Physics Questions People Ask Fermilab

Fermilab's Antimatter Production Rate

What is Fermilab's current rate of production of antimatter, and what is its prospective growth over the next several years? I have a bet with one of my co-workers that Fermilab has a higher production rate of antimatter than CERN. Is this true?



I think you'll win your bet with regard to antimatter production at CERN and Fermilab. I contacted Dave McGinnis, head of our Antiproton Source group, and he had the following numbers for me:

Since resuming collider operations in 2001, our best stacking rate to date is 12.4E10 antiprotons per hour. (The rate fluctuates over time, hence scientists take an average over one hour.) Stacking means producing an antiproton (also refered to as pbar) and guiding it into our storage ring. Our goal for 2003 is to reach 18E10 antiprotons/hour. I takes about 1E5 to 1E6 protons to make one antiproton.

Before 1996, the last year of collider operations with the old Fermilab accelerator configuration, our best stacking rate was 7.2E10 antiprotons/hour (averaged over 1 hour)

Dave McGinnis believes that the CERN record stacking rate is around 6E10 antiprotons/hour. You would have to check with scientists at CERN to confirm this number.

At Fermilab, we usually stack antiprotons for 16 hours before accelerating them and injecting them into our most powerful accelerator, the Tevatron. We routinely stack to 130E10 pbars in about 16 hours for each shot to the Tevatron. For 2003, we hope to increase this to 200E10 pbars in 16 hours.

Best wishes,

Kurt Riesselmann
Fermilab Public Affairs

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