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Acronyms of Particle Physics

This page is a list of acronyms of particle physics Laboratories and Accelerators and Detectors and Experiments and Other institutions.


ANL: The Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory in Argonne, Ill.

Bates: Not an acronym. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology Bates Linear Accelerator Center.

BINP: Budker Institute of Nuclear Physics in Novosibirsk, Russia.

BNL: The Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton, Long Island.

CERN: Originally "Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire," now the European Organization for Nuclear Research in Geneva, Switzerland. CERN operates the European Laboratory for Particle Physics.

DESY: Deutsches Elektronen-SYnchrotron laboratory,  the German center for particle physics and synchrotron radiation research in Hamburg

ESRF: The European Synchrotron Radiation Facility in Grenoble, France.

FNAL: The Department of Energy's Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, Illinois.

FZK: Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe, a nonprofit basic science research center in Karlsruhe, Germany.

GSI: Gesellschaft für Schwerionen-forschung, a heavy-ion research center in Darmstadt, Germany.

HASYLAB: HAmburger SYnchrotronstrahlungsLABor,the synchrotron radiation laboratory at DESY

INFN-LNF: The National Institute for Nuclear Physics in Italy.

IHEP: Institute of High Energy Physics in Beijing, China.

JINR: The Joint Institute for Nuclear Research in Dubna, Russia.

JLAB: The Department of Energy’s Thomas Jefferson Newport National Accelerator Facility, or Jefferson Lab, in Newport News, Va. Formerly CEBAF (Continuous Electron Beam Accelerator Facility).

KEK: Koo Energy Ken. The High Energy Research Accelerator Organization in Tsukuba, Japan.

LAL:The Laboratoire de L’Accelerateur Lineaire at the University of Paris-Sud in Orsay, France.

LANL: The Department of Energy’s Los Alamos National Laboratory in Los Alamos, N.M.

LBNL: The Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley, Calif.

LEPP: Laboratory for Elementary-Particle Physics at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. Formerly the Laboratory for Nuclear Studies (LNS).

LLNL: The Department of Energy’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore, Calif.

LNF: Laboratori Nazionali di Frascati, near Rome, Italy.

LNGS: Laboratori Nazionali del Gran Sasso, in L’Aquila, Italy. Usually referred to as “Gran Sasso.”

LNL: Laboratori Nazionali di Leganaro, in northern Italy.

LNS: Laboratori Nazionali del Sud, in southern Italy.

NIKHEF: National Institute for Subatomic Physics

NUSL: The National Underground Science Laboratory in the Homestake Mine, S.D.

ORNL: The Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Oak Ridge, Tenn.

PSI: Paul Scherrer Institut, a research facility in northern Switzerland.

SLAC: The Department of Energy's Stanford Linear Accelerator Center in Palo Alto, California.

SSRL: SLAC Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory.

STFC: The Science & Technology Facilities Council makes it possible for a broad range of scientists in the UK to tackle some of the most fundamental scientific questions.

TRIUMF: The proper name of Canada's national laboratory for particle and nuclear physics, located in Vancouver, BC. Formerly an acronym for "Tri-University Meson Facility", an obsolete usage.

WIPP: The Department of Energy’s Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, a nuclear waste center in New Mexico also being used as an underground laboratory.


AD: Antimatter Decelerator. New facility at CERN to study antimatter.

AGS: The Alternating Gradient Synchrotron at Brookhaven.

ATLAS: The Argonne Tandem Linear Accelerator, a heavy-ion accelerator at Argonne.

AWA: The Argonne Wakefield Accelerator, working on accelerator R&D.

B Factory: SLAC's new electron-positron collider, built to produce B mesons, beginning in 1999.

BEPC: Beijing Electron Positron Colider

CESR: The Cornell Electron Storage Ring. A high-luminosity electron-positron collider at the Wilson Synchrotron Laboratory, Cornell University.

CLIC: CERN's proposed Compact LInear Collider.

(Sometimes DAPHNE) Double Annular Factory for Nice Experiments. 1.0 GeV high luminosity phi factory at LNF in Italy.

EPA: CERN's Electron Positron Accumulator.

