Powering for a sustainable future

CERN’s transfer lines are undergoing significant renovations to make them more energy efficient while delivering high-quality beams reliably to experiments, write Konstantinos Papastergiou and Gilles Le Godec.

The TT2 transfer line carries beams from the Proton Synchrotron to the majority of CERN’s facilities
A section of the 300 m-long TT2 transfer line, which carries beams from the Proton Synchrotron to the majority of CERN’s facilities. Credit: K Papastergiou/CERN

Just over 60 years ago, physicists and engineers at CERN were hard at work trying to tune the world’s first proton synchrotron, the PS. It was the first synchrotron of its kind, employing the strong-focusing principle to produce higher-energy beams within a smaller aperture and with a lower construction cost compared to, for example, the CERN synchrocyclotron. Little could physicists in 1959 imagine the maze of technical galleries and tunnels stemming out of the PS ring not many years later.

The first significant expansion to CERN’s accelerator complex was prompted by the 1962 discovery of the muon neutrino at the competing Alternating Gradient Synchrotron at Brookhaven National Laboratory in the US. Soon afterwards, CERN embarked on an ambitious programme starting with a new east experimental area, the PS booster and the first hadron collider – the Intersecting Storage Rings (ISR). A major challenge during this expansion was transferring the beam to targets, experiments and the ISR, which required that CERN build transfer lines that could handle different particles, different extraction energy levels and various duty cycles (see “In service” figure).

Read the full article on the CERN Courier.