From Fermi National Accelerator Lab: “Fermilab, international partners break ground on new state-of-the-art particle accelerator”

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FNAL Art Image by Angela Gonzales

From Fermi National Accelerator Lab , an enduring source of strength for the US contribution to scientific research world wide.

March 15, 2019
Andre Salles, Fermilab Office of Communication

With a ceremony held today, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory officially broke ground on a major new particle accelerator project that will power cutting-edge physics experiments for many decades to come.

The new 700-foot-long linear accelerator, part of the laboratory’s Proton Improvement Plan II (PIP-II), will be the first accelerator project built in the United States with significant contributions from international partners. When complete, the new machine will become the heart of the laboratory’s accelerator complex, vastly improving what is already the world’s most powerful particle beam for neutrino experiments and providing for the long-term future of Fermilab’s diverse research program.

The new PIP-II accelerator will make use of the latest superconducting technology, a key research area for Fermilab. Its flexible design will enable it to work as a new first stage for Fermilab’s chain of accelerators, powering both the laboratory’s flagship project — the international Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment (DUNE), hosted by Fermilab — and its extensive suite of on-site particle physics experiments, including searches for new particles and new forces in our universe.

On Friday, March 15, Fermilab broke ground on the PIP-II accelerator project, joined by dignitaries from the United States and international partners on the project. From left: Senator Tammy Duckworth (IL), Senator Dick Durbin (IL), Rep. Sean Casten (IL-6), Rep. Robin Kelly (IL-2), Rep. Bill Foster (IL-11), Fermilab Director Nigel Lockyer, Rep. Lauren Underwood (IL-14), Illinois Governor JB Pritzker, DOE Under Secretary for Science Paul Dabbar, PIP-II Project Director Lia Merminga, DOE Associate Director for High Energy Physics Jim Siegrist, University of Chicago President Robert Zimmer, Consul General of India Neeta Bhushan, British Consul General John Saville, Consul General of Italy Giuseppe Finocchiaro, Consul General of France Guillaume Lacroix, DOE Fermi Site Office Manager Mike Weis, DOE PIP-II Federal Project Director Adam Bihary and Consul General of Poland Piotr Janicki. Photo: Reidar Hahn

DUNE is under construction now and will be the most advanced experiment in the world studying ghostly, invisible particles called neutrinos. These particles may hold the key to cosmic mysteries that have baffled scientists for decades. The DUNE collaboration brings together more than 1,000 scientists from over 180 institutions in more than 30 countries, all with a single goal: to better understand these elusive particles and what they can tell us about the universe.

The PIP-II accelerator will enable the beam that will send trillions of neutrino particles 800 miles (1,300 kilometers) through the earth to the four-story-high DUNE detector, to be built a mile beneath the surface at the Sanford Underground Research Facility [SURF] in Lead, South Dakota. With the improved particle beam enabled by PIP-II, scientists will use the DUNE detector to capture the most vivid 3-D images of neutrino interactions ever seen.

Shortly after breaking ground on the PIP-II accelerator project on Friday, March 15, Fermilab employees were joined by the governor of Illinois, six members of Congress and partners from around the world in this group photo. Photo: Reidar Hahn

PIP-II is itself a groundbreaking scientific instrument, and its construction is pioneering a new paradigm for accelerator projects supported by DOE. The accelerator would not be possible without the contributions and world-leading expertise of partners in France, India, Italy and the UK. Scientists in each country are building components of the accelerator, to be assembled at Fermilab. This will be the first accelerator project in the United States completed using this approach.

With PIP-II at the center of the laboratory’s accelerator complex, Fermilab will remain at the forefront of particle physics research and accelerator science for the foreseeable future.

Today’s groundbreaking ceremony for the PIP-II accelerator was attended by dignitaries from around the globe. Speakers included Sen. Dick Durbin (IL), Sen. Tammy Duckworth (IL), Rep. Lauren Underwood (IL-14), Rep. Bill Foster (IL-11), Rep. Robin Kelly (IL-2), Rep. Sean Casten (IL-6), DOE Under Secretary for Science Paul Dabbar, University of Chicago President Robert Zimmer, and national and international partners in the project.

This architectural rendering shows the buildings that will house the new PIP-II accelerators. Architectural rendering: Gensler. Image: Diana Brandonisio.

See the full article here .


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Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab), located just outside Batavia, Illinois, near Chicago, is a US Department of Energy national laboratory specializing in high-energy particle physics. Fermilab is America’s premier laboratory for particle physics and accelerator research, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy. Thousands of scientists from universities and laboratories around the world
collaborate at Fermilab on experiments at the frontiers of discovery.

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