In a multiyear effort involving three U.S. national laboratories, researchers have successfully built and tested a powerful new focusing magnet that represents a new use for niobium-tin, a superconducting material. The eight-ton device – about as long as a semitruck trailer – set a record for the highest field strength ever recorded for an accelerator focusing magnet, and raises the standard for magnets operating in high-energy particle colliders.
The international Muon Ionization Cooling Experiment (MICE) collaboration, a U.K.-based effort that includes researchers at Berkeley Lab, has made a major step forward in the quest to create an accelerator for subatomic particles called muons.
An upgrade of the Advanced Light Source (ALS), a synchrotron at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), has passed an important milestone that will help to maintain the ALS’ world-leading capabilities. On Dec. 23 the DOE granted approval for a key funding step that will allow the project to start construction on a new inner electron storage ring known as an accumulator ring.
A team of researchers at Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley has successfully demonstrated how machine-learning tools can improve the stability of light beams’ size for science experiments at a synchrotron light source via adjustments that largely cancel out unwanted fluctuations.
This video and accompanying article highlight the decades of discoveries, achievements and progress in particle accelerator R&D at Berkeley Lab. These accelerators have enabled new explorations of the atomic nucleus; the production and discovery of new elements and isotopes, and of subatomic particles and their properties; created new types of medical imaging and treatments; and provided new insight into the nature of matter and energy, and new methods to advance industry and security, among other wide-ranging applications.
The successful test of the LCLS-II electron gun marks the culmination of a Berkeley Lab R&D effort spanning more than a decade. The gun’s design was conceived in 2006 by John W. Staples, a retired Berkeley Lab physicist, and Fernando Sannibale, a senior scientist in Berkeley Lab’s Accelerator Technology and Applied Physics Division.
A new electron gun, designed and built at Berkeley Lab to supply electrons for a next-gen X-ray laser, fired its first electrons today. The X-ray laser is part of the LCLS-II project, which is an upgrade of SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory’s Linac Coherent Light Source X-ray laser.
Combining a first laser pulse to heat up and “drill” through a plasma, and another to accelerate electrons to incredibly high energies in just tens of centimeters, scientists have nearly doubled the previous record for laser-driven particle acceleration at Berkeley Lab’s BELLA Center.
For several decades, the nuclear science community has been calling for a new type of particle collider to pursue – in the words of one report – “a new experimental quest to study the glue that binds us all.” This glue is responsible for most of the visible universe’s matter and mass. To learn about this glue, scientists are proposing a unique, high-energy collider that smashes accelerated electrons, which carry a negative charge, into charged atomic nuclei or protons, which carry a positive charge.
To help foster the broad applicability of high-intensity lasers, Berkeley Lab is a partner in a new research network called LaserNetUS. The network will provide U.S. scientists increased access to the unique high-intensity laser facilities at the Lab’s BELLA Center and at eight other institutions.