7. DOE S&T Review Results
(G. R. Young)
A scientific and technical review of the HRIBF was held November 22-23, 2004, at ORNL. This review was convened by the DOE Office of Nuclear Physics and is expected to be the first of a series of regular reviews conducted as part of their management of the national nuclear physics program. The external panel members were Prof. John d'Auria (Simon Fraser U), Prof. Ingo Weidenhoever (Florida State U), Dr. Erich Ormand (Lawrence Livermore National Lab), Dr. Derek Lowenstein (Brookhaven National Lab), Dr. Daniela Leitner (Lawrence Berkeley National Lab), and Dr. Christopher Lister (Argonne National Lab). DOE attendees included Dr. Denis Kovar, Dr. Eugene Henry and Dr. Jehanne Simon-Gillo from HQ and Messrs. Wayne Lin and David Arakawa from the ORO Site Office.
The review took a wide-ranging look at all aspects of the HRIBF, including facility status, operations and plans, scientific program including experimental and theoretical work as well as instrumentation development in support of the HRIBF program, operating hours, beam development efforts and plans, the HPTL upgrade project status and future upgrade plans, the outside user program, publications and theses produced, implementation of a safe working environment, support from ORNL management, and the HRIBF's interactions with and development of its user community.
The report is organized as findings of fact, comments by reviewers and DOE, and the resulting recommendations of the DOE. The reviewers took note of the recent experiments using neutron-rich beams to study nuclear structure well away from stability, notably on the n-rich side, and of the first studies of nuclei near the pathway for the stellar r-process. They noted continued work using proton-rich beams and the physics results from this on rp-process nucleosynthesis, as well as recent additions to the theory staff at ORNL both in structure and astrophysics.
The reviewers also noted the 50% increase in RIB hours over the past two years and the concurrent large increases in beam intensity achieved over that period. The progress of the new High Power Target Lab project was noted, and encouragement was given for further upgrades to add a second target-ion source to HRIBF. Plans were examined for further upgrade projects to significantly expand the intensity and variety of beams, and the panel commented favorably about ongoing work to develop new beams and improve old ones. One new development garnering attention was the highly encouraging first studies using laser purification methods to improve beam purity either by photodetachment of negative ions in favorable cases or multi-step resonant ionization schemes in others.
The report gives five specific recommendations for the facility. These are discussed in turn below.
The first recommendation is to formalize a coordinated strategic plan for science, equipment and facility development, with input from the community. The facility is currently developing such a plan and will seek consultation from the user community.
The second recommendation is to communicate to users the strategy for development of new beams, in order to improve planning for experiments. The new HRIBF website (as well as this newsletter) contains links to this information, and a link to Dan Stracener's presentation to the review panel about beam development. We request and encourage your input to this.
The third recommendation is that the Physics Division and HRIBF management should strongly encourage timely publication of HRIBF results. There has been a great burst of activity the past few years with the newly developed beams, and many new ideas have been tried, with good success. We will work with the community to move these results to publication. To this end we also request users to notify HRIBF when students give talks and prepare, defend and publish theses, as these are also important aspects of communicating HRIBF science to the outside world.
The fourth recommendation is that HRIBF publish beam schedules on a regular basis and make them available to the user community. You will find links on the new HRIBF web page giving you access to these. Carl Gross will be happy to receive your comments as we develop this new page.
Finally, the panel recommends ORNL, HRIBF and the HRIBF Users' Group work together to increase the size of the user community. We regard this as a key element to ensuring success of present efforts and building for the future era when experiments at RIA become possible. We continue to encourage new users, from both here and abroad, to make proposals for beam time and help us explore this new world of radioactive ion beam physics.