View of the heavy ion source of SPIRAL 2
View of the heavy ion source of SPIRAL 2 (2nd generation linear radioactive ion production system), installed at the Large National Heavy Ion Accelerator (GANIL) in Caen. The Electron Cyclotron Resonance (ECR) ion source is composed of a vacuum cavity into which atoms are injected in the form of a gas. The cavity is subjected to a strong micro-wave field which causes collisions between free plasma electrons and the gas atoms, resulting in the ionisation of the gas atoms. The SPIRAL 2 linear superconductive particle accelerator (LINAC) is connected to laboratories dedicated to the exploration of the atomic nucleus. The SPIRAL 2 LINAC delivers light and heavy ion beams at extremely high intensities, more than 10 times greater than those available at GANIL. It enables both light and heavy exotic nuclei to be generated, as in a nuclear reaction. Located more than 9 m underground, SPIRAL 2 is dedicated to nuclear physics and develops applications for different areas of activity including nuclear medicine, energy, aerospace etc.