ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Researchers at a UAlbany lab got a major boost of federal funds. NEWS10 went underground to see how it will be put to use.

Buried deep below the ground on UAlbany’s uptown campus is the ion beam laboratory, or IBL. William Lanford, a professor of physics, Art Habrel, an engineer that has been with the lab since it was founded, and UAlbany Associate VP For Research Satyendra Kumar explained how it works.

You can watch the full tour in the video player above.

Analysis of samples using the ion beam can reveal its fundamental properties, which has various important, real world uses. From finding out what an artifact from the museum is made of, to improving electric car batteries, to potential new cancer therapies, the university argues this lab has the best university-based collection of high energy particle instrumentation in the world.

The new federal support of $520,000 secured by U.S. Sens. Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand will be used to modernize the IBL and add an accelerator to study the impact of solar winds on space vehicles.