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Successful Test of New U.S. Magnet Puts Large Hadron Collider on Track for Major Upgrade

Berkeley Lab scientists played a major role in the development of a powerful superconducting quadrupole magnet, made from high performance niobium tin, that will be central to a major upgrade planned for CERN’s Large Hadron Collider (LHC). The magnet, dubbed HQ02a, was built and successfully tested through the U.S. LHC Accelerator Program (LARP).

APEX: Superior Beams at a Million Pulses per Second

APEX: Superior Beams at a Million Pulses per Second

Does Antimatter Fall Up or Down?

Theory and observations support the view that antimatter experiences gravity just as ordinary matter does, but the evidence so far has been indirect. Indeed, some theorists speculate that antimatter is antigravitational, that it may fall “up” instead of “down.” Led by Berkeley Lab physicists, the ALPHA Collaboration at CERN has made direct measurements of the gravitational mass of atoms of antihydrogen, testing how they fall and in what direction.

Six Berkeley Lab Scientists Are 2012 APS Fellows

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John Byrd, Derun Li, David Robin, and Carl Schroeder of the Accelerator and Fusion Research Division, Zoltan Ligeti of the Physics Division, and Howard Padmore of the Advanced Light Source are 2012 Fellows of the American Physical Society.

Two Berkeley Lab Scientists Named AAAS Fellows

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Susan Celniker of Berkeley Lab’s Life Sciences Division and Wim Leemans of the Accelerator and Fusion Research Division have been named 2012 Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

Measuring Table-Top Accelerators’ State-of-the-Art Beams

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“Slicing through the electron beam” is the second installment of a two-part feature about new techniques to test beam quality in laser plasma accelerators, including the metric known as slice-energy spread. As Berkeley Lab accelerator scientists meet the challenges of measuring extraordinarily short pulses in a complex environment, the approaching advent of the one-meter-long, 10-billion-electron-volt Berkeley Lab Laser Accelerator (BELLA) brings the promise of “table-top accelerators” closer to realization.

State-of-the-Art Beams From Table-Top Accelerators

LOASIS has produced well-formed electron beams with energies up to a billion electron volts in laser plasma accelerators just 3.3 centimeters long. A typical laser set-up is shown above, with the billion-electron-volt accelerating module in the inset. Below, a laser wakefield accelerates a pulse of electrons (bright yellow and green) in this computer simulation by Cameron Geddes. (Photos Roy Kaltschmidt, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.)

“Emittance” is the first subject in a two-part feature about novel methods devised by Berkeley Lab scientists to test the quality of hard-to-assess beams from laser plasma accelerators. These table-top accelerators propel electron pulses to high energies within a few centimeters, promising far less expensive future accelerators with far less environmental impact than today’s conventional machines.

BELLA Laser Achieves World Record Power at One Pulse Per Second

The BELLA laser under construction. In the foreground, units of the front end stretch and amplify short, relatively weak laser pulses before further amplification in the long central chamber. Amplification is done by titanium sapphire crystals boosted by a dozen pump lasers. At the far end of the hall the now highly energetic stretched pulse is compressed before being directed to BELLA’s electron-beam accelerator component. (Photo Roy Kaltschmidt, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory)

The laser system for BELLA, the Berkeley Lab Laser Accelerator, recently delivered a petawatt of power – a quadrillion watts – in a pulse just 40 femtoseconds long – a quadrillionth of a second — at a rate of one pulse per second. No other laser system has achieved this peak power at this rapid pulse rate. BELLA’s laser should soon be driving electron beams to 10-billion-electron-volt energies in an accelerator just one meter long.

A New Accelerator to Study Steps on the Path to Fusion

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Berkeley Lab’s NDCX-II, the recently completed second generation Neutralized Drift Compression Experiment, is a compact accelerator whose dense ion beam will be able to deliver a powerful punch for producing warm dense matter – a step on the road to heavy-ion nuclear fusion. Research with NDCX-II will make advances in the acceleration, compression, and focusing of intense ion beams to inform and guide this promising approach to fusion energy power production.

APEX: At the Forefront of What’s Needed for the Next Generation of Light Sources

With its cables and wires and wave-guides and cables, APEX is a snug fit in the Beam Test Facility at the Advanced Light Source. (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory photo by Roy Kaltschmidt)

An extraordinary “front end” for the next generation of light sources is taking shape at Berkeley Lab’s Beam Test Facility. APEX, an electron gun that will produce a continuous beam of tight electron bunches at the unprecedented repetition rate of a million bunches a second, is well on the way to becoming the must-have source for superconducting linear accelerators to power future free electron lasers.