A unique facility for muon collider R&D
Steve Geer, head of Muon Accelerator R&D and co-leader of the Muon Collider Task Force, wrote this week's column.
Many of you may have wondered why there is a large pile of dirt in the parking lot at the end of the Fermilab Linac. It indicates the final phase in building a new beamline that will help us develop the technology needed for a muon collider.
The new beamline will serve the MUCOOL Test Area, located in a building at the end of the Linac. It will allow us to send a beam of H-ions from the Linac to the MTA. The pile of dirt marks the installation of the last piece of the beamline: the beam dump.
When the final shielding and the beam dump are in place, the MTA will be a unique accelerator R&D facility, equipped with:
- a cryogenic facility that provides liquid helium;
- a clean room to assemble accelerator components;
- power to operate radiofrequency cavities at two frequencies (201 and 805 MHz);
- a 5-Tesla solenoid to enable radiofrequency cavity tests within a magnetic field; and
- the infrastructure to work with liquid hydrogen for muon cooling absorbers.
All of this equipment will enable us to address key muon collider related R&D questions.
In particular, the MTA will allow us to test accelerator components for a critical piece of a future muon collider - the cooling channel. A muon beam would be large right after its creation. The cooling channel would "cool" the beam, reducing its size so that the muons are tightly packed. This would allow the accelerator to create more collisions when one beam is steered into a second beam in a muon collider.
The Muon Collider Task Force together with the national Neutrino Factory and Muon Collider Collaboration are guiding Fermilab's R&D efforts for a muon collider. In addition to R&D for a muon accelerator, physicists at Fermilab and other institutions study the potential physics program, work on detector and background issues, and identify the specific detector R&D necessary to advance the plans for a muon collider. A workshop on muon collider physics, detectors and backgrounds will take place later this year. Check Fermilab Today for details in the upcoming months.