ISLAMABAD   -   DESY’s “light through the wall experiment” ALPS II is taking shape. ALPS, short for “Any Light Particle Search,” is being installed in a tunnel section of the former HERA accelerator. The international ALPS team will search for dark matter using twenty-four former HERA magnets, laser light, and a highly sensitive detector. The last of these superconducting magnets was installed last week. 

During the last weeks all superconducting magnets have been brought into the tunnel. The last big part for connecting the magnets was installed today. Almost exactly one year ago, the ALPS II team celebrated the installation of the first magnet in the tunnel; in just under another year, data taking could begin if all goes according to plan. “We are very proud,” says DESY project manager Axel Lindner, summing up the mood of the team. “While we were planning ALPS, we kept hearing the words ‘that can’t be done.’ But in the end it turned out that everything could be done, even during a pandemic.” The use of the tunnel, changes to the superconducting magnets, the complicated laser system, the highly sensitive detector — all this seemed impossible at first and is now becoming reality.