Top Ten Laboratories

Top Ten Laboratories

  1. Los Alamos National Laboratory, New Mexico, USA
    Los Alamos National Laboratory is a US Department of Energy national laboratory, managed and operated by Los Alamos National Security (LANS), located in Los Alamos, New Mexico. The laboratory is one of the largest science and technology institutions in the world and conducts multidisciplinary research in fields such as national security, space exploration, renewable energy, medicine, nanotechnology and supercomputing. LANL is the largest institution and the largest employer in northern New Mexico, with approximately direct 9,000 employees and around 650 contractor personnel. Additionally, there are roughly 120 employees stationed at the laboratory to provide federal oversight of LANL’s work and operations. Approximately one-third of the laboratory’s technical staff members are physicists, one quarter are engineers, one-sixth are chemists and materials scientists, and the remainder work in mathematics and computational science, biology, geo-science, as well as other disciplines. Professional scientists and students also come to Los Alamos as visitors to participate in scientific projects. The staff collaborates with universities and industry in both basic and applied research to develop resources for the future. The annual budget is approximately US$2.2 billion. Los Alamos is one of two laboratories in the US where classified work towards the design of nuclear weapons is undertaken. The other, since 1952, is Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
  2. Wright Patterson Airforce Base, USA
    Today, as in the early 1900’s, Wright-Patterson is where weapon systems of the future are conceived, tested, modified and tested again until worthy of acceptance as part of the most responsive deterrent force in the history of military aviation. Some believe Wright-Patterson to be a top-secret UFO monitoring and research station, which considering its past programs, doesn’t seem unreasonable at all.
  3. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, California, USA
    The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, located just outside Livermore, California, is a Federally Funded Research and Development Center founded by the University of California in 1952. It is primarily funded by the US Department of Energy and managed and operated by Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC, a partnership of the University of California, Bechtel, Babcock & Wilcox, URS, and Battelle Memorial Institute in affiliation with the Texas A&M University System. On October 1, 2007 LLNS assumed management of LLNL from the University of California, which had exclusively managed and operated the Laboratory since its inception 55 years before.
  4. Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Tennessee, USA
    Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is a multiprogram science and technology national laboratory managed for the US Department of Energy (DOE) by UT-Battelle. ORNL is the largest science and energy national laboratory in the Department of Energy system by acreage. ORNL is located in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, near Knoxville. ORNL’s scientific programs focus on materials, neutron science, energy, high-performance computing, systems biology and national security. ORNL partners with the state of Tennessee, universities and industries to solve challenges in energy, advanced materials, manufacturing, security and physics. The laboratory is home to several of the world’s top supercomputers including the world’s second most powerful supercomputer ranked by the TOP500, Titan and is a leading neutron science and nuclear energy research facility that includes the Spallation Neutron Source and High Flux Isotope Reactor. ORNL hosts the Titan supercomputer; the Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences, the BioEnergy Science Center, and the Consortium for Advanced Simulation of Light-Water Reactors.
    Links: Top Ten Supercomputers,,
  5. Dulce, New Mexico, USA???
           Dulce Base is an alleged secret alien underground facility under Archuleta Mesa on the Colorado-New Mexico border near the town of Dulce, New Mexico in the United States. Claims of alien activity there first arose from Albuquerque businessman Paul Bennewitz.
  6. Groom Lake (Area 51, S4, Dreamland), Nevada, USA
    Area 51, also officially known as Groom Lake or Homey Airport is a remote detachment of Edwards Air Force Base. According to the CIA, the correct names for the Area 51 facility are the Nevada Test and Training Range and Groom Lake, though the name Area 51 has been used in official CIA documentation. Other names used for the facility include Dreamland, Paradise Ranch, Home Base, Watertown Strip, and most recently Homey Airport. It is located in the southern portion of Nevada in the western US, 83 miles (133 km) north-northwest of Las Vegas. Situated at its center, on the southern shore of Groom Lake, is a large military airfield. The base’s current primary purpose is officially undetermined; however, based on historical evidence, it most likely supports development and testing of experimental aircraft and weapons systems. The intense secrecy surrounding the base has made it the frequent subject of conspiracy theories and a central component to unidentified flying object (UFO) folklore. Although the base has never been declared a secret base, all research and occurings in Area 51 are Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information (TS/SCI). In July 2013, following a FOIA request filed in 2005, the CIA publicly acknowledged the existence of the base for the first time by declassifying documents detailing the history and purpose of Area 51.
