EU awards more than €600,000 to support Accelerator research
Low energy antimatter experiments and the development of new beam diagnostics techniques for charged particle beams and are two of the main research areas in the pan-European QUASAR Group at the Cockcroft Institute, led by the University of Liverpool. The EU has just announced that it will support the activities in these areas via two grants.
Antimatter experiments are at the cutting edge of science; impressively underlined through the award of ‘most important physics breakthrough’ in 2010 to the successful trapping of antihydrogen by physicsworld. They are, however, very difficult to realize and presently limited by the performance of the only existing facility in the world, the Antiproton Decelerator (AD) at CERN. To enable the efficient investigation of essentially all these important questions, a new experimental facility, the Extra Low ENergy Antiproton ring (ELENA) will be built. Within the BeaPhy project a Marie Curie Intra-European Fellowship for experienced researchers will allow Dr. Javier Resta-Lopez from the University of Valencia to join the Cockcroft Institute and address some of the key challenges in the design, construction and operation of ELENA through beam dynamics studies. This work will be an important contribution to an international effort in optimizing the experimental performance for all antimatter experiments at the AD. Dr. Lopez has previously worked at CERN and the University of Oxford.
Beam diagnostics systems are essential constituents of any particle accelerator; they reveal the properties of a beam and how it behaves in a machine. Without an appropriate set of diagnostic elements, it would simply be impossible to operate any accelerator complex, let alone optimize its performance. Of particular importance are beam diagnostics methods based on light emitted by a beam of charged particles, such as synchrotron radiation, optical transition radiation, diffraction radiation and Smith-Purcell radiation. The goal of the DITA-IIF project is to advance the state of the art of optical beam diagnostics to meet the requirements of the present and next generation of accelerators. Dr. Ralph Fiorito is an internationally renowned expert in optical diagnostics who has pioneered many new diagnostics methods. He will join the university via an International Incoming Fellowship to develop minimally invasive methods for low to medium power accelerators and non-invasive techniques for very intense, high power accelerators.
Prof. Carsten P. Welsch, Accelerator Physics Group leader in the department of physics who is based at the Cockcroft Institute and Principal Investigator on both grants: "It is absolutely fantastic news that two researchers with such impressive backgrounds will join us. They have outstanding track records and will allow us to carry out a cutting-edge research program in two truly exciting areas.