YPN visited Nikhef in the Amsterdam Science Park!
On November 24, YPN visited Nikhef and it was a great success. Nikhef is an institute that researches and develops scientific instrumentation, mainly for particle accelerators in Switzerland.
After a short introduction about the general activities at Nikhef, the first technical presentation from Eric and Thijs was about the dynamic isolation of the Einstein Telescope Pathfinder, where a gain of up to 10^-19 (!) had to be realized in all linear directions. This was done by stacking inverted pendula with so-called GAS springs (Geometric Anti-Springs).
The next presentation from Freek was about the design and manufacturing of a 150um thick RF shield, that was milled and etched out of aluminum. Can you imagine a single aluminum product that takes more than 6 months to manufacture?
After seeing these systems in the technical presentations, there was also a factory tour, where we could see the size and feel the eigenmodes in real life. Nikhef has a very comprehensive production facility, including (among other things) a normal workplace/warehouse, a cleanroom, a milling/lathing hall, orbital welding and a product cleaning facility.
It goes without saying that the day ended with drinks and bitterballen and plenty of opportunity to get to know each other!
Our great appreciation goes out to Nikhef for the impeccable organization of the visit, and to Luuk van Paridon for bringing us in contact with the right people!
Hope to see you all next time,
Maurits van den Hurk
Matthijs van Gastel
DSPE Young Precision Network