  7. Academy of Military Sciences (AMS), Bejing, China

    The Academy of Military Science(s) (AMS) is the highest-level research institute of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) of the People’s Republic of China, headquartered in Beijing, China. Its current standing director and Deputy Secretary General is Lt.General Liu Chengjun.
    Links: Top Ten Chinese Attractions,’s_Republic_of_China),
  8. Sandia, New Mexico, USA
    The Sandia National Laboratories, managed and operated by the Sandia Corporation (a subsidiary of Lockheed Martin Corporation), are two major US Department of Energy research and development national laboratories. Their primary mission is to develop, engineer, and test the non-nuclear components of nuclear weapons. The primary campus is located on Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque, New Mexico and the other is in Livermore, California, next to Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Sandia is a National Nuclear Security Administration laboratory. Sandia’s primary mission involves nuclear weapon programs, but it also conducts research and development in energy and environmental programs, as well as the surety of critical national infrastructures. In addition, Sandia is home to a wide variety of research including computational biology, mathematics (through its Computer Science Research Institute), materials science, alternative energy, psychology, MEMS, and cognitive science initiatives. Sandia formerly hosted ASCI Red, one of the world’s fastest supercomputers until its recent decommission, and now hosts ASCI Red Storm, originally known as Thor’s Hammer. Sandia is also home to the Z Machine. The Z Machine is the largest X-ray generator in the world and is designed to test materials in conditions of extreme temperature and pressure. It is operated by Sandia National Laboratories to gather data to aid in computer modeling of nuclear weapons.
  9. Skunk Works, California, USA
    Skunk Works is an official alias for Lockheed Martin’s Advanced Development Programs (ADP), formerly called Lockheed Advanced Development Projects. Skunk Works is responsible for a number of famous aircraft designs, including the U-2, the SR-71 Blackbird, the F-117 Nighthawk, and the F-22 Raptor. Currently its largest officially known project is the F-35 Lightning II, which will be used in the air forces of several countries. Production is expected to last for up to four decades. The name “Skunk Works” was taken from the moonshine factory in the comic strip “L’il Abner.” The designation “skunk works,” or “skunkworks,” is widely used in business, engineering, and technical fields to describe a group within an organization given a high degree of autonomy and unhampered by bureaucracy, tasked with working on advanced or secret projects.
  10. CERN, Switzerland
    The European Organization for Nuclear Research is an international organization whose purpose is to operate the world’s largest particle physics laboratory, which is situated in the northwest suburbs of Geneva on the Franco–Swiss border. Established in 1954, the organization has 20 European member states. The term CERN is also used to refer to the laboratory itself, which employs just under 2,400 full-time employees/workers, as well as some 7,931 scientists and engineers representing 608 universities and research facilities and 113 nationalities. CERN’s main function is to provide the particle accelerators and other infrastructure needed for high-energy physics research. Numerous experiments have been constructed at CERN by international collaborations to make use of them. It is also the birthplace of the World Wide Web. The main site at Meyrin also has a large computer center containing very powerful data-processing facilities primarily for experimental data analysis and, because of the need to make them available to researchers elsewhere, has historically been a major wide area networking hub. The CERN sites, as an international facility, are officially under neither Swiss nor French jurisdiction. Member states’ contributions to CERN for the year 2008 totaled CHF 1 billion (approximately € 664 million).
