accelerator science

Accelerator magnets — how do they work? Depending on the number of poles a magnet has, it bends, shapes or shores up the stability of particle beams as they shoot at velocities close to the speed of light. Experts design magnets so they can wield the beam in just the right way to yield the physics they’re after. Here’s your primer on particle accelerator magnets.

DOE has awarded a $1.9 million grant to Northern Illinois University and the Illinois Institute of Technology for the training of next-generation workers in accelerator science and technology. The program will cover student tuition costs for two years and fund paid research assistantships at Fermilab and Argonne. Physics professors Michael Syphers and Philippe Piot, both experts in particle accelerator research and technology, are leading the effort at NIU.

Fermilab scientist Alexey Burov has discovered that accelerator scientists misinterpreted a certain collection of phenomena found in intense proton beams for decades. Researchers had misidentified these beam instabilities, assigning them to particular class when, in fact, they belong to a new type of class: convective instabilities. In a paper published this year, Burov explains the problem and proposes a more effective suppression of the unwanted beam disorder.

From University of Maryland, Oct. 17, 2019: Fermilab scientist Charles Thangaraj received the 40 under 40 Chicago Scientists award at the 2nd Annual Halo Awards on Oct. 12 at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. The Halo Awards ceremony recognizes scientists for their dedication to translating research into real-world applications that meaningfully impact people’s lives.

On Saturday, Nov. 2, and Sunday morning, Nov. 3, Fermilab will host “Precision Time-Structure in On-Axis Neutrino Beams”, a workshop on using the correlation of time-of-arrival with neutrino energy.  The workshop follows a Joint Experimental-Theoretical Physics Seminar (“Wine and Cheese”) with the same title at 4 p.m. Friday, Nov. 1. Topics to be explored include: 1) Current estimates of future precision and systematic uncertainties in DUNE, DUNE/Prism, and DUNE/Prism + precision timing; 2) Beam dynamics and RF issues in re-bunching…

From Cold Facts, Sept. 17, 2019: Scientists at Fermilabhave achieved the highest magnetic field strength ever recorded for an accelerator steering magnet, setting a world record of 14.1 teslas, with the magnet cooled to 4.5 kelvin or minus 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory held the previous record of 13.8 teslas, achieved at the same temperature, for 11 years.

Fermilab researchers have announced first results from IOTA, the lab’s newest particle accelerator. The first run, which included observations of single electrons circulating in the ring, illustrates the exciting potential of the versatile machine, both in advancing quantum science and improving accelerator beams.

Particle accelerators are some of the most complicated machines in science. In today’s more autonomous era of self-driving cars and vacuuming robots, efforts are going strong to automate different aspects of the operation of accelerators, and the next generation of particle accelerators promises to be more automated than ever. Scientists are working on ways to run them with a diminishing amount of direction from humans.

A Ph.D. student at the Illinois Institute of Technology conducting his research at Fermilab, Bafia is currently researching a method to draw maximum performance from acceleration cavities. The method, called nitrogen doping, increases superconducting radio-frequency cavity efficiency and boosts beams to higher energies over shorter distances. His work earned him the Best Student Poster Prize at the 2019 International Particle Accelerator Conference.

Recycler

In particle accelerators, the greater a beam’s intensity, the more opportunities there are to study particle interactions. One way to increase the intensity is to merge two beams with a technique called slip-stacking. However, when combining them, the beams’ interaction may cause instability. A Fermilab scientist has created a successful model of the fraught dynamics of two particle beams in close contact, leading to smoother sailing in this area of particle acceleration.