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2013 Banner Year for Research Breakthroughs

tracks of a Higgs

Tracks of a Higgs event captured by the Large Hadron Collider's ATLAS detector.

2013 was a banner year for science at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory – from our contributions to Nobel Prize-winning research to new insights into catalysts, superconductors, and other materials key to advancing energy-efficient technologies.    Visit to read our Top 2013 stories.

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BNL to Sponsor Science Café

pubsci logo

Join Lab scientists as they explore Big Bang Physics and the Building Blocks of Matter at our first Science Café at 7 PM on March 11 at the Hoptron Brewtique, 22 West Main Street, Patchogue. You don’t need a degree to join the conversation, but you do need to be 21 or over. For more information visit

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RHIC's 14th Run — Spotlight on Advanced Capabilities

Mike Meyers

Technician checks components of stochastic cooling "kickers," which will produce a dramatic increase in collision rates.

If you think it's been cold outside this winter, that's nothing compared to the deep freeze setting in at the Lab’s Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC), our early-universe-recreating "atom smasher." Brookhaven's accelerator physicists have begun pumping liquid helium into RHIC's 1,740 superconducting magnets to chill them to near absolute zero (-273 degrees Celsius — the coldest anything can get) in preparation for the collider's next physics run. 

Once that extreme subzero temperature is reached, enabling the magnets to operate with zero energy loss, the physicists will begin injecting beams of gold ions and steering them into head-on collisions at nearly the speed of light. Those collisions create temperatures at the opposite extreme of the temperature scale — 4 trillion degrees Celsius, or 250,000 times hotter than the center of the sun — to produce RHIC's signature "perfect" liquid quark-gluon plasma, a stand in for what the universe was like an instant after the Big Bang. During this experimental run, the 14th at this nuclear physics scientific user facility, scientists will conduct detailed studies of the primordial plasma's properties and fill in some missing data points to plot its transition to the matter we see in the universe today.

"This run will feature the full complement of accelerator and detector upgrades that constitute the 'RHIC II' program — a dramatic improvement in machine performance that was achieved at a small fraction of the cost and half a decade earlier than originally anticipated," said Berndt Mueller, Brookhaven's Associate Laboratory Director for Nuclear and Particle Physics. "It is particularly fortuitous that we received good budget news that will enable us to take full advantage of these advanced capabilities with 22 weeks of total running time," he said.

"The new technologies being implemented in the accelerator and detectors at RHIC for Run 14 are truly state of the art, in many ways leapfrogging capabilities at Europe's Large Hadron Collider (LHC)," said Mueller. Many of these advances will find application in future upgrades at LHC and elsewhere.

To learn more about Run 14 and the improved capabilities at RHIC visit

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Ward Melville High School Wins Science Bowl

Ward Melville High School Science Bowl team

The National Science Bowl® was created by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) in 1991 to encourage students to excel in mathematics and science and to pursue careers in these fields. More than 225,000 students have participated in the National Science Bowl throughout its 23-year history. It is the nation's largest science competition and just one of the many educational opportunities offered to Long Island students by the Lab.

Recently, Ward Melville High School, East Setauket, NY, won the Brookhaven National Laboratory/Long Island Regional High School Science Bowl. Competing against 20 teams from across the region, Ward Melville came from behind to beat Great Neck South High School to win the competition. Commack High School took third place, and Farmingdale High School was the fourth-place division winner.

"The National Science Bowl challenges students to excel and heightens their interest in fields vital to America's continued scientific advancement," Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said. "Congratulations to these students for advancing to the National Finals. I wish them the best of luck in the competition."

The competition brings together thousands of middle and high school students from across the country to compete in regional tournaments where questions in a range of disciplines including biology, chemistry, earth science, physics, astronomy, and math are asked in a fast-paced quiz-show format. The tournaments, which typically host 15 to 50 teams, are sponsored by federal agencies, national laboratories, educational institutions, and nonprofit organizations. The winning teams will be awarded an all-expenses-paid trip to the National Finals in Washington, D.C., scheduled for April 24-28. 

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  • March 12 – Noon recital. The duo of cellist Nicholas Canellakis and pianist/composer Michael Brown will perform works by Mendelssohn, Debussy, Janacek, and more. Berkner Hall Auditorium.
  • March 13 – Community Advisory Council meeting, 6:30 PM. Berkner Hall, Room B.

*The events listed 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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