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Cornell Electron Storage Ring

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Support of the Cornell Electron Storage Ring (CESR) Facility  (Cornell University)

Research Focus & Anticipated Benefits

The 768-meter Cornell Electron Storage Ring (CESR), completed in 1979, lies buried 40 feet below Alumni Field at Cornell University. CESR is an electron-positron collider operating at a center-of-mass energy in the range of 3.5-12 GeV. Its performance builds on Cornell's longstanding program in accelerator physics which built a cyclotron as early as 1935. Using superconducting radio-frequency cavities and pretzel orbits (technologies developed at Cornell), CESR operated throughout the 1990's as the highest luminosity electron-positron collider in the world. A new program began at the end of the last decade, shifting the focus of research from the bottom quark to the lighter charm quark, and the energy of CESR was lowered accordingly. CESR continues to change as new beam optics and instrumentation are added and new techniques for improving performance are developed and perfected.

CESR's investigation of the charm quark ended in 2008, making room for two new projects. The CESR Test Accelerator (CesrTA), using a slightly redesigned CESR ring, will run until 2012 to perform crucial research and development for future operations at the International Linear Collider. Later, the Energy Recovery Linac (ERL), an ultra-high brilliance x-ray source, will use the CESR ring and a superconducting linear accelerator to produce very short and frequent pulses of high-coherence, high-energy x-rays. Currently, the Cornell High Energy Synchrotron Source (CHESS) at CESR provides radiation for materials research, allowing scientists to collect data that comprises all or part of their research programs.

Education & Outreach

Faculty, staff and students at CESR participate in a broad program of outreach and education involving graduate and undergraduate students, the general public, and K-12 students in particular. The laboratory's intellectual and physical resources are used to promote the adventure of science directly to young people as well as to provide workshops and direct support for science teachers in their own classrooms and in group settings at Cornell University. In addition, CESR has collaborated with underrepresented populations from New York City and from rural areas at the nearby edge of Appalachia.

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  • Image from an NSF-funded High Energy Physics facility.
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