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International Linear Collider (Accelerator Physics)


Illustration of ILC main linac tunnel (courtesy KEK).

There is broad international agreement that the next major project for accelerator-based high energy physics should be a TeV-scale electron-positron linear collider. This project, dubbed the International Linear Collider, is proposed for construction and operation in the next decade.

At Cornell, the accelerator and HEP groups intend to play major roles in the design, construction, and operation of the International Linear Collider. The specific areas where Cornell's expertise has already played and will continue to play a major role in the linear collider are damping rings, tracking simulation, RF cavities, detectors, and accelerator operation.

Research Areas

Damping Ring Studies


CESR-c superferric wiggler design (left) and installed in cryostat (right).

CESR is currently the only wiggler-dominated storage ring in the world, and operates at energies very close to those of LC damping rings (a few GeV). Those facts put Cornell in a unique position to perform experimental studies of the dynamics expected in LC damping rings. Some projects include

  • dynamic aperture studies
  • superferric wiggler design optimization
  • simulating space charge forces
  • CESR Test Accelerator

Low-Emittance Transport Tracking Simulations


Schematic of the entire ILC machine.

Working with Cornell HEP faculty, the group aims to simulate the tracking of the beam through the entire ILC lattice from the electron source to the interaction point, including the damping rings, bunch compressors, main linac, and beam delivery system. These simulations will study low emittance preservation and beam alignment techniques under various real-world machine configurations, including: stray fields, Earth's magnetic field, beam jitter, and static and dynamic magnet misalignments.

Development of a Helical Undulator for the ILC Positron Source


Undulator cold mass for ILC polarized-positron source.

The polarized-positron source for the ILC includes the undulator, photon target, collection optics and collimation system. Present work at LEPP is concentrated on developing an undulator which satisfies the requirements of the Baseline Configuration Design (BCD), with the far-term goal of a fully-designed undulator-based positron source.

The goal of our current proposal is to design and manufacture a fully operational 0.3m long cold mass. All parameters (other than the shorter length), such as 10 and 12 mm period, 8 mm aperture, and magnetic field values will be identical to the full version of the undulator. This device will be tested in liquid helium, and fields will be measured and compared with calculations.

This device will be ready for further implementation in 4 m long module, which we also propose to design. (The BCD suggests that a ~100 m long undulator will be built in 4 m long sections.)

RF Cavity Technology

In order to reduce the number of rf cavities (and the overall length of the accelerator) while maintaining the design collision energy, each cavity must provide a proportionally larger accelerating gradient. The SRF group is designing new cavity shapes which lower the surface magnetic field and raise the maximum theoretical accelerating field. Such cavities have been constructed and have achieved record-setting accelerating gradients and Q values.