CERN sets course for extra-low-energy antiprotons

The kick-off meeting for ELENA, the Extra Low Energy Antiproton Ring, starts today at CERN, bringing together scientists from Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Japan, Sweden, the UK and the USA. 


ELENA will consist of a small new decelerator ring that will be installed in same building that houses CERN’s existing Antiproton Decelerator (AD). It will slow antiprotons down to under a fiftieth of the current AD energy, bringing an improvement of a factor of 10-100 in antiproton trapping efficiency. At the AD, antiprotons have to be slowed down by passing them through a series of foils, a process that results in the loss of some 99.9% of the antiprotons extracted from the AD before they reach the experiments.