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A quench, the transition of a conductor from the superconducting to the normal conducting state, occurs irreversibly in the accelerator magnets if one of the three parameters: temperature, magnetic field or current density exceeds a critical value. Energy deposited in the superconductor by the particle beams provokes quenches detrimental for the accelerator operation. In particular if particles impacting on the vacuum chamber and their secondary showers depose energy in the magnet coils. The large hadron collider (LHC) nominal beam intensity is 3.2 ldr 1014 protons. A quench occurs if a fraction of the order of 107 protons per second is lost locally. A network model is used to simulate the thermodynamic behavior of the magnets. The heat flow in the network model was validated with measurements performed in the CERN magnet test facility. A steady state heat flow was introduced in the coil by using the quench heaters implemented in the LHC magnets. The value of the heat source current is determined by the network model and the magnet coil current which is required to quench the coil is predicted accordantly. The measured and predicted value comparison is regarded as a sensitive test of the method.
Date of Publication: June 2008