Kiwi Particle Physicist

May 26, 2006

KEK Tour

Second to last day. We left Hayama this morning and came to KEK by bus. After lunch we went for a tour around KEK to see the Photon Factory, KEKB, Superconducting Test Facility (STF), RF Cavity Fabrication and Test Facility, and the Accelerator Test Facility (ATF). I’ve seen KEKB before, but none of the rest. It’s amazing how many different things they’re studying here that I never new about.

The highlight for me was seeing the ATF. This is a 90m linear accelerator and a 1.5GeV damping ring with a circumference of 138m, which is used for various accelerator studies for the ILC. The linac is shown below.

On Belle we are just trying to take as much data as possible, and as long as the accelerator and detector are working properly we don’t usually think about them too much. We normally only go inside once a year during summer maintenance to fiddle round with things and make improvements. The people working on ATF, however, are focused on studying the machine itself, and have much more opportunity to get hands on and play around with it.

It still gives me warm fuzzies inside whenever I get to see one of these machines up close. They’re such amazing creations. I think its a shame that most of the general public never get the chance to see them. Imagine building something like the accelerator in the photo, but 150 times longer. Then put two of these end-to-end and shoot trillions of electrons into each other. Awesome!


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