Doe Science news source
The DOE Science News Source is a Newswise initiative to promote research news from the Office of Science of the DOE to the public and news media.
  • 2018-05-14 12:00:52
  • Article ID: 694346

Profiling Extreme Beams: Scientists Devise New Diagnostic for Cutting-Edge and Next-Gen Particle Accelerators

Research team aims to measure micron-sized beams at Berkeley Lab's BELLA Center

  • Credit: Jean-Luc Vay and Rémi Lehe

    An electron beam passes through a mixture of hydrogen and xenon gases that it ionizes, transforming the mixture into a plasma of protons, xenon ions, and electrons. Cold plasma electrons appear as green dots and ionized xenon ions appear as red dots in this image.

  • Credit: R. Tarkeshian, J.L. Vay, et al., Phys. Rev. X 8, 021039

    This diagram shows the setup for the proposed diagnostic, which includes a gas jet, an ion optic and a detector.

The world’s cutting-edge particle accelerators are pushing the extremes in high-brightness beams and ultrashort pulses to explore matter in new ways.

To optimize their performance – and to prepare for next-generation facilities that will push these extremes further – scientists have devised a new tool that can measure how bright these beams are, even for pulses that last only femtoseconds (quadrillionths of a second) or attoseconds (quintillionths of a second). Comparing 1 attosecond to 1 second is like comparing 1 second to 31.7 billion years.

This tool can also measure beam sizes to within a few tens of nanometers (billionths of a meter) – without disrupting experiments that rely on these beams.

The new tool, dubbed a “charge density monitor,” could also provide more precise measures of fundamental physics in high-energy and high-field beam experiments, and help guide R&D efforts that seek to shrink the size and cost of particle collider and accelerator facilities while ramping up their capabilities.

The research using this proposed diagnostic could also impact disciplines ranging from plasma science to atomic physics, and could lead to new applications and reveal new physics.

At the U.S. Department of Energy’s Berkeley Lab Laser Accelerator (BELLA) Center, researchers hope to test this tool by measuring particle properties in the aftermath of an intense laser beam drilling through a jet of gas. In doing so, they hope to learn about the electron beam pulse emerging from this interaction.

“BELLA provides an ideal test bed for evaluating the potential of the beam-measuring method at a state-of-the-art advanced accelerator, since we aim at producing the brightest possible ultrashort bursts of electrons with our compact accelerator technology,” said Wim Leemans, director of the BELLA Center and the Accelerator Technology & Applied Physics Division at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab).

“It would provide a powerful tool for measuring and improving BELLA’s beams.”

Leemans led the Berkeley Lab team of contributors as part of an international team in a technical study detailing the new method, published in the May 10 issue of the journal Physical Review X.

Roxana Tarkeshian, a researcher at the University of Bern and previously at the Paul Scherrer Institute, served as the lead author of the study and has pursued the new diagnostic method since 2015, with support since 2017 from Thomas Feurer, a professor at the University of Bern and an expert in laser-based technology and space physics.

“Its ultrasensitive measurements at high resolution, and its low cost and compactness are among its assets,” Tarkeshian said.

The study details how intense particle beams can barrel through a low-density neutral gas, stripping away electrons from gas atoms through the strong electric fields associated with intense particle beams. An ionized (charged) cloud of matter known as a plasma – containing ions and electrons – forms in the process.

The technique’s “unprecedented” resolution for the duration and size of individual pulses for both electron beams and positron beams relates to an effect in which small changes in beam brightness of just a few percent to tens of percent can result in tens to hundreds of times more ions generated in the presence of an electric field, Tarkeshian noted. 

The process is similar to what happens when a very intense, focused laser beam or X-ray pulse interacts with a gas and ionizes the atoms. But there are important differences in the physics of this ionization process for beams of light (photons) vs. other types of particle beams. 

With beams of light, electrons and ions (charged particles) are produced throughout the beam’s footprint, and the plasma-associated electrons have a relatively low velocity and tend to hang around the column of ions until they are pulled away by an external electric field. Ions with positive charges then drift in the opposite direction and can be measured.

For electron (negatively charged) or positron (positively charged) particle beams, the shape of the electric field resembles a doughnut and produces a ring-shaped plasma column, with no ions initially left in the beam path – the hole of the doughnut. These particle beams can supply a powerful kick to electrons, which can leave a ring-shaped column of ions behind. And those ions can be guided away by an electric field to a detector that measures the number of ions, their speed, and their charged state.

