Definitions

particle accelerators

List of accelerators in particle physics

A list of particle accelerators used for particle physics experiments. Some early particle accelerators that more properly did nuclear physics, but existed prior to the separation of particle physics from that field, are also included. Although a modern accelerator complex usually has several stages of accelerators, only accelerators whose output has been used directly for experiments are listed.

Early accelerators

These all used single beams with fixed targets. They tended to have very briefly-run, inexpensive, and unnamed experiments.

Cyclotrons

Accelerator Location Years of
operation
Shape Accelerated Particle Kinetic
Energy
Notes and discoveries made
9-inch cyclotron UC Berkeley 1931 Circular H2+ 1.0 MeV Proof of concept
11-inch cyclotron UC Berkeley 1932 Circular Proton 1.2 MeV
27-inch cyclotron UC Berkeley 1932-1936 Circular Deuteron 4.8 MeV Investigated deuteron-nucleus interactions
37-inch cyclotron UC Berkeley 1937-1938 Circular Deuteron 8 MeV Discovered many isotopes
60-inch cyclotron UC Berkeley 1939-1941 Circular Deuteron 16 MeV Discovered many isotopes
184-inch cyclotron Berkeley Rad Lab[1] 1942- Circular Various >100 MeV Research on uranium isotope separation
Calutrons Oak Ridge National Laboratory 1943- "Horseshoe" Uranium
nuclei
Used to separate isotopes for the Manhattan project

[1] First accelerator built at the current Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory site, then known as the Berkeley Radiation Laboratory ("Rad Lab" for short)

Other early accelerator types

Accelerator Location Years of
operation
Shape
and size
Accelerated
particle
Kinetic
Energy
Notes and discoveries made
Cockcroft and Walton's
electrostatic accelerator
Cavendish Laboratory 1932 See Cockroft-
Walton generator
Proton 0.7 MeV First to artificially split the nucleus (Lithium)

Synchrotrons

Accelerator Location Years of
operation
Shape
and size
Accelerated
particle
Kinetic
Energy
Notes and discoveries made
Cosmotron Brookhaven
National Laboratory
1953-1968 Circular ring
(72 meters around)
Proton 3.3 GeV Discovery of V particles, first artificial production of some mesons.
Birmingham
Synchrotron
University of Birmingham 1939-? Proton 1 GeV
Bevatron Berkeley Rad Lab ie LBNL 1954-~1970 "Race track" Proton 6.2 GeV strange particle experiments, Antiproton and antineutron discovered, resonances discovered
Bevalac, combination of SuperHILAC linear accelerator, a diverting tube, then the Bevatron Berkeley Rad Lab ie LBNL ~1970-1993 linear accelerator followed by "Race track" any and all sufficiently-stable nuclei could be accelerated observation of compressed nuclear matter. Depositing ions in tumors in cancer research.
Saturne Saclay, France 3 GeV
Synchrophasotron Dubna, Russia December 1949-present 10 GeV
Zero Gradient
Synchrotron
Argonne National
Laboratory
12.5 GeV
Proton Synchrotron CERN 1959-present Circular ring
(600 meters around)
Proton 28 GeV Used to feed ISR, SPS, LHC
Alternating Gradient Synchrotron Brookhaven
National Laboratory
1960- Proton 33 GeV J/Ψ, muon neutrino, CP violation in kaons

Fixed-target accelerators

More modern accelerators that were also run in fixed target mode; often, they will also have been run as colliders, or accelerated particles for use in subsequently-built colliders.

Accelerator Location Years of
operation
Shape
and size
Accelerated
particle
Kinetic
Energy
Experiments Notes
SLAC Linac Stanford Linear
Accelerator center
1966-present 3 km linear
accelerator
Electron/
Positron
50 GeV Repeatedly upgraded, used to feed PEP, SPEAR, SLC, and PEP-II
Fermilab Booster Fermilab 1970-present Circular Synchrotron Protons 8 GeV MiniBooNE
Fermilab Main Injector Fermilab 1995-present Circular Synchrotron Protons and antiprotons 150 GeV MINOS
Fermilab Main Ring Fermilab 1970-1995 Circular Synchrotron Protons and antiprotons 400 GeV (until 1979), 150 GeV thereafter
Super Proton Synchrotron CERN 1980-present Circular Synchrotron Protons and ions 480 GeV OPERA and ICARUS at Laboratori Nazionali del Gran Sasso
Bates Linear Accelerator Middleton, MA 1967-2005 500 MeV recirculating linac and storage ring polarized electrons 1 GeV
CEBAF Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility, Newport News, VA 1984-present 5.75 GeV recirculating linac (upgrading to 12 GeV) polarized electrons
ISIS neutron source Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Didcot, Oxon 1984-present H- Linac followed by proton RCS Protons 800 MeV Highest power operational pulsed proton beam in the world
MAMI Mainz, Germany 855 MeV accelerator polarized electrons
Tevatron Fermilab 1978-present Superconducting Circular Synchrotron Protons 980 GeV
Spallation Neutron Source Oak Ridge National Laboratory 2006 - Present Linear (335 m) and Circular (248 m) Protons 800 MeV -
1 GeV

