JLab 12-GeV upgrade clear CD-3-Dept of Physics - Carnegie Mellon University

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

JLab 12-GeV upgrade clear CD-3

Independent Project Review committee members, visiting JLab to evaluate the readiness of the 12 GeV Upgrade project, tour Hall B during their site visit.
Independent Project Review committee members, visiting JLab to evaluate the readiness of the 12 GeV Upgrade project, tour Hall B during their site visit.

The U.S. Department of Energy's Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility successfully completed a major review on July 24 as it seeks approval to start construction on a planned $310 million project that will double the energy of the electron beam used in nuclear physics experiments.

An Independent Project Review panel from the DOE Office of Science's Office of Project Assessment concluded that designs for the so-called 12 GeV Upgrade are impressive and the project is ready for the start of construction. The 25-member team headed by Daniel R. Lehman, director of the Office of Project Assessment, examined all aspects of the project, including technical, cost, schedule, management, and safety during a three-day session held at Jefferson Lab.  The review was required before the lab can request DOE approval to start construction, or what is known as Critical Decision-3 or CD-3. Construction is expected to begin in the 2009 Fiscal Year.

In addition to doubling the energy of Jefferson Lab's electron beam from 6 billion electron volts (GeV) to 12 billion electron volts, plans call for the construction of a fourth experimental hall and upgraded experimental equipment in the existing halls. Once completed, the 12 GeV facility will provide scientists with a one-of-a-kind tool to study the behavior of quarks in protons and neutrons, and the mechanism that eternally locks quarks and gluons inside them.  The medium energy group at Carnegie Mellon University is a key participant in these new experiments. To explore protons and neutrons, Jefferson Lab's accelerator propels a beam of electrons at nearly the speed of light around a massive underground "racetrack" that is 7/8 mile around. The speeding electrons strike the protons and neutrons within the atom's nucleus. Huge detectors then measure the speed, direction, and energy of the scattered particles, so scientists can study the most fundamental constituents of matter.

For more information, see http://www.jlab.org/news/articles/2008/12GeV_ClearsHurdle.html