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Author archive: Barbara Warmbein

Second sound sounds promising

| 26 June 2008 “Our superconducting technology group here at Cornell is doing some very fundamental R&D,” says Hasan Padamsee, physics professor at Cornell university and expert in superconducting rf technology. “Note that the stress is on the fun in fundamentals.” Students are even allowed to drill holes into cavity prototypes in order to find out what makes certain areas in the material behave differently from others. A new mapping technique, invented by Cornell's Don Hartill, Zach Conway and Eric Smith, could make it possible to locate quenches during cavity tests with just eight (instead of up to 180) thermometers. Category: Feature | Tagged: , , , ,

Cryo crash test

| 12 June 2008 Particle physicists have the reputation that they need to smash things up in order to find out what they are about. Sometimes accelerator physicists get to smash stuff up, too: a group of engineers and technicians recently crash-tested a full cryomodule. They wanted to find out what the 12-metre piece of kit would look like if somebody happened to use the beam pipe as a stepladder, drive a tunnel vehicle into a flange or decide to rip out a vacuum pump. Category: Around the World | Tagged: , , , ,

Hail Cesr

| 29 May 2008 Sometimes even pretty straightforward and remarkably logical ideas take several moves before they become a reality. Take the planned damping rings for the ILC, for example. In the ILC, compact bunches of electrons and positrons are made to collide at very high energy. In order to ensure a high rate of particle collisions, the bunches are cooled in damping rings prior to acceleration. In a cold bunch, the particles are all very close together and travelling in very nearly the same direction with very nearly the same velocity. (In a hot bunch, as in a hot pot of water, the particles are more dispersed and are all moving in different directions.) Category: Feature | Tagged: , , , ,

On the costing trail

| 22 May 2008 Hamburg isn't exactly known for its good weather and hours of sunshine per year. So when the sun is out and nature is exploding with spring leaves and early summer blossoms, Hamburgers go to every length to spend those precious times outside. Spending a day in a conference room darkened for better presentations, hunched over microphones to listen to colleagues at the other end of the world doesn't normally rank high on the list of things to do in Hamburg when the weather is nice. Nevertheless one of the participants of last week's cost management meeting described their three days as "very enjoyable", meaning it. One has to work on the ILC to appreciate the spirit... Category: Feature | Tagged: ,

Spin doctors

| 8 May 2008 Theorists and experimentalists aren't always of the same opinion. There is one thing on which opinions aren't polarised though, and that is polarisation. Polarisation is a special characteristic of a particle bunch – a sort of measure of the particles’ combined spin – that, when studied in the right sort of detector at the ILC, is supposed to give clues and answers on phenomena like the Higgs, supersymmetry or searches for new physics and extra dimensions. To study the collisions, and also to understand polarisation better, a few groups of a total of about 30 people around the world are designing and building polarimeters that measure the degree of polsarisation of the particles before and after collisions. They have just had their first 'collaboration' meeting at DESY in Zeuthen, near Berlin, Germany. Category: Around the World | Tagged: , , , , , ,

Learning to accelerate

| 10 April 2008 When your day job means measuring the F2 structure function of the proton or hunting for the Higgs boson, you don't usually stop and wonder how exactly the ingredients of your events reached their collision point. Some 30 junior researchers have just learnt to do just this: at the recent 'Terascale Accelerator School', the first of its kind organised in Germany and a project of the Helmholtz Alliance, physics students turned into nuts-and-bolts accelerator experts for a week. Category: Around the World | Tagged: , , , ,

Accelerator Advisory Panel to help Project Managers

| 3 April 2008 The TILC08 meeting in Sendai saw the first gathering of the new Accelerator Advisory Panel (AAP). Other than the yet to be established Project Advisory Committee, which will be formed following a request from the International Linear Collider Steering Committee (ILCSC) and will consist mainly of machine and detector experts from outside the ILC community, the AAP is an internal body, there to advise the Global Design Effort director and to give critical recommendations. Category: Feature | Tagged: , , , ,

A different kind of Terascale

| 20 March 2008 Have you ever used a map to find an electron? Not possible, you say? Think again. Spell it slightly differently – MAPS – put it into an electromagnetic calorimeter, and you may well be able to track an electron in a calorimeter and see the single electrons in a particle shower. With a spatial granularity of 50 microns square– that's 50 thousandths of a millimetre – a potential sensor, called MAPS or monolithic active pixel sensor, for an ILC detector's digital electromagnetic calorimeter could be an efficient alternative to existing silicon technology. A UK-based group is currently evaluating how suitable this technology is for a calorimeter optimised for particle flow, with a view to seeing how efficient, reliable and cost-effective it is. Category: Around the World | Tagged: , , , ,

TILC08 beyond the agenda

| 13 March 2008 At the end of a productive working day, a long journey, a hard job or a rewarding week, Japanese people have a very useful phrase that expresses everything from gratitude and pride to exhaustion: Otsukare sama deshita, or simply otsukare. Even though not all participants of last week's TILC08 meeting may be aware of the expression, all are almost certainly aware of the 'otsukare' feeling after several days of intense and rewarding parallel and plenary sessions, splinter meetings and social interaction. Here are some impressions from the meeting that did not make it onto the official agenda. Category: Around the World, Slideshow | Tagged: , , , ,

ICFA Statement on Funding for the Linear Collider

| 6 March 2008 What do you do when you are director of a lab and chairman of a large international committee and have been invited to different events on different continents on the same day, assuming you don't have clones? You try to attend both -- at least virtually. Albrecht Wagner, DG of DESY in Hamburg and chair of the International Committee for Future Accelerators (ICFA), gave an ICFA talk at the opening plenary of this week's TILC08 meeting that he had recorded earlier. Category: Feature | Tagged: , ,
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