ALICE particle accelerator achieves energy recovery

Dec 15, 2008
HRH The Duke of Kent visits ALICE at STFC Daresbury Laboratory
HRH The Duke of Kent visits ALICE at STFC Daresbury Laboratory.

(PhysOrg.com) -- UK scientists have successfully demonstrated energy recovery on the ALICE advanced particle accelerator design, potentially paving the way for new accelerators using a fraction of the energy required under conventional methods.

At 2am on 13 December, ALICE's superconducting linear accelerator accelerated electrons to 99.9% of the speed of light, creating a beam with a total energy of 11 million electron volts.

This was the first time the ALICE beam had been successfully transported around the entire circuit.

ALICE is operated by the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) at its Daresbury Laboratory in Cheshire. It is a world-class R&D prototype designed to open the way for advances in a broad range of exciting accelerator science applications.

ALICE is the first accelerator in Europe to use the energy recovery process which captures and re-uses the initial beam energy after each circuit. At the end of the circuit, rather than throwing out the used beam of high-energy electrons, its energy is extracted for continued use before being safely discarded at an extremely low energy.

Susan Smith, Head of the Accelerator Physics Group at STFC Daresbury Laboratory said: "Energy recovery means a massive saving of power or alternatively, for the same power usage, light sources and colliders of unprecedented power and intensity. The ALICE team have been working tremendously hard to demonstrate energy recovery and when we did this in the small hours of Saturday morning, it felt like Christmas had come early."

Dr Smith said the milestone was important but more work was required to fully validate the design.

"We have proven energy recovery, but not yet quantified it. Once fully commissioned ALICE will accelerate to 35 million volts, electrons will be sent round the accelerator at 99.99% of the speed of light and 99.9% of the power at the final accelerator stage will be recovered, making the power sources for the acceleration drastically smaller and cheaper and therefore economically viable," she said.

Professor Keith Mason, Chief Executive of STFC, said: "This is an impressive and significant step forward for ALICE. In itself, the concept of energy recovery is not new, but the application of this technique in combination with advanced accelerator technologies, such as super-conducting cavities, has exciting prospects for the future of next generation light sources and particle colliders."

ALICE is an acronym standing for Accelerators and Lasers In Combined Experiments.

Provided by Science and Technology Facilities Council

Explore further: Short circuit delays particle hunter machine restart

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

CERN's two-year shutdown drawing to a close

Feb 13, 2015

It's almost two years to the day since the team in the CERN Control Centre switched off the beams in the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at 7.24am on 14 February 2013, marking the end of the accelerator's first ...

Large Hadron Collider produces first physics results

Dec 15, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- The first paper on proton collisions in the CERN Large Hadron Collider (LHC) - designed to provide the highest energy ever explored with particle accelerators - is published online this week ...

CERN's Large Hadron Collider gears up for run two

Dec 12, 2014

CERN announced today at the 174th session of the CERN Council that the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is gearing up for its second three-year run. The LHC is the largest and most powerful particle accelerator ...

A closer look at the perfect fluid

Oct 02, 2014

By combining data from two high-energy accelerators, nuclear scientists have refined the measurement of a remarkable property of exotic matter known as quark-gluon plasma. The findings reveal new aspects ...

Recommended for you

Fluctuation X-ray scattering

17 hours ago

In biology, materials science and the energy sciences, structural information provides important insights into the understanding of matter. The link between a structure and its properties can suggest new ...

Hydrodynamics approaches to granular matter

19 hours ago

Sand, rocks, grains, salt or sugar are what physicists call granular media. A better understanding of granular media is important - particularly when mixed with water and air, as it forms the foundations of houses and off-shore ...

Behind the dogmas of good old hydrodynamics

21 hours ago

A new theory, which gives insights into the transport of liquid flowing along the surface under an applied electric field, was developed by a group of Russian scientists lead by Olga Vinogradova who is a ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.