accelerator technology

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.

Sam Posen is a Fermilab associate scientist who is improving particle accelerator technology, focusing on ways to make superconducting radio-frequency accelerating cavities more efficient. One way is through the use of new materials such as niobium-tin. When he’s not experimenting with new ways to coat cavities, Posen enjoys breaking out of escape rooms, playing complex board games and planning his upcoming wedding.

In electrospinning, a positive charge is applied to liquidized material to create thin strands that eventually harden into a solid, fibrous material. Photo: Reidar Hahn

Fermilab scientists are preparing for future, high-power particle beams with a technological advance inspired by spinning sugar. It’s a new type of target — the material that beams collide with to produce other particles, such as neutrinos. The target is designed to be able to withstand the heat from high-intensity beams, expanding the potential of experiments that use them. Researching this new patent-pending technology already has led to a TechConnect Innovation Award and might have applications in the medical field.

Scientist Jean-Paul Carneiro and collaborators in France are setting the stage for one of the world’s first autonomous particle accelerators. They will incorporate the world’s leading code for computing the dynamics of particle beams into a Fermilab prototype. Funding is provided through the FACCTS program, which fosters productive partnerships between Chicago-based and French researchers.

On Friday, March 15, Fermilab broke ground on the PIP-II accelerator project, joined by dignitaries from the United States and international partners on the project. From left: Senator Tammy Duckworth (IL), Senator Dick Durbin (IL), Rep. Sean Casten (IL-6), Rep. Robin Kelly (IL-2), Rep. Bill Foster (IL-11), Fermilab Director Nigel Lockyer, Rep. Lauren Underwood (IL-14), Illinois Governor JB Pritzker, DOE Under Secretary for Science Paul Dabbar, Fermilab PIP-II Project Director Lia Merminga, DOE Associate Director for High Energy Physics Jim Siegrist, University of Chicago President Robert Zimmer, Consul General of India Neeta Bhushan, British Consul General John Saville, Consul General of Italy Giuseppe Finocchiaro, Consul General of France Guillaume Lacroix, DOE Fermi Site Office Manager Mike Weis, DOE PIP-II Federal Project Director Adam Bihary and Consul General of Poland Piotr Janicki. Photo: Reidar Hahn

On March 15, Fermilab broke ground on PIP-II, a major new particle accelerator project at Fermilab. Dignitaries from the United States and international partners celebrated the start of the project at the groundbreaking ceremony. The PIP-II accelerator will power the long-term future of the laboratory’s research program, including the international Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment and a suite of on-site experiments.

What if you could accelerate particles to higher energies in only a few meters? This is the alluring potential of an up-and-coming technology called plasma wakefield acceleration. Scientists around the world are testing ways to further boost the power of particle accelerators while drastically shrinking their size.

In this 12-minute video, Fermilab scientist Don Lincoln discusses the PIP-II project, a significant upgrade to Fermilab’s accelerator complex. With PIP-II, Fermilab enable the laboratory to continue to be a world leader in particle physics for decades to come.

On Wednesday, March 13, members of the Accelerator Division will hold their annual Hackathon. The day-long event allows individuals and groups to pursue ideas that daily schedules do not typically allow time to address. The following day, Thursday, March 14, the entire laboratory is invited to the lab’s first Hack-n-Doodle. OPTT will accept inventions drawn or written on napkins as official invention disclosures and potential technologies for patenting.

Fermilab engineers and technicians stand by a magnet coil made for the High-Luminosity LHC. Photo: Reidar Hahn

The U.S. Department of Energy has approved the scope, cost and schedule for the U.S. LHC Accelerator Upgrade Project and has given the first approval for the purchase of materials. This project brings together scientists, engineers and technicians from national laboratories — such as Fermilab, Brookhaven, Berkeley, SLAC and Jefferson labs — to develop two cutting-edge technologies to advance the future of both the Large Hadron Collider and broader collider research.