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  • richardmitnick 2:20 pm on November 29, 2016 Permalink | Reply
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    From CERN: “A new ring to slow down antimatter” 

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    28 Nov 2016
    Corinne Pralavorio
    Posted by Harriet Kim Jarlett

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    The new deceleration ring ELENA will slow down antimatter particles further than ever to improve the efficiency of experiments studying antimatter. (Image: Maximilien Brice/CERN)

    You could mistake ELENA for a miniature accelerator. But, unlike most accelerators, it’s housed in a hangar and you can take it all in in just a single glance. The biggest difference though, is that it doesn’t accelerate particles, but decelerates them.

    CERN’s brand-new machine measures just 30 metres in circumference and has just begun its first tests with beam.

    The ELENA (Extra Low ENergy Antiproton) deceleration ring will be connected to the Antiproton Decelerator (AD), which has been in service since 2000. The AD is a unique facility that enables the study of antimatter.

    Antimatter can be thought of as a mirror image of matter and it remains a mystery for physicists. For example, matter and antimatter should have been created in equal quantities at the time of the Big Bang— the event at the origin of our Universe. But antimatter seems to have disappeared from the Universe. Where it has gone is one of the many questions physicists are trying to solve with the AD machine.

    The 182-metre-circumference ring decelerates antiprotons (the anti-particles of protons) to 5.3 MeV, the lowest energy possible in a machine of this size. The antiprotons are then sent to experiments where they are studied or used to produce atoms of antimatter. The slower the antiprotons (i.e. the less energy they have), the easier it is for the experiments to study or manipulate them.

    And this is where ELENA comes in. Coupled with the AD, this small ring will slow the antiprotons down even further, reducing their energy by a factor of 50, from 5.3 MeV to just 0.1 MeV. In addition, the density of the beams will be improved. The experiments will be able to trap 10 to 100 times more antiprotons, improving efficiency and paving the way for new studies.

    Decelerating beams is just as complicated as accelerating them. The slower the particles, the harder it is to control their trajectories. At low energy, beams are more sensitive to outside interference, such as the earth’s magnetic field. ELENA is therefore equipped with magnets that are optimised to operate with very weak fields. An electron cooling system concentrates and decelerates the beams.

    Now that the components of the new decelerator have been installed, the teams have begun the first tests with beam.

    “After five years of development and construction, this is a very important stage. We are going to continue the tests over the coming weeks to see if everything is working as planned,” explains Christian Carli, ELENA project leader. “GBAR, the first experiment to be connected to ELENA, should receive its first antiprotons in 2017.”

    The other experiments will be connected during the second long shutdown of CERN’s accelerators in 2019-2020. ELENA will supply antiprotons to four experiments in parallel.

    Several experiments are studying antimatter and its properties: ALPHA, ASACUSA, ATRAP and BASE. GBAR and AEGIS are working more specifically on the effect of gravity on antimatter.

    You can read more about ELENA in the the CERN Courier.

    See the full article here.

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  • richardmitnick 11:37 am on June 17, 2013 Permalink | Reply
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    From CERN: “Lighting the torch for ELENA” 

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    17 Jun 2013
    Cian O’Luanaigh

    “A ground-breaking ceremony today marked the start of construction of an extension to CERN’s antimatter facility. Infrastructure currently housed in the Antiproton Decelerator (AD) hall will be moved into this extension to make space for a new decelerator, the Extra-Low-Energy Antiproton ring (ELENA).

    dh
    CERN Director-General Rolf Heuer gets stuck in at the ground-breaking ceremony for ELENA (Image: Anna Pantelia/CERN)

    This cooling ring, about 30 metres in circumference, will further slow the 5.3 MeV antiprotons ejected from the AD down to 100 keV to increase the number of antiprotons that can be trapped by antimatter experiments.

    ELENA is designed to decelerate antiprotons in a well controlled way and to further reduce beam sizes and energy spreads with an electron cooler to increase the efficiency of deceleration, resulting in more trapped antiprotons.

    Design is also under way for a new experiment – GBAR – that will be installed at the same time as ELENA; and the BASE collaboration has recently suggested adding an experiment to increase the precision of a measurement of the antiproton’s magnetic moment by a factor of 1000. As well as more usable (or trappable) antiprotons, ELENA will be able to deliver beams almost simultaneously to four antimatter experiments resulting in an essential gain in total beam time for each experiment.

    There is much to explore in the field of antimatter; many theoretical predictions in the antimatter regime remain experimentally unverified. ELENA will increase CERN’s capacity to accommodate research groups wishing to perform experiments in the increasingly popular field of antihydrogen and low-energy antiproton physics.”

    See the full article here.

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  • richardmitnick 3:20 pm on June 22, 2012 Permalink | Reply
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    From CERN: “ELENA’s International Collaboration is Born” 

    On 13 June, ten institutes signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the construction of the Extra Low ENergy Antiproton ring (ELENA). Allowing the further deceleration of antiprotons from the Antimatter Decelerator, ELENA will significantly increase the number of particles trapped downstream in the experimental set-ups. This will give an important boost to antimatter research in the years to come.

    elena ring
    Electrostatic triplet lenses – a device that will transport antiprotons from ELENA to the experiments. The electrostatic device was successfully tested with the ASACUSA experiment two weeks ago.

    ELENA – an upgrade of the existing Antiproton Decelerator (AD) – was approved by the CERN Council last year under the condition that external user institutions would contribute to its construction. On 13 June, the foundation stone of the new international collaboration was laid with the signature of the MoU.”

    See the full article here.

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