Final NSLS-II Magnet Girders Installed

magnet girders

Installation of final magnet girders

Brookhaven Lab's National Synchrotron Light Source II (NSLS-II), under construction since 2009, will be a new state-of-the-art, medium-energy electron storage ring (3 billion electron-volts), designed to deliver world-leading intensity and brightness. It will produce x-rays more than 10,000 times brighter than our current NSLS when it begins operating in 2015.

In January, the last of 150 magnet girders was installed in the storage ring of the new Light Source capping off a tremendous year-long effort in which 843 magnets were safely delivered, tested, and installed. 

The magnets traveled to the Lab from across the globe. They were supplied by ring magnet vendors based in six countries that include New Zealand, Russia, Denmark, the U.S., China, and the United Kingdom.

As the magnets arrived at the Lab, they were thoroughly tested and installed on girders, which were placed into the NSLS-II ring tunnel. During the early part of 2012 two girders were being installed per week; as the year ended, that rate was three to five per week. These installations required painstaking precision to align the magnets properly. If the magnets are misaligned by even a tenth of a millimeter, the error is amplified and the orbit of the beam will be shifted by 10 times as much. The electron beam whips around the storage ring at practically the speed of light, and because the beam is so tightly focused, it is also extremely sensitive to small obstacles. At that velocity, if the beam encounters even the smallest of bumps, it can spiral outward off course and dissipate.

Learn more about the Light Source.

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