First beams of nuclei circulate rings at Brookhaven’s RHIC

23 September 1999


During August, work continued to establish circulating beams of nuclei in the two rings of Brookhaven’s Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC). Equipped with superconducting magnets, the machine operates at 4.6 K.

The beam was injected and stored in the first (“blue”) ring. Lifetimes of up to 45 min and modest acceleration ­ about 1 GeV per nucleon ­ were achieved. A few apparent obstacles will be investigated when the ring is warmed up.


Thousands of turns of beams have been seen briefly in the second (“yellow”) ring, with successful radiofrequency capture. Long lifetimes have not yet been established, nor has acceleration been performed. While no apparent obstacles have been found in this ring, steering and second turn closure in the injection region were found to be more difficult than in the first ring, as was steering through the dump area.

Beams are next expected in RHIC in December.

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