    Links: Top Ten Swiss Attractions, Top Ten French Attractions, Top 100 Statues, Top 100 Asian Sculptures,
  11. Gran Sasso National Laboratory, Italy
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    The COBRA experiment is located at the Gran Sasso National Laboratory (LNGS), which is the largest underground laboratory in the world for experiments in particle physics, particle astrophysics and nuclear astrophysics. Located in the middle of Central Italy’s largest massif, the extensive underground facilities are shielded with 1,400 m of rock and thus the cosmic ray flux is reduced by a factor of 106. Due to the smallness of the Uranium and Thorium content of the dolomite rocks of the mountain, the neutron flux is thousand times less than on surface. LNGS is located about 120 km from Rome, between the towns of L’Aquila and Teramo. The surface portion of LNGS houses support facilities, offices, conference rooms and a canteen. The underground facilities are located on a side of the 10 km long freeway tunnel crossing the Gran Sasso Mountain and are therefore easily accessible. In total 15 experiments are located in three large experimental halls, each about 100 m long, 20 m wide and 18 m high with a total volume of about 180,000 cubic metres. Besides neutrinoless double beta decay, main research topics are currently neutrino oscillations (OPERA, BOREXINO, ICARUS), dark matter (DAMA, CRESST, XENON) and proton decay (ICARUS).
    Links: Top Ten Italian Attractions, Mountains, Top Ten European Mountains,,
  12. Fermilab, Illinois, USA

           Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab), located just outside Batavia, Illinois, near Chicago, is a US Department of Energy national laboratory specializing in high-energy particle physics. As of January 1st, 2007, Fermilab is operated by the Fermi Research Alliance, a joint venture of the University of Chicago and the Universities Research Association. Fermilab is a part of the Illinois Technology and Research Corridor. Fermilab’s Tevatron is a landmark particle accelerator; at 3.9 miles (6.3 km) in circumference, it is the world’s 2nd largest energy particle accelerator, behind CERN’s Hadron Collider at 27 km in circumference. In 1995, both the CDF and DØ (detectors which utilize the Tevatron) experiments announced the discovery of the top quark. In addition to high energy collider physics, Fermilab is also host to a number of smaller fixed-target and neutrino experiments, such as MiniBooNE (Mini Booster Neutrino Experiment), SciBooNE (SciBar Booster Neutrino Experiment) and MINOS (Main Injector Neutrino Oscillation Search). The MiniBooNE detector is a 40-foot (12 m) diameter sphere which contains 800 tons of mineral oil lined with 1,520 individual phototube detectors. An estimated 1 million neutrino events are recorded each year. SciBooNE is the newest neutrino experiment at Fermilab; it sits in the same neutrino beam as MiniBooNE but has fine-grained tracking capabilities. The MINOS experiment uses Fermilab’s NuMI (Neutrinos at the Main Injector) beam, which is an intense beam of neutrinos that travels 455 miles (732 km) through the Earth to the Soudan Mine in Minnesota. In the public realm, Fermilab is host to many cultural events, not only public science lectures and symposia, but classical and contemporary music concerts, folk dancing and arts galleries. Currently the site is open to all visitors from dawn to dusk who present valid photo identification. A small herd of American bison, started at the lab’s founding, lives on the grounds symbolizing Fermilab’s presence on the frontier of physics and its connection to the American prairie. Some fearful locals believed at first that the bison were introduced in order to serve as an alarm if and when radiation at the laboratory reached dangerous levels, but they were assured by Fermilab that this claim had no merit. Asteroid 11998 Fermilab is named in honor of the laboratory.
    Links: Top Ten Asteroids,
  13. Brookhaven National Laboratory, New York, USA
    Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) is a US national laboratory located in Upton, New York on Long Island, and was formally established in 1947 at the site of Camp Upton, a former US Army base. Its name stems from its location in the greater area of the Town of Brookhaven. Although originally conceived as a nuclear research facility, its mission has greatly expanded. Its foci are now: Nuclear and high-energy physics, Physics and chemistry of materials, Environmental and energy research, Nonproliferation, Neurosciences and medical imaging, and Structural biology.
  14. University of Science and Technology, Shanghai, China

    East China University of Science and Technology, originally named East China Institute of Chemical Technology, was founded in 1952. It was the first single-subject institute in China, consolidated by the chemistry departments of National Chiaotung University, Université d’Aurora, Utopia University, Soochow University, and Yangtze University. It was designated as a national key university by the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party in 1960 and renamed to its current name in 1993. With the effort of half a century, the university has developed itself into a national key university with technology as the major subject, distinct characteristics of each subject and a coordinated development of subjects including technology, science, economics, administration, humanities and law. In May of 2012, Juan Yin, along with his team at the University of Science and Technology of China in Shanghai claims to have sent photons between two stations over a lake, separated by 97 km. To pull off this feat, Yun and friends used a 1.3 Watt laser, and a clever optic steering technique to keep the beam precisely on target. With this setup, they were able to teleport more than 1,100 photons in four hours, over a distance of 97 km.
