The Energy Department's Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility, or Jefferson Lab, was created to study nuclear physics — the most basic pieces that make up our universe.
It takes a massive machine to study the smallest particles known to man. That machine, the centerpiece of the lab's work, is the Continuous Electron Beam Accelerator Facility.
I always wonder whenever we have accounts like this, that someone eventually will get confused into wondering the difference between high energy physics and nuclear physics. For example, the Tevatron and LHC are "high energy physics" machines, while CEBAF and RHIC are "nuclear physics" machines. Most of us in physics kinda understand the energy range and even the type of studies being done in those machines that vaguely separates "nuclear" from "high energy/elementary particles". However, the general description we give to the public (see this news article, for example, doesn't have any distinguishing features that separates one from the other. I mean, saying something like:
"...created to study nuclear physics — the most basic pieces that make up our universe...."
"... a massive machine to study the smallest particles known to man... "
would be an accurate description of high energy physics endeavor as well. If I were a very astute layman, I could have easily noticed the "non-difference" and ask "OK, so how is this any different than high energy physics?"
I would have been a tremendous service to the public if news articles like this emphasize why this is specifically a "nuclear physics" facility.