Last Chance to View the Long Island Museum's Brookhaven Lab Exhibition

Atoms to Cosmos: The Story of Brookhaven National Laboratory closes after October 16, 2022

Black-and-white photo of researcher works with a piece of equipment known as the "fast neutron enlarge

A researcher works with a piece of equipment known as the "fast neutron chopper" at Brookhaven's Graphite Research Reactor (BGRR) in the 1950s. The BGRR operated from 1950 until 1968.

Catch the Long Island Museum (LIM)’s collaborative exhibition exploring the history of Brookhaven National Laboratory before it’s gone! Atoms to Cosmos: The Story of Brookhaven National Laboratory is on view in the Main Gallery of the LIM’s History Museum through October 16, 2022.

Home to seven Nobel Prizes and five National Medals of Science and celebrating its milestone 75th anniversary, Brookhaven Lab is one of 10 national laboratories overseen and primarily funded by the Office of Science of the U.S. Department of Energy. It is the only multidisciplinary national lab in the northeastern United States. Situated on Long Island and just 18 miles from the LIM sits this center of discovery where scientists from around the world are unlocking the mysteries of the universe and developing new technologies that impact lives all around the globe. Since 1947, Brookhaven Lab has been an international leader in scientific research and development.

In partnership with the Lab, the LIM explores and presents the Lab’s pivotal story to Museum visitors through a combination of more than 100 artifacts, historic photographs, film, and interactive components.

One of the LIM’s most ambitious exhibitions to date, this 3,000-square-foot retrospective invites Long Islanders to explore the Lab’s many discoveries and its work that has widely impacted human fields of endeavor, from high energy physics to nuclear medicine, materials science, computation, and more. Objects such as a 95” long magnet lamina from the Cosmotron, 1952, on loan from the Smithsonian National American History Museum, and two early PET (positron emission tomography) scanners, 1961 and 1981, on loan from the Lab, as well as a borosilicate glass window from the Bubble Chamber, c.1959, will be on display.

Located in Upton, the 5,300-acre Lab site in the Long Island Pine Barrens is one of Suffolk County’s leading employers and a vital economic and cultural center with a long, complex, and sometimes misunderstood past.  Brookhaven’s story is expected to have enormous audience appeal.

A substantial section of the exhibition showcases how science currently being explored at Brookhaven will have significant implications for the world in the future. This exhibition is especially timely given the recent announcement by the Department of Energy that the Lab will become home to the Electron-Ion Collider (EIC), an approximately $2 billion facility that will open up a new frontier in nuclear physics. Expected to begin operations in the early 2030s, the EIC will reveal unprecedented details about how the inner-most building blocks of the atomic nucleus are bound together, potentially leading to new discoveries with benefits for the economy and humanity.

About the Long Island Museum

Located at 1200 Route 25A in Stony Brook, the Long Island Museum is a Smithsonian Affiliate dedicated to enhancing the lives of adults and children with an understanding of Long Island's rich history and diverse cultures. Regular museum hours are Thursday through Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. Admission is $10 for adults, $7 for seniors, and $5 for students 6 -17 and college students with I.D. Children under six are admitted for free. Covid safety protocols remain in effect; physical distancing will be required and all visitors must wear face masks while indoors. The LIM follows CDC-prescribed cleaning protocols for all buildings. Tickets are available at the History Museum entrance; pre-registration is not required. For more information visit

About Brookhaven National Laboratory

One of 10 national laboratories overseen and primarily funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Science, Brookhaven National Laboratory conducts research in the physical, biological, and environmental sciences, as well as in energy technologies, computation, and national security. Brookhaven Lab also builds and operates major scientific facilities available to university, industry, and government researchers. Brookhaven is operated and managed for DOE's Office of Science by Brookhaven Science Associates, a partnership between Stony Brook University, the largest academic user of Laboratory facilities, and Battelle, a nonprofit applied science and technology organization.

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