Vacuum Solutions for the LHC

The German company Pfeiffer Vacuum has received yet another major order for turbopumps and turbo pumping stations from CERN. CERN is situated in Geneva on the Franco-Swiss border and is the largest center for particle physics research in the world. It runs the Large Hadron Collider (LHC); with a circumference of some 27 kilometers, it is the world’s largest particle accelerator which is used for colliding proton and ion beams at nearly the speed of light.

The accelerated particles travel in beam lines, which require ultra-high vacuum (UHV) conditions. These beam lines are pre-evacuated with turbo pumping stations. Furthermore, turbopumps with a very high compression ratio for light gases are then responsible for generating the insulation vacuum. The insulation vacuum is necessary for the operation of the superconducting magnets at a temperature of –271 °C. The new order comprises the construction and installation of several hundreds turbopumps “HiPace” and turbo pumping stations of the “HiCube” series. The special technical challenge is the installation of the pump controls outside the radiation-exposed space. That requires wiring with a length up to 1000 m (350 ft).

The cooperation between CERN and Pfeiffer Vacuum is based on many years of working together in a spirit of trust. As early as 1958, the former Arthur Pfeiffer GmbH developed the turbopump with the objective to generate a hydrocarbon-free vacuum. At that time, CERN was one of the first customers to buy this innovative technology and has continued to be a major user of what is being supplied by Pfeiffer Vacuum.

Pfeiffer Vacuum GmbH
Berliner Straße 43
35614 Asslar, Germany
Phone: +49 (0)6441 802-0
Fax: +49 (0)6441 802-1500