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Cornell University


CLASSE stands for Cornell Laboratory for Accelerator-based ScienceS and Education


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.

 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.

CLASSE staff photo
CLASSE Staff during the CHESS-U upgrade project at Wilson Lab


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.