TRIUMF phase detector

TRIUMF is Canada’s national laboratory for particle and nuclear physics and accelerator-based science – it’s a vibrant group of engineering, scientists, and miscellaneous smart people who enjoy pushing the boundaries of physics, making isotopes for medical use, and playing with lasers.

During the summer of 2013 I toiled away in a room full of electrical components, BNC and SMA connectors, a 3D printer, and two jovial fountains of knowledge (aka enginering technicians).  My task was to determine if the phase noise from the system powering the ARIEL linear electron accelerator was below an acceptable threshold.  To do this I made a phase detector consisting of a double balanced mixer and a low pass filter that I designed on Protel (now Altium, it’s a program for designing PCBs), fabricated on the department’s PCB milling machine, and assembled with my trusty soldering iron.  Huge thanks to my supervisor for his guidance, impromptu physics lectures, and encouragement through this project!

What is ARIEL?  How is it powered?  Can you explain how you designed and used this crazy device in a way that I’ll actually understand?

You bet!  Check out my workterm report here:

Phase Locked Frequency Generators in the ARIEL e-Linac

I gave a ten minute talk on this work at the annual TRIUMF symposium, and was awarded the jury’s prize for best presentation.  Feel free to click through my PowerPoint below if you would like a more visual introduction to my project – it really needs the accompanying narration to make sense, but the pictures are nice, and the equations and graphs look impressive.