The Institute for Basic Science (IBS) has succeeded in localizing superconducting accelerating tubes, important equipment for heavy ion accelerators.
A research team at IBS announced on Mar. 5 that they have successfully developed a technology to make a superconducting accelerating tube, which is essential for heavy ion accelerators. The new superconducting accelerating tube already passed performance tests conducted by TRIUMF, Canada's national laboratory for particle and nuclear physics. Korea is the 8th country to pass the tests, after the U.S., Canada, Germany, Japan, France, Italy, and China.
Superconducting accelerating tubes are cylindrical vacuum tubes that accelerate heavy ions to near the speed of light using electricity. They also make niobium. Those tubes are considered to be core equipment for heavy ion accelerators, since they cause superconductivity, a phenomenon of exactly zero electrical resistance when cooled below a critical temperature (-273.15°C).
The IBS expects that it will be possible to save an estimated 40 billion won (US$36 million) for the construction of heavy ion accelerators, thanks to the development of a new technique. Companies will be able to locally make heavy ion accelerators about 50 percent cheaper than the cost needed for overseas production. In addition, the research institute thinks that its success in developing the new technology has opened the possibility for local companies to participate in projects to build next-generation large accelerators pursued by European countries and Japan.
The project aimed at localizing heavy ion accelerators is one of major projects for the International Science and Business Belt. A total of 1.4445 trillion won (US$1.3145 billion) will be injected to the 952,000 m2 complex in Daejeon by 2021. The project is essential to provide best-class rare isotope beams and attract world-class scientists.