The Portal of Superconductor Activities for Accelerators and Detectors at CERN


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CERN is hosting the largest project of applied superconductivity, the Large Hadron Collider. Many activities and technologies directly or indirectly related to superconductivity are in progress for the LHC project, both for the accelerator and for the particle detectors. In total about 15 GJoules of magnetic energy will be stored in the about 10,000 superconducting magnets of the LHC, mostly concentrated in the 1232 main dipoles and in the two large magnets for the ATLAS and CMS detectors.

While LHC is being completed (the goal is to close the ring in 2007), CERN is starting to prepare the future for the post-LHC era. Some studies are aimed to a direct upgrade of the LHC ring : more powerful magnets (9-15 T peak field) in the interaction regions will help to increase the luminosity. Other studies are aimed at improving the reliability and the performance of the injector chain, through a substitution of the resistive magnets with 0.1 to 1 Hz cycled superconducting magnets, capable of 1 to 5 T/s of field ramp.

These studies are conducted in the frame of the European collaboration CARE, partly supported by the EU and including all major laboratories and universities involved in accelerators. For magnets the reference inside CARE are the network on hadron colliders HHH (which includes also some fusion laboratory to improve scientific exchange) and the Joint Research Program NED, aimed to develop the Nb3Sn conductor, the technologies and the design for a 15 T dipole of extremely high current density.

The activities on superconductivity at CERN are covered by different teams, groups and departments, so this page is intended as a directory to make it easier to find the required information. Please find below the lists of :
Lucio Rossi      IEEE-Council of Superconductivity, Europe   email:     tel: +41.22.767.11.17
Marco Buzio    scientific secretary and webmaster                 email:  tel: +41.22.767.37.24


The CERN Accelerator Complex

CMS Underground Experiment Bldg 927 - Model magnet lab Bldg 904 - Magnet assembly and test Bloc4 - Short magnet tests SMA18 SM18 Bldg. 181 - Magnet assembly Bldg. 281 - HTS test station Bldg. 103 - Strand metallurgy Bldg. 163 - FRESCA cable tests Cryolab ATLAS Experiment CAST Experiment COMPASS Experiment
click on the picture to jump to the selected lab/experiment


Laboratories for testing of SC materials and cables

Bldg. 103 - Strand Metallurgy Lab  
This laboratory performs characterization of strand and cable samples. Equipment includes a metallographic microscope with digital image analysis, a tool for mechanical polishing of metallographic cross sections, a micro-hardness tester and a Laser-Mike instrument.

Contact: C Scheuerlein(AT-MCS)
Links: Lab photos

Bldg. 163 - SC Cable characterization
This facility includes trans-spooling equipment and preparation area for strand samples, 7 small cryostats for NbTi and Nb3Sn strand characterization (up to 2 kA, 12.5 T and 1.9 K). The laboratory is equipped for measurements of critical current, contact resistance, RRR and magnetization.

Contact: L Oberli (AT-MCS)
Links: Talk at the Workshop on Test Facilities and measurement equipment needed for the LHC exploitation, 2006

Bldg. 163 - FRESCA Cable Test Facility

The FRESCA facility can provide detailed measurements of SC cable at 1.8 and 4.5 K, with current up to 50 kA and in field up to 10.3 T. It is currently used to test and accept the different types of cable for LHC magnets.



Contact: A Verweij (AT-MCS)
Links: Introductory Posters

Bldg. 281 - HTS Current Lead Test Station
The LHC machine use Bi-2223 tape current leads to minimize heat influx. The HTS laboratory is equipped to carry out testing and assembly of the high temperature superconductor and of the finished leads.

Contact: A. Ballarino (AT-MEL)
Links: HTS @ CERN Website

Bldg. 165 - CRYOLAB
This facility has cryogenic equipment at 1.9 and 4.5 K and is used for general low-temperature tests, including characterization of superconducting cables and joints for LHC and other projects.

Contact: T Niinikoski  (AT-ECR)
Links: Cryolab Website (old)

Laboratories for testing of SC magnets

Bloc 4 - Vertical LHC Magnet Test Facility
This laboratory, operating on the Prevessin site, is equipped with 4 vertical cryostats able to accommodate magnets up to about 3m long. Initially it was used to carried out magnetic and power tests of the 1m-long LHC model magnets; currently it operates as the test station for corrector and special quadrupole magnets.

Contact: W Venturini, C Giloux (AT-MTM)
Links: Bloc4 website

SM18 - Main LHC Magnet Test Facility
This laboratory, located between Meyrin and Prevessin, is active since 1995 for the test of LHC magnet prototypes. Today, it is equipped with 12 full-scale cryogenic test stations used to test round-the-clock the 1700 main LHC cryoassemblies at 1.9 K or 4.4 K. The capabilities include 614 kA power supplies and 23 kW of cooling power @ 4.4 K. The

Contact: L Walckiers, A Siemko (AT-MTM), B Vullierme (AT-ACR)
Links: Operation Website, MTM-OP section, MTM-TF section, ACR-MT section

SM18 - Superconducting RF Cavities Assembly & Testing
The facility includes a clean room for assembly of the cavities, and shares cryogenic equipment with the magnets for testing at 1.9K.

Contact: P Maesen (AB-RF)
Links: SL-ECT Group

Bldg. 927 - Short models laboratory


This laboratory is equipped to produce ~1 m long model dipole and quadrupole magnets, from coil winding to a complete cold mass. Here the 6T superconducting undulator for the LHC is also being made. Other activities include inspections and test on polymide insulating films, development of mechanical instrumentation, and electrical qualification of SC magnets.    