The latest study shows that the new measurement tool can also glean more information about the beam itself from this “ion doughnut” under the right operating conditions – with the right density and mix of gases, for example.

The team carried out sophisticated simulations using a Berkeley Lab-refined computer code known as WARP and another code known as VSim. Researchers modeled the interaction of particle and photon beams with gases and the ensuing plasma-related dynamics. 

“The simulations allowed us to zoom in space and time – from the centimeter scale down to the submicron size of the beam, and to follow the dynamics and distributions of electrons and ions at different timescales,” said Jean-Luc Vay, a senior scientist at Berkeley Lab who contributed to the WARP code and leads the Accelerator Modeling Program in the Lab’s ATAP Division.

Vay noted that aspects of the code proved key in the accurate modeling and understanding of differences between the effects of particle beams versus photon beams, and in finding the best way to tune and operate the system.

Once the full diagnostic system is implemented at accelerator systems, simulations will help to reality-check the actual measurements in experiments and help to develop a path for optimizing beam performance.

“Small changes could be resolved very precisely,” she said, based on measurements of individual beam pulses.

The proposed technique also opens up the possibility to study charge-induced dynamics in matter, and may provide more insight into timescales of fundamental atomic or molecular processes being studied with attosecond photon pulses, she said, including a property known as quantum tunneling in which a particle can appear to spontaneously “tunnel” through the potential barrier of the atom in defiance of classical physics.

And Tarkeshian points out that the proposed diagnostic could prove useful for existing X-ray free-electron lasers (XFELs) such as the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) X-ray FEL at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, the FLASH facility at DESY in Germany, the SwissFEL at the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI) in Switzerland, among others, and facilities under construction like the LCLS-II at SLAC.

For example, a prototype designed and built by Tarkeshian and a team at PSI has been installed at LCLS with the support and contributions of SLAC scientist Patrick Krejcik, to diagnose the ultrashort, high-energy electron bunches produced by its accelerator.

Tarkeshian noted that other tools have been developed to provide measurements of accelerator and XFEL beam properties, but as the beams’ pulses pack more and more intensity and energy into shorter and shorter pulses, new tools will be needed to keep pace with these extreme beams. 

She credited some decades-old work on a proposed diagnostic for a test accelerator project at SLAC known as the Final Focus Test Beam, or FFTB, in paving the way for this new design concept.

“In our latest work, we have studied not only the concepts but also have addressed the challenges that this technique may face experimentally,” Tarkeshian said.

“It’s great to revive this unfinished concept from decades ago with new ideas, and with continued support we can realize its potential,” she added. “This is a very open path, and we are just beginning.”

Leemans said, “We think that the practical realization of this innovative technique will ultimately be of broad interest to the international high-energy physics and the general accelerator-driven science communities.”

The work was supported by the DOE Office of Science’s Office of High Energy Physics, the European Union’s Seventh Framework Program, and the Swiss National Science Foundation.

###

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory addresses the world’s most urgent scientific challenges by advancing sustainable energy, protecting human health, creating new materials, and revealing the origin and fate of the universe. Founded in 1931, Berkeley Lab’s scientific expertise has been recognized with 13 Nobel Prizes. The University of California manages Berkeley Lab for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science. For more, visit www.lbl.gov.

DOE’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit science.energy.gov.

X
X
X
  • Filters

  • × Clear Filters

Self-Assembling 3D Battery Would Charge in Seconds

A cross-campus collaboration led by Ulrich Wiesner, professor of engineering at Cornell University, has resulted in a novel energy storage device architecture that has the potential for lightning-quick charges for electronic devices.

Understanding the Generation of Light-Induced Electrical Current in Atomically Thin Nanomaterials

Scientists added an imaging capability to Brookhaven Lab's Center for Functional Nanomaterials that could provide the optoelectronic information needed to improve the performance of devices for power generation, communications, data storage, and lighting.

Diamond 'Spin-Off' Tech Could Lead to Low-Cost Medical Imaging and Drug Discovery Tools

An international team led by scientists at Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley discovered how to exploit defects in nanoscale and microscale diamonds and potentially enhance the sensitivity of magnetic resonance imaging and nuclear magnetic resonance systems while eliminating the need for their costly and bulky superconducting magnets.

