SuperKEKB kicks into gear

Particle accelerator in Japan starts up

The SuperKEKB accelerator. Image: KEK

The SuperKEKB accelerator at the research centre KEK in Japan is taking up operations again. First electrons circled in the three-kilometre accelerator on 21 March. As a next step, a beam of positrons will be injected and stored. Then the accelerator will be tuned for collisions in the detector Belle II, which has also undergone a massive upgrade.

"We congratulate our colleagues on achieving this milestone and look forward to the data the accelerator will produce,“ says Joachim Mnich, research director for particle physics and astroparticle physics at DESY. „After all studying b mesons might not only shed light on the question of the imbalance between matter and antimatter in the universe but also many other open questions in physics."

SuperKEKB is set to produce a record number of particle collisions after its refurbishment and thus complement the research being done at CERN’s LHCb experiment at the Large Hadron Collider LHC because it will be able to identify and analyse some particularly rare processes. Physicists hope for hints of new physics phenomena and glimpses of Dark Matter.

The Belle II collaboration consists of 750 scientists from 25 countries. There are twelve institutes from Germany alone, making it the second largest user group after Japan. DESY is one of these institutes who were involved in the design and construction of the new Belle II detector, specifically the new vertex detector, and will later contribute to analysing the data.