China’s First High Energy Photon Source Accelerates an Electron Beam

On March 14, the Chinese Academy of Sciences announced that the High Energy Photon Source (HEPS) accelerator, a major national science and technology infrastructure under the “13th Five Year Plan”, has successfully accelerated the first electron beam with full energy. As a result, HEPS entered the parallel phase of scientific research equipment installation and beam adjustment.

HEPS is the core device of Huairou Science City jointly built by the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Beijing Municipality. Its construction started in June 2019 and was originally scheduled to take 6.5 years, but it was completed almost two years earlier than expected. Once fully operational, HEPS is set to become the world’s brightest fourth-generation synchrotron radiation light source.

Jingyi Li, the deputy director of the accelerator department for the HEPS project, explained that the project has produced a normal-temperature linear accelerator with a length of about 49 meters. Its purpose is to produce and accelerate electrons up to 500 MeV (energy unit). This equipment serves as the source of electrons and is made up of various devices, including the electron gun, bunching unit, acceleration structure, microwave power source, and other components.

Weimin Pan, the chief commander of the HEPS project, was very proud of this achievement. He commented, “The successful beam output of the linear accelerator at full energy prompted our team to carry out further beam adjustment for the HEPS accelerator. We will optimize the parameters and improve its performance on this basis and lay a solid foundation for subsequent development.”

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Now, HEPS has entered the equipment installation stage. Once optimized, it will complement China’s existing light sources to form energy zones. The HEPS project is of great significance for improving the development strategy and promoting innovation in basic science and high-tech fields within China.