SuperKEKB accelerator kicks into gear


Schematic of SuperKEKB

A new stage of operation of the SuperKEKB electron-positron collider, with a brand new positron damping ring and the Belle II detector. Electron and positron beams will soon begin colliding soon for the first time in 8 years, since the previous KEKB collider ceased its operations in 2010. This is the first step toward the SuperKEKB design luminosity, which is a factor of 40 times higher than the current world record set by its predecessor KEKB.

On March 21, 2018, a beam of electrons was successfully stored in the main ring. A beam of positrons will be injected and stored around the beginning of the April, and then final accelerator tuning for beam collisions will begin. The first collisions of electrons and positrons are expected in the coming months.

Belle II Physics Coordinator, Phillip Urquijo says

"This is an incredible achievement and major milestone to revealing how nature behaves at a fundamental level. It is the first major collider to come into operation since the LHC 10 years ago, and the first time the Belle II detector will see collisions. The Belle II effort at the University of Melbourne (20 staff and students) has been a key collaborator on the project since construction commenced in 2011, building detector components and leading the data analysis program.

We eagerly await the first collisions to kick off the search for exotic dark sectors and to calibrate our detector for precision studies of quark and lepton interactions."

SuperKEKB, along with the Belle II detector, is a facility designed to search for New Physics beyond the Standard Model by measuring rare decays of elementary particles such as b quarks, c quarks, and tau leptons.