The Beam Team are members of the Accelerator and Beam Physics (ABP) group. ABP is responsible for studying and understanding the different beams (proton, electron, ion etc.) for all of CERN's accelerators, including the LHC!
What does the acronym stand for?:
ABP is Accelerator and Beam Physics
The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) and other accelerators at CERN.
About your project:
We are the Beam Team, we are members of the ABP (Accelerator and Beam Physics) Group at CERN.
CERN has a Beams department. The Beams department is responsible for the beam generation, acceleration, diagnostics, controls and performance optimisation for the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) and its injector accelerators.
Within the Beams department is the Accelerator and Beam Physics (ABP) Group. ABP is responsible for studying and understanding the beam dynamics over the complete CERN Accelerator Complex (that’s all of CERN’s accelerators!) through theoretical, simulation and experimental studies. The group provides input and support for machine operations, devising settings and scenarios to optimise the machine performance. It is also responsible for working out concepts and ideas for future accelerators.
Accelerators are designed to make, accelerate, detect and dump beams of particles. In the case of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) we also collide them.
A lot of different areas of physics are invloved. These are some of the things we consider when designing an accelerator:
- Making the particles: the source. For example, we extract the protons for the LHC from hydrogen gas.
- Accelerating the particles: we use radio waves to give the particles more energy.
- Bending the beam: we use magnets to control the particle direction.
- Colliding the beam: we also use magnets to make two beams collide, another important thing is for the particles to be in vacuum, so they don’t accidentally collide with particles in the air instead.
- Detecting the particles from a collision: we mostly leave this to other teams like LHCb or CMS.
- Dumping the beam: if the beam is not going in the the direction we want, or when an experiment is over, we send the remaining particles into a big piece of dense material where the particles are absorbed (dumped).
Most of what we work on is how to improve these things for the LHC so that the decetcors (LHCb, CMS etc.) get nice smooth beams and lots of collisions inside their detectors. We are also designing the next set of accelerators at CERN.
Current project status:
The LHC has been running since 2008 and we make improvements to it every year. It collides protons every summer and it collides lead ions in the autumn. The next big improvement is to increase the luminosity; this means there will be more collisions each second in the detectors. The High-Luminsoity LHC (HL-LHC) should be ready in 2029.