Archives of Super Proton Synchrotron Division, SPS

Identity Statement [Top]

Reference code(s)

Various, CERN-ARCH-SL-001 to 002


Archives of Super Proton Synchrotron Division, SPS


June 1954 - 2002

Level of description


Extent of the unit of description

268 boxes, 30 linear metres

Context [Top]

Name of creator

Super Proton Synchrotron and Large Electron-Positron Collider (SL) Division, CERN

Administrative history

1965: Agreement with French authorities extends the CERN site into France

1971: Approval for the construction of a second laboratory, adjoining the existing site, with a Super Proton Synchrotron accelerator (SPS) initially planned for an energy of 300 GeV.

1976: Although at first administratively separate, the two CERN laboratories are united and the SPS first reached 400 GeV energy.

1990: The first year of existence of the SL Division saw the intense exploitation of both LEP and the SPS. In addition to the exploitation of the SPS and LEP, the SL groups have been heavily involved in design and development work on LEP200 (upgrade programme), LHC (Large Hadron Collider) and CLIC Compact e+e- Linear Collider).

2001: Following the closure of LEP the name of SL division is changed from "SPS and LEP" to "SPS and LHC" keeping the same abbreviations "SL". It continued running the SPS accelerator and was preparing to run the LHC.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Keizer, Reinder L, SL Division in 1996
Juszczak, B SL Division in June 2002

Content & Structure [Top]

Scope and content

This collection contains 2 parts :

  • chronofiles, technical notes, specifications, minutes, divisional reports, technical committee minutes, etc, of Laboratory II, SPS, LEP, SL and personal collections of J B Adams, M Crowley Milling, V W Hatton, W C Middelkoop, B de Raad.
  • J, Montes collection concerning SPS Shutdown (CERN-ARCH-SL : technical schedule, calendar, planning of shutdown work, LEP dismantling file...)

The 400 GeV Super Proton Synchrotron is a circular accelerator, 6 km in circumference, buried underground. A first design was put forward to Council in 1964 and, in a considerably modified form, the project was finally approved in February 1971.

It was built originally to accelerate protons - and continued to do so - but it has since also operated as a proton-antiproton collider, a heavy-ion accelerator, and an electron/positron injector for LEP (the Large Electron Positron collider).

The SPS can also accelerate lead ions to an energy of 170 GeV per nucleon, with 208 nucleons in the lead nucleus. In 2000, this was the highest energy obtained in the world, and it served for the study of the quark-gluon plasma which may have occurred shortly after the big bang.

The SPS will be the final pre-injector for the LHC (Large Hadron Collider), accelerating 26GeV/c protons from the PS to 450GeV/c before extraction to LHC. Many changes to the existing SPS are necessary before it can deliver the high brightness proton beams required by the LHC.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information

Nothing was destroyed.


Further accruals are expected.

System of arrangement

The original order has been preserved. For more information the main categories of records, see : Annex of Super Proton Synchrotron records

Conditions of access and use [Top]

Conditions governing access

See file level description and the CERN operational circular No 3: rules applicable to archival material and archiving at CERN. In general, records on any subject that are over 30 years old, and all records of a purely scientific nature, may be consulted.

Conditions governing reproduction

Copyright is retained by CERN, no reproduction without permission.

Language / scripts of material

Most of the material is written in English and some in French.

Finding aids

Listed to file level in the CERN Archive Database.

Description control [Top]

Archivist's note

Description prepared by Sandrine Reyes.

Date(s) of description

Geneva, the 10 January 2002.

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