CERN discovers beam killer resonance after 20 years

CERN discovers beam killer resonance after 20 years

CERN discovers beam killer resonance after 20 years

Particle accelerators produce and accelerate beams of charged particles, such as electrons, protons, and ions which can be linear or circular, of different sizes. In high-intensity circular particle accelerators, resonances can be an inconvenience, causing particles to fly off their course and resulting in beam loss.

Scientists at the Super Proton Synchrotron (SPS), in collaboration with scientists at GSI in Darmstadt, have been able to experimentally prove the existence of a particular resonance structure. 

While it had previously been theorized and appeared in simulations, this structure is very difficult to study experimentally as it affects particles in a four-dimensional space.

The latest results will help to improve the beam quality for low-energy and high-brightness beams for the LHC injectors at CERN and the SIS18/SIS100 facility at GSI, as well as for high-energy beams with large luminosity, such as the LHC and future high-energy colliders.

The search for the cause

The idea to look for the cause of this emerged in 2002, when scientists at GSI and CERN realized that particle losses increased as accelerators pushed for higher beam intensity.

Predicting how resonances and non-linear phenomena affect particle beams requires some very complex dynamics to be disentangled. This led to scientists at SPS collaborating with their counterparts at GSI in Darmstadt.

“The collaboration came from the need to understand what was limiting these machines so that we could deliver the beam performance and intensity needed for the future,” said Hannes Bartosik, a scientist at CERN and one of the authors of the paper.

How was it identified?

To measure how resonances affect particle motion, the scientists used beam position monitors around the SPS. Over approximately 3,000 beam passages, the monitors measured whether the particles in the beam were centered or more to one side, in both the horizontal and vertical planes.

Frank Schmidt from CERN, one of the paper’s authors, explained it required an enormous simulation effort by large accelerator teams to understand the effect of the resonances on beam stability.

Giuliano Franchetti, a scientist at GSI and one of the paper’s authors said that with these resonances, what happens is that particles don’t follow exactly the path they want and then fly away and get lost. “This causes beam degradation and makes it difficult to reach the required beam parameters,” he says.

How will the findings help research in various fields?

Particle accelerators play an important role in research in various fields; for example in medicine for different purposes from sterilizing medical equipment, or in destroying cancer cells, environmental monitoring, or aerospace technologies.

“What makes our recent finding so special is that it shows how individual particles behave in a coupled resonance,” says Bartosik.  It is important to say that the existence of the coupled resonance structures has now been observed experimentally, in other words much more remains to be done. 

“We’re developing a theory to describe how particles move in the presence of these resonances,” said Franchetti.  By combining this study with previous ones they expressed the hope that they will get clues on how to avoid or minimize the effects of these resonances for both current and future accelerators.

Source: Interesting Engineering

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CERN discovers beam killer resonance after 20 years

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