lundi 4 mai 2015

A milestone towards a higher-energy nuclear physics facility

CERN - European Organization for Nuclear Research logo.

May 4, 2015

CERN's nuclear physics facility ISOLDE will soon be producing radioactive ion beams at higher energies. The purpose of the HIE-ISOLDE (High Intensity and Energy ISOLDE) project, now in the advanced stages of construction at CERN, is to increase the energy and intensity of the ISOLDE beams. The transportation and installation of the first acceleration module on Saturday, 2 May marked an important milestone in the project. Made up of five superconducting accelerating cavities, this sophisticated module required years of development followed by months of assembly in a clean room at CERN. Once connected to the associated infrastructure, it will undergo several weeks of testing before HIE-ISOLDE is commissioned.

Image above: The first HIE-ISOLDE acceleration module was assembled over the last few months in a new clean room.

The unique ISOLDE facility is dedicated to the production of a large variety of radioactive ion beams for many fields of fundamental and applied research. Each year, its beams are used by around fifty experiments studying a wide range of subjects from the properties of atoms and nuclei to biomedical applications, nuclear astrophysics and solid-state physics. ISOLDE, which celebrated its fiftieth anniversary in 2014, has produced around 700 isotopes of more than 70 elements. HIE-ISOLDE will increase the research opportunities further by producing a greater variety of nuclei.

CERN - LHC, instruments for discover the secrets of the matter and the universe

The new acceleration module will allow HIE-ISOLDE to increase ISOLDE’s beam energy from 3 MeV per nucleon to 4.3 MeV per nucleon by the end of 2015. Ultimately, three further modules will be commissioned, bringing the beam energy from 10 to 15 MeV per nucleon and increasing the beam intensity fourfold.


CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, is one of the world’s largest and most respected centres for scientific research. Its business is fundamental physics, finding out what the Universe is made of and how it works. At CERN, the world’s largest and most complex scientific instruments are used to study the basic constituents of matter — the fundamental particles. By studying what happens when these particles collide, physicists learn about the laws of Nature.

The instruments used at CERN are particle accelerators and detectors. Accelerators boost beams of particles to high energies before they are made to collide with each other or with stationary targets. Detectors observe and record the results of these collisions.

Founded in 1954, the CERN Laboratory sits astride the Franco–Swiss border near Geneva. It was one of Europe’s first joint ventures and now has 22 Member States.

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CERN's nuclear physics facility ISOLDE:


For more information about the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), visit:

Images, Text, Credits: CERN/Corinne Pralavorio.


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