Beam back in Main Injector

Beam circulated through the Main Injector on Tuesday for the first time since April 2012. Photo: Reidar Hahn

On Tuesday, protons circulated around the Main Injector accelerator for the first time since the Fermilab accelerator complex shut down for upgrades in April 2012. The running of beam in the Main Injector marks the beginning of the commissioning period for the upgraded machine. Soon it will send its first particles to a few experiments to test beam delivery systems.

Congratulations to the thousand-plus people across the laboratory who contributed to reaching this milestone. This fall, Fermilab will celebrate the restart of the accelerator complex and mark the beginning of a new era of research at the laboratory.

Accelerator experts still need to integrate and commission the revamped Recycler storage ring, which will eventually pave the way to higher beam intensities in the Main Injector. Fermilab also will continue to make upgrades to the Booster over the next two to three years. This work is part of the laboratory’s Proton Improvement Plan.

The Main Injector is the final stage of acceleration in the Fermilab accelerator complex. Particles begin their journey through the accelerator complex in the new RFQ proton source, then travel through the Linac, circulate through the renewed Booster and finally speed around the Main Injector. Along the way, the Linac, Booster and Main Injector provide particle beams to numerous experiments and R&D projects on the Fermilab site.