CERN’s Higgs boson discovery needed fast electronics
When the team at the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, more commonly known as CERN in Switzerland, recently made the landmark discovery of the Higgs boson particle, an important function in the experiment was carried out by electronic digitisers.
Creating particle collisions at nanometer scale with picoseconds of duration requires extreme precision in spatial and temporal control.
At facilities such as CERN, high-performance digitisers are needed to achieve the precision and control needed to perform the experiments.
The digitisers are used in the control and diagnostics sections of the Large Hadron Collider and the accelerators it feeds.
With subatomic particles traveling near the speed of light, digitisers must provide fast measurement throughput, very short “dead time” between measurements and excellent measurement fidelity.
“The digitisers provide the extreme speed and precision needed for system monitoring and control, and for capturing data from the interactions and events in the experiments themselves,” said Guy Séné, president of Agilent’s Electronic Measurement Group.which supplied its Acqiris digitisers to the team at CERN.
The 100 Agilent digitiser modules installed at CERN provide sample rates that range from 500MSa/s to 8 GSa/s with resolution of 8 or 10 bits on one, two or four channels.
The digitizers are used to perform wideband beam monitoring and to monitor forward and reverse RF signals in the accelerator cavities. The beam-monitoring measurements are made possible because the digitisers that provide sufficient speed and bandwidth to capture the signals of interest.
Inside the Large Hadron Collider at CERN.