Historical Content Note: The following material is reprinted from publications from throughout Fermilab's history. It should be read in its original historical context.

NAL Linac Achieves Full Design Energy of 200 MeV

On Sunday afternoon, December l, 1968, ground-breaking ceremonies took place on the NAL site. The ground-breaking was for construction of the Linear Accelerator Enclosure. Glenn Seaborg, Chairman, U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, AEC Commissioner James Ramey and Congressman Melvin Price, of Illinois, were among the participants in the ceremony on that cold, snowy day.

The linac enclosure was completed at the end of December, 1969, and the Linac Section began its move of manpower and equipment to its new and permanent home, well ahead of schedule. On January 15, 1970, the Village Crier reported: "About a year from now, the Linac Section hopes to be celebrating the arrival of a 200 MeV beam from the linear accelerator." The Cockcroft-Walton preaccelerator, to provide the first stage of proton beam acceleration in the NAL system, had been imported from Switzerland and was tested in early months of this year.

The Linac Section has achieved a series of milestones in recent months:

At 1:50 p.m. on Thursday, July 30, 1970, a proton beam in the Linac was accelerated to 66 Million Electron Volts to achieve the highest energy yet recorded at NAL.

At 6:00 a.m., Friday, October 9, 1970, a proton beam was detected in Station A-3 of the Main Accelerator.

A beam had been accelerated previously to 139 MeV in the first six tanks of the Linac on Friday, September 25. This beam was then guided through the Booster and injected into the Main Ring.

Linac staff members achieved full design energy of the NAL Linac of 200 MeV just before midnight

The next two months were feverish and productive ones in the Linac Section as physicists, engineers and technicians pressed to achieve the full design energy of the NAL Linac of 200 MeV as soon as possible -- hopefully before Thanksgiving Day, but certainly before Christmas. They worked to assemble the final three tanks into the Linac system. The RF systems were operated at increasingly higher power.

Protons are being accelerated through Linac's nine cavities for the first time at 200 MeV.

Robert R. Wilson, NAL Director, and Edwin Goldwasser, Deputy Director, joined the Linac staff to toast those present with champagne and to celebrate the occasion, which literally took place on the second anniversary of the ground breaking for the Linac enclosure. Among Linac personnel on hand were Leon Beverly, William Carl, Cyril Curtis, Anthony Donaldson, Wayne Ganger, Robert Goodwin, Edward Gray, James Hickey, James Hogan, Raymond Hren, Robert Kocanda, Santo LaMantia, Glenn Lee, Robert Mau, Daniel Matias, Frank Mehring, Curtis Owen, Maxwell Palmer, Reid Rihel, Michael Shea, Donald Tokarz, Gregg Urban, Lester Wahl, James Wendt, Roy Wickenberg, Eugene Woods and Donald Young. Edward Hubbard, Booster, and Harry Howe, Radiation Physics, were also present.

"It was a combination of teamwork and planning that helped us to make this achievement several months before we had planned for it originally," said Don Young. In the months ahead, we will devote much of our time and energy to tuning up the system so that we will be able to transmit more protons with better quality toward the Booster."

Development of the NAL Linac was the result of teamwork, too, with the AGS Conversion Group at the Brookhaven National Laboratory on Long Island in the State of New York. There, the 200 MeV linear accelerator designed by Brookhaven's group reached its full design energy on Wednesday, November 18, at 1:44 a.m., only about 12 days before the NAL accomplishment. So now the world has two 200 MeV proton linear accelerators -- and both of them are in the United States.

Anxious Moments: Protons are being accelerated through Linac's nine cavities for the first time at 200 MeV. Here, at the control console, are (above) Robert Goodwin and Mike Shea. (1 of 3)
In the Control Room: Testing the various elements of Linac's complex control and recording panels are (1. to r.): Physicist Cyril Curtis, Curtis Owen, physicist, and Larry Sobocki, designer, Linac (2 of 3)
A Happy Occasion: Linac staff members achieved full design energy of the NAL Linac of 200 MeV just before midnight, Monday, November 30. An informal celebration followed. Here, reviewing the console record, are (l. to r.) Donald E. Young, Linac Section Leader; Ed Hubbard, Glenn Lee, and Robert R. Wilson, NAL Director (3 of 3)