PXIE produces first beam

The PXIE ion source produced first beam in November. The source is installed inside the aluminum box, visible in the photo, and its beam is measured by a Faraday cup covered by the plastic shield. Photo: Jerry Leibfritz, AD

The particle source for the PXIE accelerator program produced its first beam at Fermilab on Nov. 26. This begins a new phase for PXIE, one in which scientists will conduct R&D with the negative hydrogen ion beam.

Generation of first beam also marks a major milestone in the completion of the PXIE infrastructure. The PXIE ion source assembly was installed in September, and construction of the PXIE accelerator continues at the Cryomodule Test Facility building inside of a 150-foot-long concrete shielding cave.

In the PXIE program, a test accelerator will replicate the front end of a future high-intensity proton accelerator. The front end is the accelerator’s most complex subsystem, comprising novel components with parameters that have not been demonstrated anywhere in the world.

Researchers at Argonne, Berkeley, Oak Ridge and SLAC national laboratories, as well as collaborators in India, participate in PXIE, contributing R&D and major components.

This 150-foot-long cave at the Cryomodule Test Facility houses the PXIE injector. Photo: Jerry Leibfritz, AD