The Large Hadron Collider

Scientists from US universities and national laboratories partnered with an international community to design and construct the Large Hadron Collider. Today American scientists and engineers continue to develop new technology for future upgrades to the LHC.

The US LHC Accelerator Construction Project, a $200 million project funded by the US Department of Energy Office of Science, catalyzed the United States involvement in the original design and construction of the LHC accelerator. This project included scientists from Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York; Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Illinois; and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California.

Fermilab, in collaboration with CERN and the KEK laboratory in Japan, designed and constructed the magnet systems that focus the high-energy particles into hair-thin beams immediatly before they collide in the center of each of the four main LHC experiments. The systems use superconducting quadrupole magnets, built by Fermilab and KEK.

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Fermilab designed and constructed eight cryogenic and power feed boxes that support these final-focus magnet systems. LBNL also designed and constructed eight specialized absorbers that protect the US-designed superconducting magnets from the secondary particles spray.

Brookhaven National Laboratory designed and constructed 20 superconducting "beam separation" dipole magnets and tested superconducting wire and cable.

Scientists from all three laboratories carried out accelerator physics calculations in support of the design of the LHC, including the final-focus magnet systems.


Industry and the LHC

US industries also had a hand in building the LHC machine, supplying $88.5 million in specialized materials and components. These materials included niobium-titanium alloy sheets for use in manufacturing the superconductor for LHC magnets; superconducting cable; high-temperature superconducting power leads; insulation for LHC magnets; and cryogenic and beam instrumentation components.


The US LHC Accelerator Research Program (LARP)

LARP coordinates research and development in the US for the LHC accelerator. LARP brings together scientists and engineers from Brookhaven National Laboratory, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and the University of Texas at Austin.

Many LARP scientists and engineers specilize in the development of superconducting quadrupole magnets. Currently, the LHC uses niobium-titanium superconducting magnets to both bend and focus proton beams as they race around the LHC. But these magnets are not powerful enough to support stronger focusing and higher energies. So engineers from LARP and their international partners are developing a new superconducting material, niobium tin, which would enhance the capabilities of the LHC for future runs.


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