Fermi National Laboratory

Volume 25  |  Friday, August 9, 2002  |  Number 13
In This Issue  |  FermiNews Main Page

Mission: Luminosity
Beams Division leads total-lab effort in boosting Tevatron performance

by Steve Holmes
Associate Director for Accelerator

The sign went up on July 15, my first day back in the Beams Division.

The sign says it all about our mission for this critical time in the Beams Division and at Fermilab—we are focused on improving the performance of the Tevatron for Run II, almost to the exclusion of anything else. Lots of people have already told me how much they like it—an indication that people in the division and in the laboratory are committed to succeeding.

I moved in as interim head of the Beams Division, at the request of Fermilab Director Michael Witherell, for the period between the completion of John Marriner’s term and the arrival of a new division head. It is fun to be back in Beams and working directly with many friends, old and new, in attacking problems and meeting the challenge of improving Tevatron performance. I have established a number of intermediate-term goals for the division for the period of my stay: first and foremost among these is to achieve a luminosity of 4.0x1031 cm-2sec-1 (4E31 for short) accompanied by an integrated luminosity of 7 pb-1/week by the end of September. This is a challenging goal, but one that I believe is within reach. A secondary goal is to bring on board the person who will take my place as the Beams Division Head by the end of the year. We are making good progress and have every expectation of being able to hand over the reins by the New Year.

After three years as head of Fermilab’s Beams Division, John Marriner transferred to the Recycler Group on July 15. Marriner guided the Fermilab accelerator complex through a demanding period that included the commissioning of the Main Injector and the resumption of collider operations in March 2001. The division held a cake-and-coffee reception honoring Marriner for a job well done. We have made considerable progress on improving performance of the Tevatron over the last several months, building on the efforts initiated under John Marriner’s leadership. On July 26 we reached the highest luminosity in the history of the Tevatron—2.64E31, eclipsing the previous best of 2.50E31 achieved on May 10, 1995. It is certainly gratifying no longer to have to refer to our best stores as “21st century records.” But we still have a long way to go. We’ve improved performance by more that a factor of two since January, but we’re still about a factor of two behind where we hoped to be at this time. A great deal of hard work has already been invested in bringing the Tevatron performance up to where it is today, but it will take a continued and concerted effort to get to where we and the high energy physics community would like to see us operating.

The reaction of all the laboratory’s division and sections to the current situation has been extremely gratifying. All have offered help and are pitching in to help us succeed. The Computing Division has played a leading role in getting the Shot Data Analysis (SDA) system up and running. The Particle Physics Division is supplying people to help on a variety of instrumentation projects and even contributed their Deputy Division Head, Stephen Pordes, who is now a member of the Beams Division coordinating Run II instrumentation. In addition to its usual indispensable support role of magnet repair and refurbishing, the Technical Division is helping us understand potential problems with noise in the Tevatron RF system, looking into monitoring systems for magnetic fields, and taking the lead on a number of hardware projects. And more assignments are in the works. We are confident that all Fermilab staff members stand ready to help when and if they’re called on.

In parallel we are starting to integrate help from the outside world. SLAC, Berkeley, Brookhaven, Argonne, and CERN are all either providing support or are in the process of being taken up on their offers of help. Again, the outpouring of offers has been extremely gratifying.

Unfortunately, while these rigorous efforts are moving forward, many long-term efforts including R&D on linear colliders, muon facilities, and new proton sources have gone onto the back burner. This does not mean these activities are unimportant—they are important, and we look forward to bringing them back. However, it is our belief that the single most important thing we can do today to enable the construction of a future forefront facility at Fermilab is to bring the Tevatron up to its full potential now.

Success in meeting the goals established for Run II will not be easy. It will require everyone’s best efforts. I have been at Fermilab for 19 years and am well acquainted with the capabilities of the people who work at the laboratory and in the Beams Division. There is no question that our staff has the ability to take the Tevatron where it needs to go.

On the Web:
Fermilab’s Beams Division

last modified 8/9/2002   email Fermilab