To High Luminosity and beyond!

This week marks a major milestone for the High Luminosity LHC (HL-LHC - see here) project, as it moves from the design study to the machine construction phase. HL-LHC will extend the LHC’s discovery potential, increasing luminosity by a factor of 10 beyond the original design value and allowing the scientific community to study new phenomena. 


Composer Domenico Vicinanza (left) directs the musical performance of sonified LHC data during a special Hi-Lumi event (see box).

The green light was given during the 5th Joint HiLumi LHC-LARP annual meeting that took place at CERN from 26 to 30 October 2015. The meeting saw the participation of more than 230 experts from all over the world to discuss the results and achievements of the HiLumi LHC Design Study. During the week, these experts approved the first version of the HL-LHC Technical Design Report – the document that, following the Preliminary Design Report issued in 2014, describes in detail how the LHC upgrade programme will be carried out – and kicked-off the HL-LHC main hardware prototyping and industrialisation phase.

“This has been a very exciting few years for the HL-LHC project,” says Lucio Rossi, HL-LHC Project Leader. “We’ve benefited from excellent contributors at CERN and around the world. They worked tirelessly to develop key innovative technologies to meet extraordinary technical demands.” Such technologies include cutting-edge 12 Tesla superconducting magnets, very compact and ultra-precise superconducting cavities for beam rotation, advanced collimation technologies and a 100-metre-long high-power superconducting transmission line with zero energy dissipation. For the last of these, a world record current of 20 kA at 24 K was recently set in a 40 m long MgB2 electrical transmission line - an important achievement that will enable the start of large-scale cabling production by industry.

With an integrated luminosity performance target of 250 fb-1 per year, the HL-LHC project will also make new demands on vacuum, cryogenics and machine protection systems. The project experts are developing new concepts for beam handling and diagnostics, advanced modelling for the intense beam, and novel schemes of beam optics and beam crossing to maximise the physics output of these collisions.

In addition to the technological challenges, the HL-LHC project also has an important civil engineering component, with new tunnels and underground halls needed to house the new cryogenic equipment and the power supply plants. “Such an extensive technical, technological and civil engineering endeavour would never have been possible without our collaboration with industry,” says Rossi. “We have been working in close collaboration with leading companies and are continuing to foster new relationships, as we did at the ‘HiLumi LHC goes to Industry’ event held on 26 June.”     

While construction can now begin in earnest, there is still a long road ahead to installation in 2025. “We’re entering an exciting period, not only for the HL-LHC project but for the entire accelerator community,” concludes Rossi.

The magic of light, luminosity and HiLumi sonifications

In celebration of the HL-LHC’s new status as a CERN-“approved” construction project, a special event was organised at Pathé Balexert, Geneva, for participants of the HiLumi LHC-LARP Annual Meeting. Entitled “Light, Luminosity and HiLumi Sonifications”, the event featured musical performances, light displays, poetry readings and, of course, celebratory cocktails.

The evening began with a warm welcome from the master of ceremonies, Lucio Rossi, who shared his enthusiasm about the new phase of the HL-LHC project and thanked the attendees for their dedication to the project. Then poet and writer Davide Rondoni took to the podium and shared his newest piece inspired by “light”, accompanied by music, which then crescendoed with performances by Louis Montesinos on the drums followed by CMS physicist Chiara Mariotti on the flute. The music for the event was composed by physicist and composer Domenico Vicinanza from GÉANT and Anglia Ruskin University (UK). He used sonified LHC beam data to generate the melodies.


by CERN Bulletin