Upgraded Accelerator Testing Facility Opening at SLAC

October 12, 2020

SLAC National Accelerator Lab is announcing the opening of its upgraded Facility for Advanced Accelerator Experimental Tests (FACET-II). FACET-II is a plasma wakefield accelerator capable of boosting electrons to energies of up to 10 gigaelectron volts over much shorter distances than can be done with traditional techniques employing magnetic fields.

Running for about six months every year, the facility will enable a community of roughly 250 researchers to experiment with technologies that could prospectively reduce the length of accelerator systems by a factor of between 100 and 1,000. The first experiments on FACET-II are expected to begin in February.

The original FACET operated from 2012 to 2016 but was shut down to accommodate work on SLAC’s Linac Coherent Light Source II facility, which is also starting to come online. The upgrade, which cost about $20 million, involved installing a higher-luminosity electron source, new electron bunch compressor systems for producing more intense beams, and new control systems and tools to analyze beam properties.