accelerator technology

Fermilab scientists have broken their own world record for an accelerator magnet. In June, their demonstrator steering dipole magnet achieved a 14.5-tesla field, surpassing the field strength of their 14.1-tesla magnet, which set a record in 2019. This magnet test shows that scientists and engineers can address the demanding requirements for a future particle collider under discussion in the particle physics community.

From Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, June 17, 2020: While COVID-19 risks had led to a temporary halt in fabrication work on high-power superconducting magnets built by a collaboration of three national labs for an upgrade of the world’s largest particle collider at CERN in Europe, researchers at Berkeley Lab are still carrying out some project tasks. Fermilab scientist Giorgio Apollinari, head of the U.S.-based magnet effort for the HL-LHC, is quoted in this piece.

Fermilab is currently upgrading its accelerator complex to produce the world’s most powerful beam of high-energy neutrinos. To generate these particles, the accelerators will send an intense beam of protons traveling near the speed of light through a maze of particle accelerator components before passing through metallic “windows” and colliding with a stationary target. Researchers are testing the endurance of windows made of a titanium alloy, exposing samples to high-intensity proton beams to see how well the material will perform.

From Semiconductor Engineering, April 6, 2020: Fermilab, Brookhaven National Laboratory and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have built an enormous superconducting magnet — one of 16 — that will be used in the High-Luminosity Large Hadron Collider particle accelerator project at CERN in Europe.

From Physics Today, April 1, 2020: Fermilab scientist Vladimir Shiltsev provides a rundown of the advances that the particle accelerator community has made in increasing beam energy, power, luminosity and brilliance and summarizes the breakthroughs and discoveries that lie ahead for the field of beam physics.

Missing March Madness? Let Fermilab fill a small part of the void created in these times of social distancing and shelter-in-place. Participate in Fermilab’s sendup of the NCAA tournament: March Magnets. Learn about eight different types of magnets used in particle physics, each with an example from a project or experiment in which Fermilab is a player. Then head over to the Fermilab Twitter feed on March 30 to participate in our March Magnets playoffs.

From CERN Courier, March 23, 2020: A quadrupole magnet for the High-Luminosity LHC has been tested successfully in the U.S., attaining a conductor peak field of 11.4 tesla — a record for a focusing magnet ready for installation in an accelerator. The device is based on the superconductor niobium-tin and is one of several quadrupoles being built by U.S. labs and CERN for the HL-LHC, where they will squeeze the proton beams more tightly within the ATLAS and CMS experiments to produce a higher luminosity.

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.