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Detectors inside SOLARIS

Recent Updates:
First experiments carried out with SOLARIS in both AT-TPC and Si-array mode, May-August, 2021. 

Read more SOLARIS updates

SOLARIS is a new solenoidal spectrometer system to be developed for the study of direct reactions with radioactive ion beams.

SOLARIS will be used at the re-accelerated (ReA) beam facility at National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory (NSCL) and when completed, at the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams (FRIB), both at Michigan State University. SOLARIS will have two modes of operation. In one mode, it will operate like the HELIOS spectrometer pioneered at Argonne, allowing for high-resolution studies of direct reactions. In the other mode, it will be used with the Active Target Time Projection Chamber (AT-TPC) developed at NSCL, where reactions with weak (most exotic) beams can be studied. The SOLARIS white paper can be downloaded below.

SOLARIS is the outcome of the international ReA Solenoidal Spectrometer Projects meeting held at Argonne National Laboratory in March 2017.



  • January, 2023 - seven proposals using SOLARIS submitted to FRIB PAC2
  • January, 2023 - Online simulation and kinematics tools made available (via FSU) for designed/planning SOLARIS experiments
  • November, 2022 - Florida State University (FSU) partners with SOLARIS team to develop DAQ and associated software
  • August, 2022 - mechanical structures complete, ending phase 1 of the project
  • August, 2021 - experiments approved at FRIB PAC1 for SOLARIS
  • May, 2021 - SOLARIS ramped for the first time since arriving at FRIB on May 6-7, 2021. The field was mapped at various field strengths up to 3 T. 
  • March, 2020 - first experiments approved for SOLARIS during the ReA standalone period.
  • January, 2020 - agreement that SOLARIS would move forward as an FRIB research instrument project.
  • May 9, 2019 - the SOLARIS solenoid was moved from Argonne to the ReA6 hall at the NSCL.
  • April 2, 2019 - the SOLARIS solenoid was ramped to a field of 2 T demonstrating that it is viable for the SOLARIS project.
  • March 18-31, 2019 - the SOLARIS solenoid was cooled over this period, requiring approximately 10,000 liters of liquid nitrogen and 7,000 liters of liquid helium.
  • January 9, 2019 - the SOLARIS solenoid moves from storage to the Accelerator Development & Test Facility (ADFT) in Building 203. This story was reported in Argonne Today.