CERN: Open Day 2013, day two

On Sunday morning, the second day in Geneva at CERN OpenDays.

The day begins at the workshop. A shed full of lathes, CNC machines, in short, a normal workshop. Well almost normal…

Definitely one of the best places to realize the technical challenge by such machines.
In this workshop they study and implement the prototype to improve the accelerators and the components needed to operate them. We saw machine that works the metal in a controlled environment for the production of components for CLIC with infinitesimal tolerances; research to increase as the duration of collimators, studies of more and more resistant materials. Curious, that in an environment with so advanced tecnology, they use mirros to capture high speed images of the impacts of the particles against the sample materials, because the camera won’t survive the radiation released at the point of impact.
Two curiosity: the workshop I saw a component that serves to LHC to compensate the variation in length of the machine. Once cooled superconducting magnets, the accelerator reduces its length of 7 meters ( on 26659 meters of total length), and it must be compensated to avoid breakage.
Another curiosity: the physicists in calculating the energy levels must take account of the phases of the moon, as well as it influence the tide, although the land is deformed, about 25 cm. in Geneva area, stretching the machine of 1 mm. Further interesting details are found in this LHC FAQ

The CERN is not only particle accelerators, but also decelerators. At Antiprotons decelerator (details ) slow down antiprotons in order to join them to the positron to get the anti-hydrogen so they are able to study antimatter. Unfortunately they told me that it will take many more years before they can supply of antimatter the Kirk’s Enterprise. Indeed in 2011 they celebrated when they managed to keep alive 300 antiatoms over 1000 seconds ( the announcement).

Overview of the shed and experiment area Alpha

This concludes a wonderful two days in the Swiss land.

Previous parts:
First day, part 1
First day, part 2

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