Vanessa Simon, a Ph.D. student from the University of Heidelberg and Max-Planck-Institut für Kernphysik (both in Germany) working here at TRIUMF was awarded 3rd prize for Best Student Presentation at the 2011 Winter Nuclear and Particle Physics Conference in Banff, Alberta. The conference focused on topics of research that are of great interest to the Canadian community. Geared towards junior researchers such as students and post doctorate students, it featured sessions focusing on areas of research such as nuclear astrophysics, anti-matter physics, and neutrino physics.
Her topic was the “TITAN Penning Trap for Cooling Highly-Charged Radioactive Ions at ISAC.” In her 20 minute presentation to the audience of Canada’s top researchers in nuclear and particle physics, she gave an overview of the TITAN experimental set up at ISAC. She explained the development of the Electron Beam Ion Trap (EBIT), which helps prepare highly charged ions for improved precision in mass measurement. One challenge is controlling the energy spread that the ions gain due to the charge breeding process.
A Cooler Penning Trap (CPET) is currently being developed to “cool” highly charged ions in order to increase the efficiency and precision of mass measurement. Currently the design of the CPET trap electrodes is complete and there have been successful simulations of the cooling techniques. An offline test setup should be in operation by summer this year, as the electrode assembly is progressing. In 2012, she is hoping to have an online setup in operation in the TITAN experiment.
“It feels quite good to be recognized, as before it was just within our little community.” Vanessa said, “At a conference there’s so many other physicists and scientists asking questions – I appreciate their interest in my project and the recognition. It’s an honour, and it motivates me to continue working hard.”
Congratulations Vanessa for your hard work and good luck with the rest of the project!
-- Lindsay Davies, Communications Assistant
Vanessa working on the assembly of the trap
electrodes for the Cooler Penning Trap.