Nuclear physicists have wanted an accelerator like CEBAF for more than a decade, ever since particle physicists discovered quarks--the pieces that make up protons and neutrons--and gluons, the particles that hold quarks together.
Although it is to be more powerful than most nuclear physics accelerators, CEBAF is to be much gentler than the giant atom-smashers used in particle physics, because nuclear physicists plan to study quarks more delicately.
The premier feature of CEBAF is to be its powerful yet continuous flow of electrons.
CEBAF is to have a capacity of up to 4 GeV, plus the potential of being upgraded to about four times that power if scientists eventually see the need.
Instead of a traditional copper accelerator cavity, CEBAF is to have a niobium cavity that is kept chilled to --455|F, just a few degrees above absolute zero.
CEBAF is expected to be "unique in the world' and to allow the United States to maintain "leadership in basic nuclear research,' Alvin W.
DOE has asked Congress to appropriate $25 million in the 1987 budget to begin building CEBAF next year.
It wouldn't be the first time CEBAF has run into hurdles in Congress.
In contrast to atom splitting associated with nuclear energy, the CEBAF sends electrons into a target nucleus to scatter individual protons and neutrons, plus smaller, paired particles called quarks.
A CEBAF beam of electrons into a target nucleus nets vast amounts of data, from which scientists look for patterns.
CEBAF comprises an elongated loop of electron beam conduits called cryomodules.
Caption: CEBAF, SHMS, DETECTOR SCHEMATICS: Jefferson Lab