FMI: The Fermilab Main Injector, due to begin operating in 1999 as an injector to the Tevatron.

GLC Global Linear Collider,  the Asian proposal
for a future international electron-positron
collider (ILC). The R&D group for this project is
located at KEK, Japan.

HERA: Hadron-Electron Ring Accelerator at DESY,  the world's only high-energy electron-proton collider.

ISAC: TRIUMF’s Isotope Separator and Accelerator for astrophysics study.

ILC: A proposed electron-positron collider, the ILC will stretch approximately 35 kilometers in length. Consisting of two linear accelerators that face each other, the ILC will hurl some 10 billion electrons and their anti-particles, positrons, toward each other at nearly the speed of light. The current baseline design calls for a 500 billion-electron-volt (GeV) machine and allows for an upgrade to a 50-kilometre, 1 trillion-electron-volt (TeV) machine during the second stage of the project. The ILC will be designed, funded, managed, and operated as a fully international scientific project.

KEK B-Factory: An electron-positron collider to study CP violation in the B meson, at KEK.

LANSCE: Los Alamos Neutron Science CEnter (formerly LAMPF, the Los Alamos Meson Physics Facility).

LEAR: Low Energy Antiproton Ring at CERN (closed for physics in 1996).

LEIR: Low Energy Ion Ring. (LEAR is now being converted into LEIR, a machine to store ions for the LHC at CERN.)

LEP: The Large Electron Positron Collider at CERN.

LHC: The Large Hadron Collider, a new international 14 TeV proton-proton accelerator now being built at CERN, to begin operating in 2007.

LIL: The Linear Injector for LEP at CERN.

Muon Collider: A new type of particle accelerator that speeds up subatomic particles called muons and makes them collide to discover new subatomic forces and particles.

NLC: Next Linear Collider, the American proposal for a future international electron-positron collider (ILC). The R&D group for this project is located at SLAC.

NLCTA: The Next Linear Collider Test Accelerator at SLAC.

PEP: SLAC's Positron Electron Project, now the site of the B Factory.

PEP-II: The official name for the SLAC B Factory.

Project X: A proposed high-intensity proton accelerator complex that could provide beam for a variety of physics projects at Fermilab.

PS: CERN's Proton Synchrotron.

RHIC: Brookhaven's Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider began operation in 2000. RHIC collides beams of gold ions to study what the universe looked like in the first few moments after its creation.

SBLC: S-Band Linear Collider. Possible future linear collider, under study at DESY.

SLC: SLAC Linear electron-positron Collider.

SPEAR: The Stanford Positron Electron Accelerating Ring, completed in 1965. Now being used as a synchrotron light source for SSRL.

SPS: CERN's Super Proton Synchrotron.

TESLA: TeV-Energy Superconducting Linear Accelerator, the European proposal for a future international electron-positron collider (ILC). The international R&D group for this project islocated at DESY, Germany.

Tevatron: Fermilab's 2-TeV proton-antiproton accelerator, the world's highest-energy accelerator.

TTF: TESLA Test Facility at DESY.

VEPP-4M: An electron-positron collider at BINP to study Psi and Upsilon mesons. ("VEPP" stands for "colliding electron-positron beams" in Russian.)

VEPP-2M: An elctron-positron collider at BINP to study resonant production of lightest quarkonia; currently being upgraded to become VEPP-2000.

VLHC: Very Large Hadron Collider, possible new accelerator now under study as an international follow-on to the LHC.

Detectors & Experiments

ALEPH: Apparatus for LEP PHysics, at CERN.

ALICE: A Large Ion Collider Experiment, one of four large experiments at CERN's Large Hadron Collider. ALICE is designed primarily to study the collisions of lead ions at the LHC.

AMANDA: Antarctic Muon and Neutrino Detector Array. International collaboration proposing to detect high-energy cosmic neutrinos at the South Pole.

AMS: Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer. A detector in space to search for antimatter.

ANTARES: Astronomy with a Neutrino Telescope and Abyss environmental RESearch.

APEX: AntiProton Experiment. Fermilab experiment to search for antiproton decay.

