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21 Jul 14

Cambridge UK

Grant Instruments' heating technology has been successfully used to help demonstrate a novel world first at CERN, home of the famous large Hadron collider. Physicists at CERN are seeking answers to some of the most basic questions about the universe and how it started, using some of the world's most powerful particle accelerators. Grant provided a custom heating system to form part of the AWAKE project run by the world renowned Max Planck Institute for Physics (Munich, Germany). The Institute presented its successful initial experiments to the 5th international Particle Accelerator Conference in Dresden Germany this week.

The heating system provides a highly stable environment to heat the chemical element, Rubidium, up to 230°C. The system achieved this to an accuracy of <±0.2°C over 3 meters. The test system will be used to generate phenomena known as a plasma wakefield by shining a laser through the vapour and then sending a very energetic proton bunch through it. This is important in the field of particle physics as it allows particles to be accelerated powerfully over much shorter distances making these test systems easier to build in the future.

Ludo Chapman, Grant’s MD said “I think this project shows us at our best. It was a pleasure to be able to demonstrate how our engineers can use their experience and skill in temperature control alongside top class scientists to produce a novel solution in a rapid timescale. We’re looking forward to building the full scale system in the coming year”

Dr. Patric Muggi , Group Leader on the project said “The vapour source and the plasma will play a central role in what will be the first proton-driven, plasma wakefield experiment in the world. This experiment is very multi-disciplinary and will be possible only thanks to the team work of people with many fields of expertise, from proton beam line, laser science, plasma sources to advanced optical diagnostics. It is a great advantage to count Grant Instruments as one of the team members.”

Grant Instruments (Cambridge) Limited (www.grantinstruments.com) is a world renowned supplier and manufacturer of scientific, life sciences and data acquisition products. The company has been designing, manufacturing and distributing scientific products for 60 years and has established a worldwide reputation for high quality, reliable and robust systems designed to satisfy the most demanding applications for research in life sciences, chemical and the general laboratory.

More information can be found on the AWAKE project at


plasma-wakefield A plasma wakefield - Self-modulated particle bunch (denoted by the yellow colour, moving to the right) and plasma density perturbation (bl colour) after saturation of the self-modulation instability (OSIRIS simulation result, courtesy of J. Vieira, IST, Portugal).



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