Secretary of Energy Rick Perry on February 21st visited the U.S. Department of Energy’s Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility (Jefferson Lab), one of the nation’s premier national laboratories for nuclear physics research and accelerator science.
Staff Scientist Latifa Elouadrhiri (r) uses a display in Experimental Hall B to explain the detector systems used in CLAS12 to Secretary of Energy Rick Perry. Credit: Jefferson Lab photo.
As the top official at the U.S. Department of Energy, the Secretary oversees Jefferson Lab and the 16 other DOE National Laboratories that form the backbone of the nation’s scientific infrastructure. During his visit, Secretary Perry noted Jefferson Lab’s unique role within the DOE lab system.
Commenting on what he experienced of Jefferson Lab during his compressed visit, Secretary Perry observed, “I’m not sure there’s any other place in the federal government that has a more important role than what you are doing.”
During his visit, the Secretary received briefings, spoke with students participating in one of the lab’s long-running STEM programs, toured portions of the lab, spoke with researchers and led a Town Hall meeting.
On the tour, Secretary Perry visited portions of the Continuous Electron Beam Accelerator Facility (CEBAF), where he spoke with a few of the more than 1,500 scientists who use CEBAF’s world-leading research capabilities to conduct experiments that could lead to a new understanding of the nucleus of the atom and how its most basic building blocks make up the visible matter of our universe.
According to information, the Secretary also visited the laboratory’s Data Center and its Superconducting Radiofrequency (SRF) Institute where scientists and engineers are continually pushing the boundaries to enhance and improve particle acceleration capabilities and technologies. Staff showed off their R&D work and the highly specialized particle acceleration devices they are constructing for the LCLS-II project at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory.
The Town Hall meeting, attended by lab leadership, staff and visiting scientists, concluded the Secretary’s visit to Jefferson Lab.
He was passionate in his praise of the work carried out at the national labs. And, referring to his year leading the Department of Energy, Secretary Perry said, “…I have never worked with people that I find more interesting, more intelligent, more patriotic than the men and women in the national labs.”