The baseball connection involves a nine-cell niobium cavity developed by KEK accelerator scientists in Japan as one of several designs being tested for development for the proposed International Linear Collider. JLab is providing its superconducting radiofrequency expertise and specialized processing facilities to a team of international collaborators for these critical R&D efforts.
The performance goal for this cavity design is 51 MV/m, which is how it came to be connected with baseball. The most famous 51 in Japan is Ichiro Suzuki, who wears uniform No. 51 for the Seattle Mariners. The so-called Ichiro Cavity is also known as Japan's ILC Alternate Cavity Design (ACD).
KEK built and handled the first stages of processing the Ichiro cavity; JLab completed the cavity's processing and is now testing the component. The cavity will be cooled to near absolute zero (-456 degrees Fahrenheit) with superfluid helium so that the radiofrequency gradient can be tested. This cavity electropolishing and RF testing process at JLab is part of the internationally coordinated ILC S0 program.
The Accelerator Division's Rongli Geng is JLab's ILC S0 program manager. Collaborating with him and JLab's SRF experts are Fumio Furuta, KEK, and Damon Bice, Fermilab, and Curtis Crawford, SRF Institute Visiting Fellow.
Additional information and KEK photos: