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TRIUMF is poised on the brink of a vast world of opportunity, both within Canada and beyond.

The frontiers of science that were so ambitiously challenged by TRIUMF’s original tri-university partnership have expanded, in part because of the lab’s achievements and over the past 50 years.

Today, we stand on the shoulders of those founding giants, reaching for new heights. Driven by a community defined by perseverance, resourcefulness and collaboration, our lab continues to push the frontiers of physics further than ever before.


We revolutionized the technology in our field. We saved lives with new methods of producing medical isotopes. We connected science to society by finding applications for newly minted isotopes. All these advancements occurred during the 49th year of our lab’s history. 365 days of discovery – a single year of innovation – in what is truly the decades-long story of TRIUMF.

These accomplishments stand as testament to our history of excellence in research, training and Canadian science. The result: a lab primed for decades more of leadership in innovation, in collaboration, and in discovery.

In the next 50 years, TRIUMF will experience a turbo-charged increase in scientific discovery and production

TRIUMF's new Advanced Rare Isotope Laboratory (ARIEL) facility, slated for completion in 2023, will bring online our newest particle accelerator – a superconducting electron linear accelerator that will work alongside our original cyclotron.

When complete, ARIEL will activate an additional two targets and target stations. Each will serve as a point of collision to create common and uncommon isotopes for research or application. ARIEL will triple TRIUMF's production capacity, which means more isotopes of different types, as well as more access and support for projects in particle and nuclear physics, life sciences, material sciences, and others – projects that will expand our horizon of understanding.

In the next 50 years, TRIUMF will become more than a physics laboratory

The completion of ARIEL will pave the way for the development of the Institute for Advanced Medical Isotopes (IAMI), a critical piece of infrastructure for Canada’s personalized medicine revolution.  


Fortified by our Life Sciences Division, IAMI will serve as a hub for nuclear medicine in Canada. In the face of potential medical isotope shortages, the Institute promises ready access to a suite of medical isotopes, while also offering commercial enterprises the space to develop new isotope-based medicines. IAMI will place TRIUMF at the forefront of exciting research in nuclear medicine, but more importantly, it promises to improve the health of patients across Canada.

In the next 50 years, TRIUMF will continue to grow as Canada’s portal to international collaborations

As Canada’s centre for particle and nuclear physics, TRIUMF will continue to be at the forefront of global particle and nuclear physics and accelerator-based science, including one of the largest, most complex experiments in human history: CERN's Large Hadron Collider (LHC). TRIUMF will support upgrades to the ATLAS experiment at the LHC, slated for completion in 2021. After this upgrade, the LHC will emerge with brand new capabilities for studying particles and forces within and without the Standard Model of Particle Physics. The ATLAS experiment, enabled in part by TRIUMF-developed particle detectors, will be listening in using cutting-edge particle detector technology to pursue answers about the laws that govern our universe.

Elsewhere in the world, TRIUMF will continue to play a critical role in exploring the mysteries that enshroud the elusive particles known as neutrinos. Some 650 metres beneath Mt. Nijuugo in Japan, Hyper-Kamiokande, a 60m tall, 74m wide, next-generation neutrino experiment, is being prepared to probe neutrino properties, essential for understanding the composition of the universe. Alongside our international collaborators, TRIUMF will provide expertise, technology, and training, contributing to the search for new subatomic phenomena that explains the origin and evolution of our universe.

In the next 50 years, TRIUMF will continue to train the scientists of tomorrow

As a top-ranking centre for Canadian particle, nuclear, and accelerator-based science, TRIUMF will continue to support scientific minds at every level in the pursuit of excellence in research and application.


In the next 50 years, TRIUMF will hire hundreds of high school students as High School Fellowship winners. Here, these leaders-in-the-making will receive hands-on experience and mentorship from our world-renowned experts in the field.


Over the same period of time, thousands of co-op students from across Canada will pass through our doors during their months-long work terms as young experimentalists, theorists, engineers, and technicians – and in the process, becoming the next generation of innovators in a rapidly-expanding field. We will continue to work with our university partners to engage students in particle, nuclear, and accelerator-based science, through a host of activities ranging from internships and employment to scientific collaborations.


In the next half-century, thousands of graduate students, Ph.D. candidates, post-doctoral fellows, staff scientists, and others will call TRIUMF home as they work on cutting-edge projects. As a centre for these leaders in the field, TRIUMF will help secure Canada’s status as a top-tier leader in innovation and research.

TRIUMF’s founders could not have precisely foretold the laboratory’s route to present day, and we cannot forecast with certainty where our next 50 years will take us, or our path along the way. However, some things are certain:

Our work to complete the flagship ARIEL facility will create a world-leading hub for isotope research, furthering the laboratory’s quest to answer enduring questions about how elements were made in the Universe.


TRIUMF’s acclaimed expertise in areas like superconducting radiofrequency cavity development, beam and target dynamics, and medical isotope research will continue to flourish and grow, and enrich our partners and collaborators across the globe.

Our researchers will continue to elucidate the once-arcane mysteries of antimatter, dark matter, and subatomic particle physics, and to describe the untold dynamics of the atomic nucleus.

Countless future commercial opportunities will be seized, each predicated on the gold standard of TRIUMF research and development 50 years in the making. 

TRIUMF will continue to grow its family of member universities, with each addition raising another unique voice in our proud chorus of knowledge, expertise, and talent.

We don’t know how far the frontiers of science will advance in the next half-century.

It’s hard to imagine that anyone knew that answer back in 1968 either, when TRIUMF was still in its infancy and keen to begin its quest to the heart of matter.

To look at TRIUMF’s journey in the last 50 years, though, is to bear witness to a passionate legacy of asking questions in pursuit of scientific excellence. It is to see clearly that our laboratory’s role in leading science and research, uniting diverse communities of global citizens, and improving the world with science will endure for decades to come.

In the next 50 years, TRIUMF will drive the frontiers of modern science for a better future

One of TRIUMF’s most important and prevailing strengths is its nimbleness in adapting to change - in science, in industry, and in society. For five decades, the laboratory has embraced opportunities that benefit and improve the lives of Canadians and global citizens. TRIUMF's journey has had twists and turns, many unexpected and challenging, were met with grace, dexterity, and a visionary ingenuity.


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