ArgoNeuT:  The Argon Neutrino Teststand or ArgoNeuT detector, nicknamed for Jason and the Argonauts of Greek mythology, is a liquid argon neutrino detector at Fermilab.

ATLAS: One of four large experiments at CERN's Large Hadron Collider. Acronym originally stood for A Toroidal LHC ApparatuS; experiment now simply goes by the name "ATLAS". ATLAS is primarily designed to study the collisions of protons at the LHC.

BaBar: B-Bbar (anti-B) detector at SLAC's B Factory. Named for the elephant in Laurent DeBrunhoff's children's books.

BELLE: B detector at KEK in Japan.

BES: BEijing Spectrometer

BLAST: The Bates Large Acceptance Spectrometer Toroid, located at MIT.

BOREX: (or Borexino) An underground solar neutrino experiment at Gran Sasso in Italy.

BRAHMS: The Broad Range Hadron Magnetic Spectrometer located at Brookhaven.

BTeV: Proposed dedicated B physics experiment at Fermilab's Tevatron.

CAT: Cherenkov Array at Themis, an imaging telescope in France to detect very high-energy gamma rays.

CDF: Collider Detector at Fermilab, studies proton-antiproton collisions at the Tevatron.

CDMS: Cryogenic Dark Matter Search. A Fermilab/university experiment to search for the interaction of dark matter particles with the nuclei of silicon and germanium detectors, now at Stanford. Will place a detector in Soudan Mine, Minnesota.

CHAOS: Canadian High Acceptance Orbit Spectrometer.

CHOOZ: An international long-baseline reactor neutrino experiment located at the CHOOZ A nuclear power station, les Ardennes, France.

CHORUS: CERN Hybrid Oscillation Research Apparatus.

CKM: Charged Kaons at the Main Injector, a proposed Fermilab experiment to measure charged kaon decay.

CLEO:Not an acronym. Goes with CESR. Get it? Detector at Cornell's CESR accelerator.

CMD-2: Cryogenic Magnetci Detector, one of the two VEPP-2M's detectors, at BINP.

CMS: Compact Muon Solenoid. One of two large multi-purpose experiments at CERN's Large Hadron Collider. CMS is primarily designed to study the collisions of protons at the LHC.

CNGS: CERN Neutrinos to Gran Sasso, a long-baseline neutrino oscillation experiment.

COBE: COsmic Background Explorer, a satellite launched by NASA in 1989 to search for evidence of the Big Bang. Currently in data analysis.

COMPASS: CERN's Common Muon and Proton Apparatus for Structure and Spectroscopy.

COSMOS: Cosmologically Significant Mass Oscillation Search at Fermilab to detect muon neutrino to tau neutrino oscillations.

COUPP: The Chicagoland Observatory for Underground Particle Physics, COUPP, uses stable, room-temperature bubble chambers to search for weakly interacting massive particles, WIMPS, which physicists consider the best candidates for the material that makes up dark matter.

CRESST: Cryogenic Rare Event Search with Superconducting Thermometers. An experiment in the Gran Sasso Underground Laboratory to search for WIMP (Weakly Interacting Massive Particle) dark matter using cryogenic detectors.

DAMA: Particle DArk MAtter search with highly radiopure scintillators at Gran Sasso, searching for WIMPs.

DELPHI: Detector with Lepton Photon and Hadron Identification at CERN's LEP accelerator.

DONUT: Direct Observation of the Nu Tau. A Fermilab fixed-target experiment to detect direct interactions of the tau neutrino.

DZero: (named for location on the Tevatron Ring) Collider detector studies proton-antiproton collisions at Fermilab's Tevatron.

E787: Brookhaven experiment at the AGS to study rare kaon decays.

EOS TPC: Equation of State Time Projection Chamber experiment, studying heavy ion collisions at Berkeley.

EXO: Enriched Xenon Observatory, searching for neutrinoless double beta-decay at WIPP.

FOCUS: FOtoproduction of Charm: Upgraded Spectrometer. A Fermilab fixed target experiment to study charm physics.

GALLEX: The Gallium EXperiment at Gran Sasso. An international collaboration uses a gallium detector at Gran Sasso, Italy to measure the solar neutrino flux produced inside the sun by proton-proton fusion.