  15. RIKEN, Japan
    RIKEN is a large natural sciences research institute in Japan. Founded in 1917, it now has approximately 3,000 scientists on seven campuses across Japan, the main one in Wako, just outside Tokyo. RIKEN is an Independent Administrative Institution whose formal name in Japanese is Rikagaku Kenkyūjo and in English is the Institute of Physical and Chemical Research. RIKEN conducts research in many areas of science, including physics, chemistry, biology, medical science, engineering and computational science, and ranging from basic research to practical applications. It is almost entirely funded by the Japanese government, and its annual budget is approximately ¥88 billion (US$760 million).
  16. Cavendish Laboratories, England

    The Cavendish Laboratory is the Department of Physics at the University of Cambridge, and is part of the university’s School of Physical Sciences. It was opened in 1874 as a teaching laboratory. The Department is named to commemorate British chemist and physicist Henry Cavendish for contributions to science and his relative William Cavendish, 7th Duke of Devonshire, who served as Chancellor of the University and donated money for the construction of the laboratory. Professor James Clerk Maxwell, the developer of electromagnetic theory, was a founder of the lab and became the first Cavendish Professor of Physics. The Duke of Devonshire had given to Maxwell, as Head of the Laboratory, the manuscripts of Henry Cavendish’s unpublished Electrical Works. The editing and publishing of these was Maxwell’s main scientific work while he was at the laboratory. Cavendish’s work aroused Maxwell’s intense admiration and he decided to call the Laboratory (formerly known as the Devonshire Laboratory) the Cavendish Laboratory and thus to commemorate both the Duke and Henry Cavendish. As of 2011, 29 Cavendish researchers have won Nobel Prizes.
  17. Artificial Intelligence Laboratory of the University of Zurich, Switzerland

    The University of Zurich, located in the city of Zurich, is the largest university in Switzerland, with over 25,000 students. It was founded in 1833 from the existing colleges of theology, law, medicine and a new faculty of philosophy. Currently, the university has faculties of arts, economics, law, medicine, science, theology and veterinary medicine. The university claims to offer the widest range of subjects and courses at any Swiss higher education institution.
    Links: Emerging Technologies, Top Ten Robots,,
  18. Sarov, Russia

    Founded in 1946 at Arzamas-16 (currently Sarov), VNIIEF was the Soviet Union’s primary nuclear weapons research and development center. Originally called KB No. 11, the Institute developed the first Soviet atomic bomb (RDS-1) in 1949. Its weapons designs also include the RDS-6S hydrogen bomb, the RDS-37 two-stage hydrogen bomb, and the AN602 Tsar Bomba. In the 1950’s, VNIIEF’s work expanded to include research on warheads for ballistic missiles, torpedoes, and strategic cruise missiles. The Institute’s weapons-related activities were carried out within its divisions dealing with theory, computations, design, and experiments. Today, VNIIEF conducts nuclear warhead design and provides stockpile support to the Russian nuclear arsenal. Its facilities are home to Russia’s most advanced supercomputers, and included among its research tools are the ISKRA laser-based inertial confinement fusion device and the BIGR pulsed reactor. The Institute also has a critical assembly and 5 operational research reactors; all of these are pulsed reactors used in weapons research that are powered by highly-enriched uranium (HEU). The Institute has a history of cooperation with foreign partners. Beginning in 1995, VNIIEF participated in the US Department of Energy’s MPC&A program, and served as the demonstration facility for DOE’s Lab-to-Lab program. Today, it conducts research projects in cooperation with laboratories in the United States (Los Alamos, Livermore, Sandia, and Oak Ridge); France (CEA/DAM); and Germany (Dresden and Karlsruhe). The Institute’s personnel are actively involved in the International Atomic Energy Agency’s International Network of Nuclear Reaction Data Centers, in the European Organization for Nuclear Research, and in the Nuclear Suppliers Group.
