Fermilab scientist Robert Ainsworth has won a $2.5 million Department of Energy Early Career Research Award to study different ways of ensuring stability in high-intensity proton beams. By studying how certain types of beam instabilities emerge and evolve under different conditions, his team can help sharpen scientists’ methods for correcting them or avoiding them to begin with.

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.

Our accelerator team has met all of this year’s beam delivery goals, including those for NOvA, the Short-Baseline Neutrino program, and the new Muon Campus.

Here’s an explainer on beam stability during acceleration in a radio-frequency electric field.

Scientists, engineers and technicians at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory have achieved for high-energy neutrino experiments a world record: a sustained 521-kilowatt beam generated by the Main Injector particle accelerator.

New projects bring to Fermilab new technological challenges and new solutions. One of those new technologies is the electrostatic septum made with very thin tungsten foils. Electrostatic septa are used in slow beam extraction to separate the circulating and extracted beams. At Fermilab, slow extraction has traditionally taken place as the beam is sent from the Main Injector to the Switchyard. In the standard technology, the septum plane is made as a layer of 100-micrometer tungsten wires. A challenge of the Mu2e project is slow extraction of protons with average beam power of 8 kilowatts. One of the solutions is the new design of the septum. The photo shows a mock-up for studying 25-micrometer tungsten foils under measurement with the laser scanning microscope at the Technical Division.