ELENA’s International Collaboration is born

On 13 June, ten institutes signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the construction of the Extra Low ENergy Antiproton ring (ELENA). Allowing the further deceleration of antiprotons from the Antimatter Decelerator, ELENA will significantly increase the number of particles trapped downstream in the experimental set-ups. This will give an important boost to antimatter research in the years to come.


Electrostatic triplet lenses - a device that will transport antiprotons from ELENA to the experiments. The electrostatic device was successfully tested with the ASACUSA experiment two weeks ago.

ELENA - an upgrade of the existing Antiproton Decelerator (AD) - was approved by the CERN Council last year under the condition that external user institutions would contribute to its construction. On 13 June, the foundation stone of the new international collaboration was laid with the signature of the MoU.

ELENA is a small magnetic decelerator ring 30 m in circumference that will fit inside the present AD hall. The scientific demand for low-energy antiprotons at the AD continues to grow – particularly in the field of antihydrogen spectroscopy and measurements of gravitational effects on antimatter – and the AD alone can no longer provide the number of antiprotons needed. ELENA will slow down the 5.3 MeV antiprotons from the AD to an energy of just 100 keV and will thus increase the number of trapped antiprotons by a factor of 10 to 100. In addition, ELENA will allow parallel operation of up to four experiments and opens the possibility to accommodate an extra experimental area, which will be built as an extension of the current AD Hall.

Representatives from the 10 signatory institutes outside the CERN Council chamber, 13 June.

The Technical Design Study will be completed by the end of 2012, after which orders will be placed for the machine components. Installation of the machine could start in 2014/15, followed two years later by the start of the physics programme.







The signatory institutes:

• University of Tokyo, Japan
• RIKEN, Japan
• University of Aarhus, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Denmark
• The Cockcroft Institute of Accelerator Science and Technology, UK
• Swansea University, Department of Physics, UK
• MPQ-MPI, Max-Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, Germany
• IKP, Forschungszentrum Juelich GmbH, Germany
• Helmholtz-Institut Mainz, Germany
• Universita' Degli Studi Di Brescia, Italy
• Triumf, Canada


by Antonella Del Rosso