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Cornell Electron Storage Ring


CESR on the campus of Cornell University in Ithaca, New York.

Buried 40 feet beneath Alumni Field on the Cornell University campus is the 768 meter Cornell Electron Storage Ring (CESR). CESR is an electron-positron collider operating at a center-of-mass energy in the range of 3.5-12 GeV. Its performance builds on Cornell's longstanding program in accelerator physics: Cornell built a cyclotron as early as 1935.

CESR, completed in 1979, stores beams accelerated by the Cornell Synchrotron, an earlier machine used for fixed target experiments. Using superconducting radio-frequency cavities and pretzel orbits (both technologies developed at Cornell), CESR operated throughout the 1990's as the highest luminosity electron-positron collider in the world.

At the end of the last decade, a new program began at CESR, known as CESR-c/CLEO-c. The physics focus shifted from the bottom quark to the lighter charm quark and the energy of CESR was lowered accordingly.


CESR with the CLEO and CHESS experimental areas.

This process continues as CESR is outfitted with new beam optics and instrumentation, and as new techniques for improving performance are developed and perfected.

CESR does not only serve the high energy physics community; it also provides synchrotron radiation utilized for materials research. Each year this state-of-the-art x-ray facility, known as the Cornell High Energy Synchrotron Source (CHESS), allows 400-500 scientists and scientists-in-training to collect data that comprises all or part of their research programs.

The CESR-c/CLEO-c program is scheduled to end in 2008, but two proposals are under development that will utilize CESR for work on future facilities:

CESR Test Accelerator: 2008 - 2012

The CESR Test Accelerator (CesrTA) is a proposal to perform crucial R&D for ILC damping ring operations and reliability using a slightly redesigned CESR ring. CesrTA would investigate beam physics and instrumentation critical to the design and operation of the ILC damping rings.

Energy Recovery Linac: 2012 - ...

The Energy Recovery Linac (ERL), an ultra-high brilliance x-ray source, is a proposal by Cornell University physicists to use the CESR ring and a superconducting linac to produce very short and frequent pulses of high coherence, high energy x-rays.