Construction of the world's most powerful atom smasher, a machine that may disclose the innermost nature of matter, has been completed, and the breaking-in process has begun.
AV The Accelerator (2 shots)
GV'S Cooling towers and Control buildings (2 shots)
GV of the underground tunnel (4 miles in circumference)
GV PAN Technicians at computer consoles
SV ditto & CU's TV screens (5 shots)
CU Equipment in tunnel
GV & SV IN Tunnel
SV Technicians (2 shots)
THE WORLD'S MOST POWERFUL ATOM-SMASHER AT BATAVIA, ILLINOIS, USA (NATIONAL ACCELERATOR LABORATORY).
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Construction of the world's most powerful atom smasher, a machine that may disclose the innermost nature of matter, has been completed, and the breaking-in process has begun.
The machine, spread across a rural area near Batavia, Ill, west of Chicago, was completed a year ahead of schedule.
The only major construction remaining is that of the experimental areas where protons, or atomic "bullets," accelerated by the machine, will be directed into various target materials.
Early Wednesday protons were fired around the four-mile main accelerator ring for the first time. Yesterday, efforts began to increase them to the machine's original design energy of 200 billion electron volts.
Ultimately, Dr. Robert R. Wilson, director of the Illinois facility, known as the National Accelerator Laboratory, expects that the proton energy can be raised to 500 billion electron volts--roughly seven times the energy of the most powerful atom smasher now in operation. That is the machine at Serpukhov, 60 miles south of Moscow, in the Soviet Union.
Initially, in the latest American tests, the protons simply "coasted" around the four-mile ring. However, they had gone through two initial acceleration stages.
The first was a 500-foot straight-line, or linear, accelerator that increased them to 200 million electron volts. The second was a circular seage, 500 feet in diameter, that raised their energy to 7 billion electron volts.
The protons were then guided by magnets into the main ring where some 1,000 magnets guide and compress the protons as they fly their circular path.
Acceleration in this main ring is provided by radio waves that give the protons an increase of 2.8 million electron volts every time they go around the ring.
When this radio system is operating at its initial designed capacity, the protons will make 70,000 trips around the ring in 1.6 seconds, reaching an energy of 200 billion electron volts before being guided magnetically into an experimental area.
The planned construction cost of the facility was some $250-million, and the project has essentially remained within that budget.
After a long battle between states competing for selection as the site for this laboratory, construction began at Batavia in December, 1968. The target date for completion was June 30, 1972.