Heavy ion beam accelerated at NICA for the first time

News, 28 November 2022

Within the current run at the NICA Accelerator Complex, an important result has been achieved. The team of the project has achieved circulation of xenon ions of high-intensity at the Nuclotron, which has become the first in the history of the project. Participants of the project expect that the current commissioning cycle will be the key one before the entire injection complex is put into operation as a completed element of the NICA Project.

According to Deputy Head of the Accelerator Department of the Laboratory of High Energy Physics Anatoly Sidorin, during the run, specialists managed to achieve for the first time the operation of the complex of heavy ion accelerators in its entirety, including an electron-string ion source, a heavy-ion linear accelerator, the Booster, and the Nuclotron. The intensity of the xenon heavy ion beam accelerated at the Nuclotron is approximately 107 particles.

Accelerated beam in Nuclotron

“Within the run, employees of the complex tested the SOCHI Applied Station at argon ions. The station at the extracted beams will irradiate chips in future. The ion source, the linear accelerator, and the Booster were tuned to accelerate argon and xenon ions. Xenon ions after being accelerated in the Booster were recharged to the state of bare nuclei, injected into the Nuclotron, stable circulation of the beam accelerated to an energy of about 3 GeV/nucleon was obtained,” Anatoly Sidorin said.

He noted that none of the scientific centres in the territory of the country of the JINR’s location – Russia – accelerates such heavy ions up to relativistic energies.

“Now the beam extraction from the Nuclotron is being configured. After that the BM@N physical experiment will start,” Anatoly Sidorin said, speaking about further plans for the commissioning run at the NICA Complex.

On 20 September, the current, already the fourth commissioning cycle at the NICA injection complex at the Laboratory of High Energy Physics JINR started.

NICA Accelerator complex