  19. Kapustin Yar (Капустин Яр), Russia
    Kapustin Yar (Капустин Яр) is a Russian rocket launch and development site in Astrakhan Oblast, between Volgograd and Astrakhan. Known today as Znamensk, it was established 13 May 1946 and in the beginning used technology, material and scientific support from defeated Germany, similar to what the US did in Project Paperclip. Numerous launches of test rockets for the Russian military were carried out at the site, as well as satellite and sounding rocket launches. The 4th Missile Test Range “Kapustin Yar” was established by a decree of the Soviet Government “On Questions of Jet Propelled Weapons” on 13 May 1946. The test range was created under the supervision of General-lieutenant Vasily Voznyuk (commander in chief of the test range 1946-1973) in the desert north end of the Astrakhan region. The first rocket was launched from the site on 18 October 1947; it was one of eleven German A-4s that had been captured. The State R&D Test Range No 8 (GNIIP-8, “test range S”) was established at Kapustin Yar in June 1951. Five atmospheric nuclear tests of small power (10-40 kt) were performed over the site in 1957-1961. With the further growth and development, the site became a cosmodrome, serving in this function since 1966 (with interruption in 1988-1998). The town of Znamensk was established to support the scientists working on the facilities, their families and supporting personnel. Initially this was a secret city, not to be found on maps and inaccessible to outsiders. Evidence of the importance of Kapustin Yar was obtained by Western intelligence through debriefing of returning German scientists and spy flights. The first such flight reportedly took place in mid-1953 using a high flying Canberra aircraft of the RAF. Numerous circumstantial reports suggest this flight took place, using either a Canberra B2 or a PR3, but the UK Government has never admitted such a flight took place nor have any of the supposed participants provided direct evidence. Due to its role as a development site for new technology, Kapustin Yar is also the site of numerous Soviet-era UFO sightings and has been called “Russia’s Roswell.”
    Links: Top Ten Russian Attractions,,
  20. Google X, California, USA
    Google X is a secret facility run by Google located about a half mile from the corporate headquarters Googleplex in Mountain View, California. Work at the lab is overseen by Sergey Brin, one of Google’s co-founders. Reportedly worked on at the lab is a list of 100 projects pertaining to future technologies such as a self-driving car, augmented reality glasses, internet service via balloons in the stratosphere, a neural network that uses semi-supervised learning, enabling speech recognition and extraction of objects from video, for instance detecting if a cat is in a frame of video, and the Web of Things. A number of articles have speculated as to the types of projects that are encompassed by Google X Lab as well as the motivations for such projects. Google has repeatedly denied working on a space elevator, despite repeated press claims originating with what appeared to be speculation by a third party in The New York Times in 2011. On 23 May 2013 Google X acquired Makani Power, a US company which develops tethered wings/kites with mounted wind turbines for low cost renewable energy generation.
  21. Boeing Phantom Works, USA

    The Phantom Works division is the advanced prototyping arm of the Defense and Security side of The Boeing Company. Its primary focus is developing advanced military products and technologies, many of them highly classified. Founded by McDonnell Douglas, the research and development group continued after Boeing acquired the company. Its logo was derived from the McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom combat jet.
  22. National Institute of Advanced Science and Tecnology, Japan
    The National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, or AIST, is a Japanese research facility headquartered in Tokyo, and most of the workforce is located in Tsukuba Science City, Ibaraki, and in several cities throughout Japan. The institute is managed to integrate scientific and engineering knowledge to address socio-economic needs. It became a newly designed legal body of independent administrative institution in 2001, remaining under the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.
