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Welcome to the Bates Linear Accelerator Center, a part of the Laboratory for Nuclear Science at MIT . Bates has a multi-pronged mission, growing out of its 30 year history as a national user facility for nuclear physics. The experimental nuclear physics program ended in 2005 with the completion of the BLAST experiment.

One aspect of Bates is a Research and Engineering Center, funded by a grant from the US Department of Energy Office of Nuclear Physics to provide support for the experimental programs of faculty within LNS. The personnel and equipment at Bates are ideally suited for a range of services from preconceptual design and development work to construction of large detector and spectrometer systems. R&E Center projects include:

  • Design and construction of the toroid for the QWeak experiment at Jefferson Lab
  • Design and construction of GEM prototype chambers and readout electronics for the STAR experiment at Brookhaven National Lab
  • Design of the support structure for a silicon tracking detector upgrade of STAR
  • Design of the electron accelerator and storage ring for the electron-ion collider eRHIC , leading to a Conceptual Design Report
  • Polarized source developments for eRHIC
  • Detector developments for neutrino physics at SNO and KATRIN

Another aspect of the Bates Center is research and development projects and construction work for other laboratories on a contract basis, utilizing expertise developed on similar systems at Bates. Examples include:

A third focus for Bates is providing the site and technical support for novel applications of small accelerators, in collaboration with MIT faculty and outside companies. Such applications include:

Finally, the Bates accelerator facility consists of a polarized electron source, 500 MeV electron accelerator and recirculator, and storage ring. The staff includes experienced accelerator and polarized source physicists. This combination of equipment and expertise has led to the development of several proposals to use the storage ring for accelerator physics developments:

    Optical Stochastic Cooling, with applications to existing and future high-luminosity colliders
  • Terahertz coherent synchrotron radiation from the storage ring, for various uses in biology, chemistry, materials science and homeland security.



X Ray Laser
MIT has explored the construction of a linac-based
x-ray laser user facility at Bates. more..


  • Bates EIC

  • William H. Bates Linear Accelerator
    M.I.T. Laboratory for Nuclear Science
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology