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Particle Accelerators – Vacuum

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Vacuum Monitoring in Particle Accelerators

Particle accelerators are vital tools used for increasing our understanding of fundamental particle physics. Within the accelerator, two high-energy particle beams travel very  close to the speed of light before they are forded into a collision. The two beams travel in opposite directions in separate tubes. The tubes must  to be maintained at  ultra-high vacuum to avoid unwanted collisions and loss of beam energy. The requirement for vacuum measurement of the residual gas and to detect leaks or virtual leaks is vital to maintain  high uptime running of the particle accelerator.


Residual Gas Analysers are used for vacuum monitoring in particle accelerators . For the ultra-high vacuum level required in the world’s largest accelerators, CERN for example the  residual gas analyser is selected for its ultra-low outgassing properties with special attention to hydrogen. The  Particle accelerators  use high power magnetic fields to confine and bend the beam. Exposure to high magnetic fields can  have a deleterious effect on integrated electronics. Hiden developed the HAL 101X to overcome this hurdle using RF transformer coupled technology, allowing the analyser to be mounted on the vacuum tubes,  whilst allowing the control electronics to be located up to 120 m away. Standard residual gas analysers without effective shielding can fail within this environment. Magnetic shielding of the analyser is required if exposed to magnetic fields exceeding 2 Gauss.

Hiden Analytical residual gas analysers are offered with a range of radiation and magnetic field resistance options  to cover the full range of  environments within the particle accelerator  infrastructure.  As standard Hiden residual gas analysers are radiation resistant and operate without the need for special shielding.

For environments where the radiation is higher and exceeds an accumulated dose over a 10 year period, of 10 8 Rads, we offer radiation hard options, and for the most harsh environments  the Hiden HAL101X  is recommended.

Further Reading

Physics World Article: Residual gas analysers: it’s the small details that deliver success in UHV/XHV systems