GENIUS: Germanium Nitrogen Underground Setup, a proposed experiment by Gran Sasso and Heidelberg to operate Ge detectors in liquid nitrogen.

GLAST: Gamma-ray Large Area Space Telescope. A proposed orbiting telescope for high-energy gamma rays.

GNO: Gallium Neutrino Observatory, the successor to GALLEX.

H1: Experiment at DESY's HERA facility to explore electron-proton collisions.

HADES: High Acceptance Di-Electron Spectrometer, at GSI.

HAPPEX: Hall A Proton Parity Experiment at JLAB.

HDMS: Heidelberg Dark Matter Search. Double beta decay and dark matter searches taking place at the University of Heidelberg in Germany.

HEAT: High- Energy Antimatter Telescope. A NASA-supported program of high-altitude balloon-borne experiments to study antimatter in the primary cosmic radiation.

HERA-B:  Fixed target experiment at DESY's HERA facility to explore the strong
interaction, in operation till 2003.

HERMES:  fixed target experiment at DESY's HERA facility to explore the nucleon spin.

Hi Res Fly's Eye: High-energy cosmic ray experiment in Dugway, Utah.

HOMESTAKE: A solar neutrino experiment in the Homestake Gold Mine in South Dakota.

HYPER-CP: A Search for Direct CP Violation in Hyperon decays. Fermilab fixed-target experiment.

ICARUS: Imaging Cosmic and Rare Underground Signal. Neutrino experiment proposed at CERN/Gran Sasso.

IGEX: International Germanium Experiment in Spain.

IMB: Irvine, Michigan and Brookhaven, a collaboration looking for neutrinoless double beta decay.

ISOLDE: Isotype On-Line separator at CERN.

JDEM: The Joint Dark Energy Mission will take precise measurements of the expansion rate of the universe in an effort to understand how it has changed over time.

K2K: KEK to Kamioka. Long-baseline neutrino experiment using a beam from KEK accelerator to Super-Kamiokande detector in Japan.

KAMIOKANDE: A solar neutrino experiment at the Kamioka Observatory in Japan.

KAMLAND: KAmioka Liquid Scintillator Anti-Neutrino Detector, under construction in Japan.

KARMEN: Karlsruhe-Rutherford Medium-Energy Neutrino Experiment. A neutrino interaction experiment using a detector at the ISIS spallation neutron source at Rutherford- Appleton Laboratory in England.

KATRIN: KArlsruhe TRItium Neutrino experiment at FZK to measure neutrino mass.

KEDR: Not an acronym. A universal magnetic detector for Upsilon and Psi physics at BINP's VEPP-4M.

KLOE: K LOng Experiment, to study CP violation at LNF's DAFNE.

KOPIO: AKlong decay experiment at Brookhaven.

KTeV: Kaons at the Tevatron, a Fermilab fixed-target experiment to study CP violation in kaon decay.

L3: named for its location on CERN's LEP accelerator.

LAND:Large Area Neutron Detector, at GSI.

LBNE: Long-Baseline Neutrino Experiment, a proposed deep underground project that would study neutrinos coming from a beam generated at Fermilab.

LENS: Low Energy Neutrino Spectroscopy, at Heidelberg.

LHCb: Large Hadron Collider beauty Experiment, one of four large experiments at CERN's Large Hadron Collider. LHCb is primarily designed to study the decays of particles containing b and anti-b quarks created in collisions of protons at the LHC.

LHCf: Large Hadron Collider forward experiment, one of the smaller experiments at CERN's LHC. LHCf uses forward particles created inside the LHC as a source to simulate cosmic rays in laboratory conditions.

LSND: Liquid Scintillator Neutrino Detector. Neutrino oscillation experiment at Los Alamos.

LUNA: Laboratory for Underground Nuclear Astrophysics at Gran Sasso.

LVD: Gran Sasso’s Large Volume Detector, looking for neutrino bursts from stellar collapses.

MACHO: Massive Compact Halo Objects. The MACHO project is a mainly U.S. collaboration testing the hypothesis that dark matter is made up mostly of MACHOs like brown dwarfs and planets.

