q&a: RHIC and BNL
What makes RHIC unique among the other accelerators around the world?
Simply put, the C in RHIC.
The Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider at BNL is the first accelerator to collide
beams of nuclei in order to achieve the greatest energy density.
Previously, nuclear physics experiments used one nuclear beam and a
stationary target, and collider accelerators (such as Fermilab) only collided beams of elementary
particles (e.g. protons, electrons, etc.). The Large Hadron Collider, under
construction at CERN, will also collide
beams of nuclei.
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