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Visit BNL this summer

summer sundays

Brookhaven National Laboratory has been opening its doors up to the public for more than 50 years. First calling them Visitors’ Days, BNL has invited the community in to learn about our cutting-edge science and operations and visit our facilities since the 1950s. Today, Summer Sundays feature talks by researchers, hands-on activities, science shows, and more.

In 1958, visitors were treated to a game of “Tennis for Two,” an electronic tennis game created by a nuclear physicist that was designed to entertain visitors on their tour of the Lab’s Instrumentation Division. Little did they know at the time that they were experiencing one of the world’s first video games!

In 1975, some 13,000 guests attended Visitors’ Day. While we don’t expect that many to be on-hand for our Summer Sundays tours, it’s always best to arrive early. Our gates open at 10 a.m.

No reservations needed, all activities are free! Just remember, visitors 16 and older must bring a photo ID.

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2012 Summer Sundays Schedule

Family Exploration Day will be held on July 15. Visit our Science Learning Center, which hosts more than 35,000 school children and teachers each year, to discover basic scientific theory using magnets, mirrors, and more. Catch a show! The “Phenomenal Physics of Mr. Fish” will take place in the Berkner Hall auditorium at noon, 1:30 p.m. and 3 p.m..

Tour our National Synchrotron Light Sources I & II on July 22. NSLS-II, which will be 10,000 times brighter than our current Light Source, will be on display! Visit exciting exhibits, master the synchrotron quiz, and win prizes. Don’t miss the “Science Laser Light Spectacular” show in the Berkner Hall auditorium.

On July 29, visit the Center for Functional Nanomaterials where Brookhaven scientists probe structures as tiny as a billionth of a meter. Be sure to stop at the Nano Toy Zone and stay for the “Fantastic Forces” show in Berkner Hall.

Visit a world-class particle accelerator where physicists recreate the conditions of the universe as it is thought to have existed microseconds after the Big Bang! On August 5, tour our Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider, or RHIC. See particle detectors as big as a house, try to stump a physicist, and watch the “Magic of Science” show in the Berkner Hall auditorium.

Free fun, no reservations required! Science shows each Sunday at noon, 1:30 p.m. and 3 p.m.. Visitors 16 and older must bring a photo ID. To learn more, visit

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BNL prepares the scientific and technical workforce of the future!

For the next ten weeks, 170 summer interns will work with their Brookhaven mentors in nearly every area of the Lab’s scientific community, including major facilities such as the Center for Functional Nanomaterials, National Synchrotron Light Source, and the Instrumentation, Nuclear Nonproliferation, Physics, and Waste Management Departments. The interns are participating under DOE educational initiatives that include the Community College Institute, Visiting Faculty Program, and the Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internship program. Members of Stony Brook University’s Women in Science and Engineering group are also participating in this summer’s programs. 

summer students

The interns are treated as full-fledged colleagues in their research groups and as full members of the BNL community. As time permits, they might attend or take part in scientific seminars, interact with other undergraduates, grad students, post-doctoral fellows, and technical staff. They also participate in the many recreational activities available to Lab employees.

An internship at Brookhaven provides the students with experience at a national lab and offers a great environment that encourages their participation in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math. The opportunity allows them to make more informed decisions about their academic and career choices.

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Portal to Discovery offers “Hands-On” Science Explorations

science explorations

Deciphering the structure of a tiny protein using an x-ray beam, learning how the world’s largest telescope will peer farther into our universe than ever before, building a remotely operated vehicle to conduct underwater environmental testing, and engineering a linear magnetic accelerator are just a few of the activities local students will have the opportunity to experience at the Lab this summer. 

The Portal to Discovery, a new partnership between Brookhaven’s Office of Educational Programs and the Long Island Matrix of Science and Technology, is hosting “Summer Science Explorations,” a variety of hands-on science camps for students entering grades 4 through 12. 

Current research is emphasized throughout the courses and guest lecturers will include members of the Lab’s scientific and technical staff. Some programs also include visits to scientific facilities. Participation in “Summer Science Explorations” may be just what sparks a student’s interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics!

To learn more call (631) 344-4495 or visit:

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  • July and August – Summer break for the Community Advisory Council. Next meeting will be September 13, 2012.
  • July 25 – Free concert! Pianofest, a summer workshop held in the Hamptons, will be showcased. Noon. Berkner Hall auditorium.

**The events above are free and open to the public. Visitors 16 and older must bring a photo ID for access to BNL events.

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