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  01-03-2005: CONSIGNED TO CERN THE LAST COMPONENT OF CMS MAGNET.  
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© Copyright Cern


© Copyright Cern

It is the hugest superconducting solenoid in the world and it is able to generate a magnetic field 100.000 times stronger than the Earth’s

The hugest superconducting solenoid ever built in the world is finally completed. It is formed by five huge modules connected each other and will generate a magnetic field of 4 Tesla, equal to 100.000 times the earth magnetic field. This extraordinary system will be dedicated to Cms (Compct Muon Solenoid) experiment at Lhc accelerator at Cern.
Cms magnet is the result of a large international collaboration among Italian Institute of Nuclear Physics, Cern, Commissariat pour l’Energie Atomic (Cea) in Saclay (France) the Eth-Z (Polytechnic of Zurich) and the best industries of this field in Italy, France, Switzerland, Germany, Russia and many other member countries of the collaboration.
The consignment of the last module of Cms magnet took place officially during a ceremony at Cern today.

Cms experiment will study the characteristics of particles produced in the collisions of proton beams moving into Lhc accelerator. The main aim of the experiment is identifying the Higgs boson, the elusive particle of modern subnuclear physics. The Higgs boson, indeed, has not been directly observed yet. Although it is predicted by theoretical models, that assume its existence to explain why some particles own the essential characteristic named mass.
Cms will allow to study the different types of particles produced through proton collisions. Cms will separate them thanks to a very strong magnetic field that will deflect their tracks according to their electric charge and pulse. The magnetic field will be generated by the five modules forming the magnet. Every module is 6 metres diameter, 2.5 metres length and 50 tonnes weight. Thanks to a sophisticated helium cooling system, modules will be kept to the low temperature of –269 C°, so that they become superconducting (superconductivity allows, without waste, circulation of huge currents that produce the powerful magnetic field). The whole magnet will be then contained in an enormous vacuum cylinder the will isolate it from the external environment. Finally a structure composed by 12.000 tonnes of iron will “bridle” the lines of the magnetic field that otherwise would be get lost causing disturbs. Cms will be an enormous system of 16 metres of diameter an 22 metres length: measures of a five level building!

“Italy has an essential role in Cms construction: Cms Italy is indeed one of the main collaborations of high energy physicists in the world and counts 235 researchers, physicists and, engineers belonging to 14 Infn sections and laboratories and to 13 Universities. Our country participated in the global planning of the system. Moreover the delicate phases of the winding of the conducting cable that form the modules and the realization of the refrigerating cylinders that contain them have been carried out in Italy thanks to the collaboration between Ansaldo Superconduttori and Inf of Genoa. The same collaboration allowed to carry out other delicate phases, such as the final potting of the modules in epoxy resin through vacuum diving. This operation was necessary to fill with a solid matrix even the smallest interspaces. In this way it was possible to block the conducting cable and prevent even the smallest vibration, that could cause heat modifying the very low temperatures necessary for the superconductivity” explains Guido Tonelli, Cms Italy nationalspkesman, professor of General Physics at Pisa Unversity and collaborator of Infn.

The difficult and delicate work realized by physicists and engineers of Infn for the realization of the modules of Cms magnet required the development of innovative technologies solutions and a lot of precision. “In order to avoid imperfections of the conducting cable, new welding techniques have been carried out and proper equipment were invented to assure the perfect winding and the potting in epoxy resin of kilometres of conducting cable.
Moreover it was necessary to plan and to realize special equipments, able to guarantee mechanical precision equal to fractions of millimetres on dimensions of some metres.
On the whole the realization of the big magnet was one of the main technological challenge of Cms: it took us about 10 years of work and an ivestment of 80 millions of Euros. Superconductivity plays an even more important role in society: for instance all magnets used for the Nuclear Magnetic Resonance are superconducting. It also essential that there are in Italy industrial competences in this field. Infn was, with the Italian industry, among the forerunners for the development of this technology” remarks Pasquale Fabbricatore, manager of Infn of Genova, and Italian coordinator of the project.


Even the transportation of the modules that form the magnet of Cms from Genoa, where it was realized, to Geneva, was in a certain sense a delicate operation. The single huge modules were transported to Cern leaving from Genoa port and going up the Rhone up to Macon, in order to reduce the passage on road. The first of the five modules was consigned in February 2004. The fitting of Cms magnet is foreseen by next summaer , while the final test will take place by the end of the year.


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