Argonne has a long and continuing history of participation in accelerator based, and user oriented facilities. The Zero-Gradient Synchrotron, which began construction in 1959 and operation in 1964 was a premier High Energy Physics Machine. The ZGS was open to researchers from universities and other laboratories and thus became the nation's pioneer "user facility" as research facilities around the country followed its example. The ZGS operated for 15 years, performing nearly 300 experiments. Over that time, more powerful machines were being built that attracted accelerator physicists away from the ZGS. The ZGS was officially decommissioned in 1979.
Commissioned in 1981, the Intense Pulsed Neutron Source (IPNS) operated until 2008. It has the distinction of achieving many "firsts" in neutron scattering. Virtually all 1st generation time-of-flight instrumentation was developed at IPNS and the IPNS was the first DOE facility dedicated to users. The IPNS was shutdown in 2008 following the completion of the Spallation Neutron Source (SNS) at ORNL. IPNS staff were responsible for the design of the first insturments at SNS.
The Argonne Tandem Linac Accelerator System (ATLAS) is the world's first superconducting accelerator for projectiles heavier than the electron. Run by the Argonne Physics Division, it accelerated its first ion beam in 1978. ATLAS also is a national user facility and has provided over 55,000 hours of beam to the research community. Physicists from 94 institutions in the United States and 18 foreign countries have participated in experiments at the ATLAS.
The Advanced Photon Source began operation in 1996. Along with the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) in France, and SPring-8 in Japan it is one of the three hard x-ray sources in the world. This premier national research facility provides the brightest x-ray beams in the Western Hemisphere to more than 5,000 (and growing) scientists from around the United States and the world. The Advanced Photon Source has pioneered a number of significant advances in light source accelerators. It is the first major facility to employ top-up injection and to use dual canted undulators.
The Low Energy Undulator Test Line (LEUTL) is a Free Electron Laser that was constructed adjacent to the APS, using the linac beam. In 1999 LEUTL was first in the world to successfully demonstrate Self Amplified Spontaneous Emission (SASE) in visible light wavelengths. Subsequently LEUTL achieved full saturation, and later went to shorter wavelengths. This important accelerator R&D laid the foundation for x-ray Free Electron Lasers such as the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) presently being constructed at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center.
This rich heritage has given Argonne a reputation as the laboratory of superb user facilities.
Much of the research of Argonne National Laboratory, and indeed the scientific community at large depends on the accelerator based tools at Argonne. It is imperative that we continue to enhance our existing accelerators, while concurrently planning for the future. In order to effectively accomplish this we are bringing the accelerator expertise distributed around the laboratory into a matrixed institution to strategically address our common problems and challenges.
The Argonne Wakefield Accelerator is a facility developed for accelerator R&D. It is funded by the Office of High Energy Physics to do advanced accelerator R&D. The objective is to create a high gradient by accelerating a beam in a dielectric structure. The wakefield can then be used to accelerate a second "witness" beam. This facility is actively fulfilling its primary mission, but because of the infrastructure that has been created to do so, it is also a place where other accelerator R&D can be done.