skip to main content

SciTech ConnectSciTech Connect

Title: Magic Lenses for RHIC: Compensating Beam-beam Interaction (488th Brookhaven Lecture)

Scientists at Brookhaven Lab’s Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) smash atomic particles together to understand more about why the physical world works the way it does. Increasing rates of particle collisions, or luminosity, at RHIC is no small challenge, but the results—more data for better clues—are crucial for scientists trying answer big questions about the origins of matter and mass. When scientists at RHIC collide protons, they don’t hope for a head-on crash by focusing only two particles roaring toward each other from opposite directions. For all intents and purposes, that would be impossible. The scientists can smash protons because they significantly increase the likelihood of collisions by steering hundreds of billions clumped into bunches, which at RHIC are about 3.5 meters long and less than 1 millimeter tall. The particles of these bunches are all positively charged, so when they interact, they repel outwardly—think how magnets repel when their same poles are pushed together. Although this decreases the density of each bunch, reducing luminosity, scientists in Brookhaven Lab’s Collider-Accelerator Department (C-AD) have a solution. After more than seven years of development, the scientists have designed an electron-lens system that uses electrons’ negative charges to attract positively charged proton bunchesmore » and minimize their repelling tendencies. Combined with other upgrades to the RHIC accelerator complex, these lenses are important components in efforts towards the major task of doubling the luminosity for proton-proton collisions.« less
  1. BNL Collider-Accelerator Department
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Resource Relation:
Conference: Brookhaven Lecture Series: 1960 - Present, Lecture presented at Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, New York (United States) on July 17, 2013
Research Org:
BNL (Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), Upton, NY (United States))
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
Country of Publication:
United States