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TUNL viewed from behind, exposing the concrete wall of the usually obscured lab level
The Triangle Universities Nuclear Laboratory, abbreviated as TUNL (pronounced as "tunnel"), is a facility located on the campus of Duke Universitymarker, occupied and operated by members of the physics departments of the three largest universities in the Research Triangle of North Carolina: Duke University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hillmarker, and North Carolina State Universitymarker (recently including many members of the physics department of North Carolina Central Universitymarker). Collaboration with other universities and the national laboratories is extensive. Research naturally focuses on nuclear physics, though frequently in association with other fields, such as medicine (largely through studies in medical imaging) and biophysics. Within "pure" nuclear physics, TUNL is involved in the stockpile stewardship program, studies of nuclear structure and of the nuclear force at the fundamental level, nuclear astrophysics, and neutrino physics (having been involved in the neutrino observatory KamLAND and double beta decay studies). Equipment used at TUNL includes two Van de Graaff accelerators: an FN Tandem accelerator capable of a terminal voltage of 10 megavolts (the centerpiece of the lab), and a 1 megavolt single-ended JN accelerator used for nuclear astrophysics studies. Experiments involving the interaction of electromagnetic radiation with nuclear matter are frequently conducted at a neighboring facility, the Duke Free Electron Laser Laboratory; along with collaborative efforts, TUNL is increasingly involved in off-site experiments, such as proposed research activities at the Kimballton mine in Virginia.


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