General Lab Information

RHIC Physics

RHIC is the first machine in the world capable of colliding ions as heavy as gold.

The Spin Puzzle

RHIC is the world's only machine capable of colliding beams of polarized protons to investigate the 'missing' spin of the proton.

Electron-Ion Collider

A breakthrough accelerator could collide electrons with heavy ions or protons at nearly the speed of light to create “snapshots” of the force binding all visible matter.

Accelerator Science

Before high-speed packets of heavy ions can be brought into collisions with one another, they first travel through a chain of smaller particle accelerators.

An Educational Pipeline

Large-scale physics facilities like RHIC play a significant role in training the next generation of physicists.

Matter at the Dawn of Time

Brookhaven physicist Paul Sorensen describes discoveries made at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider where conditions similar to what the universe may have looked like in the first microseconds after its birth are created.

  • Breakthrough: RHIC Explores Matter at the Dawn of Time

    April 24, 2012

    (Separate print interview at http://energy.gov/articles/lab-breakthrough-exploring-matter-dawn-time). Physicist Paul Sorensen describes discoveries made at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC), a particle accelerator at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory. At RHIC, scientists from around the world study what the universe may have looked like in the first microseconds after its birth, helping us to understand more about why the physical world works the way it does -- from the smallest particles to the largest stars.

Electron-Ion Collider

A breakthrough particle accelerator could collide electrons with heavy ions or protons at nearly the speed of light to create rapid-fire, high-resolution “snapshots” of the force binding all visible matter. Read more...

gluons