Main Injector reaches 700-kilowatt beam power

The Main Injector recently demonstrated that it could generated a 700-kilowatt beam. Image courtesy of David Capista

The Main Injector recently demonstrated that it could generated a 700-kilowatt beam. Image courtesy of David Capista

On June 13, the Fermilab Main Injector accelerator met an important milestone: It delivered a 700-kilowatt beam. The demonstration shows that the accelerator complex will be able to deliver particles at the pledged beam power in the next accelerator run.

The achievement of 700 kilowatts is the result of years of effort from the lab to deliver high-intensity proton beams for the laboratory’s neutrino and muon programs. The higher the beam’s power, the higher its intensity, and the more particles that are packed into the beam.

This increases the chances of particle interaction, something especially important for neutrinos, which interact with matter very rarely. The protons in the beam arriving from the Main Injector are smashed into a target to create neutrinos.

The Fermilab accelerator complex will be shut down for maintenance for several weeks beginning in late July. After the accelerators come back online and an initial ramp-up period, plans are to operate the accelerators to deliver 700-kilowatt beams to the lab’s various experiments.

Congratulations to all who helped realize the 700-kilowatt goal.