Francium Trapping Facility

TRIUMF’s Francium Trapping Facility is using rare francium atoms to capture an ultra-precise fingerprint of atomic weak force symmetry breaking and potential beyond-Standard Model physics. Among the four fundamental forces (along with electromagnetism, the strong force, and gravity) the weak force is the only one which violates symmetry: mirror image processes (parity); and time-reversed ones … Continued

Laser spectroscopy

The unique TRIUMF-based Collinear Fast-Beam Laser Spectroscopy facility is using the smallest changes in electrons’ quantum-level jumps to map the extreme frontier of nuclear structure in rare isotopes. The core challenge in studying these extreme nuclei, ones with lopsided ratios of neutrons and protons, is that they’re very short-lived. The rare isotope must be produced, … Continued

Rare Isotope Beam Delivery

From their origins in targets and ion sources, TRIUMF’s rare isotope beams (RIBs) travel on to navigate two important technologies: mass separators and charge breeders. The singly-ionized rare isotopes enter a High-Resolution Mass Separator (HRS) in order to create a purified, high-intensity RIB of ideally just a single selected isotope. From the mix of products emerging … Continued

Targets and Ion Sources

At its core, a rare isotope production target is a material, such as uranium carbide, that when irradiated undergoes nuclear reactions that produce rare isotopes. TRIUMF’s two target drivers, accelerated protons and electrons, can each be used with a variety of target materials to induce different kinds of nuclear reactions and produce different types and … Continued

Post-target accelerators

TRIUMF’s rare isotope production facilities also include a series of three different post-target accelerators that accelerate heavy ions to energies required by TRIUMF experiments, for example mimicking the energetic conditions of rare isotopes in an exploding star. The three accelerators operate sequentially in a way analogous to the gearing system in a car with a … Continued

e-linac: Electron Linear Accelerator

The second driver for TRIUMF’s rare isotope beam program is the new electron linear accelerator (e-linac), the world’s highest power e-linac for rare isotope production, which will come fully online in 2021. Unlike the spiral of a cyclotron, the 25-meter-long e-linac accelerates electrons in a straight line. Starting with a fingernail-sized electron source, the e-linac … Continued

520 MeV Cyclotron

TRIUMF’s 520 MeV cyclotron, one of the world’s largest cyclotrons, accelerates negative hydrogen ions to 75% the speed of light to produce intense proton beams for rare isotope production and a variety of other particle physics applications. The 18-meter diameter, clamshell-shaped 520 MeV cyclotron structure is iconic in design, construction, operation and scientific output. The … Continued


With the DSL (Doppler Shift Lifetimes) facility, TRIUMF scientists are shining light on element formation in stars by measuring nuclear excited states that last for only femtoseconds, thousandths-of-a-trillionth-of-a-second.  Collaboratively with facilities including DRAGON and EMMA, the DSL facility is a core part of TRIUMF’s nuclear astrophysics research program.  A nuclear-excited state is a nucleus that contains excess energy and spontaneously releases it, for example as a gamma ray, to reach a more stable … Continued


With TUDA (the TRIUMF U.K. Detector Array), the TRIUMF UK Detector Array, TRIUMF scientists and international collaborators are making critical insights into key stellar element formation pathways that can only be experimentally studied using accelerated rare isotopes.  TUDA, and facilities such as DRAGON and EMMA, are core parts of TRIUMF’s astrophysics research program. TUDA’s precision astrophysics nuclear reaction measurements are used by researchers worldwide and integrated into the latest stellar computational models, providing astronomers with … Continued