  23. Honda’s Wako Fundamental Technical Research Center, Japan
    ASIMO, an acronym for Advanced Step in Innovative MObility, is a humanoid robot designed and developed by Honda. Introduced on 21 October 2000, ASIMO was designed to be a multi-functional mobile assistant. With aspirations of helping those who lack full mobility, ASIMO is frequently used in demonstrations across the world to encourage the study of science and mathematics. At 130 cm (4 feet, 3 inches) tall and 54 kg (119 lbs), ASIMO was designed to operate in real-world environments, with the ability to walk or run on two feet at speeds of up to 6 km per hour (3.7 mph). In the USA, ASIMO is part of the Innoventions attraction at Disneyland and has been featured in a 15-minute show called “Say ‘Hello’ to Honda’s ASIMO” since June 2005. The robot has made public appearances around the world, including the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), the Miraikan Museum and Honda Collection Hall in Japan, and the Ars Electronica festival in Austria.
  24. CSETI (Center for the Study of Extraterrestrial Intelligence), USA
    The Center for the Study of Extraterrestrial Intelligence (CSETI) is an international scientific research and education organization dedicated to the furtherance of our understanding of extraterrestrial intelligence. CSETI was founded in 1990 by Dr. Steven M. Greer, who is the International Director. CSETI’s projects include the CE-5 Initiative and the Disclosure Project.
    Links: Extraterrestrials, Extraterrestrial Civilization, Top Ten Advocates of Extraterrestrial Contact,,
  25. Tesla’s Laboratory in Colorado Springs, USA
           On 17 May 1899, Nikola Tesla moved to Colorado Springs, where he would have room for his high-voltage, high-frequency experiments. He chose the location because the polyphase alternating current power distribution system had been introduced there and he had associates who were willing to give him all the power he needed without charging for it. Tesla investigated atmospheric electricity, observing lightning signals via his receivers. Reproductions of Tesla’s receivers and coherer circuits show an unpredicted level of complexity: distributed high-Q helical resonators, radio frequency feedback, crude heterodyne effects, and regeneration techniques. He researched ways to transmit energy wirelessly over long distances (via transverse waves, to a lesser extent, and, more readily, longitudinal waves). Tesla sent electrostatic forces through natural media across a conductor situated in the changing magnetic flux and transferred electrical energy to a wireless receiver. At his lab, Tesla proved that the earth was a conductor and discovered that the resonant frequency of the earth was approximately 8 hertz (Hz). He produced artificial lightning (with discharges consisting of millions of volts and up to 135 feet long). Thunder from the released energy was heard 15 miles away in Cripple Creek, Colorado. People walking along the street observed sparks jumping between their feet and the ground. In another experiment, Tesla observed unusual signals from his receiver, which he later believed could have been extraterrestrial communications. The signals were substantially different from the signals that he had noted from storms and the earth. He later recalled that the signals appeared in groups of one, two, three, and four clicks together. Tesla had mentioned that he thought his inventions could be used to talk with other planets, though was highly criticized upon revealing his findings.
    Links: Top Ten Nikola Tesla Inventions
  26. DuPont Experimental Station, Delaware, USA

    The DuPont Experimental Station is the largest research and development facility of E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company. Located on the banks of the Brandywine Creek in Wilmington, Delaware, it is home to some of the most important discoveries of the modern chemical industry. The Experimental Station is a more recent part of the DuPont legacy and is located on the DuPont Historic Corridor.
  27. Sandoz and Novartis Laboratories, Europe and North America
           Founded in 1886, Sandoz is a subsidiary of Novartis, a multinational pharmaceutical company. The company develops, manufactures and markets generic drugs as well as pharmaceutical and biotechnological active ingredients, well known for creating the LSD compound. As of 2011, Sandoz was the world’s second largest generic drug company. Its global headquarters are in Holzkirchen, Germany, just south of Munich. Its biggest sites are Boucherville, Quebec, Broomfield, Colorado, Cambé, Kalwa, Kundl, Ljubljana, Gebze, Magdeburg, Stryków, Princeton, New Jersey, and Wilson, North Carolina. Novartis was created in 1996 from the merger of Ciba-Geigy and Sandoz Laboratories, both Swiss companies with long histories.
    Links: Top Ten Chemists, Top Ten Drug Chemists, Psychedelics, Top Ten Psychedelic Drugs, Alex Grey Paintings, Top Ten Works of LSD Art,,
  28. Links: Science, Top 100 Scientists