Majorana: Not an acronym. Adouble beta decay experiment taking place at the DOE’s Pacific Northwest Laboratory.

MECO: Muon to Electron COnversion, an RSVP experiment at Brookhaven’s AGS.

MICE: Muon Ionization Cooling Experiment

MicroBooNE : The MicroBooNE experiment will use a 70-ton liquid argon time projection chamber, LArTPC, to examine neutrino beams at Fermilab.

MILAGRO: Detector to study cosmic ray air showers in the Jemez Mountains near Los Alamos, New Mexico.  

MINERvA : A neutrino-scattering experiment that uses the NuMI beamline at Fermilab to search for low-energy neutrino interactions.

MiniBooNE: Booster Neutrino Experiment, petite size. Planned experiment to study neutrino oscillations using Fermilab's Booster accelerator.

MUNU: An experiment at the Bugey reactor in France studying electron - electron neutrino scattering.

Mu2e : A Fermilab experiment that will search for the conversion of a muon into an electron.





MINIMAX/ T-864: A search for disoriented chiral condensates at Fermilab.

MINOS: Main Injector Neutrino Oscillation Search. An experiment to study neutrino oscillations using the NuMI beam from Fermilab's Main Injector accelerator.

MIPP: Main Injector Particle Production, a proposed experiment at Fermilab.

MONOLITH: Massive Observatory for Neutrino Oscillations or LImits on THeir existence. Atmospheric neutrino detector at Gran Sasso.

MPS: The Microdrop Particle Search at SLAC, searching for extremely massive charged particles.

MUCOOL: MUon COOLing experiment, which hopes to develop a muon ionization cooling channel for a high-luminosity muon chamber.

NESTOR: Neutrino Extended Submarine Telescope with Oceanographic Research, a deep sea high-energy neutrino telescope off the coast of Greece.

NOE: Neutrino Oscillation Experiment, at Gran Sasso.

NOMAD: Neutrino Oscillation MAgnetic Detector, at CERN.

NOvA: The NuMI Off-axis ve Appearance experiment, NOvA, will search for evidence of muon-to-electron neutrino oscillation by comparing the composition of the NuMI beamline at the source and in an underground laboratory in Minnesota.

NuMI: Neutrinos at the Main Injector, a project to send a beam of high-energy neutrinos from Fermilab to a detector in northern Minnesota, beginning in 2002.

NuSEA: NUcleon SEA. Fermilab fixed target experiment to measure the asymmetry of down and up anti-quarks in the nucleon sea.

NuTeV: Neutrinos at the Tevatron, a Fermilab fixed-target experiment using a neutrino beam for precision measurement of the mass of the W boson.

OMNIS: Observatory for Multiflavor Neutrinos from Supernovae, an underground experiment at WIPP.

OPAL: Omni Purpose Apparatus for LEP, at CERN.

OPERA: Oscillation Project with EmulsiontRacking Apparatus, the neutrino detector at Gran Sasso for the long-baseline experiment CNGS.

ORLaND: Oak Ridge Large Neutrino Detector, searching for neutrino oscillations at Oak Ridge.

PHENIX: Pioneering High-Energy Nuclear Interaction eXperiment, at Brookhaven.

PHOBOS: Not an acronym. Phobos is a moon of Mars, which was the name of the original proposed detector. Studies heavy-ion collisions at Brookhaven.

Pierre Auger Project: (No acronym) International experiment to track down the origin of ultra-high-energy cosmic rays.

pp2pp: proton-proton to proton-proton elastic scattering experiment at Brookhaven.

RAND:Radio Neutrino Detector array, located 1.5 km from the South Pole.

SAGE: Soviet-American Gallium Experiment. (Although "Soviet" changed to "Russian" a few years back, "RAGE" didn't have the right ring.) Recently, thieves stole the gallium from this solar neutrino detector in the Baksan Mountains of Russia.

SciBooNE : The SciBar Booster Neutrino Experiment at Fermilab

SDSS: Sloan Digital Sky Survey. Astrophysics project to create largest-ever three-dimensional map of the sky.

SeaQuest: A series of fixed target Drell-Yan experiments at Fermilab.

