Contributions to Science

Over the last 15 years BSA has worked with DOE and BNL staff to make groundbreaking advances at BNL that have addressed DOE’s challenges, including:

FUNDAMENTAL PHYSICS
• Recreation of matter as it existed just after the Big Bang at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC), and the surprising discovery that—at a temperature 250,000 times hotter than the center of the sun—the early
universe was a “perfect” frictionless liquid rather than a gas
• Participation in the design, construction and operation of the Large Hadron Collider and its discovery of the Higgs boson, the source of mass for the building blocks of all matter
• Essential contributions to the international Daya Bay experiment, which tracks transformations of ghostlike neutrinos to gain insight into the makeup of the early universe—including clues about the excess of matter
over antimatter that is necessary for our very existence

MATERIALS SCIENCE FOR ENERGY
• Significant advances in understanding how some materials carry electric current with no energy loss at higher temperatures than traditional superconductors, which could dramatically improve the efficiency of energy delivery and storage, and lead to advanced electronic devices
• Use of new imaging techniques to study lithium-ion and other batteries during charge/discharge cycles, leading to new kinds of batteries and applications
• Engineering of new catalysts at the nanometer scale (billionths of a meter) for improved efficiency and lower-cost use in clean-energy fuel cells and other applications

BIOCHEMISTRY/MEDICINE
• Numerous atomic-level studies of key biological molecules at the National Synchrotron Light Source (NSLS), with two awarded Nobel Prizes in Chemistry—in 2002 for determining the structure of a protein that
initiates nerve cell communication, and in 2009 for studies of the proteinmaking machinery of cells
• Development of a promising Lyme disease vaccine, now in clinical trials, and a new imaging system for early detection of prostate cancer
• Adaptation of medical imaging methods to study plant biochemistry and discovery of new ways to increase plant oil content — both advancing the potential for efficient production of biofuels and renewable replacements for petrochemicals

PROMISE FOR THE FUTURE
• New capabilities at RHIC will address intriguing questions raised by its compelling discoveries, laying the technological and scientific foundation for a new kind of machine: an electron-ion collider
• NSLS-II, a facility producing x-rays 10,000 times brighter than NSLS, will come online in 2015, enabling the exploration of materials and biological samples at unprecedented resolution
• Scientists at the Center for Functional Nanomaterials will engage in nanoscale engineering to discover new materials for applications in energy and other areas that improve our lives

UNIQUE FACILITIES
During its tenure, BSA has guided the design, construction, and operation of BNL’s large-scale, cutting-edge research facilities—some, like RHIC and NSLS-II, providing capabilities available nowhere else in the world. Each year, thousands of scientists from laboratories, universities and companies use these facilities to delve into the mysteries of physics, chemistry, biology, materials science, energy, and the environment—and develop innovative applications that arise at the intersections of these disciplines.

OUTSTANDING LEADERS
BNL’s research mission attracts the best and brightest scientists from around the world. BSA has hired world-leading researchers in fields including physics, materials science, computation, energy, and nanoscience, all led by a laboratory director and management team with a clear and common purpose –
tackling our country’s biggest challenges through technology and R&D.

JOINT BNL/SBU APPOINTMENTS
BSA has enabled Stony Brook and Brookhaven to institute a robust program of joint appointments that support the strategic research missions of both institutions. In general, these appointees have a faculty position at Stony Brook and staff positions at Brookhaven, carrying both teaching and research responsibilities. These individuals are leading groundbreaking research efforts in battery and energy storage, developing the next-generation power grid, computation, environmental sciences and physics. Providing hands-on research opportunities for students at both institutions, they reinforce Stony Brook’s globally and nationally recognized high-level standards in education. The research experiences gained by these students will spawn new discoveries throughout their education and research careers.

 

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One of ten national laboratories overseen and primarily funded by the Office of Science of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Brookhaven National Laboratory conducts research in the physical, biomedical, and environmental sciences, as well as in energy technologies and national security. Brookhaven Lab also builds and operates major scientific facilities available to university, industry and government researchers. Brookhaven is operated and managed for DOE’s Office of Science by Brookhaven Science Associates, a limited-liability company founded by Stony Brook University, the largest academic user of Laboratory facilities, and Battelle, a nonprofit, applied science and technology organization.