New nuclear accelerator being used at Notre Dame

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A new nuclear accelerator at the University of Dame will be used by scientists from around the world to study astrophysics and other disciplines.

Physics professor Michael Wiescher said Thursday that the primary use of the $4 million accelerator is to study the origin of elements and the universe's chemical evolution. But it also can be used for other purposes, such as to test radiation on spacecraft and by archeologists to determine the age of something.

The accelerator is the first funded by the National Science Foundation in nearly a quarter century.

American Institute of Physics executive director H. Frederick Dylla says the accelerator is significant because maintaining a strong base of research facilities is essential for the nation's economic health and security.

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