Newswise — PARIS, NOV. 13—Representatives from the Office of Science of the US Department of Energy (DOE) and the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) signed a “Declaration of Interest” to launch what the two agencies hope to be a meaningful collaboration on the Electron-ion collider (EIC). The EIC, being built in the United States at DOE’s Brookhaven National Laboratory in partnership with DOE’s Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility (Jefferson Lab), will be a unique facility for exploring the building blocks of matter and force. most powerful of nature. This agreement is a continuation of a long history of scientific cooperation between the French and American governments and constitutes a first step towards the establishment of stronger collaborative links and future French contributions to the EIC.
“The Ministry of Energy and the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) have a rich history of scientific and technological cooperation covering many fields and projects,” said Asmeret Asefaw Berhe, Director of the Scientific Office of the DOE. “We are currently working together on collaborations related to fusion, high energy physics and nuclear physics. Today we are signing a Statement of Interest to reinforce our shared interest in jointly exploring a new frontier in accelerator and detector science and technology, on the path to building the Electron-Ion Collider. We look forward to continuing our relationship with CEA and exploring how we can collaborate in the future.
“Indeed, the CEA and the DOE have a long tradition of scientific and technological cooperation,” said Franck Sabatié, director of the CEA Institute for Research on the Fundamental Laws of the Universe. “The expression of interest we signed today describes our enhanced cooperation in the science and technology of accelerators and detectors, paving the way for the construction of the electron-ion collider. We are pleased to have hosted the DOE delegation today and would like to express our strong interest in continuing our productive relationship with the DOE and exploring new avenues of collaboration in the future.
A unique collider
The EIC is the only collider planned for construction in the world over the next decade and the first to collide a beam of high-energy polarized electrons with a counter-circulating beam of high-energy polarized protons. energy or heavier ions. A sophisticated detector will capture snapshots of these collisions to reveal how particles and forces at the heart of atomic nuclei build the structure and properties of everything we see in the universe today, from stars to planets to planets. humans.
In October, the U.S. Nuclear Science Advisory Committee recommended “rapid completion of the EIC as the highest priority for facility construction” in its 2023 Long-Range Plan. Additionally, this research project has generated broad international engagement with a global community of potential EIC researchers numbering over 1,400 people.
“We are pleased that CEA is expressing interest in being part of the EIC,” said JoAnne Hewett, director of Brookhaven National Laboratory. “Given the scale of this project and the importance of science to the world, it is essential that this is a truly international project and that the brightest minds participate in building this exciting machine. Today’s signing ceremony is an important step in realizing this vision.
CEA researchers have been actively involved in the EIC project since its beginnings, when they contributed to the preparation of the EIC scientific dossier, including white papers, reports and detector proposals. Outside of the United States, France is one of the largest members of the EIC User Group with 44 members across five institutions. CEA has already built detectors for the CLAS12 experiment at Jefferson Lab, as well as parts of the sPHENIX detector at Brookhaven Lab’s Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC). CEA scientists also contributed to the RHIC PHENIX experiment.
The agreement signed today specifically expresses interest in cooperation between French and U.S. science agencies on the groundbreaking accelerator and detector science and technology needed to realize the promises of the EIC. CEA’s continued research and development for the EIC detector will include the development of application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs) intended for use in analyzing the large volumes of data and signals that will be produced in the EIC. Furthermore, CEA physicists are currently collaborating with Jefferson Lab on the preliminary design of a superconducting solenoid magnet which would constitute the heart of the EIC detector. And CEA accelerator scientists are working on the design of spin rotating magnets, components of the EIC accelerator necessary to control the polarization of colliding particles.
The agencies also expressed interest in having scientific and technical personnel from DOE national laboratories and U.S. universities as well as French research laboratories and universities participate in nuclear physics projects and other activities associated with the EIC . This would include the EIC’s experimental program aimed at unraveling the structure of atomic nuclei and understanding how the mass and spin of its protons and neutrons come from particles called quarks and gluonsthe fundamental elements whose interactions will be revealed by the EIC.
“CEA researchers and technologies have a long history of contributing to advances in nuclear physics research, including ongoing international experiments here in the United States,” said Stuart Henderson, director of Jefferson Lab. “Achieving the ambitious scientific goals of the EIC will not only help advance the field of nuclear physics, but also research technologies that lead to applications beneficial to society.
Benefits beyond physics
The EIC will significantly advance particle accelerator and detector technology, with potential benefits in many other areas important to economic development and improved quality of life:
The $1.7 billion to $2.8 billion EIC project is well into the planning stages at Brookhaven Lab. The base cost and construction schedule for the EIC is expected to be decided in fiscal year 2025, with operation of the facility expected to begin in the early 2030s.
Brookhaven National Laboratory is supported by the Office of Science of the U.S. Department of Energy. The Office of Science is the largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and strives to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, visit science.energy.gov.
Jefferson Science Associates, LLC, manages and operates the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility, or Jefferson Lab, for the Office of Science of the U.S. Department of Energy. JSA is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Southeastern Universities Research Association, Inc. (SURA).