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The MERIT experiment at the CERN PS. MOPC087 WEPP169 WEPP170. Leo Jenner. Overview. MERcury I ntense T arget Experiment Purpose of Experiment Experimental location and set-up Data Particle generation / detection Target stability Summary & Achievements.

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the merit experiment at the cern ps

The MERIT experiment at the CERN PS




Leo Jenner

  • MERcuryIntense Target Experiment
  • Purpose of Experiment
  • Experimental location and set-up
  • Data
    • Particle generation / detection
    • Target stability
  • Summary & Achievements
A proof-of-principle test of a target station suitable for a Neutrino Factory or Muon Collider source using a 24-GeV proton beam incident on a target consisting of a free mercury jet that is inside a 15-T capture solenoid magnet.

Proposal submitted to CERN – May 2004

Experiment approved as nTOF11

Participating Institutes

  • BNL, MIT, ORNL, Princeton University
Study MHD effects on Hg-jet with normal target size and velocity
  • Study jet disruption by varying the PS spill structure

MERIT: 180 J/g (+25°C)

  • 1-cm diameter Hg jet, jet velocity  20m/s
  • Hg jet/proton beam configuration:
    • Hg-jet ↔ solenoid axis = 33 mrad
    • proton beam ↔ Hg-jet axis = 67 mrad
    • beam ↔ Hg-jet interaction length = ~30cm (2.1 lI)

Proton beam

  • 24 (14) GeV/c extracted from PS
    • Max. intensity 3  1013 protons/pulse (30TP)
    • Beam spot r 1.2 mm rms
    • Variable pulse length 0.134  700 msec
    • ~100 high-intensity pulses
    • 3  1015 protons on target in total (radiation limit)

Target chamber

Hg-jet hydraulic system

Hg container

Proton Beam


Left – 30cm – 15cm – magnetic centre – 15 cm - Right


PS ring


Beam Dump

IR is enclosed in solenoid to capture pions

15 T, liquid N2 cooled, copper

Interaction length optimised to reduce re-interaction

Cooling Stresses: 50MPa / 200MPa





Simulation: MARS

Particle Detection:


PIN Diode


Disruption Length increases rapidly in no field

Disrupted material moves faster with no field

14 GeV

24 GeV

  • Disruption length @ 24 GeV is about 20cm for 10-15T field
  • For a 20m/s jet, 28cm (2lI) can be renewed in 14ms
    • rep rate of 70 Hz possible
    • equivalent to 8 MW of beam power
    • neutrino factory baseline = 1 MW
  • The break up of the Hg jet is influenced by the magnetic field.
    • The splash velocity increases as the beam intensity increases, however, magnetic field reduces the effect
    • The Hg jet disruption length is suppressed by magnetic field.
  • The 24 GeV proton beam tends to result in a longer disruption length than the 14 GeV proton beam.
  • The magnetic field stabilizes the Hg jet flow.
    • The fluctuations on the jet surface decreases as the magnetic field increases.
  • The field tends to keep the jet size constant as it moves downstream
  • The longitudinal Hg jet velocity was not affected by the magnetic field.
The MERIT experiment took beam as scheduled for three weeks in autumn 2007 at CERN PS
  • All systems performed well, the run with beam was very smooth and the whole scientific program was completed
  • The experiment was dismantled in winter 2007 with its components put in temporary storage for cool-down at CERN waiting to be shipped back to US
  • The primary objective to conduct a successful and safe experiment at CERN was amply fulfilled
  • Important results validating the liquid metal target concept are already available, more to come as the analysis progresses
  • The MERIT experiment represents a big step forward in the targetry R&D for high power targets.
  • Neutrino Beams from Muon Storage Rings: Characteristics and Physics Potential, S. Geer, Fermilab-PUB-97/389
  • The MERIT High Intensity Liquid Mercury Target Experiment at the CERN PS, I.Efthymiopoulos et al, MOPC087, EPAC 08
  • The MERIT High-power Target Experiment at the CERN PS, H.G. Kirk et al, WEPP169, EPAC 08
  • A 15-T Pulsed Solenoid for a High-power Target Experiment, H.G. Kirk et al, WEPP170, EPAC 08
  • Thesis: Development of a Beam Condition Monitor System for the Experimental Areas of the LHC Using CVD Diamond,
  • Juan Luis Fernández-Hernando
    • Chapter 9 - Simulation of the worst accident scenario with a test beam