Particle accelerators

Blog about particle accelerators

Crab cavities during the test (Photo courtesy M. Brice/CERN)

A ceremony held at CERN with the laying of the first stone marked the beginning of the works for the High Luminosity LHC – HiLumi LHC or simply HL-LHC – the project to strengthen LHC (Large Hadron Collider), the largest particle accelerator in the world. By 2026, the performance of the LHC will be greatly enhanced allowing to increase the number of collisions in the large experiments to be able to investigate even further the limits of physics phenomena.

ALPHA experiment facility (Photo courtesy Maximilien Brice/CERN)

An article published in the journal “Nature” describes the measurement of a spectral line of an antihydrogen atom. The ALPHA experiment at CERN, which is specifically intended to conduct experiments on anti-hydrogen to better understand antimatter’s characteristics, managed to trap an anti-atom to examine it with a laser and to establish that its spectral characteristics are identical to those of hydrogen.

Scheme of the AWAKE experiment within CERN's structure (Image courtesy CERN)

At the end of last week at CERN the first particle beam was sent through the AWAKE experiment, a test of a proof-of-concept of a new type of particle accelerator. It’s currently still under construction but when finished it will prove the possibility to build plasma accelerators in which wakefield acceleration allows to build accelerators a hundred times smaller than the current ones.

Proton collisions send showers of particles through the ATLAS detector (Image courtesy ATLAS/CERN. All rights reserved)

CERN announced that the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) successfully tested particle collisions at the highest energy level possible after its updates, 13 TeV (13 trillion electron volts). After the restart of the enormous particle accelerator took place at Easter, the energy levels were gradually increased and in Wednesday’s late night the collisions reached the maximum energy.

The ATLAS catching the particle "splashes" when one of the first beams passed through the Large Hadron Collider (Image courtesy CERN. All rights reserved)

This Easter represented for CERN the time of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) full operation restart. After the testing that began a few weeks ago, in the morning of last Sunday a proton beam has covered all 27 kilometers (about 17.7 miles) of the giant ring. After less than two hours, a second beam was sent in the opposite direction. The energy was “only” 450 GeV but it was a major event for the restart of the scientific activity.