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ganil spiral2 eurisol (700x465)

The blue-roofed buildings represent the EURISOL installation, once installed at GANIL

The EURISOL project is the continuation of SPIRAL2, which explains why GANIL has a leading position in this project. However, EURISOL will require a Research and Development Phase, since present knowledge would not allow all of its elements, as they are currently planned, to be created. Thus, SPIRAL2 can be considered as an intermediate step towards a completely new generation of accelerators. It is already operating with a neutron beam, large volume targets intended for the separation of isotopes, and an on-line accelerator line. This will also enable the constraints imposed by a strongly radioactive environment to be tested. These characteristics are also those of the EURISOL project.



Important concepts:

There are two main types of acceleration process

  • High-energy fragmentation: a beam of high-energy, heavy, stable nuclei is fragmented by impinging on a thin target. All kinds of nuclei are then formed.
  • The ISOL method: a beam of intermediate energy generates exotic nuclei within a thick target. These are then ionized and re-accelerated by another accelerator. This is the case of today's SPIRAL. This method enables a wide range of experiments to be carried out, but excludes very short-lived nuclei.


A new generation of accelerators

To develop these methods, a second generation of radioactive beam accelerators now needs to be constructed.
The United States have thus focused on a single project, using both methods. Europe, for its part, has chosen to develop two complementary machines: FAIR, in Germany, to develop the high-energy facility, and EURISOL, based on the ISOL method. GANIL, together with CERN, which is located on the French-Swiss border, is one of the best candidates for this second facility.

EURISOL will thus be one of a new generation of accelerators, with which the "terra incognita" of the chart of nuclides will be explored. Indeed, there are different scenarios, according to which type of matter can be created. Most of them point to the important role played by exotic nuclei during the Big Bang, but also to their influence after the explosion. EURISOL could contribute towards research on new isotopes for medical applications, and towards the study of the material properties. This project is supported by the European nuclear physics expert Committee NuPECC.

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