Argonne’s Physics Division maintains several key facilities dedicated to expanding our knowledge of and ability to manipulate different elemental isotopes. From accelerator development to atom trapping, Argonne’s facilities enable scientists to gain new perspectives into the structure of atoms. The division operates the Argonne Tandem Linear Accelerator System as a national user facility that draws hundreds of users from around the world for nuclear physics experiments.
The accelerator development group operates and maintains a facility for testing accelerator devices. Recently, this versatile facility has been used to assemble and perform preliminary acceptance testing on the new ATLAS Radio-Frequency Quadrupole (RFQ) and Electron Beam Ion Source (EBIS).
The Argonne Tandem Linac Accelerator System (ATLAS) is the world's first superconducting linear accelerator for heavy ions at energies in the vicinity of the Coulomb barrier. This is the energy domain best suited to study the properties of the nucleus, the core of matter and the fuel of stars. ATLAS can provide beams of essentially all stable isotopes from protons to uranium, and a variety of light radioactive beams through our in-flight production program, and heavier neutron-rich isotopes from CARIBU.
CARIBU provides beams of californium-252 fission fragments, neutron-rich isotopes far from stability, for experimenters. The facility allows for fast, efficient, and essential chemistry free extraction of fission fragments. CARIBU uses a gas catcher and various isotope separation techniques to provide low-energy beams for mass measurements, beta decay, or laser manipulation, or for injection into the ATLAS accelerator following charge breeding.