High Energy Accelerators and the Arcing that Limits their Performance

Event Date: September 9, 2009
Speaker: James Norem, Ph.D.,
High Energy Physics Division
Speaker Affiliation: Argonne National Laboratory
Time: 3:30-4:20 p.m.
Location: WTHR 200

Although vacuum breakdown was discovered over 100 years ago and it is very easy to
produce, there is still considerable uncertainty about the basic mechanisms at work in this
process. This uncertainty complicates the design of high energy accelerators and other
technologies that need to understand and mitigate these problems. We have been looking
at rf breakdown as part of an effort to cool muon beams at Fermilab, and have been
developing simple (mostly numerical) models to explain how the arcing process works in a
variety of applications.

Brief biography:
BS, University of Chicago
Ph.D., Rutgers University
After my thesis experiment in pion scattering, I worked on a number of high energy
physics experiments before becoming interested in fusion problems involving a small
tokamak at Argonne. Moving to back to accelerators, I was the machine physicist for the
Intense Pulsed Neutron Source at Argonne before working on to more general accelerator
problems. For the past few years, as part of an effort to design a muon cooling system, I
have been looking at the gradient limits of accelerators, both normal and superconducting,
and modeling the arcs that seem to produce these limits.

2009-09-09 16:30:00 2009-09-09 17:20:00 America/New_York High Energy Accelerators and the Arcing that Limits their Performance WTHR 200