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NSRL User Guide

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First-time User Information

  1. If you have any questions, contact the NSRL Liaison Physicist at 631-344-3072 or 631-344-5830.
  2. You MUST complete a dry run of your experiment before conducting your first NSRL run.
  3. When planning an exposure, the time you need for each sample exposure should include time to change samples. If RHIC is running, the sample changing time is approximately 7 minutes. If RHIC is not running, time to change samples is only about 4 minutes.
  4. The size of the radiation field that can uniformly expose a set of samples can be as large as 20 x 20 cm2 for most ions and energies. By special request, the NSRL beam can operate in Large Beam mode with a 60 x 60 cm2 usable beam size.

Biology Experiments

  1. For users preparing cell exposures, and Incubator is available to keep cell samples at a constant temperature and humidity during the length of their exposure. The exposure field for samples inside the incubator is only 15 x 15 cm2.
  2. Standard sample holders are available for cells at NSRL. Holders for various types of T75, T25, and test tube sizes have already been made up. If the sample holders do not fit your needs, custom sample holders can be prepared with a few hours advance notice. If you are bringing your own sample holders, make yourself familiar with the information regarding beam fragmentation and the documentation on sample stacking.
  3. A sample flipper is available that allows flasks to remain horizontal until the time of exposure, keeping the cells in the medium as long as possible.
  4. There are multiple sample holders that allow up to 10 samples to be placed in the beam per exposure. In most cases, the time taken to load the samples into the sample holders is longer than the exposure itself, and so there is no benefit in planning to expose a large number of samples in a single entry. At the request of users, custom sample holders can be fabricated at NSRL with only a few hours notice.
  5. For exposures to only part of a sample, collimators can be arranged that shield all parts of a sample except for the region to be exposed.

Physics Experiments

Physics experiments can make use of several sample holders that make exposures more efficient. 

  1. rotation table allows experiments to be mounted centered on the beam and rotated to any angle with an accuracy of ~1 degree. 
  2. translation table allows many samples to be mounted on a table that can be remotely controlled to move samples into or out of the beam without any access required.
  3. Users are expected to bring self-contained experiments, but there exists a data acquisition facility at NSRL composed of a VME crate with a variety of ADCs, TDCs, and Scalers that can be used to accommodate most physics experiments.    Data rates in excess of 2kHz (600 events per spill) are practicable, with data recording in the format of ASCII files or ntuples. Contact the NSRL Liaison Physicist at for more information..