One of the remarkable things about working at CERN is that there’s always a lot going on, even in this “quiet” year when the LHC’s shut down – far too much for anyone to keep track of what everyone else is up to. This morning, I saw a new accelerator status page up on the big displays in the cafeteria. I didn’t recognize the beamlines in the picture – it’s definitely not the LHC or the accelerator chain leading up to it – so I tweeted about it, and rather quickly got a reply from a friend of mine in the accelerator division.
It turns out we’re looking at CTF3, a test facility for research toward the Compact Linear Collider (CLIC), a multi-TeV electron-positron machine that might be built in a few decades. I knew that technology for CLIC was being actively studied at CERN, but I never thought much about what sort of facilities were here or what they were called, until they showed up on the display at breakfast. This is a very good place to learn something new every day!
I have no idea why they put the CTF3 beamlines on the display today, but maybe it’s because something interesting will happen soon? You can watch and find out for yourself here.