The Large Hadron Electron Collider (LHeC) is under development as the electron-proton/ion (ep/A) complement of the LHC at CERN, with which parton dynamics and new phenomena are explored with unprecedented luminosity and energy in deep inelastic scattering. The LHeC conceptual Design Report (link opens in a new window) has been published in June 2012, and CERN, ECFA and NuPECC have encouraged the further development of the project.
With a mandate from the CERN Directorate, the decision was taken at the LHeC Workshop in June 2012, to further develop the technical design of the electron accelerator as a multi-pass, energy recovery linac (ERL). This work is now being pursued, and collaborations between CERN and international partners have emerged. A particularly strong collaboration is being established with ASTeC, the Cockcroft Institute, the Jefferson National Accelerator Laboratory and the Brookhaven National Accelerator Laboratory, building on their unique expertise with the energy recovery test facilities. Experts from these laboratories along with key accelerator experts from CERN met at Daresbury Laboratory on 22nd and 23rd January 2013 (link opens in a new window) to discuss the design of the LHeC ERL test facility at CERN. The two main goals of this meeting were to discuss the choice of the LHeC linac frequency (1.3 GHz or lower), considering beam dynamics, performance and other issues, and to gather the experience obtained with the US and UK ERL designs and facilities in view of the LHeC test facility.
The considerations for the frequency choice will be verified within a few weeks time and the frequency then be determined, as is required for further progress. The test facility requirements will also be consolidated and discussed in detail at the next LHeC workshop, in September 2013. The meeting at Daresbury opened the prospects for a productive collaboration on the design, development and production of the LHeC test facility elements, such as sources and cavity-cryo modules, possibly involving also further partners, a collaboration which would enable new CERN facility to be built in the not too distant future.