Argonne National Laboratory

70th Anniversary

In 2016, Argonne celebrates the 70th anniversary of its chartering as a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) lab. Even as the lab perseveres in its national service mission, the occasion offers a unique opportunity to reflect on how a rich past informs a cutting-edge present.

From an original mandate to develop a peaceful nuclear energy program for the nation, Argonne has evolved into a multidimensional organization yielding such achievements as some of the first experiments in parallel computing, proteins for pharmaceutical development, reduced friction for higher machine efficiency, and chemical and biological attack detection. Argonne’s world-class energy storage program continues to produce breakthrough battery technology for transportation and the electrical grid.

Throughout its history Argonne has added on to the lab many unique scientific facilities that now attract the most visiting researchers of any DOE facility. Forthcoming upgrades will enable Argonne to continue its tradition of serving diverse research communities and keeping the U.S. on the forefront of global scientific leadership.

Argonne is proud of its history and committed to honoring its unique legacy as it aims to provide sustainable, safe, and secure energy to the world.

Did you know that Argonne ...

  • Was named for the forest surrounding its original location in Palos Hills, Illinois.
  • Designed, built, and operated the nation’s first high-energy physics user facility, the Zero Gradient Synchrotron.
  • Revolutionized X-ray science with the construction of the Advanced Photon Source in 1996.
  • Has counted among its staff three recipients of the Nobel Prize in Physics: Enrico Fermi (1938); Maria Goeppert-Mayer (1963) and Alexei Abrikosov (2003).
  • Was the site of research conducted by developers of a world leading-drug that fights HIV and extends the lives of patients with AIDS.
  • Created a new chemical process to help produce a popular medical isotope without a nuclear reactor.
  • Developed the battery technology that powers the Chevy Volt.