FRIB accelerates beams of neon, argon, krypton, and xenon

03 April 2019

FRIB has achieved an important milestone by accelerating beams of neon, argon, krypton, and xenon through fifteen cryomodules.

The beams were accelerated to an energy above 20 million electron-volts per nucleon (MeV/nucleon).

In July 2018, FRIB accelerated its first beams of argon and krypton to the beam energy of 2 MeV/nucleon in the first three of forty-six cryomodules.

The heart of FRIB is a high-power superconducting linear accelerator that will accelerate ion beams up to half the speed of light to strike a target, creating rare isotopes. The linear accelerator is made of cryomodules, which contain superconducting radio frequency (SRF) cavities. The SRF cavities accelerate the beam while operating at temperatures a few degrees above absolute zero. Much like a heavy truck, heavy ion beams speed up slowly. The first fifteen cryomodules accelerate the beam to 10 percent of 200 MeV/nucleon. The remaining 31 cryomodules will provide the other 90 percent of beam energy.