Particle Accelerators (ACC)

particle accelerator propels charged particles, such as protons or electrons, close to the speed of light. They are then smashed either onto a target or against other particles circulating in the opposite direction. By studying these collisions, physicists are able to probe the world of the infinitely small.

How does an accelerator work?

Accelerators use electromagnetic fields to accelerate and steer particles. Radiofrequency cavities boost the particle beams, while magnets focus the beams and bend their trajectory. In a circular accelerator, the particles repeat the same circuit for as long as necessary, getting an energy boost at each turn. In theory, the energy could be increased over and over again. However, the more energy the particles have, the more powerful the magnetic fields have to be to keep them in their circular orbit. A linear accelerator, on the contrary, is exclusively formed of accelerating structures since the particles do not need to be deflected, but they only benefit from a single acceleration pass. In this case, increasing the energy means increasing the length of the accelerator.

Superconducting magnets masterclass: an opportunity born from adverse times

Against the challenges of the first wave of the pandemic, from May to October 2020, CERN's MSC group organised a masterclass on the design of superconducting magnets for particle colliders.

Issue 35
26 January, 2021

New schedule for CERN’s accelerators and experiments

The schedule for the current long shutdown (LS2) has had to be modified due to the COVID-19 pandemic

Issue 35
27 November, 2020

LS2 Report: Review of a rather unusual year

COVID-19 has undoubtedly had an impact on the activities and schedule of LS2. Nevertheless, the accelerators are now starting up again

Issue 35
14 December, 2020

First beam inside the upgraded HIE-ISOLDE facility

Upgrades and repairs of the HIE-ISOLDE linear accelerator will enable experiments to delve deeper than ever into the physics of radioactive isotopes

Issue 35
10 November, 2020

Acceleration of relativistic beams using laser-generated terahertz pulses

Laser-driven electron accelerator operating at terahertz frequencies.

Issue 34
21 October, 2020

The Virtual International Linac2020 Conference

World’s linear accelerator community got together in online event to discuss latest research results.

Issue 34
19 October, 2020

ISOLDE scores a first with laser spectroscopy of short-lived radioactive molecules

The result represents an essential step towards using these molecules for fundamental physics research and beyond.

Issue 33
15 July, 2020

Synchrotron radiation imaging at 200 miles

Experts from the University of Liverpool and Diamond Light Source have taken a step further and conducted a series of remote access beam measurements.

Issue 33
15 July, 2020

International School on Precision Studies for the AVA Network

The latest training, a week-long School on Precision Studies, was organised to take place in Prague (Czech Republic) at the end of March 2020.

Issue 33
13 July, 2020

LS2 Report: All interconnections in the LHC have been closed

The DISMAC project is coming to an end: the last of the 1232 interconnections was closed in August and the cool-down of the machine will now begin

Issue 34
16 September, 2020