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US Department of Energy National Science Bowl


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Tools for the future

The future of accelerator physics isn't just for physicists. As in the past, tomorrow's discoveries in particle accelerator science may lead to unexpected applications for medical diagnosis, healing and the understanding of human biology.

Breakthroughs in the technology of superconducting magnets, nanometer beams, laser instrumentation and information technology will give high-energy physicists new accelerators to explore the deepest secrets of the universe: the ultimate structure of matter and the nature of space and time.

But breakthroughs in accelerator science may do more than advance the exploration of particles and forces.

No field of science is an island. Physics, astronomy, chemistry, biology, medicine-- all interact in the continuing human endeavor to explore and understand our world and ourselves. Research at high-energy physics laboratories will lead to the next generation of particle accelerators--and perhaps to new tools for medical science.

National laboratories build particle accelerators for physicists. The results belong to everyone.

New technologies, such as these niobium superconducting structures designed to accelerate electrons to nearly the speed of light, promise to take particle accelerator science to an unprecedented level. The R&D for particle accelerators takes place at national high-energy physics laboratories, including Fermilab, the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center in California, CERN in Switzerland and DESY in Germany.

An architect's drawing shows a new Center for Magnetic Resonance Research at the University of Illinois at Chicago. The Center will house not only the latest 3.0 Tesla whole body scanner but also the world's first 9.4 Tesla whole human body scanner. The Center for Magnetic Resonance Research will provide leadership and resources for the continued development of magnetic resonance imaging technology for research and medicine. It will provide unique post-graduate education opportunities, and, ultimately, improved medical care for the citizens of Illinois.

The next generation of super-powerful accelerator light sources will play a key role in advancing the understanding of how genes functionˇhow the human genome translates into the human being. This image of RNA, the intermediary between DNA and the structure of proteins in the cell, came from research at the Advanced Light Source at DOE's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

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