stephenbrooks.orgForumMuon1GeneralMuon channel solenoid testing at RAL [photos]
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Stephen Brooks
2013-01-11 21:36:21
At RAL they are building a small (~10m) section of muon channel called MICE as a technology test.  It's eventually going to be tested using a low-intensity muon source (a parasitic target on RAL's proton accelerator ISIS).  Anyway, they have a solenoid under test that is very similar to what the muon front end in our simulations will be built from.  Today its magnetic field was switched off so I could go in and have a look.

Magnetic field sign on the door (sorry, blurry, got the camera out in a hurry).

The white line running around the floor of this room is the "5 Gauss" safety line (5 Gauss = 0.0005 Tesla, or about 10x Earth's magnetic field).  The primary danger is that older pacemakers can fail by draining their batteries more rapidly when exposed to this field.  Of course, closer to the magnet, iron pennies will stick together (as I've seen demoed elsewhere) and eventually ferromagnetic objects will fly through the air and hit the solenoid.  This "flying object" danger is part of the MICE safety case.  Note again, the magnet is turned OFF while we're in there.

This module actually contains two coils, which can be powered independently, due to the particular placement of solenoids used in the MICE experiment.  MICE also want to place materials in the way of the muons to investigate their interactions ("muon cooling"), these will be attached to the flange on the far side.

On the right is my DPhil supervisor John Cobb, who is doing a lot of the engineering for this magnet.  On the left is Chris Rogers from my group, who is responsible for ensuring the solenoids have holes through them.

Around the other side...

This is a magnetic field probe, not currently switched on.

The magnet power supply on the left and three cryogenics boxes.  This superconducting magnet uses liquid helium coolant much like those in the LHC.

I was curious about how this was "plugged in". Because superconducting magnets have no resistance, the whole magnet PSU is powered off the single mains plug on the left!  The red ~8kW high-current plugs are required for the cryogenic pumps.

Inside a cryogenic box and some blueprints of the magnet which are stored on the magnet (?)

2013-01-13 23:36:51
Actually, the blueprints stored ON the magnet makes a lot of sense.

In an emergency, you want stuff to hand, they're easily obtainable by anyone who is in a position to be there, allows for easy comparison, and doesn't require a second storage area. 
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