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Summer--and TRIUMF Cryo Team--Cools Off

28 August 2008

As the Vancouver summer has taken a cooler turn, so has the TRIUMF Vacuum and Cryogenics group. Or rather, the team recently cooled its vertical crysotat to temperatures as low as 1 K (1 degree Celsius above absolute zero!). With the successful completion of these tests, TRIUMF has demonstrated the operation of the first piece of hardware in support of the upcoming e-linac project. The cryostat is able to produce and maintain temperatures low enough to develop, test, and operate the RF cavities that will be critical components of the new accelerator.

TRIUMF has chosen low-temperature superconducting (SC) technologies for the high energy acceleration of radioactive ion beams in ISAC. The key advantages of this choice over room-temperature designs are greater energy efficiency and a compact design, allowing TRIUMF to build smaller buildings to house the experimental and support facilities. These benefits allow TRIUMF to reduce its energy consumption and operational costs.

The TRIUMF Vacuum and Cryogenics Group is to seek new and innovative solutions to improve the support provided to Canadian and international scientific experimental groups, increase the overall efficiency of TRIUMF’s operation, reduce operating costs and reduce dependence on outside suppliers of liquid helium. This combination of science, engineering, and attention to costs are examples of the responsible practices that have made TRIUMF one of the leading laboratories in the field of cryogenics and superconducting technologies.

By T.I. Meyer
Head, Strategic Planning and Communications