Skip to main content
Argonne National Laboratory

Director’s Message

Welcome to Argonne National Laboratory, where we are building on our proud history of discovery and innovation to deliver lasting impact on society through exemplary research and operations.

Founded in 1946, Argonne traces its beginnings to experiments by the renowned physicist Enrico Fermi, who led researchers in creating the world’s first self-sustaining nuclear reaction. From its initial mission to fulfill the promise of the atom as a new energy source, Argonne has continuously built upon and expanded its capabilities. We have grown into a multidisciplinary laboratory addressing a range of major scientific and societal needs.

Argonne’s work now spans the spectrum from basic research to applied science in areas including discovery in materials, chemistry, physics, and biology, engineering of advanced energy systems, and computation and analysis. Argonne remains on the cutting edge as it extends its expertise into new scientific frontiers including synthesis science, quantum information science, neuromorphic computing, and catalysis.

Enhancing our capabilities is our unique suite of scientific facilities — a world-leading X-ray source, particle accelerator, supercomputers, a nanoscale science center, and world’s largest atmospheric research field site. Our own researchers, as well as some 8,300 scientists who visit our laboratory each year, use these facilities independently and in concert to expand our fundamental understanding of matter, materials, and their properties.

Our laboratory works across the continuum of science from basic, curiosity-driven efforts, to use-inspired science solving problems of global significance, to translational science and engineering in order to deliver meaningful societal impact consistent with our mission. Residing near Chicago at the heart of a bustling industrial and rigorous academic region, we also thrive as part of an innovation ecosystem. Working with industrial, entrepreneurial, and academic partners — including the University of Chicago, which manages and operates the laboratory for the DOE Office of Science through UChicago Argonne, LLC — increases and accelerates our impact.

At Argonne, we pursue big, ambitious ideas that redefine what is possible. We solve complex challenges with research that pushes the boundaries of fundamental science, applied science, and engineering. Through our major initiatives, foundational strengths and ever-expanding expertise, Argonne continues to discover, innovate and transform — all in pursuit of breakthroughs that will change our nation and our world for the better.

Paul Kearns
Laboratory Director
Argonne National Laboratory