The RIKEN BNL Research Center (RBRC) is now a mature enterprise. Its complement of outstanding theoretical and experimental physicists, forefront computer capabilities and proximity to the extraordinary facilities at BNL, has assured its vibrancy, relevance and productivity. RBRC personnel have contributed to the great discoveries at RHIC, the foremost being the finding of a new form of matter, a hot highly dense medium (10 – 30 times that of a nucleon) that seems to have the characteristics of a strongly interacting quark gluon plasma sQGP. Of almost equal significance has been the demonstration that the gluon contribution to the spin of the proton is very small, consistent with zero, adding to the puzzle of the origin of its spin.
There are several major upgrades that are forthcoming in the next years that should serve to greatly enhance the RBRC program. These include: a luminosity upgrade of RHIC, appreciable running at 500 GeV as well as 200 GeV polarized protons, numerous detector additions, and low energy (10 GeV/Am) heavy ion running. This should allow for a detailed examination of the sQGP, continued exploration of the proton spin, initiate a search for the critical point, and a measurement of the anti-quark distribution of the nucleon. The present data accumulated in the heavy ion program at RHIC has given rise to several interesting theoretical conjectures namely that of a color glass condensate and a glasma. The expected substantial increase in information should greatly clarify their validity.
The RIKEN 10 Teraflop, QCDOC computer, dedicated in 2006, has been operating at greater than 95% efficiency. This has facilitated calculations in non-Pertubative Quantum Chromodynamics (QCD) on a lattice. Important results have emerged on a variety of issues, including the thermodynamics of QCD (phase transitions and critical point) hadron and quark mesons, the CKM matrix in weak decays, and proton decay.
With such a rich and varied program and a group of young and outstanding fellows and postdocs, RBRC can look forward to an exciting and productive future.
Former Director Brookhaven National Laboratory