Experimental HALLS 


There are three distinct experimental facilities made possible by ISAC II’s superconducting linear accelerator. Visit Featured Media for unique virtual access to facilities in this research hall. 


ISAC Charged Particle Reaction Spectroscopy Station (IRIS) gives physicists a unique view of the strong force and unusual transformations in nuclear structure when nuclei are pushed to their limits.

  • IRIS leverages ISAC II’s ability to produce extreme, short-lived isotopes to induce nuclear reactions using a solid hydrogen target
  • This experiment enables researchers to construct an unparalleled image of nuclear structure at the extreme, particularly for valence nucleons – those furthest from the nuclear core


A superconductor is a material that can conduct electricity with zero resistance. Most superconducting materials must be in an extremely low energy state (very cold) to become superconductive


The dense cores of atoms, which are made of protons and neutrons (with the exception of hydrogen)

Valence Electrons

Electrons in the outermost shell of an atom that can participate in the formation of chemical bonds with other atom

The Electromagnetic Mass Analyzer (EMMA) is a recoil detector in nuclear structure reactions, and a core part of TRIUMF’s nuclear astrophysics program.

  • EMMA excels at sifting, sorting, and detecting the recoils from a trio of nuclear reactions that take place in exploding stars, making the facility an ideal star simulator
  • It acts as a testing ground for studying the nuclear reactions in exotic, high-energy cosmic events, such as the X-ray bursts that occur within neutron stars

TRIUMF-ISAC Gamma Ray Suppressed Spectrometer (TIGRESS) is an in-beam gamma ray spectrometer, which has enabled a new era of high-precision nuclear structure experiments with rare isotopes.

  • TIGRESS is particularly powerful at enabling TRIUMF scientists to study how the number of neutrons and protons in a nucleus determines its shape
  • It fuels our understanding around how collective nuclear identity emerges from the basic interaction between protons and neutrons, and in turn, how this influences heavy element formation in stars


A subatomic particle that carries a positive electrical charge; also the atomic nucleus of hydrogen


A subatomic particle that carries no electric charge; neutrons join with protons to create the nuclei of all atoms.

Heavy Elements

The informal name for all elements with 93 or more protons in their nucleus, some of which can be produced artificially as part of accelerator-based experiments

Learn more about TRIUMF research teams and tools on our Strategic Five Year Plan website.