AdA: the world’s first electron-positron collider

By & . Published on 20 December 2013 in:
December 2013, News, , , ,

On Thursday 5 December 2013, the Italian National Institute of Nuclear Physics [INFN] Frascati National Laboratory [LNF] was honoured as an EPS Historic Site for the realization of the Storage Ring AdA, the first ever particle-antiparticle collider. The AdA was built at the LNF in 1961 by a small team of Italian physicists under the lead of the Austrian physicist Bruno Touschek.

Air view of the Frascati National Laboratory
Air view of
the Frascati National Laboratory

AdA was designed to store beams of 250 MeV energy. By 1962 it had stored electrons, and it was soon transferred from Frascati, Italy, to Orsay, France, at the Linear Accelerator Laboratory [LAL], where it was fed by a more intense electron beam. Towards the end of 1963, AdA’s first electron-positron collisions were recorded. Then, the machine was operated a few more years for further successful and decisive tests before dismantling. AdA was never used to collect physics data. Instead, it was a testing ground for a breed of machines that was to change the course of particle physics in the following decades.

The ceremony, chaired by LNF Director, Umberto Dosselli, took place in the presence of Stefano Di Tommaso, Mayor of Frascati, and Guido Fabiani, Councillor for Economic Development of Lazio Region. During the ceremony, Giorgio Salvini, LNF Director in 1961 and former Minister of University and Research in Italy at the end of last century, and Carlo Bernardini, one of the young physicists involved in the construction of AdA, gave a personal recollection of the main steps of the enterprise and the exciting atmosphere pervading the LNF at that time.

INFN President, Fernando Ferroni, after recalling the glorious evolution of LNF with AdA’s successor electron-positron colliders, namely ADONE and DAPHNE, had also the opportunity to briefly comment the present status of the laboratory and its future perspectives given the current critical scenario of research and funding policy in Italy.

Anello di Accumulazione [AdA]
Anello di Accumulazione [AdA]

EPS Vice-President, Luisa Cifarelli, illustrated the EPS Historic Sites initiative and, while describing the foundation and development of the EPS, underlined the strong links between the EPS and the INFN, which gave four Presidents to the Society: Gilberto Bernardini, Antonino Zichichi, Renato Angelo Ricci and herself.

The EPS Historic Site plaque was then unveiled by INFN President, Fernando Ferroni, and EPS Vice-President, Luisa Cifarelli.

The programme continued in the afternoon with two events in the LNF Bruno Touschek Auditorium, as part of the annual “Bruno Touschek Memorial Lectures”: Samuel C. C. Ting (MIT, Nobel Prize for Physics in 1976) held a seminar on latest results from experiment Anti Matter in Space [AMS], and Luigi Rolandi (CERN) gave a public lecture for non-experts and high school teachers and students on the discovery of Higgs boson.

More details can be found at the website of the event.
See also details concerning the LAL-LURE Historic Site in Orsay, France.

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