accelerator technology

Last month, a group collaborating across four national laboratories completed the first successful tests of a superconducting coil in preparation for the future high-luminosity upgrade of the Large Hadron Collider, or HL-LHC. These tests indicate that the magnet design may be adequate for its intended use. Physicists, engineers and technicians of the U.S. LHC Accelerator Research Program (LARP) are working to produce the powerful magnets that will become part of the HL-LHC, scheduled to start up around 2025. The plan… More »

Thanks to science, we get more for less. We get more features on a newer car model, more data and information stored on a computer, and all for the same or lowered cost. That same principle applies to accelerator R&D, where improving the performance and lowering the cost can help open doors to new ideas. The Department of Energy recently named Fermilab physicist and 2013 Peoples Fellow Anna Grassellino as a recipient of the prestigious Early Career Research Award for… More »

New projects bring to Fermilab new technological challenges and new solutions. One of those new technologies is the electrostatic septum made with very thin tungsten foils. Electrostatic septa are used in slow beam extraction to separate the circulating and extracted beams. At Fermilab, slow extraction has traditionally taken place as the beam is sent from the Main Injector to the Switchyard. In the standard technology, the septum plane is made as a layer of 100-micrometer tungsten wires. A challenge of the Mu2e project is slow extraction of protons with average beam power of 8 kilowatts. One of the solutions is the new design of the septum. The photo shows a mock-up for studying 25-micrometer tungsten foils under measurement with the laser scanning microscope at the Technical Division.

The answer is “chopper.” This is one of two chopper schemes under development for the Project X Injector Experiment, or PXIE. Particle beams are made of series of particle packets called bunches. The chopper allows scientists to prescribe specific bunch patterns for a particle beam, dictating which bunches can remain in the beam and which have to go. As a particle beam travels down the length of the chopper, each of the rectangular plates lined up along the chopper’s axis sets up an electrostatic pulse that kicks the bunch farther and farther away from the beamline, chopping it out.

Focusing beams

This is the beam-exit end of one of two NuMI horns. The horn creates a magnetic field that focuses charged particles into a beam as they pass through it (into the plane of the picture). Some of the particles from the resulting, now-focused beam then decay into neutrinos, which travel in a straight line through the earth to a distant detector for scientists to study.

This photo shows the ground electrode of the negative-hydrogen-ion source for the Project X Injector Experiment. The source, manufactured by D-Pace Inc. and licensed from TRIUMF laboratory in Vancouver, Canada, will be installed next month at Fermilab’s Cryomodule Test Facility. Once operating, it will produce ionized hydrogen atoms in its plasma chamber (not shown) and extract them through the aperture (into the plane of the picture) to form particle beams.

This survey monument, located at Fermilab’s Buffalo Farm, and several similar monuments on site form a GPS surface geodetic control network established to determine the accurate position of each monument. These coordinates are then used to establish a control network for aligning dipoles, quadrupoles and other components in the laboratory’s tunnels.

August 16, 2011 — Alex Romanenko, a materials scientist at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, will receive $2.5 million from the Department of Energy’s Office of Science to expand his innovative research to develop superconducting accelerator components. These components could be applied in fields such as medicine, energy and discovery science. Romanenko was named a recipient of a DOE Early Career Research Program award for his research on the properties of superconducting radio frequency cavities made of niobium metal. The prestigious… More »