ELENA at CERN’s Antimatter Factory is back in action!

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General view of the ELENA decelerator with the new beamlines visible. (Image: CERN/M.Brice)

The Extra Low Energy Antiproton ring (ELENA) ring has started delivering antiprotons at an energy of 100 keV to all low energy antiproton experiments.

ELENA, a small 30m synchrotron ring designed to cool the 5.3MeV antiprotons from CERN’s Antiproton Decelerator (AD), is part of CERN‘s antimatter factory. It slows down antiprotons from the AD and this allows experiments to increase the number of antiprotons that they can capture.

Within AVA, Fellows have worked closely together as part of the Design and Optimization work package to target improvements in the performance of the ELENA and FLAIR low energy antimatter facilities. For example, Bianca Veglia’s project focussed on Beam Stability and Lifetime in low energy Storage Rings and Bruno Galante worked on the Generation of Cold Electrons for an eV Electron Cooler. Electron cooling of the antiproton beam is essential to reduce or eliminate any emittance growth caused by the deceleration process of antiprotons – the smaller the emittance, the higher the quality of the beam.

ELENA is improving the conditions for antimatter experiments dramatically. The less energy antiprotons have, the easier it is to study and manipulate them. The ELENA ring has been designed to reduce antiproton energies to below 100 keV. An electron cooling system also increases the beam density. With ELENA, the number of antiprotons that can be trapped increases by a factor of 10 to 100, improving the efficiency of the experiments and paving the way for new experiments.

After successful installation and commissioning of new transfer lines at the ELENA ring, the facility has now started delivering antiprotons at an energy of 100 keV to the physics experiments. In the last week of August, the GBAR and ALPHA experiments have already taken beams and other experiments will follow soon.

You can watch ELENA in action in this short video: