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Canadian Magnets Installed in LHC at CERN

15 May 2008


As the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is completed at CERN, the end of the winter season marked another milestone of assembly when the 154 "warm" magnets were installed. Delivering the magnets half-way around the world, TRIUMF oversaw the contribution of 52 (48 plus 4 spares) units to the project.

The TRIUMF-designed warm magnets are called "warm" because they are normal conductors (as opposed to superconductors). These twin-aperture quadrupole magnets were fabricated from TRIUMF designs by ALSTOM in Tracy, Quebec. TRIUMF supplied the contract management, design, and quality assurance, while ALSTOM completed the physical production. From the first prototype in 1996, the order was completed in 2003 with the final delivery. Installation was recently completed.

Although, LHC is famous for its use of superconducting cold magnets, warm magnets are essential to directing the proton beam. Warm magnets are used along the straight sections of the path where warm magnets have sufficient strength to bend the beams. Since warm magnets are much simpler, they are less costly and easier to install and maintain. In addition, the use of the robust warm magnets in the long straight section where collimators clean the beam by removing particles far from the central orbit, reduces the risk of quenches (when part of the superconducting coil enters normal state) that can be quite damaging.

TRIUMF is also home to Canada's Tier-1 data centre for the ATLAS detector (at LHC) as well as being a contributor to the detector. To learn more about the project, check out related the CERN Courier article.

By Nicole Dublanko and Sandra Fleming
TRIUMF's Communications Office