PROSPECTing For Antineutrinos

The Precision Reactor Oscillation and Spectrum Experiment (PROSPECT) has completed installation of a novel antineutrino detector that will probe the possible existence of a new form of matter - sterile neutrinos.

How to Cope with Cases of Mistaken Identity: MINERvA's Tale of Pions and Neutrinos

Neutral pion production is a major character in a story of mistaken identity worthy of an Agatha Christie novel.

Perfecting the Noise-Canceling Neutrino Detector

MicroBooNE neutrino experiment cuts through the noise, clearing the way for signals made by the hard-to-detect particle.

Supersonic Waves May Help Electronics Beat the Heat

Researchers at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory made the first observations of waves of atomic rearrangements, known as phasons, propagating supersonically through a vibrating crystal lattice--a discovery that may dramatically improve heat transport in insulators and enable new strategies for heat management in future electronics devices.

Riding Bacterium to the Bank

Jet fuel, pantyhose and plastic soda bottles are all products currently derived from petroleum. Sandia National Laboratories scientists have demonstrated a new technology based on bioengineered bacteria that makes it feasible to produce all three from renewable plant sources.

Flexible, Highly Efficient Multimodal Energy Harvesting

A piezoelectric ceramic foam supported by a flexible polymer support provides a 10-fold increase in the ability to harvest mechanical and thermal energy over standard piezo composites, according to Penn State researchers.

PNNL Successfully Vitrifies Three Gallons of Radioactive Tank Waste

News Release RICHLAND, Wash. -- In a first-of-its-kind demonstration, researchers at the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have vitrified low-activity waste from underground storage tanks at Hanford, immobilizing the radioactive and chemical materials within a durable glass waste form.Approximately three gallons of low-activity Hanford tank waste were vitrified at PNNL's Radiochemical Processing Laboratory in April.


  • Filters

  • × Clear Filters

Power to the People

The University of Utah College of Engineering has received a $2 million grant to create a laboratory and develop new technology for communities with backup power sources, known as microgrids, so they can quickly and more securely operate in the event of a massive power outage due to a natural disaster or cyberattack.

The U. S. Department of Energy Announces $34 Million for Small Business Research and Development Grants

U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry announced that the Department of Energy will award 219 grants totaling $34 million to 183 small businesses in 41 states. Funded through DOE's Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs, today's selections are for Phase I research and development.

Raising the Heat to Lower the Cost of Solar Energy

Sandia National Laboratories will receive $10.5 million from the Department of Energy to research and design a cheaper and more efficient solar energy system.The work focuses on refining a specific type of utility-scale solar energy technology that uses mirrors to reflect and concentrate sunlight onto a receiver on a tower.

Solar Turbines, Inc. Selects Penn State to Establish Center of Excellence in Gas Turbines

After completing an extensive evaluation of institutions of higher learning in the United States and Europe, Solar Turbines Incorporated has chosen Penn State as a university partner to establish a center of excellence in gas turbines. The center involves numerous faculty across Penn State's College of Engineering.

ORNL Facility Receives American Nuclear Society's Historic Landmark Designation

The American Nuclear Society has designated the Radiochemical Engineering Development Center at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory an ANS Nuclear Historic Landmark, recognizing more than 50 years of isotope production and nuclear fuel cycle research.

Steven Cowley named director of DOE's Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory

Steven Cowley, a theoretical physicist and international authority on fusion energy, has been named director of the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL), effective July 1.

Scientists Turn X-ray Laser Into World's Fastest Water Heater

Scientists have used a powerful X-ray laser at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory to heat water from room temperature to 100,000 degrees Celsius in less than a tenth of a picosecond, or millionth of a millionth of a second.

PNNL Part of a New National Center for Near-Atomic Resolution of Biological Molecules

A collaboration between the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and Oregon Health & Science University has been chosen as a national center for a Nobel Prize-winning method of imaging, cryo-electron microscopy, that is revolutionizing structural biology.

SLAC Will Open One of Three NIH National Service Centers for Cryo-Electron Microscopy

The National Institutes of Health announced today that it will establish a national service and training center for cryogenic electron microscopy research at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory.

