An 86-meter long new linear particle accelerator, named Linac4
, will be added to CERN’s LHC operation as an injection chain within two years.
The 160 MeV (megaelectron volts) accelerator was built 12 meters underground and is more powerful than its predecessor Linac2 at CERN. Scientists started beam tests using Linac4 back in 2013, and the highest energy output was reached in 2016. After twenty years of design and construction, the newest member of CERN's accelerator family was finally inaugurated in last May.
In 2019, it will be connected to another accelerator close by called PSB (Proton Synchrotron Booster). Linac4 will be responsible for accelerating negative hydrogen ions (H-) to the energy level of 160 MeV, to prepare them to enter the PSB.
The PSB is made up of four superimposed synchrotron rings that currently receive beams of protons from the linear accelerator Linac 2 at 50 MeV and accelerate them to 1.4 GeV for injection into the Proton Synchrotron. After the planned shutdown from 2019 to 2020, Linac 4 will replace Linac 2 and provide beams to the entire accelerator cluster including the LHC.
Image credit: CERN