July 15, 2013
Quadrupole Magnet Test Puts Large Hadron Collider On Track For Upgrade
Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online
Scientists have successfully tested a powerful new magnet that will be playing a big role in developing a new beam for CERN's Large Hadron Collider (LHC).
Researchers collaborated to build a powerful superconducting quadrupole magnet to increase LHC luminosity by an order of magnitude. This new system will help the LHC produce 10 times more high-energy collisions than it was originally designed for.
The HQ02a is the latest in the LHC Accelerator Program's (LARP) series of High Field Quadrupole magnets with cables of the brittle but high-performance superconductor niobium tin (Nb3Sn). This magnet is able to operate at a higher magnetic field than the final-focus quadrupoles currently operating at the LHC.
According to a recent statement, this new magnet tested at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab) was able to achieve all of its objectives.
"Congratulation to all the LARP team for this brilliant result," said Lucio Rossi, leader of the High Luminosity LHC project at CERN. "The steady progress by LARP and the other DOE supported programs clearly shows the benefits of long-term investments to make serious advances in accelerator technology."
Eric Prebys of Fermilab, who has served as director of LARP for the last five years, said that this magnet marks the end of the research and development phase and the beginning of focused development of the magnets that will be installed for the LHC luminosity upgrade.
"However, the implications go well beyond that, in that it establishes high performance niobium tin as a powerful superconductor for use in accelerator magnets. This success is a tribute to the skill, hard work, and collaborative spirit of all of the people involved."
The LHC was able to help scientists finally discover the Higgs boson particle last year, but precise measurements of the God particle have yet to be done. LARP hopes to support CERN's plan to replace the current focusing magnets in about 10 years as part of the High Luminosity LHC project, which will in turn lead to more precise measurements of the Higgs boson particle.
"The desired performance characteristics were clearly demonstrated by the test recently completed at Fermilab," says Berkeley Lab's GianLuca Sabbi, who directed the HQ02 development. "The magnet quickly achieved its design field gradient with low sensitivity to ramp-rate effects. This result was made possible by the expertise and dedication of many scientists, engineers, and technicians at all the collaborating laboratories."
The scientists said HQ02a's performance has reaffirmed the key design elements for focusing magnets that will meet the needs of CERN's High Luminosity upgrade.
"This is a major step forward in reaching our ultimate goals," said Bruce Strauss, LARP program manager at DOE's Office of Science. "It should not be regarded as a single accomplishment but rather the realization of a significant number of individual goals in the design, construction, and testing of Nb3Sn beam-line magnets."