Argonne National Laboratory seeks solutions to pressing national problems in science and technology. The nation’s first national laboratory, Argonne conducts leading-edge basic and applied scientific research in virtually every scientific discipline. Argonne researchers work closely with researchers from hundreds of companies, universities, and federal, state and municipal agencies to help them solve their specific problems, advance America’s scientific leadership and prepare the nation for a better future. With employees from more than 60 nations, Argonne is managed by the UChicago Argonne, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science.
On July 14, 2018, Chicago IEEE Women in Engineering group organized tours of Argonne National Laboratory’s Advanced Photon Source and The Argonne Tandem Linac Accelerator System facilities as well as the Nuclear Energy Exhibition Hall. Thansk to the team at Argonne National Laboratory for making this possible!
Tour Highlights:
The Advanced Photon Source (APS) at Argonne National Laboratory is a U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science user facility. The APS is one of the most technologically complex machines in the world. This premier national research facility provides ultra-bright high-energy X-ray beams to more than 5,700 scientists each year from every U.S. state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and many countries around the world. These scientists come to the APS from academia, industry, medical schools, and other research institutions to carry out experiments that promise new discoveries in nearly every scientific discipline, including materials science; pharmaceutical and life science; chemistry; environmental, geological, and planetary science; and physics. The X-ray beams provided by this remarkable facility enable the collection of data in unprecedented detail and in amazingly short time frames. The knowledge these researchers gain at the APS has a real and positive impact on our technologies, our health, our economy, and our fundamental understanding of the materials that make up our world.
The APS Upgrade Project, currently under development, will create the world’s ultimate three-dimensional microscope.  It will enable researchers to view and manipulate matter at the nanoscale in order to solve even more complex science problems across multiple disciplines.
ATLAS – The Argonne Tandem Linac Accelerator System (ATLAS) is the world’s first ion accelerator using superconducting devices for the energy gain. It is capable of accelerating ions of all elements, both stable and radioactive, from hydrogen to uranium for research into the properties of the nucleus, the core of matter, the fuel of stars.
The Nuclear Energy Exhibition Hall showcases Argonne’s rich heritage in the development of nuclear reactors and its current role in the development of next-generation reactors and fuel cycle technologies.  Argonne has over 70 years of leadership in nuclear science and technology, tracing its birth to Enrico Fermi’s work in the Manhattan Project. Argonne pioneered the development of peaceful uses of nuclear technology, including those used in major nuclear power plants throughout the world.  The Laboratory continues to advance the design and operation of nuclear energy systems and is applying its nuclear energy-related expertise to current and emerging programs of national and international significance.  Visitors will learn about the development of nuclear power generation, from the Manhattan Project to Argonne’s physics and engineering experiments and analyses, that paved the way for naval reactors and today’s commercial nuclear power reactors; and then on to the advanced reactor systems and other nuclear technologies that are the focus of modern-day research and development at Argonne and around the world.  The Interactive Apple Tree display uses imagery to present an overview of the history of Argonne’s nuclear reactor programs and encourages visitors to “dig down” into information on specific reactors with just a touch of the screen. There are numerous displays of artifacts from Fermi’s time to the present, models of several types of reactors, and additional screens that showcase both reactor development history and current Argonne research in advanced reactors, medical isotopes, nuclear fuel cycle technologies, and research reactor conversion.