Colliders

Electron-positron colliders

Accelerator Location Years of
operation
Shape
and size
Electron
energy
Positron
energy
Experiments Notable Discoveries
SPEAR SLAC Mark I, Mark II, Mark III Discovery of Charmonium states
PEP SLAC Mark II
SLC SLAC Addition to
SLAC Linac
45 GeV 45 GeV SLD, Mark II
LEP CERN 1989-2000 Circular, 27km 104 GeV 104 GeV Aleph, Delphi, Opal, L3 Only 3 light (m le m_Z /2) weakly-interacting neutrinos exist, implying only three generations of quarks and leptons
DORIS DESY 1974-1993 Circular, 300m 5 GeV 5 GeV ARGUS, Crystal Ball, DASP, PLUTO Oscillation in neutral B mesons
PETRA DESY 1978-1986 Circular, 2km 20 GeV 20 GeV JADE, MARK-J, PLUTO, TASSO Discovery of the gluon in three jet events
CESR Cornell University 1979-2002 Circular, 768m 6 GeV 6 GeV CUSB, CHESS, CLEO, CLEO-2, CLEO-2.5, CLEO-3 First observation of B decay, charmless and "radiative penguin" B decays
CESR-c Cornell University 2002-2008 Circular, 768m 6 GeV 6 GeV CHESS, CLEO-c
PEP-II SLAC 1998-2008 Circular, 2.2 km 9 GeV 3.1 GeV Babar Discovery of CP violation in B meson system
KEKB KEK 1999-2008? Circular, 3km 8.0 GeV 3.5 GeV Belle Discovery of CP violation in B meson system
VEPP-2000 Novosibirsk 2006- Circular, 24m 1.0 GeV 1.0 GeV
VEPP-4M Novosibirsk 1994- Circular, 366m 6.0 GeV 6.0 GeV
BEPC China 1989-? Circular, 240m 2.2 GeV 2.2 GeV BES
DAΦNE Frascati, Italy 1999- Circular, 98m 0.7 GeV 0.7 GeV KLOE

Hadron colliders

Accelerator Location Years of
operation
Shape
and size
Particles
collided
Beam
energy
Experiments
Intersecting
Storage Rings
CERN 1971-1984 Circular rings
(948 m around)
Proton/
Proton
31.5 GeV
Spoverline{p}S (Super
Proton Synchrotron
)
CERN 1981-1984 Circular ring
(6.9 km around)
Proton/
Antiproton
UA1, UA2
Tevatron
Run I
Fermilab 1992-1995 Circular ring
(6.3 km around)
Proton/
Antiproton
900 GeV CDF, D0
Tevatron
Run II
Fermilab 2001-present Circular ring
(6.3 km around)
Proton/
Antiproton
980 GeV CDF, D0
RHIC
proton+proton mode
BNL 2000-present Circular ring
(3.8 km)
Proton/
Proton
100 GeV PHENIX, STAR
Large Hadron
Collider
CERN 2008-present Circular rings
(27 km around)
Proton/
Proton
7 TeV ALICE, ATLAS, CMS, LHCb, TOTEM

Electron-proton colliders

Accelerator Location Years of
operation
Shape
and size
Electron
energy
Proton
energy
Experiments
HERA DESY 1992(-2007) Circular ring
(6336 meters around)
27.5 GeV 920 GeV H1, ZEUS, HERMES, HERA-B

Ion colliders

Accelerator Location Years of
operation
Shape
and size
Ions
collided
Ion
energy
Experiments
Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider Brookhaven National Laboratory, New York 2000- 3.8 km Au-Au; Cu-Cu; d-Au; polarized pp 0.1 TeV per nucleon STAR, PHENIX, Brahms, Phobos
Large Hadron
Collider, ion mode
CERN 2008- Circular rings
(27 km around)
Pb-pb 2.76 TeV per nucleon ALICE

Light sources

Hypothetical accelerators

Besides the real accelerators listed above, there are hypothetical accelerators often used as hypothetical examples or optimistic projects by particle physicists.

  • Planckatron is a term often used colloquially by particle physicists to describe the accelerator with a center-of-mass energy of the order of the Planck scale. It is estimated that the radius of the Planckatron has to be roughly the radius of the milky way.
  • Eloisatron (Eurasiatic Long Intersecting Storage Accelerator) was a project of INFN headed by Antonio Zichichi at the Ettore Majorana Foundation in Erice, Sicily. The center-of-mass energy was planned to be 200 TeV, and the size was planned to span parts of Europe and Asia.
  • Fermitron was an accelerator sketched by Enrico Fermi on a notepad in the 1940s proposing an accelerator in stable orbit around the earth.
  • Arguably also in this category falls the Zevatron, a term used to describe hypothetical sources for ultra-high-energy cosmic rays.

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