TRIUMF is Canada's national laboratory for particle and nuclear physics. Located on the UBC campus, it is operated as a joint venture by UBC and the universities of Alberta, Carleton, Calgary, Guelph, Manitoba, Montréal, Queen's, Simon Fraser, Toronto, Victoria, and York. In addition, there are six associated universities: McGill, McMaster, Northern British Columbia, Regina, Saint Mary's, and Winnipeg.
Facilities at TRIUMF are based on a medium-energy 500 MeV high-current cyclotron accelerator, as well as several smaller cyclotrons and a heavy ion linear accelerator. The facilities are used primarily for fundamental physics experiments in nuclear physics, particle physics, materials science, and nuclear medicine.
For the fundamental and applied science programs, proton beams from the cyclotron are used to produce intense secondary beams of exotic ions, neutrons, pions, or muons. The proton beam is also used for the treatment of eye cancer (ocular melanoma) in Canada's only such treatment centre.
TRIUMF’s rare-isotope beam (RIB) facility, ISAC, which is now one of the world's most powerful facilities producing exotic radioisotopes. This facility is used by a national and international community for a range of science areas, including nuclear physics, astrophysics, fundamental symmetry tests, and materials science. TRIUMF is currently building the Advanced Rare Isotope Laboratory with a new 500kW electron linear accelerator and an additional beamline from the 500 MeV cyclotron for the production of more and new radioisotopes. TRIUMF accelerator scientists, in addition to designing and building accelerators at TRIUMF, also contribute to several accelerator projects worldwide, including the Large Hadron Collider at CERN located in Geneva, Switzerland.
TRIUMF is also home to one of the most powerful computing centres in Canada, the Tier-1 Centre for analysis and storage of data from the particle-physics experiment (ATLAS) at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). The centre is connected to the world with a 10 GB/s optical-fiber network and includes currently close to 5000 CPU cores and 13 TeraBytes of disk and tape storage, to analyze millions of gigabytes of data. Starting in early 2010, scientists in Canada and all around the world have relied upon the Tier-1 Centre to help reveal the secrets uncovered by the LHC, including the discovery of the Higgs Boson.
In addition to its large cyclotron, TRIUMF also operates four smaller machines on site for the production of radioisotopes used primarily for medical diagnostic procedures (e.g., 'PET' scans at the hospital on campus). TRIUMF also collaborates with the BC Cancer Agency and the Pacific Parkinson's Research Centre. In addition, TRIUMF provides Canadian users with infrastructure support for their experiments at TRIUMF and abroad, and its science and engineering efforts are effective in transferring leading edge technology to Canadian industry.
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