About TUNL

The Triangle Universities Nuclear Laboratory

Synergistic use of accelerators and non-accelerator techniques to tackle complex problems

The Triangle Universities Nuclear Laboratory, or TUNL, is a U.S. Dept. of Energy Center of Excellence. We’re a consortium of 4 universities, Duke University, North Carolina Central University, North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill. The research carried out at TUNL addresses the fundamental questions in nuclear physics:

For example, what is the structure of the proton and neutron? What is the force between them? How does that force lead to the patterns that we see in nuclei? How are the elements created in stars and can we learn about the stars by studying nuclear processes? What are the symmetries of nature? In other words, do the laws of nature work the same way if you hold up a mirror or reverse the direction of time? What are the properties of neutrinos? About 70 billion neutrinos from the sun pass through an area the size of a postage stamp every second and yet there’s much about them that we don’t fully understand.

This work is carried out by 20 faculty, 21 research scientists and postdocs, 15 staff, about 40 graduate students and about 25 undergraduates. Our mission is to advance the frontiers of nuclear physics and to educate students and young scientists so that they can contribute to society across a wide range of technical fields, including nuclear physics. We educate about 8% of all PhDs in experimental nuclear physics in the U.S – our most important contribution to society.