New technologies and techniques needed for the next upgrade of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) are being tested at the Australian Synchrotron.
In 2013, the LHC will shut down for enhancements that will enable it to generate a reliable supply of Higgs-like particles.
One of CERN’s technology experts, Dr Ralph Steinhagen, has been working with synchrotron researchers in Melbourne to develop ways to increase the precision of measurements and control of particle beams at the LHC. Australian Synchrotron researchers have expertise in making highly focused particle beams.
“We broke the world record for producing the smallest, brightest, most intense beam of electrons—a billionth of a millimetre tall,” says Dr Mark Boland, principal scientist in accelerator physics at the Australian Synchrotron. “It’s all a matter of control, and we are also working on developing new technologies to make the beam as stable as we can.”
That’s of interest to CERN, says Ralph, because the characteristics of light generated at the Australian Synchrotron are in many ways very similar to the LHC. “But it’s much more accessible,” he says. “So we are trying to pioneer future beam technology in Melbourne.”
Apart from generating Higgs bosons, the Australian research is important to developing more intense and compact X-ray beams for other synchrotrons around the globe. “These so-called 4th generation sources will allow us to take movies of chemical reactions and the processes of molecular biology,” Mark says.
Photo: The Australian Synchrotron is helping CERN researchers develop better particle beams for the Large Hadron Collider.
Credit: The Australian Synchrotron
Australian Synchrotron, Mark Boland, Tel: + 61 3 8540 4299, firstname.lastname@example.org, stories.scienceinpublic.com.au/2012/synchrotron-helps-lhc-50/