Nav: Home

First new 'Atom-Smasher' since the LHC, comes online

March 03, 2016

A new electron-positron collider, SuperKEKB, at the KEK laboratory in Tsukuba, Japan has achieved "First Turns" and is now in the test operation stage. This is the first new "atom-smasher" since the LHC, which is located at the CERN laboratory in Switzerland. The achievement of "first turns", which means storing the highly energetic beam in the ring through many revolutions, is a major milestone for any new particle accelerator. In the SuperKEKB, the electron and positron beams have separate rings and different energies (7 GeV and 4 GeV, respectively. GeV or Gigaelectron Volt is a unit of energy equivalent to the rest mass of a proton).

On February 10, 2016, the SuperKEKB collider was able to circulate and store a positron beam moving close to the speed of light through over a thousand magnets in a narrow tube around the 3.1-km circumference of its main ring. Recently, on February 26, the machine succeeded in circulating and storing a 7-GeV electron beam around its ring of magnets in the opposite direction. During the full operation of SuperKEKB, the beams of electrons and positrons will collide and produce large numbers of new particles.

In contrast to the LHC at CERN, which is the world's highest energy machine, SuperKEKB is designed to have the world's highest particle beam intensity (a factor of 40 higher than the earlier KEKB machine that holds many of the current world records for accelerator performance). Thus, SuperKEKB will soon be the leading accelerator on the "intensity frontier". This will enable the Belle-II experiment, a detector placed at the interaction point of SuperKEKB, to probe the next fundamental theory beyond the Standard Model by measuring extremely rare decays of subatomic particles such as beauty and charm hadrons and tau leptons.

The Belle II detector at SuperKEKB was designed and built by an international collaboration of over 600 physicists from 23 countries in Asia, Europe and North America. A team of about 30 physicists, engineers and technicians from all over India (see below) is playing a major role in this international enterprise. Led by the group at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) in Mumbai, the Indian team is involved in the design and assembly of one of the four layers of the silicon micro-vertex detector (SVD) of the experiment. Almost coinciding with the historic occasion of the "first turns" milestone for SuperKEKB, the team has received the go ahead to start the building of production-grade SVD modules after successfully assembling a number of prototypes and meeting the stringent quality requirements of an international technical review. The production will continue until the middle of 2017, followed by installation and commissioning of the detector.

Prof. Thomas Browder of University of Hawaii (Belle-II spokesperson) has congratulated the SuperKEKB team on this achievement and expects that this will be the first of many good things to follow. Prof. Gagan Mohanty (TIFR) says, "This is a historic occasion for all us in India as we are eagerly looking forward to harvest the pristine electron-positron collision data to unlock some of the fundamental mysteries of universe."

The Indian institutes and universities that are participating in the Belle and Belle II experiments are IIT Bhubaneswar, IIT Guwahati, IIT Hyderabad, IIT Madras, IISER Mohali, IMSc Chennai, Panjab University Chandigarh, Punjab Agricultural University Ludhiana, and TIFR Mumbai.

Tata Institute of Fundamental Research

Related Particle Accelerator Articles:

Particle billiards with three players
Light can be used to knock electrons out of atoms, with light particles and electrons bouncing off each other like two billiard balls - Compton scattering.
Tiny double accelerator recycles energy
A team of DESY scientists has built a miniature double particle accelerator that can recycle some of the laser energy fed into the system to boost the energy of the accelerated electrons a second time.
Breakthrough made towards building the world's most powerful particle accelerator
An international team of researchers, affiliated with South Korea's Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST) has for the first time succeeded in demonstrating the ionization cooling of muons.
An intelligent and compact particle analyzer
Microscopic particles cannot be seen by human eye but are everywhere.
New quasi-particle discovered: The Pi-ton
New particles are usually only found in huge particle accelerators.
Stanford researchers build a particle accelerator that fits on a chip
For the first time, scientists at Stanford and SLAC have created a silicon chip that can accelerate electrons -- albeit at a fraction of the velocity of the most massive accelerators -- using an infrared laser to deliver, in less than a hair's width, the sort of energy boost that takes microwaves many feet.
Fermilab achieves world-record field strength for accelerator magnet
Scientists at the Department of Energy's Fermilab have announced that they achieved the highest magnetic field strength ever recorded for an accelerator steering magnet, setting a world record of 14.1 teslas, with the magnet cooled to 4.5 kelvins or minus 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
Experimental mini-accelerator achieves record energy
Scientists at DESY have achieved a new world record for an experimental type of miniature particle accelerator: For the first time, a terahertz powered accelerator more than doubled the energy of the injected electrons.
Light from exotic particle states
In ultra thin materials, exotic bound states of particles can be created which are then converted into light.
Laser physics: Downsizing the particle accelerator
Munich physicists have succeeded in demonstrating plasma wakefield acceleration of subatomic particles in a miniaturized, laser-driven model.
More Particle Accelerator News and Particle Accelerator Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Listen Again: Reinvention
Change is hard, but it's also an opportunity to discover and reimagine what you thought you knew. From our economy, to music, to even ourselves–this hour TED speakers explore the power of reinvention. Guests include OK Go lead singer Damian Kulash Jr., former college gymnastics coach Valorie Kondos Field, Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs, and entrepreneur Nick Hanauer.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#562 Superbug to Bedside
By now we're all good and scared about antibiotic resistance, one of the many things coming to get us all. But there's good news, sort of. News antibiotics are coming out! How do they get tested? What does that kind of a trial look like and how does it happen? Host Bethany Brookeshire talks with Matt McCarthy, author of "Superbugs: The Race to Stop an Epidemic", about the ins and outs of testing a new antibiotic in the hospital.
Now Playing: Radiolab

Dispatch 6: Strange Times
Covid has disrupted the most basic routines of our days and nights. But in the middle of a conversation about how to fight the virus, we find a place impervious to the stalled plans and frenetic demands of the outside world. It's a very different kind of front line, where urgent work means moving slow, and time is marked out in tiny pre-planned steps. Then, on a walk through the woods, we consider how the tempo of our lives affects our minds and discover how the beats of biology shape our bodies. This episode was produced with help from Molly Webster and Tracie Hunte. Support Radiolab today at