Planck Collaboration Wins 2018 Gruber Cosmology Prize

The Planck Team--including researchers in Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory's (Berkeley Lab's) Computational Research and Physics divisions--have been awarded the 2018 Gruber Cosmology Prize.


  • Filters

  • × Clear Filters

The Secret to Measuring an Antineutrino's Energy

Scientists are developing better models that describe both neutrino and antineutrino data, which can offer insights into the nature of the universe.

How to Cope with Cases of Mistaken Identity: MINERvA's Tale of Pions and Neutrinos

Neutral pion production is a major character in a story of mistaken identity worthy of an Agatha Christie novel.

Perfecting the Noise-Canceling Neutrino Detector

MicroBooNE neutrino experiment cuts through the noise, clearing the way for signals made by the hard-to-detect particle.

Keeping Tabs on Polysulfides in Batteries

Optimizing lithium-sulfur battery electrolytes for long life.

Huge "Thermometer" Takes Temperatures of Tiny Samples

New spectroscopic technique measures heat in itty-bitty volumes that could reveal insights for electronics and energy technology.

Water, Water, Everywhere, but How Does It Flow?

Scientists use new X-ray technique to see how water moves at the molecular level.

Magnetized Plasmas That "Twist Light" Can Produce Powerful Microscopes and More

A non-twisting laser beam moving through magnetized plasma turns into an optical vortex that traps, rotates, and controls microscopic particles, opening new frontiers in imaging.

Whistling While You Work: Fusion Scientists Find Inspiration in Atmospheric Whistles

Just like lightning, fusion plasmas contain odd electromagnetic whistler waves that could control destructive electrons in fusion reactors.

Zero Tolerance in Tokamaks: Eliminating Small Instabilities Before They Become Disruptions

Energetic ions and beam heating cause or calm instabilities, depending on the tokamak's magnetic field.

MURR Becomes First Reactor Facility to Join DOE's Isotope Program

DOE and MURR partner to ensure scientists have access to essential research isotopes.


Spotlight

Monday May 07, 2018, 10:30 AM

Introducing Graduate Students Across the Globe to Photon Science

Brookhaven National Laboratory

Wednesday May 02, 2018, 04:05 PM

Students from Massachusetts and Washington Win DOE's 28th National Science Bowl(r)

Department of Energy, Office of Science

Thursday April 12, 2018, 07:05 PM

The Race for Young Scientific Minds

Argonne National Laboratory

Wednesday March 14, 2018, 02:05 PM

Q&A: Al Ashley Reflects on His Efforts to Diversify SLAC and Beyond

SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

Thursday February 15, 2018, 12:05 PM

Insights on Innovation in Energy, Humanitarian Aid Highlight UVA Darden's Net Impact Week

University of Virginia Darden School of Business

Friday February 09, 2018, 11:05 AM

Ivy League Graduate, Writer and Activist with Dyslexia Visits CSUCI to Reframe the Concept of Learning Disabilities

California State University, Channel Islands

Wednesday January 17, 2018, 12:05 PM

Photographer Adam Nadel Selected as Fermilab's New Artist-in-Residence for 2018

Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab)

Wednesday January 17, 2018, 12:05 PM

Fermilab Computing Partners with Argonne, Local Schools for Hour of Code

Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab)

Wednesday December 20, 2017, 01:05 PM

Q&A: Sam Webb Teaches X-Ray Science from a Remote Classroom

SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

Monday December 18, 2017, 01:05 PM

The Future of Today's Electric Power Systems

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)

Monday December 18, 2017, 12:05 PM

Supporting the Development of Offshore Wind Power Plants

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)

Tuesday October 03, 2017, 01:05 PM

Stairway to Science

Argonne National Laboratory

Thursday September 28, 2017, 12:05 PM

After-School Energy Rush

Argonne National Laboratory

Thursday September 28, 2017, 10:05 AM

Bringing Diversity Into Computational Science Through Student Outreach

Brookhaven National Laboratory

Thursday September 21, 2017, 03:05 PM

From Science to Finance: SLAC Summer Interns Forge New Paths in STEM

SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

Thursday September 07, 2017, 02:05 PM

Students Discuss 'Cosmic Opportunities' at 45th Annual SLAC Summer Institute

SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

Thursday August 31, 2017, 05:05 PM

Binghamton University Opens $70 Million Smart Energy Building

Binghamton University, State University of New York

Wednesday August 23, 2017, 05:05 PM

Widening Horizons for High Schoolers with Code

Argonne National Laboratory

Saturday May 20, 2017, 12:05 PM

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Graduates Urged to Embrace Change at 211th Commencement

