York University to tap into world-class subatomic research facility

On Friday, Sept. 12, York University became an associate member of TRIUMF, Canada’s national laboratory for particle and nuclear physics. By joining TRIUMF, York will substantially enhance its access to advanced, large-scale research facilities and expertise in both the physical and life sciences.

Above: The TRIUMF cyclotron

TRIUMF is Canada’s national laboratory for particle and nuclear physics, located the University of British Columbia campus. It provides research infrastructure and tools that are too large and complex for a single university to build, operate or maintain. It is one of three subatomic research facilities in the world that specialize in producing extremely intense beams of particles. At the heart of the facility is the world’s largest cyclotron, which is used to accelerate 1,000 trillion particles per second.

"Membership in the TRIUMF National Laboratory will strengthen Canadian scientific partnerships," said Michael Siu (right), York’s associate vice-president research, science & technology. "Through this agreement, York’s scientists, especially physicists, will have the opportunity to lead and participate in large-scale research collaborations with their peers across the country, allowing us to extend and diversify our research efforts in these areas."

Since its inception as a local university facility, TRIUMF has evolved into a national laboratory while maintaining strong ties to the research programs of Canadian universities. The science program has expanded from nuclear physics to include particle physics, molecular and materials science, and nuclear medicine.

"TRIUMF has an ambitious vision for its future – and for the future of Canada," said Feridun Hamdullahpur, chair of TRIUMF’s board of management and provost & vice-president academic of Carleton University in Ottawa. "With York’s participation, I am even more confident that we can make it happen. York brings a great combination of expertise, skills and proven performance."

The facility is owned and operated as a joint venture by a consortium of Canadian universities via a contribution through the National Research Council, with building capital funds provided by the Government of British Columbia.

For more information on York’s connection to TRIUMF, see the March 20, 2007 YFile.