ContactR Maccaferri (AT-MCS)
Links: 927 website

Hall 181 - LHC Magnet Assembly Facility
This hall hosts the equipment that was used to assemble the first 15 LHC main dipole magnets, from collared coil to a complete cold mass. It is currently used for the final stages of the assembly and the warm testing of the Short Straight Sections for the Matching Sections and Dispersion Suppressors of the LHC.

Contact: R Ostojic, N Catalan Lasheras (AT-MEL)

SMA 18 - Cryostating and testing of LHC cryodipoles
In this hall, dipole cold masses received from the manufacturer are tested at room temperature and assembled into their cryostat before cold testing in the adjacent SM18. In addition, cryodipoles and arc short straight section that have finished the cold tests are brought here to be checked and prepared for installation.

Contact: D Tommasini (AT-MCS)
Links: Dipole Coordination website

Bldg. 904 - Cryostating and testing of LHC Short Straight Sections
In this hall, quadrupole magnets received from the manufacturer are tested and cryostated. In addition, the Short Straight Sections for the MS & DS made in Bldg. 181 are brought here after cold tests for electrical and geometric tests.

Contact: V Parma (AT-MCS), D Missiaen (TS-SU)
Links: SSS Coordination website



Superconducting magnets for particle detectors at CERN

Point1 - ATLAS: A Toroidal LHC ApparatuS
ATLAS is the largest experiment being built for the LHC, and it is based on a system of magnets working at 4.8 K and made with Al-stabilized NbTi/Cu cable, including:

- a 5 m long, 2 T central solenoid
- a record-size 25 m long, 8-coil, 4 T barrel toroid
- two large 8-coil, 4 T end cap toroids 


Contact: H ten Kate (PH-ATI), G Vandoni (AT-ECR)
Links: ATLAS experiment, ATLAS magnet system

Point 5 - CMS: Compact Muon Solenoid
CMS is a very large underground experiment being built for the LHC. It includes a 13 m long, 4 T Al-stabilized NbTi/Cu solenoid, reinforced with Al alloy, working at 4.5 K and reaching a record-setting 2.7 GJ of stored energy.



Contact: D Campi (PH-CMI)
Links: CMS experiment, CMS solenoid

Point 7 - CAST: CERN Axion Solar Telescope
This experiment makes use of the very first 10 m-long prototype LHC dipole mounted on a rotating gantry to track the sun's movement, with the purpose of detecting axions passing through the field.

Contact: Thomas Papaevangelou (PH-UGC)
LinkCAST Website

This experiment consists of a muon spectrometer installed in CERN's Super Proton Synchrotron, and it includes a SC solenoid.

Contact: G Mallot (PH-COE)
Link: Compass Website


CERN Departments and Groups involved with Superconductivity



Working Groups, Collaborations and Other Activities

AMT - Accelerator Magnet Technology
AMT is a Working Group of the CARE collaboration which aims at the development of superconducting materials and related procedures, standards and databases for the next generation of accelerator magnets.

Contact: L. Rossi (AT-MCS), L Bottura (AT-MTM)
Links: AMT Website

Pulsed Dipole Working Group  
The PMWG is an informal working group which is part of the network activities of the CARE-HHH Program. Its main aim is exchanging information and steer R&D on pulsed magnets for the LHC injector chain upgrade and SIS300.

Contact: D. Tommasini (AT-MCS)
Links: PDWG Website

Muon Collider Project logo
This project concerns a muon accelerator where collisions are used to generate neutrinos. The machine is expected to make use of SC magnets and cavities.

Contact: A Blondel (PH-UGC)
Links: CERN Muon Ring Website, BNL MC Collaboration, MC magnets

ISOLDE Experiment # 360  
This experiment was aimed at the characterization of SC material.

Contact: J Correia (PH-UIS)


Other superconductivity resources on the CERN Intranet

Superconductor Database Material properties database created in the framework of the CARE-HHH-AMT collaboration (E Laface)
CAS Erice, 2002
CAS Hamburg, 1995
CAS Hamburg, 1988
On-line CERN Accelerator School Superconductivity textbooks
Superconducting pulsed magnets
Lecture #1, #2, #3, #4, #5
CERN Academic Training lectures by M. Wilson (May 2006)
Introduction to cryogenic engineering
Abstracts & transparencies
CERN Academic Training lectures by G Perinic, G Vandoni, T Niinikoski (Dec 2005)
The ITER project: technological challenges
Abstracts & transparents
CERN Academic Training lectures by P. Bruzzone (Sep 2004)
Introduction to cryogenic engineering
Abstracts & transparencies
CERN Academic Training lectures by H. Quack (Sep 2003)
Superconducting materials for magnets
Abstracts & transparencies
CERN Academic Training lectures by D.C. Larbalestier (Jan 2002)
Superconducting magnets
Abstracts & transparencies
CERN Academic Training lectures by L. Rossi (May 2000)
Superfluid Helium: Physics and applications
Abstracts & transparencies
CERN Academic Training lectures by W. Vinen and P. Lebrun (Feb 1999)
Introduction to Superconductivity
Abstracts & transparencies
CERN Academic Training lectures by P. Darriulat (May 1998)
Design issues of superconducting magnets
Abstracts and transparencies
CERN Academic Training lectures by R. Perin (Feb 1997)
Applied superconductivity, DC and RF
Abstracts and transparencies
CERN Academic Training lectures by E. Haebel (Nov 1991)
Superconducting RF Cavities On-line tutorials (S Calatroni)
Specific heat of HTS PhD Thesis (N Garfield)
Copper cored cable CERN-Fermilab-Berkeley collaboration (L Bottura)
Teacher Website Simple introduction page aimed at high school teachers (e.g. to prepare for a visit to CERN)


External links


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