SELEX: SEgmented Large X baryon spectrometer EXperiment A fixed target experiment at Fermilab to study charm baryons.

SLD: SLAC Large Detector, optimized for physics at the SLC interaction point.

SNAP: SuperNova Acceleration Probe, a proposed satellite to measure the Universe's rate of expansion.

SND: Spherical Neutral Detector, the other of the two VEPP-2M's detectors at BINP.

SNO: Sudbury Neutrino Observatory. A solar-neutrino detector near Sudbury, Ontario, Canada.

SOUDAN II: Soudan II underground detector, in an underground laboratory in the Tower-Soudan Iron Mine in Soudan, Minnesota, to search for nucleon decay and study atmospheric neutrino physics.

SPY: Secondary Particle Yield, a CERN experiment to measure the production rates of pions and kaons.

STAR: Solenoidal Tracker At RHIC, looking for quark-gluon plasma at Brookhaven.

Super-K: Super-Kamiokande experiment to detect neutrino oscillations from atmospheric neutrino flux, in Japan.

TAPS: Two-Arm Photon Spectrometer, German experiment to measure hard photons and neutral mesons.

TISOL: TRIUMF Isotope Separator OnLine.

TOTEM: TOTal Elastic and diffractive cross section Measurement. The TOTEM experiment studies forward particles created at the LHC to study physics not accessible to general-purpose experiments like ATLAS and CMS.

TOSCA: Toplological Oscillation Search with kinematic analysis, the intended CERN follow-up project to CHORUS and NOMAD.

UNO: Underground Nucleon decay and neutrino Observatory, located at WIPP.

ZEUS: (Not an acronym) Experiment at DESY's HERA facility to explore electron-proton collisions.


ACFA: Asian Committee for Future Accelerators.

AIP: American Institute of Physics. Publishes Physics Today.

ALCPG : American Linear Collider Physics Group

ALCSG: Asian Linear Collider Steering Committee.

APS: American Physical Society. Publishes physics journals, organizes meetings and conferences, communicates to policymakers and the public.

CEA: Commissariat à l'énergie atomique.
French funding agency including a large basic research department, DSM
(Département des sciences de la matière)

CNRS: Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, France’s equivalent to the NSF.

DOE: U.S. Department of Energy. Funds the lion's share of U.S. HEP.

ECFA: European Committee for Future Accelerators.

ECFA Study: Study group Physics and Detectors of a Linear Collider.

ELCSG : European Linear Collider Steering Group.

HENP: DOE's Office of High Energy and Nuclear Physics.

HEP: DOE's Division of High Energy Physics, part of HENP.

HEPAP: High Energy Physics Advisory Panel. Advisory to DOE.

HEPIC: High Energy Physics Information Center, a clearinghouse of HEP info

ICFAInternational Committee for Future Accelerators

ILCSG: International Linear Collider Steering Group

ILC-TRC: International Linear Collider-Technical Reviewing Committee

Institut National de Physique Nucleaire et de Physique des Particules, the division of CNRS that oversees nuclear and particle physics

INFN: Italy's Institute Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare, which operates physics laboratories throughout the country. Headquartered in Rome.

ITRP International Technology Recommendation Panel

IUPAPInternational Union for Pure and Applied Physics.

IUPAP-C11: Commission on Particles and Fields.

KET Komitee für ElementarTeilchenphysik, the respresentation of the German particle physicists.

LCRD: Linear Collider Research and Development
Working Group, U.S. Department of Energy.

NSF: National Science Foundation. Funds university physics research, physics experiments and projects, and an HEP lab at Cornell University.

OSTP: Office of Science and Technology Policy. Advises the President.

PRL: Physical Review Letters, the main journal of the APS.

SAGENAP: Scientific Assessment Group for Experiments in Non-Accelerator Physics. Advisory to DOE.

SC: DOE's Office of Science

SPIRES: Stanford Public Information REtrieval System. Online gold mine of physics information.

UCLC: University Consortium for Linear Collider
R&D, U.S. National Science Foundation.

URA: Universities Research Association. Contracts with DOE to run Fermilab

YPP Young Particle Physicists


Other Acronym Resources

SLACspeak - SLAC's glossary of high-energy physics acronyms