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Russia to supply unique equipment for FAIR research accelerator being built in Germany

November 16, 2015, 19:05 UTC+3 NOVOSIBIRSK
The FAIR international particle accelerator is set to be one of the largest research facilities in the world
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A computer-generated model shows what a planned particle accelerator facility in Darmstadt, Germany could look like (archive)

A computer-generated model shows what a planned particle accelerator facility in Darmstadt, Germany could look like (archive)

© EPA/GSI/HANDOUT

NOVOSIBIRSK, November 16. /TASS/. Specialists of the Institute of Nuclear Physics of the Siberian Department of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) will develop and manufacture, using vacuum welding, unique equipment for the FAIR research accelerator facility, which is under construction in Germany, head of the institute’s research laboratory Alexander Krasnov told TASS on Monday. FAIR is compared in scale with the Large Hadron Collider (LHC).

"Our task within the framework of the FAIR project is to install the tubes through which particle beams will move. There must be absolute vacuum there - the amount of residual gas molecules must be 100,000 billion times less than in the surrounding air." He said that these channels would be used for transporting particles from the place where they will be "born" to the accelerator rings where experiments will be conducted with them. According to him, the required level of airtightness can only be achieved by means of electron beam welding.

The electron beam welding technology itself is not new and is used, in particular, in the aerospace industry, he said. However, only the Institute of Nuclear Physics makes the beam tubes.

FAIR (the Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research) is an international accelerator facility under construction which will use antiprotons and ions to perform research in the fields of: nuclear, hadron and particle physics, atomic and anti-matter physics, high density plasma physics, and applications in condensed matter physics, biology and the bio-medical sciences. It is situated in Darmstadt in Germany and is expected to provide beams to the experiments from 2020 onwards. FAIR will be based upon an expansion of the GSI Helmholtz Centre for Heavy Ion Research, the details of which have been laid out in the FAIR Baseline Technical Report 2006. On October 4, 2010 the Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research in Europe limited liability company (German GmbH), abbreviated as FAIR GmbH, was founded which coordinates the construction of the new accelerators and experiments. The project's cost is estimated at 1 billion euro. The project involves 15 countries, including Russia.

The FAIR international particle accelerator is set to be one of the largest research facilities in the world. Based in the German city of Darmstadt (in the state of Hesse), the complex will cover an area of 20 hectares and require 600,000 cubic metres of concrete as well as 35,000 tonnes of steel. Construction teams will be building a tunnel to house the heart of the complex, a ring accelerator with a circumference of 1.1 kilometres. The 24 buildings and tunnel sections provide 62,000 square metres of usable space and sufficient room for a total of 3.5 kilometres of beam control tubes as well as huge detectors and a complex technical infrastructure. The sensitive, sophisticated technology to be housed at FAIR poses a challenge to construction teams. FAIR will be used to measure tiny particles - atomic nuclei and the particles they are made up of - with the utmost accuracy. To do this, the atomic nuclei will be accelerated to extremely high speeds, enabling them to travel more than 270,000 times a second around the large accelerator ring.

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