They Need to Fire the Maid

Storage Ring Dust-Up

High-energy physicists have finally pinpointed their dust problem. Inside multi-million dollar storage rings, high-speed trains of electrons are often derailed by micron-sized specks of dust. Now a team has shown that dust grains arise from sparks inside a Japanese storage ring, as they report in an upcoming paper in Physical Review Special Topics–Accelerators and Beams (PRST-AB), a free, online journal. The team also serendipitously caught on video one of the tiny grains being swept along in the electron beam–the particle physics equivalent of a criminal caught by a security camera. The feat opens the possibility for further characterization of the dust.