Issued 3/26/99

Contact: Mona S. Rowe (516) 344-5056 or Kara Villamil (516) 344-5658

PAC 99 Conference Home Page

Brookhaven Lab to Host World's Biggest Particle Accelerator Conference, March 29 to April 2


UPTON, NY - From March 29 to April 2, over 1,200 particle accelerator experts will convene in New York City for PAC'99, the latest in the series of the world's largest particle accelerator conferences. Ranging from table-top size to miles-long tunnels under the landscape, particle accelerators are used by scientists to explore the small-scale structure of matter.

The conference is hosted by the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory, located in Upton, Long Island, and cosponsored by the American Physical Society (APS) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE).

Under Secretary of Energy Ernest J. Moniz is the keynote speaker at the conference banquet on March 30. He will be speaking on "Enabling the Future: Providing the Research Tools for the 21st Century."

The world's most powerful particle accelerator, the Large Hadron Collider, is under construction at the CERN laboratory on the Swiss/French border. That machine will use state-of-the-art technology, including superconducting magnets. For the future, accelerator physicists are evaluating new technologies to achieve higher energies without the need for ever bigger and more expensive machines. Linear colliders, muon colliders and laser accelerators are all being explored as candidates for the next frontier in accelerators.

One of Brookhaven's new research initiatives is in x-ray free electron lasers. Free electron lasers use a beam of electrons undulating through an array of magnets. These devices are expected to be the next generation of powerful x-ray sources for research ranging from fundamental quantum mechanics, to atomic and plasma physics, to chemistry, condensed matter science and structural biology. Half of the conference's session on x-ray radiation is devoted to talks on free electron lasers.

More than 79 invited talks will be given at PAC'99, and more than 1,500 submissions will be presented either as talks or displayed as posters. The material will focus on almost all aspects of accelerator physics and technology.

Among the conference highlights will be a discussion of the U.S.'s major new accelerator, the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) at Brookhaven Lab. RHIC will begin operation this year. During the opening plenary session on March 29, Brookhaven's Michael Harrison will speak on RHIC commissioning.

The conference program also includes a session on the increasing use of particle accelerators in cancer therapy, an example of how the field of accelerator physics is growing because of applications beyond traditional high-energy physics research.

A handful of prestigious awards will be presented during the banquet. Two of these awards will go to Brookhaven Lab scientists.

Young researchers are encouraged as well. The Award for Outstanding Doctoral Thesis Research in Beam Physics goes to graduate student Zhirong Huang, of Stanford University. Huang has proposed a novel method using lasers to focus particle beams as they race through an accelerator.

The following is a list of awards:


The U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory creates and operates major facilities available to university, industrial and government personnel for basic and applied research in the physical, biomedical and environmental sciences, and in selected energy technologies. The Laboratory is operated by Brookhaven Science Associates, a not-for-profit research management company, under contract with the U.S. Department of Energy.

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PAC'99 is being held at the Marriott Marquis in New York City, at 1535 Broadway. A limited number of tickets are available for media to attend the banquet on March 30, beginning at 6:30 p.m. To attend the conference and/or banquet, contact Mona S. Rowe, 516 344-5056, or Kara Villamil, 516 344-5658.