ANU launches virtual tour of lab searching for traces of exploded stars

The Australian National University (ANU) has launched an online virtual tour of its Heavy Ion Accelerator Facility, which is searching for traces of exploded stars, known as supernovae, in the ocean.

ANU physicist Dr Ed Simpson said the tour included 360-degree photos that allow visitors to explore every angle of the lab, with short video interviews with physics students and staff.

“The facility is helping to study how to make new elements in the periodic table, develop innovative medical imaging technology and search through sediment from the ocean floor for traces of exploded stars,” said Dr Simpson from the ANU Research School of Physics and Engineering.

“We hope students, local residents and anyone with a bit of curiosity about science will get a real buzz out of taking the tour. Everyone’s invited.”

The Heavy Ion Accelerator Facility uses electricity and magnets to speed particles up to extreme energies to study their internal make-up, and how they behave when they collide.

Highlights of the online tour include the 15-million-volt terminal at the heart of the 47-metre tall accelerator tower and the superconducting booster accelerator.

The ANU Research School of Physics and Engineering hosts the Heavy Ion Accelerator Facility.

The tour can be found at

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Dr Edward Simpson
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Updated:  21 December 2017/ Responsible Officer:  Director, RSPE/ Page Contact:  Physics Webmaster