17.02.2014 | First parts for FAIR proton accelerator
The first components for the FAIR accelerator p-Linac have arived at the GSI premises. An accelerator structure and an amplifier for electrical fields, a so called klystron, will be put into operation and tested in the coming months. The linear accelerator p-Linac consists of seven such systems and belongs to the first machines being built for the planned FAIR facility. It accelerates protons used for the production of antimatter.
The name p-Linac stands for "Proton Linear Accelerator". It is used for the acceleration of hydrogen ions, also called protons, and works with electrical fields in the range of radio-frequency. An oscillator generates the radio-frequency of 325 megahertz that is succesively amplified in the new klystron and then fed into the accelerator structure. Inside the radio-frequency accelerates the ions.
The klystron was built by the French company Thales located in Vélizy close to Paris. It is 5,2 metres long, weighs 4,2 tons and delivers an output of upt to three megawatts. The accelerator structure has been designed and produced by scientists of the Goethe university in Frankfurt. Currently it is electro-plated with a layer of copper in GSI's electro-plating shop to improve electric conductivity. Afterwards both devices, combined with additional components need for operation like a special high-voltage power supply with 110.000 Volts, will be put to operation at the GSI test facility. Here they will be thoroughly tested and pepared for the assembly in the FAIR facility in the coming months. The bidding procedure is running for the other six of the seven total modules the p-Linac consists of.
The protons pre-accelerated in the p-Linac will be further accelerated by the GSI ring accelerator and the planned FAIR accelerator SIS100. Then they impact a target for the production of antimatter. With this process antiprotons, the antimatter partners of the protons, will be generated in large numbers. Researchers want to accumulate them in a storage ring and use them in experiments afterwards. For example with the help of antimatter they try to understand how the matter that our world is made of got its mass.