win ‘Brightness Award’ for Achievement in Ion Source Physics & Technology

Upton, NY -- Edward Beebe and Alexander Pikin, physicists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory, have been awarded the Ion Source Prize, known as the “Brightness Award,” which recognizes and encourages innovative and significant recent achievements in the fields of ion source physics and technology.

The two physicists received the award on September 9, at the Tenth International Conference on Ion Sources, held in Dubna, Russia. Donated by Bergoz Instrumentation of Saint Genis Pouilly, France, the award consists of $6,000, to be shared by the two winners, and a certificate for each.


Edward Beebe (left) and Alexander Pikin stand in front of the electron beam ion source that they developed and tested at Brookhaven Lab.
(Click on image for 300-dpi, hi-res version.)

An ion is an atom that has a net excess or deficit of electrons, allowing it to be manipulated by electric and magnetic fields. Ions are accelerated to nearly the speed of light for physics research in accelerators, such as Brookhaven’s Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC). Funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science, Nuclear Physics, Beebe and Pikin have developed and tested a new high-intensity version of a source that produces highly charged heavy ions, called an electron beam ion source. The number of ions generated by this source is twenty times more than in previous designs. Brookhaven plans to eventually use a version of this source for ion injection into RHIC. In addition, the new ion production method may be adapted for use in other particle accelerators, such as the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, the European laboratory for particle physics.

Since 1970, two accelerators at Brookhaven, known as the Tandem Van de Graaff, have provided researchers with heavy ions. The new method for producing ions would require only a small linear accelerator, about one-tenth the size of the Tandem Van de Graaff. The new combination of ion source and accelerator will provide enhanced performance and will be easier to operate and maintain than the current method for ion production. The new source is able to directly create and accelerate highly charged positive ions. In contrast, the Tandem must begin by accelerating negative ions; stripping foils are then used to make the highly charged positive ions required for RHIC experiments. In addition, the new source is more versatile than the current method, since it can produce ion beams of any species.

Edward Beebe earned four degrees from Cornell University: a B.S. in 1980, a Master of Engineering Physics degree in 1982, an M.S. in 1984, and a Ph.D. in nuclear science in 1990. From 1990 to 1993, Beebe was a research scientist at Manne Siegbahn Laboratory, Stockholm, Sweden, where he worked primarily on developing CRYSIS, the Stockholm Cryogenic Electron Beam Ion Source. He joined Brookhaven in 1994 as an assistant physicist, and he is currently a physicist in the Collider-Accelerator Department. He has worked mostly on developing the electron beam ion source.

After graduating from the Leningrad Polytechnic Institute in 1969 with a degree in experimental nuclear physics, Alexander Pikin became a senior scientist at the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research in Dubna, Russia, in 1970. He worked on the electron beam ion source known as KRION-I in Russia. He earned his Ph.D. in electro physics from the Joint Institute in 1978, and continued working there on ion production projects until 1991. He joined the Manne Siegbahn Laboratory in Sweden as a guest scientist in 1992, and, in 1994, he became a guest researcher at the National Institute of Science and Technology in Maryland. He joined Brookhaven as a physicist in the Collider-Accelerator Department in 1996 to work on the electron beam ion source.