Superconducting magnets must be cooled to -271°C, which requires sophisticated cooling technologies. At 1.9 kelvin – a smidgen above absolute zero – the LHC is the coldest ring in the universe.With a view to future colliders at the high-energy frontier, researchers are working on innovative cooling systems using a mixture of liquid neon and helium. This technical development would reduce the operating costs of such a research infrastructure by 20%. Every year, liquefied gases with a market value of 30 billion euros are produced worldwide. The main customers, the rocket and steel industries, could also benefit from advances in cooling technologies.
Test of a superconducting magnet coil at CERN for future high-field magnets.