The Vesztergombi High Energy Laboratory (VLAB) was created by the need for competitive participation in national and international experimental particle and nuclear physics research. It aims to provide an opportunity to develop instruments related to high-energy physics, implement innovation steps, and build specific detector elements. The VLAB cooperates with several research groups, provides the development background for H2020 / Horizon Europe as well as domestically funded projects. The subunits of the laboratory are: silicon-based (semiconductor) tracking development laboratory, gas-filled tracking laboratory, data reading developments, superconducting magnet laboratory, underground laboratory (up to 30 m depth at the KFKI campus, and an external site 80 m below the surface). The infrastructure has two clean rooms (ISO6), a vacuum impregnator and winding machine for superconducting technology, the instrumentation needed for general detector development (power supplies, readout systems), and an HPGe detector is also available.
The VLAB was established in 2017 by merging the Innovative Detector Development “Momentum” research group and the semiconductor, tracking and superconducting magnet development laboratories at the Wigner Research Centre for Physics. It was named after György Vesztergombi (1943-2016), a particle physicist, the founder of Hungarian experimental research related to CERN. Today, the instrument development needs of large international collaborations in the fields of particle physics, nuclear physics, and astroparticle physics overlap to a large extent: they can be optimally served by a common research and development infrastructure. This recognition led to the creation of the VLAB, the integration of the institute laboratories that had been operating separately until then. This way, serving external partners has become more efficient and successful at the same time.
The VLAB runs a broad range of activities in experimental high energy physics, including design, development, construction, calibration, signal readout and data analysis. Besides hosting groups at Wigner RCP, the infrastructure welcomes external proposals which can be completed after scientific and financial evaluation. The infrastructure offers expert personnel help as well as practical solutions, and access to services such as professional workshop and clean room facilities, DAQ systems which are compatible with most of the existing large scale laboratories, including CERN, GSI/FAIR, ESS and JINR. The VLAB activities directly contribute to CERN CMS, ALICE, NA61 and RD51 collaborations. The superconducting magnet laboratory concentrates on the design, construction and evaluation of cutting edge configurations of specific new magnet topologies. The VLAB facilities can be used efficiently for research activities related to various Horizon Europe missions, as well as other national and international research and development projects.