These shiny, neat rows of metal boxes together make up the new Marx modulator for the Fermilab linear accelerator.
The Marx modulator replaces an older model and is the second of five that will eventually go into the Linac. The older modulators, all original to the Linac, will be removed and replaced over the next couple of years as part of the laboratory’s Proton Improvement Plan. PIP sets target hardware specifications to ensure particle beams will be reliably delivered to the lab’s experiments over the next 10 to 15 years.
Modulators generate power for accelerating cavities, hollow structures that impart energy to particle beams as the beams travel through them. Marx modulators are known for being relatively low-maintenance and reliable. They also allow for better regulation from pulse to pulse, helping reduce beam loss. The Linac Marx modulator is made of 54 cells.
Nick Gurley, pictured, is a member of the Electrical Engineering Support Group that designed and built the modulator. The R&D effort to replace the original modulators began in 2012. The hard work will result in reliable particle beams for years to come. Thanks to the Electrical Engineering Support Group and the Proton Source Department for making it possible!
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