Press Release: Energy Secretary Bill Richardson Dedicates New Research Facility at Stanford
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Date Issued:October 26, 1998
"The B Factory will help examine one of nature's great secrets -- why matter exists in the Universe," said Secretary Richardson. "I congratulate the three laboratories involved for once again demonstrating why our national laboratories are the crown jewels of this nation."
"The new B Factory guarantees that SLAC will continue to be
an exciting place to do research at the frontiers of particle physics well
into the 21st century," said SLAC Director Dr. Burton Richter.
The B Factory is the world's first particle collider in which the electrons and positrons meet at unequal energies; electrons have almost three times the energy of positrons. Because of this difference, plus the need to circulate high currents in order to produce millions of B mesons, physicists have designed a machine with the two different kinds of particles traveling in two separate rings.
A complex array of magnets near the crossover point brings the beams together and then separates them after they clash. These magnets also focus the beams down to small dimensions in order to enhance the chances of obtaining electron-positron collisions.
The collider is now in the midst of a long tuning process, or commissioning,
that will continue into the spring, when the machine is scheduled to begin
operations for physics research. In January, a 1,000-ton particle detector
will be moved into position at the point where the two beams intersect.
Stanford University operates SLAC on behalf of the Department of Energy. Established in 1962, SLAC is a world-class research facility with 1,200 employees on site, 2,500 visiting researchers from around the world, and an annual budget of approximately $172 million. Three SLAC scientists have won Nobel Prizes for ground-breaking experiments done at the laboratory.
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory was founded on the Berkeley campus of the University of California in 1931. It is the oldest of the Department of Energy laboratories. The current budget is $330 million and 3,800 employees work in diverse fields such as fundamental physics, energy conservation technology, genetics, medical imaging, materials science, and structural biology. Lawrence Berkeley is involved in research activities such as the Human Genome Center, which focuses on development of human DNA sequencing, and the Advanced Light Source (ALS), the world's most powerful source of "soft" x-rays for basic and applied research.
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory was established in 1952, also under the management of the University of California, to help ensure national security through the design, development, and stewardship of nuclear weapons. National security continues to be the Laboratory's defining responsibility. Lawrence Livermore has additional programs in energy, the environment, and bioscience to improve human health. The technical expertise acquired in defense work has also been used to achieve major national innovations ranging from uranium enrichment to space technology. The current budget is $1.3 billion with 7,400 employees.