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What in the world is happening in this photo? The person pictured here is an Oak Ridge National Laboratory technician, making adjustments to a particle accelerator, part of the Holifield Heavy Ion Research Facility (HHIRF) in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. This photo was taken in January 1987. HHIRF’s last experimental run was in 1992, but during its decade of operation, it set the stage for a wide range of scientific research experiments at Oak Ridge National Lab. By accelerating intense beams of light ions to strike a target, the facility creates short-lived, radioactive nuclei that are used for astrophysics research. Fun fact: The nuclei exist for just about one-billionth of a second. | Photo courtesy of Oak Ridge National Laboratory.