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Welcome to iThemba Laboratories for Accelerator Based Sciences (LABS)

iThemba Laboratories for Accelerator Based Science (LABS) is committed to invest in the growth and development of scientific and technical talent, with a special focus on creating opportunities for women and designated communities. iThemba LABS provides laboratories within which particle accelerators (linear accelerators and cyclotrons) are exploited as research tools to probe the nature, structure and properties of matter and materials, and to produce radioisotopes that can be used for diagnostics, imaging and therapy in nuclear medicine applications. The biggest accelerator is the 200-MeV Separated Sector Cyclotron (SSC) that is fed by two solid-pole cyclotrons used to pre-accelerate the projectiles before injection into the SSC. The cyclotron currently provides in the needs of two user communities, namely nuclear medicine and the (fundamental and applied) nuclear physics research community.
The establishment of the South African Isotope Facility (SAIF) in 2023 will signal the dawn of a new dispensation where all beam-time from the SSC will be devoted to applied and fundamental nuclear physics. In addition, iThemba LABS has two laboratories dedicated to research at the atomic scale using particle beams from a 3-MV Tandetron (Tandetron Lab) and a 6-MV Tandem accelerator. The 6-MV Tandem accelerator is located in Johannesburg and equipped with an Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS)-facility for a variety of applications such as climate, archeology, and cultural heritage to name a few.
A detailed laboratory portrait was recently published in Nuclear Physics News (See iThemba LABS Portrait). The most recent Highlights and Achievement Report (2019-2021)  provides a detailed overview of major achievement in recent years.

The Science Engagement activities are aimed at creating an awareness and appreciation of the value and contribution that science has made (and continues to make) to the development and growth of key competencies and literacies linked to the pursuit of the scientific endeavour. iThemba LABS has established the SAINTS (Southern African Institute of Nuclear Technology and Sciences) as an umbrella to coordinate all science engagement and training interventions linked to its core business.

It is important to highlight that iThemba LABS is not a conventional facility when compared to other facilities of similar size across the world. With the recent history of South Africa, the landscape for research and technical skills is still in a developing phase, and the mission of iThemba LABS has education and training as one of its main areas of focus in addition to creating a unique research environment. Catering, as it does, to training of postgraduate students and young research scientists from both South Africa and the rest of the African continent, iThemba LABS presents a truly unique, cosmopolitan, and multicultural research environment.

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COVID-19 update:

iThemba LABS operations are limited under COVID-19 lockdown regulations
For any covid-19 related issues / queries please contact: