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Uppsala’s FREIA Lab to help upgrade the Large Hadron Collider

2016-11-03

The FREIA Laboratory staff in front of the large horizontal cryostat which is to be used in the process of upgrading the LHC accelerator.

The world’s largest particle physics laboratory, CERN, and Uppsala University have signed a deal worth SEK 20 million for accelerator development at the University’s FREIA Laboratory.

The FREIA Laboratory will contribute to the upgrade of CERN’s particle accelerator Large Hadron Collider (LHC) which is expected to be complete in 2025. The three-year contract is the first of its kind signed with a Swedish laboratory, according to Tord Ekelöf, Head of the FREIA unit at Uppsala University. 

“We have secured this contract in competition with several other large accelerator development laboratories across Europe. To FREIA and Uppsala University it means a lot to become involved in the development of CERN’s large research instrument for experimental basic physics research.”

The FREIA Laboratory, which is short for Facility for Research Instrumentation and Accelerator Development, was founded in 2011 and is housed in a 1,000 square metre hall of the Ångström Laboratory. This laboratory has equipment that CERN lacks: a large horizontal cryostat which can be used to test superconducting equipment necessary for upgrading the LHC. But according to Tord Ekelöf the most important success factor may have been the skillset of the staff. Some twenty researchers, engineers and technicians work at the FREIA Laboratory with development and testing of modern accelerator technology based on, among other things, superconducting technology. 

“Our ambition is to reach more collaboration agreements for development of experimental equipment for basic research, especially in the field of physics. The purpose is to give Uppsala researchers both new experience and cutting-edge skills in several experimental research areas,” says Tord Ekelöf.