Research Progresses

China's "super microscope" reaches its design beam power

  GUANGZHOU, March 5 (Xinhua) -- The China Spallation Neutron Source (CSNS), located in Dongguan city, south China's Guangdong Province, has reached its design beam power of 100 KW, a year and a half ahead of schedule, according to the Institute of High Energy Physics (IHEP) under the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

  Dubbed as a "super microscope," a spallation neutron source can produce and accelerate protons before smashing them into the target to produce neutrons, and the neutron beams will be directed to hit material samples. Researchers can thus accurately infer the atomic structure of the materials by measuring the distribution of scattered neutrons and their changes in energy and momentum.

  Proton beam power is one of the key performance indicators of a spallation neutron source. The higher the power, the more neutrons will be produced, the more signals of scattered neutrons will be detected, and thus the less time an experiment will consume and the better the data an experiment will obtain, said Jin Dapeng, deputy director of the IHEP Dongguan branch.

  According to the experiences of other spallation neutron sources in the world, the CSNS was expected to reach its design beam power of 100 KW in three years after it received national approval in August 2018.

  Due to the researchers' highly efficient debugging, the original goal has been achieved ahead of schedule, providing valuable experience and a solid foundation for the upcoming CSNS phase II project.

  In September 2018, the CSNS ran with a power of 20 KW. Its operating beam power had reached 50 KW in January 2019 and 80 KW in October 2019.

  With its beam power gradually increasing, the CSNS exceeded its user operation target in 2019 with a total of 4,576 hours.