Keeping the Tevatron’s cool: A look back at electron cooling

Some members from the electron cooling team at the Wideband test facility during the final stage of research and development.

When electron cooling was implemented at Fermilab in 2005, scientists thought it could help increase the peak luminosity by a factor of 1.5 to 2.

Now, less than a decade later, it has become integral to the Tevatron’s success, leading to an increase of instantaneous initial luminosity by nearly a factor of 3.

“The successful implementation of electron cooling has had a larger effect on the initial luminosity for the Tevatron than any other single improvement,” said Accelerator Division head Roger Dixon.

Electron cooling condensed the beam to make it easier to manipulate and accelerate, but it also encouraged adjustments to the entire accelerator complex, which was optimized to work well with the new system. It provided additional cooling beyond that carried out in the Accumulator, the accelerator that collects antiprotons, to the Recycler. This enabled the Accumulator to collect antiprotons at higher rates, which translated to more collisions.

Read more

—Rhianna Wisniewski