From CERN, Jan. 26, 2021: This week marks the 50th anniversary of the first proton collisions in CERN’s Intersecting Storage Rings, the first hadron collider ever built. To celebrate, see hadron colliders of the last half-century — including the Tevatron and the Large Hadron Collider — through a historical lens, with an eye toward the quest for high luminosity and new energy frontiers.
Test beams generally sit to the side of full-on accelerators, sipping beam and passing it to the reconfigurable spaces housing temporary experiments. Scientists bring pieces of their detectors — sensors, chips, electronics or other material — and blast them with the well-understood beam to see if things work how they expect, and if their software performs as expected. Before a detector component can head to its forever home, it has to pass the test.