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<noautolink>Group photo of CLASSE staff.</noautolink>
CLASSE Staff during the CHESS-U upgrade project at Wilson Lab

CLASSE Vision:

Our vision is to understand the behavior of matter and fields at all scales of distance and time to sustainably advance science and benefit society.

CLASSE Mission:

Our mission is to:

  • Create inclusive and inspiring learning environments for the next generation of scientists and engineers.
  • Understand the universe at the largest and smallest scales.
  • Perform world-leading science and engineering with X-rays.
  • Build and operate accelerators to produce intense beams of X-rays.
  • Advance accelerator and detector technology for the benefit of science, medicine, and industry.
  • Build a talented pool of technical and scientific staff who maintain & invent new sustainable technologies & research infrastructure.
  • Develop partnerships to advance our vision.

Core Values

Our core values directly align with those of Cornell University:

  • Purposeful Discovery
  • Free and Open Inquiry and Expression
  • A Community of Belonging
  • Exploration across Boundaries
  • Changing Lives through Public Engagement
  • Respect for the Natural Environment
  • Please see full descriptions of Cornell University's Core Values.

Welcome to the Cornell Laboratory for Accelerator-based ScienceS and Education (CLASSE). CLASSE studies our world and universe using x-rays and high energy electrons and proton beams. We develop organic solar cells and study the folding of long DNA strands at CLASSE's CHESS national x-ray user facility, study the Higgs boson with the Large Hadron Collider, and glimpse the early universe with the Atacama Cosmology Telescope.

Ryan_Porter_121318.jpeg CLASSE also advances the frontiers of beam science, and develops the technology needed to produce and accelerate ultra-bright, high power beams for research, medicine and industry. We study the behavior of very compact beams using the Cornell Electron Storage Ring (CESR), develop high power electron sources, and advance the superconducting technology that accelerates particles to near light speed. This research will increase the scientific reach of future accelerators and open new doors for industry. Much of our work is directed at an Energy Recovery Linac, a special kind of accelerator invented at Cornell that would produce x-ray beams 1000 times brighter than those at today's synchrotron sources.

Finally — and very importantly — CLASSE educates future scientific leaders. As a university lab, students, both undergraduate and graduate, are at the heart of everything we do.

Cornell High Energy Synchrotron Source (CHESS)

01_CHESS_Aerial_with_Ring_Large.jpeg CHESS is a national user facility that provides synchrotron x-ray capabilities for investigators in all fields of science and engineering. It uses synchrotron light given off by charged particles as they circulate in a ring at nearly the speed of light. The x-ray beams generated at CHESS help scientists and researchers understand materials from airplane wings to cell membranes, from pollutants in plants to matter under earth-core pressures.

CHESS is undergoing an extensive upgrade for a new High Magnetic Field (HMF) beamline. The HMF facility will enable research that is currently not achievable anywhere in the world.

Particle Physics and Astrophysics

CMS_detector.jpg Cornell scientists develop and explore the theories that might have been operative in the early universe using the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in Geneva Switzerland, where the conditions of the early universe are created briefly in collisions and a high precision experiment at Fermilab. They also apply general relativity to the dynamics of stars. The Cornell Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) experimental group is leading the way in the ongoing upgrades to the CMS detector at CERN, part of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) - the world's largest and most powerful particle accelerator.

Bright Sources of Electrons

Bright_Sources_Li.jpeg The photoinjector at CLASSE holds records for both beam current and brightness and meets the needs of future accelerators, including an Energy Recovery Linac. Further advances on photocathode technology and beam halo will enable even better performance, and new applications such as ultrafast electron diffraction.

Storage Ring Dynamics

REU_CESR_1_Large.jpeg Using CESR, lab scientists study ultra-compact electron and positron beams, advancing accelerator performance for future light sources and particle physics colliders. This work takes advantage of superb beam instrumentation, feedback and control systems, and sophisticated accelerator models. CESR is recognized internationally as an outstanding training ground for graduate students and post-docs who become leaders at accelerator laboratories around the world.

Superconducting particle acceleration

SRF_CLASSE_Fumio_Cornell_Large.jpeg Cornell is a leader in particle beam acceleration based on superconducting radio frequency (SRF) cavities, a technology of choice in modern accelerators. CLASSE scientists work to improve cavity energy efficiency, reliability and performance. Cornell has developed and industrialized the cavities chosen to power seven facilities around the world and recently worked on a prototype Energy Recovery Linac (ERL) named CBETA with Brookhaven National Lab.

Production, acceleration, and transport of electron beams

SRF_Cavity_Fermi.jpeg The Center for Bright Beams is one of 12 NSF Science and Technology Centers. It joins scientists from multiple Cornell departments, other universities and national labs to address major challenges in the production, acceleration and transport of electron beams. CBB aims to revolutionize the brightness of electron beams, extending the reach of science, medicine, and industry.

An unparalleled history, a brighter future

CLASSE_Brochure_2023_Overview_Page_2.jpg CLASSE is part of a long history at Cornell that has helped advance the frontiers of beam science. While other synchrotron laboratories are traditionally located at national labs, Cornell is the only U.S. university still operating a large accelerator complex. The university graduates roughly 20 percent of the nation’s Ph.D.s trained in accelerator science and advanced X-ray technology, and approximately 60 undergraduates participate in CHESS laboratory research every year.