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)

Monday May 15, 2017, 01:05 PM

ORNL, University of Tennessee Launch New Doctoral Program in Data Science

Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Friday April 07, 2017, 11:05 AM

Champions in Science: Profile of Jonathan Kirzner

Department of Energy, Office of Science

Wednesday April 05, 2017, 12:05 PM

High-Schooler Solves College-Level Security Puzzle From Argonne, Sparks Interest in Career

Argonne National Laboratory

Tuesday March 28, 2017, 12:05 PM

Champions in Science: Profile of Jenica Jacobi

Department of Energy, Office of Science

Friday March 24, 2017, 10:40 AM

Great Neck South High School Wins Regional Science Bowl at Brookhaven Lab

Brookhaven National Laboratory

Wednesday February 15, 2017, 04:05 PM

Middle Schoolers Test Their Knowledge at Science Bowl Competition

Argonne National Laboratory

Friday January 27, 2017, 04:00 PM

Haslam Visits ORNL to Highlight State's Role in Discovering Tennessine

Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Tuesday November 08, 2016, 12:05 PM

Internship Program Helps Foster Development of Future Nuclear Scientists

Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Friday May 13, 2016, 04:05 PM

More Than 12,000 Explore Jefferson Lab During April 30 Open House

Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility

Monday April 25, 2016, 05:05 PM

Giving Back to National Science Bowl

Ames Laboratory

Friday March 25, 2016, 12:05 PM

NMSU Undergrad Tackles 3D Particle Scattering Animations After Receiving JSA Research Assistantship

Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility

Tuesday February 02, 2016, 10:05 AM

Shannon Greco: A Self-Described "STEM Education Zealot"

Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory

Monday November 16, 2015, 04:05 PM

Rare Earths for Life: An 85th Birthday Visit with Mr. Rare Earth

Ames Laboratory

Tuesday October 20, 2015, 01:05 PM

Meet Robert Palomino: 'Give Everything a Shot!'

Brookhaven National Laboratory

Tuesday April 22, 2014, 11:30 AM

University of Utah Makes Solar Accessible

University of Utah

Wednesday March 06, 2013, 03:40 PM

Student Innovator at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Seeks Brighter, Smarter, and More Efficient LEDs

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)

Friday November 16, 2012, 10:00 AM

Texas Tech Energy Commerce Students, Community Light up Tent City

Texas Tech University

Wednesday November 23, 2011, 10:45 AM

Don't Get 'Frosted' Over Heating Your Home This Winter

Temple University

Wednesday July 06, 2011, 06:00 PM

New Research Center To Tackle Critical Challenges Related to Aircraft Design, Wind Energy, Smart Buildings

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)

Friday April 22, 2011, 09:00 AM

First Polymer Solar-Thermal Device Heats Home, Saves Money

Wake Forest University

Friday April 15, 2011, 12:25 PM

Like Superman, American University Will Get Its Energy from the Sun

American University

Thursday February 10, 2011, 05:00 PM

ARRA Grant to Help Fund Seminary Building Green Roof

University of Chicago

Tuesday December 07, 2010, 05:00 PM

UC San Diego Installing 2.8 Megawatt Fuel Cell to Anchor Energy Innovation Park

University of California San Diego

Monday November 01, 2010, 12:50 PM

Rensselaer Smart Lighting Engineering Research Center Announces First Deployment of New Technology on Campus

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)

Friday September 10, 2010, 12:40 PM

Ithaca College Will Host Regional Clean Energy Summit

Ithaca College

Tuesday July 27, 2010, 10:30 AM

Texas Governor Announces $8.4 Million Award to Create Renewable Energy Institute

Texas Tech University

Friday May 07, 2010, 04:20 PM

Creighton University to Offer New Alternative Energy Program

Creighton University

Wednesday May 05, 2010, 09:30 AM

National Engineering Program Seeks Subject Matter Experts in Energy

JETS Junior Engineering Technical Society

Wednesday April 21, 2010, 12:30 PM

Students Using Solar Power To Create Sustainable Solutions for Haiti, Peru

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)





Showing results

0-4 Of 2215