Vacuum technology represents a global multi-billion-dollar market that covers everything from freeze-dried foods to flat-panel displays, but its application to particle accelerators for high-energy physics reveals its full complexity and multidisciplinary nature. Particle beams require extremely low pressure in the pipes in which they travel to maximise beam lifetimes and minimise backgrounds in the physics detectors, driving much of today’s R&D towards simulating, controlling and mitigating the direct and indirect effects of particle beams on material surfaces. CERN brings surface-physics specialists, thin-film coating experts and galvanic-treatment professionals, together with designers and others dedicated to the operation of large vacuum equipment. This makes it one of the world’s leading R&D centres for extreme vacuum technology, for projects at CERN and beyond.
All of the articles from the print edition of the retrospective are available online or alternatively you can download a PDF version.