Issued 9/18/97

Contact: Kara Villamil, or Mona S. Rowe



EVENT: The inauguration of the RIKEN BNL Research Center at Brookhaven National Laboratory.

WHEN: Monday, September 22, 1997, 11 a.m.

WHERE: Physics Building, Brookhaven National Laboratory

DETAILS: American and Japanese scientists and dignitaries will mark the opening of a new, multi-million-dollar physics research center at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory. Speakers will include a representative of the Japanese government, DOE's associate director of energy research, and the President of Columbia University.

The Japanese Institute of Physical and Chemical Research (RIKEN) is founding the RIKEN BNL Research Center at Brookhaven with $2 million in funding in 1997 and additional funding in future years. The Center will host close to 30 scientists each year, including postdoctoral and five-year fellows and visiting scientists. It will also house a state-of-the-art supercomputer, capable of over half a trillion calculations per second, that is being built by Columbia University.

World-renowned physicist T.D. Lee, who won the 1957 Nobel Prize in Physics for work done while visiting BNL in 1956 and is now a professor of physics at Columbia University, has been named the Center's director.

Dr. Lee will speak at the inaugural ceremony, as will Peter Bond, Brookhaven's Interim Director; and RIKEN President Akito Arima. RIKEN, a multidisciplinary lab like BNL, is located north of Tokyo and is supported by the Japanese Science & Technology Agency.

The Center's research will relate to experiments that will be performed at BNL's next "atom smasher," the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC), by hundreds of scientists from 19 countries and 22 U.S. states. Now under construction, RHIC will collide speeding beams of heavy atoms and protons in an attempt to create a state of matter that has not been seen since the Big Bang.

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