View the Entire January 1997 Issue in PDF (2613K)
A B-Factory, a virtual "time machine" back to the early moments of the Big Bang that created the universe, is now under construction at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC). The $300 million project to produce copious amounts of B mesons is a combined effort of SLAC, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Scheduled for completion in early 1999, the facility will be one of the flagships of the U.S. high-energy physics program. Nearly 200 Laboratory specialists, representing a broad range of disciplines, are contributing to the B-Factory effort. The B-Factory's two underground rings, each 2,200 meters (a mile and a half) in circumference, will generate B mesons by colliding electrons and positrons (antimatter counterpart of electrons) at near the speed of light. A key feature of this collider is the fact that electrons and positrons will circulate and collide with unequal (or "asymmetric") energies so that scientists can to better explore the particles generated in the collisions. In helping to design and manufacture many of the major components and detector systems for the B-Factory's twin particle beam rings and its three-story-tall detector, Lawrence Livermore is strengthening its reputation as a center of excellence for accelerator science and technology. In addition, many LLNL capabilities brought to bear on the technical challenges of the B-Factory are enhancing the Laboratory's efforts for the DOE Stockpile Stewardship Program.
Since the founding of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, we have been world leaders in evaluating the risks associated with radiation. Ultrasensitive tools allow us not only to measure radionuclides present in the body but also to reconstruct the radiation dose from past nuclear events and to project the levels of radiation that will still be present in the body for 50 years after the initial intake. A variety of laboratory procedures, including some developed here, give us detailed information on the effects of radiation at the cellular level. Even today, we are re-evaluating the neutron dose resulting from the bombing at Hiroshima. Our dose reconstruction and projection capabilities have also been applied to studies of Nagasaki, Chernobyl, the Mayak industrial complex in the former Soviet Union, the Nevada Test Site, Bikini Atoll, and other sites. We are evaluating the information being collected on individuals currently working with radioactive material at Livermore and elsewhere as well as previously collected data on workers that extends back to the Manhattan Project.
Return to S&TR 1997
and LLNL Disclaimers