High-Luminosity LHC

The U.S. Department of Energy has given the U.S. High-Luminosity Large Hadron Collider Accelerator Upgrade Project approval to move full-speed-ahead in building and delivering components for the HL-LHC, specifically, cutting-edge magnets and accelerator cavities that will enable more rapid-fire collisions at the collider. The collider upgrades will allow physicists to study particles such as the Higgs boson in greater detail and reveal rare new physics phenomena. The U.S. collaborators on the project may now move into production mode.

Later this decade, the Large Hadron Collider will be upgraded to the High-Luminosity LHC. What does “luminosity” mean in particle physics, and why measure it instead of collisions?

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.

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.

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 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.

Fermilab, Brookhaven National Laboratory and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have achieved a milestone in magnet technology. Earlier this year, their new magnet reached the highest field strength ever recorded for an accelerator focusing magnet. It will also be the first niobium-tin quadrupole magnet to operate in a particle accelerator — in this case, the future High-Luminosity Large Hadron Collider at CERN.

What if you want to capture an image of a process so fast that it looks blurry if the shutter is open for even a billionth of a second? This is the type of challenge scientists on experiments like CMS and ATLAS face as they study particle collisions at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider. An extremely fast new detector inside the CMS detector will allow physicists to get a sharper image of particle collisions.