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New National Synchrotron Light Source Ready to Host Users

Hard X-ray Nanoprobe

Hard X-ray Nanoprobe

Take a look at the beamlines that are coming online in a video developed earlier this year to showcase the National Synchrotron Light Source II (NSLS-II). See our Brookhaven scientists discussing the impressive developments at the NSLS-II beamlines – Eric Dooryhee at the X-ray Powder Diffraction beamline, Stuart Wilkins at the Coherent Soft X-ray beamline, Lisa Miller at the Submicron Resolution X-ray Spectroscopy beamline, and Yong Chu at the Hard X-ray Nanoprobe beamline – as they prepare to host their first users. 

“When NSLS-II is fully built out, we should have up to 60 beamlines. We will have the brightest synchrotron in the world,” said John Hill, director of NSLS-II, while talking about the exciting prospects to come at the facility. “We should have 4,000 users a year coming through here and they should be producing very high impact science. We really want them to transform their disciplines using experiments they’ve carried out here.”

2015-5828  |  INT/EXT  |  Media & Communications Office

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Brookhaven Physicists Play Critical Role in LHC Restart

ATLAS detector

The ATLAS detector at the Large Hadron Collider

At the beginning of June, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN, the European research facility, began smashing together protons once again after a two-year offline period. The shutdown allowed thousands of physicists worldwide to make crucial upgrades to the particle accelerator – the largest single machine in the world.

Brookhaven Lab is a crucial player in the physics program at the LHC, in particular as the U.S. host laboratory for the pivotal ATLAS experiment, one of the two large experiments that discovered the Higgs boson. Physicists at Brookhaven were busy throughout the shutdown, undertaking projects designed to maximize the LHC’s chances of detecting rare new physics as the collider reaches into a previous unexplored subatomic frontier.

While the technology needed to produce a new particle is a marvel on its own terms, equally remarkable is everything the team at ATLAS and other experiments must do to detect these potentially world-changing discoveries. Because the production of such particles is a rare phenomenon, it isn’t enough to just be able to smash one proton into another. The LHC needs to be able to collide proton bunches, each bunch consisting of hundreds of billions of particles, every 50 nanoseconds—eventually rising to every 25 nanoseconds in Run 2—and be ready to sort through the colossal amounts of data that all those collisions produce. 

It is with those interwoven challenges—maximizing the number of collisions within the LHC, capturing the details of potentially noteworthy collisions, and then managing the gargantuan amount of data those collisions produce—that scientists at Brookhaven Lab are making their mark on the LHC and its search for new physics—and not just for the current Run 2, but looking forward to the long-term future operation of the collider.

To learn more about the LHC and Brookhaven’s role visit:

2015-5829  |  INT/EXT  |  Media & Communications Office

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Brookhaven Lab "Higgs Hunter" Receives Humboldt Research Award

Sally Dawson

Sally Dawson, BNL theoretical physicist

The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in Bonn, Germany, grants up to 100 Humboldt Research Awards each year to researchers whose fundamental discoveries, new theories, or insights have had a significant impact on their own discipline and who are expected to continue producing cutting-edge achievements in the future.

Sally Dawson, a theoretical physicist at Brookhaven Lab, was recently selected to receive the prestigious Humboldt Research Award for her life’s work, which includes research on the long-sought Higgs boson and precise calculations of the particle’s properties.

Dawson has been on the Higgs’ trail for decades, developing mathematical models to explain and predict the processes in which Higgs particles are produced. The Higgs is a subatomic particle thought to give mass to other elementary particles in the Standard Model of particle physics – the theory that describes all known fundamental particles and explains how they interact. Since 1974, 12 other Brookhaven physicists have received the Humboldt prize.

To learn more visit:

2015-5830  |  INT/EXT  |  Media & Communications Office

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U.S. ATLAS Collaboration Recognizes BNL Physicist Howard Gordon

Howard Gordon

Howard Gordon

Howard Gordon, an experimental elementary particle physicist at Brookhaven Lab, has played pivotal roles in the construction and operation of the ATLAS experiment, one of two large particle detectors that discovered signs of the Higgs boson through careful analysis of energetic proton collisions at the Large Hadron Collider at Europe’s CERN laboratory. 

Gordon helped coordinate the design and construction of the ATLAS detector and has held several leadership positions within the U.S. branch of the ATLAS collaboration. He oversaw both the nationwide and Brookhaven Lab-specific efforts on ATLAS to maintain and operate the detector and provide the computing and physics analysis support to enable U.S. physicists to make discoveries with the data.

On June 25, the U.S. ATLAS collaboration honored Gordon with a Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his many important and pioneering contributions, his strong leadership, and his dedication to the success of the ATLAS experiment.

To learn more visit:

2015-5831  |  INT/EXT  |  Media & Communications Office

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  • August – Community Advisory Council summer break – no meeting.
  • August 2 – Last Summer Sunday, Atom-Smashing Fun at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC). Don’t miss the Higgs Boson Update science talk by Howard Gordon, 11 a.m. and again at 12:30 p.m. Gates open 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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

2015-5832  |  INT/EXT  |  Media & Communications Office