Sunday, January 19, 2014


The CUWiP conference was kicked off with an exciting start which included tours of Argonne, Fermilab, and the Museum of Science and Industry. Sadie represented Augsburg on the tour of Fermilab where she learned all about neutrinos and the Tevatron. Emma, Sam, Krista, and I went to Argonne and went on six mini tours: TCS, ATLAS, Nuclear Reactors, Argonne Wakefield Accelerator, APS, and transportation. Unfortunately, the national lab tours were full and Jillian and Kayla were not able to attend. However, they decided to seize the day and had a wonderful time exploring the Museum of Science and Industry. See previous posts for more information and pictures about the tours.

In the summer of 2012, I had an internship at Argonne working on the NOvA neutrino project. I chose to go back because I wanted to learn more about other research projects at the lab and because I miss working there. While working there I loved attending all of the interesting seminars, interacting with all of the researchers, and exploring the campus. Argonne is a very large lab, so large it has its own post office, fire department, and zip code. During our tours we had to take a bus to get from place to place and in the warmer months there are bikes available for researchers to use to travel around the campus. It has research projects in all different disciplines from high energy physics to biology. 

A few of the places we toured I had already seen, some had new aspects that were not there two years ago, and some were completely new. My favorite tour was of the Argonne Wakefield Accelerator because the concepts were really well explained, it was very hands on, and I had never seen it before. The Wakefield Accelerator is unlike any other accelerators at Argonne because it was built to test the accelerator design instead of being built as a tool used to research. I also liked it because in order to get there we had to drive by the building I worked in!

--Elianna Bier

Saturday, January 18, 2014


- Kayla Washenberger and Sadie Tetrick

Argonne - APS

Argonne's Advance Photon Source (APS) is a synchrotron that creates the brightest x-rays in this hemisphere. The synchrotron run for 24 hours a day, 6 days a week, and people come from all around the world to use the APS for their experiments.

This is a to scale diagram of the beamline.

This chart shows what type of experiments are preformed. Each color represents a different discipline in science creating a rainbow-colored ring.

This is a look down onto the research floor. Behind the wall on the far side is where the accelerator actually lies. You can see the curvature of the storage ring which is not a true ring, but rather a polygon with a large number of sides.

The ring is over a mile around, so there are tricycles available for faster travel and transport of equipment.

A look into a hutch where experiments are preformed.

A bird's eye view. The large white ring around is the storage ring, the straight white building houses the linear accelerator, and the slightly raised ring of dirt below the linear accelerator is the booster/injector.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Argonne - Wakefield Accelorator

The Argonne Wakefield Accelerator is an accelerator currently in development that uses constructive interference to increase power. The theory behind it can be equated to a boat's acceleration when it rides in another boat's wake, except the boats are electrons and the waves are electromagnetic waves.

Various components used in the accelerator. The quadrupole looks very familiar to some of us (Emma and Elianna) after our instrumental class last semester. The last little tube is what makes this accelerator so special.

Here you can see the the drive beam which acts as the "first boat" and produces the initial EM waves that a second beam, the witness beam, can ride on. If everything works correctly the witness beam will be accelerated. This technology could greatly reduce the length of beamlines and therefore reduce some of the current barriers in accelerator physics.

Argonne - Nuclear Reactors

Did you know that every reactor type that has ever successfully produced electrical energy was either invented or developed at Argonne? Just one of the neat facts we learned on our tour at Argonne.

A model of CP-1, the first nuclear reactor

I, Elianna, got to touch a piece of graphite from CP-1.

Argonne - ATLAS

The Argonne Tandem Linac Accelerator System (ATLAS) is a world-renowned center for cutting edge research in nuclear physics. A large component of the research done at ATLAS deals with rare isotopes.

This is an example of the niobium superconducting RF cavities used to accelerate particles. These cavities are cooled to 4.2 Kelvin or -452 F.

This new gamma ray detector is still under construction.

Do you recognize this gamma ray detector? It was used in the first Hulk movie!

A nice view of the beamline.

Fermilab Tour

For the first day at the conference, we had the opportunity to go on a lab tour of our choice. I, Sadie Tetrick, chose to go to the Fermilab tour. The main idea of Fermilab is "by building some of the largest and most complex machines in the world, Fermilab scientists expand humankind's understanding of matter, energy, space, and time, capturing imaginations and inspiring future generations". The tour consisted of visits to their nearby particle accelerator, the Tevatron, and I also got to see the MINOS and NOvA near detectors.

These are pictures of the RFQ at Fermilab. The RFQ system performs the same function as the Cockcroft-Walton generators but in a much smaller space. The Cockcroft-Walton generators provided beam to the lab's accelerators for over 40 years.

This is a picture of Linac, which is a H- (negative hydrogen) particle accelerator. It consists of 16,000 superconducting cavities and is about 20 miles in length. One of the main uses of the Linac is superconducting RF material research, which plays a role in testing and understanding the failures of certain materials. I also learned that Fermilab is big on treating cancer with neutron therapy. I was able to actually see the device that they currently use for this treatment. There were even before and after pictures of patients who treated their tumors with this process. 

These are various pictures of the particle accelerator, the Tevatron. This device was used to accelerate high energy particles, in particular protons (and in the past, anti-protons). The LHC has now taken over in the world-leading location for high energy particle acceleration. This is the reason why the Tevatron was currently not in use.

This is a picture of NOvA. It consists of lots of layers of a plastic material bunched together. The picture only shows a small portion of the entire thing.

 This is the entrance to the MINOS and NOvA near detectors. It is very far underground and we had to take a long elevator shaft ride to get access to the area.

These last pictures are all of the MINOS and NOvA detectors which detect the neutrinos produced by the accelerators. There were many wires and it was a very large detector. These neutrino projects both have larger far detectors located in northern Minnesota. I do not remember the exact numbers but there were a lot of neutrinos being sent to the Minnesota every second. The main goal of the detectors is to observe the oscillations of neutrinos and further explore their properties.

-Sadie Tetrick